MENTOR: Jennifer Malone
ALTERNATE: Heidi Boyd
TITLE: QUINCY STRANGE AND THE TEN
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG Mystery
WORD COUNT: 48,000
PITCH: For Quincy Strange, forgetting to fasten his polo shirt’s top button is just as horrifying as being sucked into a black hole. But when he uncovers a canceled CIA project involving genetic testing on students, he finds his oddities to be his best attributes, as he forms a hypothesis that just might save the lives of the ten test subjects.
It may sound ridiculous, but the truth is, all the current problems in my life started with a pea. Not the I-have-to-run-to-the-bathroom-to-take-a-whizz type of pee, but the kids-hide-them-in-a-glass-of-milk-to-avoid-eating type of pea. The vegetable.
In view of the fact that peas are usually only life-threatening to five-year-olds being forced to eat them, it’s clear I’m used to seeing patterns others don’t see. I could tell you everything that goes on at Einstein Middle School. That’s why my life’s in danger.
I’m not saying a bomb submerged inside a vat of peas was set to go off or anything; most threats are much more subtle than that. It’s all about details and small changes. So when I saw the lunch ladies piling peas onto only a few trays, I noticed. With burgers and french fries on the menu, vegetables were forgotten by everyone else. Fortunately, I’m not like everyone else.
I leaned over the counter and said, “I’d like some peas, please.”
Surprised but still friendly, the first lunch lady of the group checked my student ID card, and after scanning the paper in her hand, she smiled. “Nope. Sorry, Quincy. None for you.”
“Keep it moving.” Lunch Lady Number Two spoke as she pointed down the line. Lunch Lady Number Two did not smile.
“Do I need to get the principal down here?”
I failed to see how calling the principal was relevant to the current situation.