Sunday, September 16, 2012

CAGI Finalist #12

Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
Word Count 75,500


Being a third generation Enhanced, Clair Donahue’s life has always been ruled by genetics. She sees the way her grandparents have been genetically altered to see. Her hearing is as keen as her mother’s. But after testing much too high to become a car mechanic like her lineage, Clair jumps at the chance to choose a career all her own. She knows rejection means placing her future in the hands of the World Technological Pharmaceutical Corporation.

What she doesn’t know is how long the WTPC have been waiting for her to take that risk.

Just two weeks before she turns eighteen, Clair learns that she is to become a Harvester of Phenomenon, to rid their new world of supernatural fear. The serums used to Enhance one’s physical aspects needed in their specific fields have kept many from passing on after death, creating a fortified soul capable of entering the human body and erasing the person inside.

And now it is Clair’s job to collect them.

Flanked by her deadly smart boyfriend, Evan, and her ever-present best friend, Matt, Clair has two weeks to choose between being internally assaulted by the Phenomenon, or leaving what is left of her family and her freedom behind her. But when Evan’s brilliant ploys to salvage her future turn to desperation, Matt is forced to step in to pick up the pieces. The stakes rise once again. Not only does Clair have to decide whether to sacrifice her body or run, she must choose between the only love she has ever known and the one she never saw coming.

First 250:


To you who are next:

If you are reading this, you have my deepest sympathies. I would never ask another human being to endure what has been thrust upon me. There are true horrors that you will encounter in this next chapter of your life that defy explanation. If by some miracle you have earned the chance to change your mind, I urge you to take it. Take your freedom while it’s still yours to hold.

Please understand:

I am not a hero. Nor am I a role model.

I am just a girl.

I was just a girl.

Now, I am a Harvester.

Chapter One:


The voice of the news anchor droned on in the living room as we waited. Superior hearing aside, I couldn’t make out his words over the pounding of my heart. Each minute felt like its own hour as I stared at the inoffensive white envelope resting against my untouched water glass.

“Clair,” Evan said softy, reaching for my hand under the table. “You can’t put this off any longer.” He squeezed my fingers as his brother, Matt, tossed my occupational declaration in front of us.

I felt ambushed, and it was all I could do to resist the urge to scoot my chair back a few feet. Instead, I shot a panicked look across the stuffy little kitchen. Matt peered at me over his habitually worn sunglasses, his dark eyes alive and penetrating. “That’s right, silly girl,” he said, his rumbling baritone filling the room. “It’s not like this is the deciding factor for the rest of your life or anything.”

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