Sunday, September 16, 2012

CAGI Finalist #37

Title: RELIC
Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 85,000 


Eighteen-year-old Princess Far has always known how it feels to die.

She is a Relic, a person who has visions from their past lives, and she has spent her entire life guarding this secret. Most people believe Relics and their so-called demon magic must be exterminated. 

After the sudden death of her sister, Far must assume membership in the kingdom’s Council, but all she knows how to do is be invisible.

When a dark order of magi invades her kingdom and thrusts her people into a world war, Far’s past-life knowledge becomes her most powerful weapon. She is the only one who knows the order's secret. But somehow, they also know hers. She must decide if exposure is worth the protection of her people.

Because if those same people learn what she really is, they’ll nail her to a fiery stake. Crown and all.


First 250:

I’ve died this way before.

Before, I stumbled into the wrong place at the wrong time. But now, from the burning in the stranger’s eyes, I know he has every intention of killing me.

I wonder, does he see her too?

Her name is Far. All my life, I have been haunted by memories. I don’t know about magic or destiny or death. But they do. There are thousands of memories and dozens of lives trapped inside me. Or maybe I am trapped inside them. 

His footsteps behind me grow louder. When I try to push myself up from the forest floor, my chest smashes back to the ground. 

The footsteps stop. I hear his breathing behind me. A heavy inhale. A slow, relaxed exhale. I can’t see him, but I think he’s smiling.

I squeeze my eyes shut and try to recall how it feels to be stabbed. For once, the memories don’t come.

Of all the memories, Far's are the clearest, so close to the surface that sometimes I believe they’re my memories. That I am Far. That she is me.

Of course that can’t be true. Her tiara is my baseball cap. Her magical tattoos are my tan lines. Her creepy past-life sketches are my inspirational posters.

I’m not Far. 

I’m not.

But I can’t let it go. I can’t convince myself that I’m my own, separate person when one crucial piece of evidence is missing: Far never died. Her life ended without even a whisper, as if existence has a pause button.

I can’t help but think it has something to do with me.

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