MENTOR: Brent Taylor
ALTERNATE: Stacey Trombley
TITLE: DARCY DARKLING AND THE FORGOTTEN CITY
CATEGORY/GENRE: MG urban fantasy
WORD COUNT: 45,000
PITCH: Darcy finds an abandoned underground city (coolest secret ever) but when she gets lost in the tunnels she’ll have to find her own way out or hope the darkling creatures are nicer than they look.
The best place in the whole world is a mile below my feet.
I close my eyes and pretend I’m there. My bedroom disappears and I am surrounded by darkness. Even if it’s just pretend, I still love it. I picture the damp sludge dripping from the stone walls of the underground tunnels, surrounded by darkness so thick it's like a living, breathing thing. There are new adventures everywhere. Every turn is a new secret waiting to be uncovered.
“Darcy!” Mom calls.
My eyes fly open. “What? I’m doing my homework, just like you said.”
The door flings wide and she stands there, one hand on her hip and the other holding a pair of muddy tennis shoes by the shoestrings. “Explain to me how these got so dirty.”
Whoops. She wasn't supposed to find those.
I sit up on my bed and shrug, playing it off. “I was playing bee with Joe.”
I hold up a Frisbee. Lucky for me it’s got some dirt on it too. Otherwise she might suspect I’m not telling the truth. She wouldn’t like the truth.
“Leave it to you to find the only dirt in the whole city."
Here we go.
"Why do you think they did away with those parks I played in as a kid? They were dangerous. Stick to the astro-turf, okay?"
She says it so serious that I can't help but roll my eyes. Astro-turf is just a stupid name for fake grass. Rubbery pretend stuff. Seriously, a little dirt isn’t going to hurt me.