Entry Nickname: Aztecs in Space
Title: The Aztec
Word Count: 100,000 words
Genre: Adult Sci-Fi
As a child, Papan was chosen as the sacrifice for the Aztec’s New Fire Ceremony, a brutal ritual intended to ward away the evil gods who would destroy the world. Though she willingly faces death, Papan renounces love and family and refuses a life beyond her duties to the temple city of Tenochtitlan. She dies, but her last thoughts are not bound in glory or honor. She regrets the life she chose.
Captain Vick Halley watches the grisly sacrifice from orbit. When he agreed to pilot for the scientists terraforming Earth, he didn’t think they’d allow their program’s publicity stunt to die on a stone altar. Their plan to resuscitate the woman with an artificial heart works; however Vick is forced to act as intermediary between the irate Aztec and scientists. Papan refuses to assist the program’s fundraising until the scientists intervene to prevent thousands of meaningless sacrifices to false gods.
Between appearances at fancy galas, Papan sneaks away with Vick to explore the wonders of the universe: ocean planets, meteor storms, and comets. But, as her artificial heart begins to fail and the scientists struggle to finance a new surgery, Papan’s second chance in the advanced society is a heartbeat away from ending; along with any hope of saving her people.
For the first time in her life, Papan does not want to die.
First 250 Words:
The calendars decreed Papan would die in six days.
More precisely, Pan had five days, an afternoon meal, and one sunset left to live. She preferred to be precise.
The temple offered as much hope as it did distraction in the few remaining days before her sacrifice. Pan tended to her duties, scouring the temple’s stone walkways for any lingering cobwebs, ashes, or flecks of grass. Outside, blood perpetually dripped from the grand altars, staining the pyramid’s one hundred stairs crimson and dark. It was mess which would not be scrubbed clean. The blood protected the city from all manner of demons and foul destruction. A comfort. Pan’s death, however gruesome, would prevent the heavens from descending upon Tenochtitlan, sating the gods before they devoured the entirety of the vast Aztec empire.
The temple’s halls did not need swept. Even the hidden corners and tucked away secrets where she hid from the priests as a child did not require cleaning. She paused within a shrine, bowing low to honor the symbolic mask of the god Quetzalcoatl. Fragments of turquoise and jade formed the mosaicked image of two intertwining serpents curling over the mask’s eyes. The stones were gifts, tributes from far away cities. She asked, but the priests could not estimate the distance the mask traveled before settling within the sacred shrine.
The warriors told stories of the expanding lands and surrounding city-states. Traveling merchants raved of the empire’s borders, stretching beyond sight until the land gave way to infinite waters or the paths were lost within the dusted sand of barren deserts.
Entry Nickname: The Fisherman
Title: The Fisherman
Word count: 90K
Genre: Adult Literary Suspense
Everyone Jude Fisher has ever loved is dead. His parents, his three best friends, the love of his life—they’ve all gone to their untimely graves. And Jude has killed them, every one. It’s a curse: when he loves someone, they’re laid low. It never fails. They always die.
THE FISHERMAN pits the world-weary, 22-year-old Jude against the ultra-violent Lucas Moordenaar, a depraved killer who murdered Jude’s parents a decade before, triggering the boy’s tragic malediction. When Lucas is about to be paroled, Jude embarks on a relentless, three-day mission from Minnesota to upstate New York, where Lucas sits in prison, waiting for him like some terrible spider. Jude must stop the man who birthed his curse from going free: if he doesn’t, he’ll be forever doomed to walk the earth, killing anyone unlucky enough to become his friend.
Jude trips through trains, buses, city streets, and country roads on his spasmodic journey to Greenvale State Penitentiary, haunted by his dead loved ones. He is tortured especially by the apparition of his lovely Angela, whose death wounded him worst of all. Her dying wish was that Jude seek out the man that murdered his parents and learn the truth about his curse. Jude won’t let her down: he will meet this monstrous evil face-to-face.
First 250 words:
The question I get most since they chucked me in this hole is this: Are you sorry for what you done? Everybody asks me, when they find out what I done. And its sorta an interestin question. It sets me to thinkin.
See, there are probly a few who are sorry. The two pukes I wasted in here for starters. If you could ask them now, which you cant, they would most definitely wish I hadnt squirted up into the system and trickled down and out the shitpipe into scenic Greenvale State Peniten-shee-ary.
Its like I always says: you dont cross Big Luke. Some learnt that little factoid harder than others, but they all learnt it. Tell the truth bout them pukes I dusted, the both of em deserved what they got. Anyone I ever waxed deserved it, matter of plain fact. They was in the wrong place, doing the wrong thing, all of them.
But the little kid, you see, the reason I landed here—he maybe didnt deserve what he got. But hell, I still aint even answered the questionI done my share of crazy shit, but I always meant to do it. Always did it with purpose. But with the kid, I didnt mean for none of it to happen the way it did.
And I might tell you too much over the next few pages. I might tell you all about shit I done thatll make you want to puke. Hell, you might even grow to hate me a little. You wouldnt be the first.