Name: Patrice Caldwell
Title: ALEX DE VEGA AND PANDORA’S BOX
Genre: MG Thriller
Word Count: 41,000
75 word pitch: When a high-tech energy cube goes missing, twelve-year-old criminal mastermind, Alex de Vega, is The Agency's top suspect. As the mayor’s daughter, Alex is untouchable, but her best friend and constant accomplice, James, is one strike away from lifetime detention on The Arctic Isles. To clear his name and save their city, they must race to retrieve the cube—codenamed Pandora’s Box—from supernatural creatures who wish to use it to destroy them all.
First 500 words:
At a small wooden desk in the corner of a stark-white classroom sat a tiny girl with dark brown hair falling just past her shoulder. In front of her was a thin computer screen that, unlike the ones in front of the rest of the students, was pitch black.
"Miss de Vega," said the girl's teacher, who was wearing the most hideous of floral dresses. The girl frowned; floral was not a pattern anyone should wear.
"Alex," snapped the teacher. "You're supposed to be watching the instructional video."
Alex only sighed, pulling at the chunky beaded bracelet on her right wrist. She wondered why in the year 3147 middle school sucked as much as it probably did when it was first created. Someone should've figured out a way to make it more interesting by now.
Her teacher leaned forward, placing a hand on Alex’s desk. "Do you really want to be sent to the principal's office, again?"
As if that would happen. Alex chuckled to herself. She turned, peering at the large clock on the wall as the second hand ticked three times, and the minute hand moved, joining it with the hour hand at the clock's top. It was then that the classroom door burst open with a loud thud against the wall. Alex leaned back in her chair and smiled.
"Ms. Harland, Ms. Harland," said a messy, red-haired boy. He drew in a deep breath. "The droids, th-they're fighting. In the hallway." He collapsed on the floor.
"What do you mean they're fighting?" asked the teacher, peeping her head out the door. There was a shriek. The school principal ran by, one of the robots fast behind him. "Oh my." She pushed the red emergency button under her desk. "Okay, stay here. Someone will be here shortly. I'm going to rescue Principal Schley."
Alex rolled her eyes, still smiling to herself. That woman had taken one self-defense class and she already thought she was Wonder Woman. Not that it mattered since Alex had only programmed the bots to tickle. Of course, James and her would be long gone by the time they figured that out. Speaking of James, where was he? She slid out of her desk. No doubt, he was still next door like the teacher's pet he was.
As she exited, she noticed her classmates hadn't budged. In fact, they barely raised an eyebrow when she stood to walk out. She sighed; she'd have to do better next time.
Standing on the tip of her toes, she peeped through the window of the classroom next door. There he was, sitting at one of the back desks, playing with his phone. She jumped up then smiled to herself when she saw his teacher wasn't present.
"Pst," she said, poking her head into the doorway. "James."
James took his headphones off and his hunter green eyes brightened. "What's it this time?" he asked, walking over, his voice cracking.