Genre: Upper MG fantasy/adventure
Word Count: 46,000
Pitch: Thirteen-year-old Persephone’s becoming a dragon. Even worse, DarkenWear, Inc.’s imprisoning magical creatures in their fashions. If Persephone’s caught, she’ll end up a designer handbag or fabulous pair of shoes—the feathery fashionistas must be stopped!
The vortex howled around the dilapidated Calvin Coolidge Middle School, throwing crows against the glass and filling the air with feathers. The old panes rattled in their paint-caked frames, drawing Persephone’s attention away from her Edgar Allen Poe project and toward the tall windows of the eighth-grade humanities classroom. The sky turned a ghoulish shade of gray-green and the room shook with the rumble of thunder.
Persephone went back to splattering red paint on her papier-mâché rendering of The Masque of the Red Death, trying to put the storm out of her mind. She felt a twinge and grimaced, rubbing the silvery swirl of scar tissue that peeked out from underneath the top of her arm warmer. Stupid dead skin. First darn feeling in five years, and it’s pain. Spotty memories of the accident drifted in and out of her head until thoughts became spoken words. Storms create lightning. Lightning makes fire. Fire ruins lives. It happened then, and it could happen now. “Storms conjure change.”
“Huh, what did you say?” Kendall turned in his chair, his gaze fixed on Persephone.
She noticed him looking at her bad arm and scowled from underneath her dark razor-edged bangs. “I dare you to stare at it a second longer.”
“Sorry.” He looked down, flashing an awkward smile, and tousled his mop of chestnut hair.
Ignoring Kendall and the tingling pain, she pulled the striped woolen sleeve back up to cover the wound. Even my best friend can’t help himself. Nobody can. I’m hideous.
CLUE: Mr. Boddy is found behind his desk in the study bleeding from a puncture in his eye, fingers gripping an empty envelope bearing the seal of the local Bar Association.