16: A RITE OF PASSAGE

Title:A RITE OF PASSAGE
Age Category:Young Adult
Genre:contemporary mystery
Word Count:63,000
Pitch:Fifteen-year-old Aramay can’t remember what happened after she jumped from the bridge. Her cousin’s paralyzed and she’s viewed with suspicion. She’ll struggle against guilt, bitter memories, and a shocking betrayal in search of the truth.
First 250 Word of Manuscript:I squeeze my toes back and forth feeling the wood creak beneath my feet. Inches from the edge of the bridge. I don’t look down at the water; I keep my focus on the line of trees in the distance.

I reach to grab the railing, but Cassidy catches my fingers. “What are you doing, Aramay?”

“Nothing,” I say.

“You’ve been acting weird all day. This spot isn’t like you said. You can’t really see anything from here.” Her hand squeezes mine, insistent.

The shadows from the bridge girders hide the sun here. The pass sparkles with shards of sunlight and beyond the lapping waves, the sandy shore melds into the thick green of trees. If I squint my eyes. I can just make out a trail.

Cassidy leans close. “What’s this about? Impressing the swim team?” she whispers.

I let go of her hand. “I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I say. I don’t look down; that will only fill me with fear. Up above the crossover, the bridge road bristles with summer heat. I shiver; I’m not cold, but I will be soon. The water below is frigid. The shock of it will be the hardest part. Once I thrust up to the surface and turn to push my way to shore, I’ll only be a half a mile away from land. Easy. Nothing like the two miles a day I usually swim.

“Aramay,” Cassidy says again.
I touch her arm. She’s afraid, I know. She doesn’t like being here.

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