Tuesday, January 21, 2014


MENTOR: Nazarea Andrews
ALTERNATE: Heather Lynn
TITLE: The Lightning City
WORD COUNT: 91,000

PITCH: In the Lightning City, being a magical wielder is illegal. Ilya, a young policeman and wielder, wants to change that and goes after the powerful magical mafia – if his own side doesn’t arrest him first.


Ilya steadies the needle over his arm – it’s a liquid silver mosquito ready to bite him. The metallic taste floods his mouth, coating his tongue. And the needle isn’t even in yet. But he’s sweating, his palms are slick. It’s still gonna hurt like a sonofabitch.

The syringe is filled with metallic poison, after all.

He lays his arm flat on the table – a dumpster dive find. He’s added a few instruments that don’t come standard -- like several shackles to hold him in place. He stretches his right arm flat, flexing his muscles, the vein jumping out. Outside dogs are barking, on the floor above him, bass reverberates through the ceiling, and down the hallway a couple shouts at each other. When he presses the needle into his arm, his scream goes unnoticed. His arm spasms, but the restraints do their job. His mouth floods with the acerbic taste of iron. After the injection, his veins are silvery tattoos. They darken to black before fading away and sliding back into his body.

Existing shouldn’t be illegal – but his is. With each thump of his heart, the iron invades his body, extinguishing each spark of magic. Ferrous is a banned substance, illegal to make, to use, and to own. It’s almost as bad as being a magic wielder to begin with. At least using the ferrous is his choice – even if it makes him doubly screwed.

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