Son Of A Pitch #9
Title: ELISE AND THE SEER
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Word Count: 69,000 words
Space opera nerd Elise Kan only wishes there was a Dark Side to defeat.
Instead, she’s stuck with Calc problem sets, pseudo-friends who throw up M&Ms in class, and (literally) hovering Asian parents who keep nagging her about how much she eats. Yes, half the population may manifest unique Gifts when they reach their teens, but most of these abilities are useless, and others completely suck.
So Elise counts calories. Obsessively. Because maybe the most significant thing she can do right now is prevent the Freshman Fifteen.
Then a shapeshifting fiasco forces her to cross paths with Tanata, a new kid with Gift-related problems of his own. As they bond over eighties space opera Third Millennium, Elise’s eating disorder tightens its downward spiral. Elise has to decide if she’ll open up about her mental health—and in the process, learn how to fight for good even when there’s no clear Dark Side.
FIRST 250 WORDS
By October, no one cares that Ms. Stickelman steps in through the back wall to start first period Econ, but she keeps doing it anyway.
“Okay, AP guys, I’d say we’re eighty-seven-point-five percent awake,” she says, solidifying as she sits down at her desk. Her words come rapid-fire like she’s on Five Hour Energy, except she doesn’t drink caffeine. If she did, I think the world might explode. “Which is decent, considering last week it was only--” she picks up her attendance sheet-- “seventy-five. Kevin Shao?”
Kevin jerks awake. His butt is starting to float a few inches above his seat-- only his knees, which knock on the underside of the desk, keep him from drifting to the ceiling. “Huh?”
“G’morning to you too,” Stickelman says, smiling pleasantly. “Can you give us a reason why a firm’s supply curve might move right?”
Kevin flushes all the way up to his carefully sideswept bangs. Stickelman moves on with her attendance/cross-examination, calling on Jane Meyerowitz (Gift: making cutesy rain clouds above the heads of people she doesn’t like), Mara Dale (Gift: baking perfectly round macaroons), and James Jorgensen (Gift: running super fast, so he can’t compete in regular track meets but all the girls flock to him anyway).
I stuff my cold hands under my legs. The heater roars, but there has to be a draft from the window because I always have goosebumps crawling up my neck and my fingers are blocks of ice.
Not enough body fat, Mom nags in the back of my head. You get too cold, you will die of pneumonia.
Yeah, right. I push her voice away.