Thursday, October 17, 2013


Name:  Stacey Trombley
Genre: MG urban fantasy

75 word pitch:
Twelve-year-old Darcy finds a secret tunnel leading to an abandoned underground city. Every night she sneaks away to explore the empty streets of The Forgotten City, but the creatures of the dark don't appreciate a little girl poking her nose in their business and they chase her deep into the underground. Lost, Darcy will have to find her own way out of the labyrinth of tunnels or hope the creatures are friendlier than they look.

 First 500 words:
The best place in the whole world is a mile below my feet.
Damp sludge drips from the stone walls of the underground tunnels, surrounded by darkness so thick it's like a living, breathing thing. There are new adventures everywhere. Every turn is a new secret waiting to be found. I've found my share but I plan on finding a whole lot more.
Too bad I'm not supposed to go there, and if I was ever caught I'd be a lot worse than grounded. So right now I'm stuck above ground, in my boring apartment doing my boring homework just waiting until I can sneak back to the tunnels.
It's my secret. No one can keep me away, not even Mom.
“Darcy!” Mom calls.
“What?  I’m doing my homework, just like you said.”
She walks into my room carrying a pair of muddy tennis shoes. “Explain to me how these got so dirty.”
Whoops. She wasn't supposed to find those.
I shrug, playing it off. “I was playing bee with Joe.”
I hold up a Frisbee. Lucky for me it’s got some dirt on it too. Otherwise she might suspect I’m not telling the truth.
“Leave it to you to find the only dirt in the whole city."
Here we go.
"Why do you think they did away with those parks I played in as a kid? They were dangerous. Stick to the astro-turf, okay?"
She says it so serious that I can't help but roll my eyes. Astro-turf is just a stupid name for fake grass. But seriously, a little dirt isn’t going to hurt me.
 Mom puts her hands on her hips until I sigh and say, “Yes, Mom." But I don’t mean it. I'll squish my toes in the mud tonight, just for her.
“Hey Mom,” I say as she’s turning to leave. “Can I stay at Sammie's tonight?”
Sammie is my bestest fake friend. I don't even know her last name.
She sighs. "I thought you might want to watch a movie or something tonight. We don't spend enough time together."
Of course we don’t. You’d think I’m a freak if you knew what I really do at night. Dad wouldn’t though. Wherever he is, I know he'd understand.
"Please, mom." I bat my eyelashes in a way that's probably so stupid and girly, but at the moment I don't really care. It gets me what I want. I throw on my sweetest smile and she caves.
“Fine, but finish your homework first."
"K," I say and my grin spreads. She gives me one of those long looks like she doesn't trust me but then turns and leaves me alone.
Sometimes, I think my dad had it right when he left the city. Mom says we’ll never see him again because outside the walls is nothing. The world outside is dead.
I never believed her. How could I? Dad had to go somewhere, so there has to be something. Anything.
But that was before I found the underground.