Sunday, June 8, 2014

QK Agent Round 1 (Host Save): Lowlife Extraordinaire, YA Noir

Entry nickname: Lowlife Extraordinaire
Word count: 73K
Genre: YA Noir


THE MADMEN’S CITY is a YA Noir with dueling POVs.

Seventeen-year-old Gwen Kane wants nothing more than to follow in her vigilante father’s footsteps. Nightly, she trades her chemistry homework for burner phone protocols and fist fight drills in the streets using his strict moral code. That is, until her can-do-no-wrong father is arrested for the murder of Nicky D’Amico, a member of the infamous Nerozzi crime family. But Gwen refuses to believe her father is the one responsible for Nicky’s death, especially when the corrupt Towton City justice system sends him straight to death row. 

After a childhood of abuse and neglect from his imprisoned mafia boss mother, eighteen-year-old Silas Snow tries to erase the bitter memories by flattening any lowlife who dares to prey on the innocents of Towton City. To Silas, death is the only suitable punishment for the iniquitous criminals who prowl the seedy streets. So, when he shoots Nicky D’Amico for stalking a girl home, it’s just another night in a long string of similar nights. 

Gwen enlists Silas’s help in clearing her father’s name. When he discovers someone used his kill to frame Gwen’s father, he’s torn. If he admits he bagged the mobster himself, he’ll replace Gwen’s father in the electric chair. But if he doesn’t, he’ll be letting an innocent man die. To avoid either of these fates, Silas sets Gwen off on the wrong trail while he points his crosshairs at the mafia.

But when Gwen finds evidence that Silas shot the bullet that killed Nicky D'Amico, Silas disappears into the sordid underbelly of the city. Gwen takes to the streets to track him down and finally trap the monster behind it all. The clock ticks down to her father's date with death row, and she refuses to let him die. It's time to stop playing nice.

First 250 words:

Silas Snow

The corpse weighs down my arms as I drag it into the middle of the silent street. I drop it onto the pavement and begin arranging the limbs so it resembles a filthy, rotting log. Humming, I settle the feet onto the center white line as a thick breeze rustles my trench coat. I’d caught this one stalking a girl home from her waitressing job at Four Points Pizzeria, his knife glinting in the moonlight. A quick squirt of metal into the side of his head, and that’s the last time he’ll ever see that girl. Or anyone else.

His vacant eyes stare up at me. Nicky D’Amico, a Soldier in the infamous Nerozzi crime family. A trickle of blood runs down his face and pools onto the pavement. It’s not often enough I bag a mobster, and this one will send the appropriate message.

I’m watching you. My stomach twists at the stench. Enjoy cleaning up the mess.

I turn toward the slums but only make it half a block before the crunch of boots on broken glass freezes me mid-step.

Slipping my hand into my pocket to finger my pistol, I eye the street before me. Nothing there other than an emptiness swallowing up the space where cars and buses rumble by during daylight hours. Slowly, I turn. Nothing there either. Someone else skulks down these streets, and anyone hugging the darkness is surely someone on my long list of lowlifes extraordinaire. 

And he just saw me dump the body.


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    ~Whitley Abell, Inklings Literary Agency

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