ALT D-11: Beached

My name: Kim Van Sickler
Mentor's name: Brent Taylor
Title: Beached
Genre: Upper MG fantasy
Word count: 69,000

PITCH:

Fourteen-year-old Ginny's embarrassment of her mermaid-obsessed, bikini-sporting mom is destroying her social life. After discovering she's part merkin, Ginny surprises herself by volunteering for a merkin mission that forces her to re-examine her relationships.

FIRST 250 WORDS:

Day number five with Megan as my BFF can’t end soon enough. She’s too much stress. She swooped in like a shark smelling blood after my last best friends decided I was too stuck up and started ignoring me. I put up with nosy Megan because it gets lonely walking to class and eating lunch by myself.

I slip out of school as fast as I can, and catch up to my twin, Kurt. He’s chuckling over a text message, probably from one of the girls who follows him around like he’s a rock star. Somehow he manages to have a full social life while I flounder.

I blame mermaids. I know that's a strange thing to say. They're not even real. They're harmless fish people in silly fairy tales. Not a threat to anyone.

Until you come to my house. They're everywhere.

Mom still has that six-year-old girl fascination with mermaids that everyone else grows out of. That, and the fact that she has some pretty strange habits, are why we don't ever bring anyone home.

Whoo! It's toasty. I push up the arms of my sweatshirt and kick a pebble. It ricochets down the sidewalk and into the grass, next to a gaggle of seventh grade girls. Kurt nods to them and they break into a riot of nervous giggles. It sucks being the sister of the hottest guy in eighth grade.

"Genevieve Ulmer. If I didn't know any better, I'd think you were running away from me."

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