Title: These Wicked Waters
Word Count: 68,000
Genre: YA Thriller
After her rock climbing trip is cancelled, seventeen-year-old Annie plans to spend a boring summer working at her mom’s island resort—until she stumbles upon a human skeleton. Though a closer look reveals the skeleton isn’t human at all. Humans don’t have fish tails.
Days later, a guest’s bloated body washes ashore. Law enforcement pronounces the death an accidental drowning, yet Annie wonders if something sinister is at play. The skeleton would give investigators a better lead, but Annie keeps quiet, aware her discovery occurred while scaling the Forbidden-By-Mom Cliffs. Instead, she channels Nancy Drew—minus the skirt and pearls.
While scavenging the island for clues, Annie finds a siren tangled in submerged netting and cuts her loose. The sea-woman’s thank you is a warning: others are coming and, fueled by vengeance for a past murder, they will not rest until every human on the island is dead. When Annie’s childhood crush is found next, mutilated and half-eaten, the sea-creatures' vendetta gets personal. No more waiting for another attack. Annie’s bringing the fight to the sirens.
Complete at 68,000 words, THESE WICKED WATERS is a YA thriller narrated through alternating views of Annie in present day and her eventual siren ally centuries in the past.
When Mom bought the island investors called “cursed,” I figured she wanted a challenge. Even still, the last thing I expected was for her to build a multi-million dollar resort on its sandy shores. Or that I’d spend my first five minutes on Viaii Nisi throwing up in the women’s bathroom.
“This is disgusting,” I groaned, rubbing my watering eyes as I banished the remains of a once delicious grilled cheese sandwich to the island’s plumbing. Seasickness was a terrible weakness. A penchant for fainting and waking up in the arms of a hot guy would be much preferred.
I exited the bathroom stall with the tattered remains of my dignity and maneuvered through the crowd of women at the sinks. A water fountain at the entrance screamed my name.
Outside, the blast of fresh—if humid—air eased the tightness in my chest. I took a slow inhale and curled the bill of my baseball hat as I waited for a guy to finish slurping from the fountain. Hordes of people milled about the Welcome Center, a cluster of shops and information booths, as they waited for the resort bus to arrive. A group of elderly ladies toddled toward the bathroom, sporting panicked looks of weak bladders and a desperate need to go.
I took my exit cue and hurried toward the pier, grabbing a sip from the now-free water fountain on the way. Ten minutes prior, I’d torn down the ferry’s ramp, begging my stomach to show mercy until I found a toilet.