ALT D-8: Runaways

NAME: Zach Poulter
MENTOR: Krista Van Dolzer
TITLE: Runaways
GENRE: MG science fiction
WORD COUNT: 54,000

PITCH:

Laura and Dean thought they were normal. Then their parents ran away. Cold War secret agents insist the family is powerful and dangerous. Racing to save their parents, the children discover it may be true.

FIRST 250 WORDS:

When nine year-old Laura came to breakfast that morning, she knew instantly something was wrong. Dean, her older brother, sat alone at the table, staring at a bowl of Rice Krinkles.

Laura wiped the sleep from her eyes and breathed in the sticky-sweet aroma. “Mom said we’re supposed to eat grapefruit, Dean. Every day until juice comes out our ears.”

Dean jabbed his spoon around, sinking sugar-coated Krinkles one by one.

“Where is she anyway?” Laura asked. She eyed the big bowl of grapefruits at the center of the table. In four more days the yucky fruits would finally be gone. Unless Dean didn’t eat his. If Dean didn’t eat his, it meant one more grapefruit breakfast for her. “I’m going to tell Mom that you… I want to tell her something. Why didn’t she wake me up?”

Dean shrugged, but Laura hadn’t really expected a response. Their mother called him a quiet soul. Their dad said he hadn’t found his confidence yet. His teacher sent notes saying he was very bright and she hoped nothing was wrong at home.

“She’s not in bed,” said Laura. “Neither is Dad. I already checked.”

Dean cleared his throat. “You want some?”

Surprised, Laura looked up. “What?”

Dean stood and went to the cupboard.

Without meaning to, Laura stood also. “Dean, you just talked, and no one even made you. What’s going on?”

Bowls clinked together, but Dean didn’t answer.

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