Title: Lost Inside Her
Entry Nickname: Meet Me at Lake Nevaeh
Word count: 71,000
Genre: YA Thriller
For as long as seventeen-year-old Violet can remember, she’s had a voice in her head she calls Gabby. She’s her best friend. And to Violet, she’s real. But to her doctors and parents, the voice is a mysterious mental aberration they’ve tried treating for years with meds and therapy. But nothing’s worked.
Usually playful and carefree, Gabby’s visits are now filling Violet with unexplainable fear, and even making her dizzy and nauseous. Worried they’ll put her away for good, Violet keeps Gabby’s troubles to herself. When Neil joins her English class and they connect in church, his down-to-earth, gentle nature draws her closer. So close, she trusts him with her secret. And he’s the first to believe her.
But Gabby doesn't trust Neil. She rebels, causing blackouts and strange bruises that land Violet in the hospital, and now they want to send her for long-term testing. Feeling betrayed by everyone, Violet runs away with Neil to his reservation, where his grandfather performs a shamanic ritual. In a trance-like vision, Violet enters one of her own body’s cells and witnesses how her atoms’ electrons link her—through a long-distance magnetic force—to another person. A real person. It explains her blackouts and bruises. They’re really Gabby’s. And Gabby is in big trouble.
When police arrest Neil for harboring a runaway, Violet escapes in his truck. Now on her own to save Gabby, all Violet has to work with are cryptic clues about Gabby’s location and Neil’s intelligent dog. If Violet can’t save her, she not only jeopardizes her own safety, she risks losing her lifelong friend and the first guy who ever believed in her.
Three days since I’d secretly quit taking my meds. Or was it four? This might have ranked as the stupidest thing I’d ever done. Huddled in the back seat of Dad’s SUV, I forced my eyes open. Swirling gray clouds dumped more rain onto the street, already flooded from a week of late-September storms.
That spot where Gabby lived in my head was empty. For now, anyway. After all her drama, insisting I “stop the drugs,” she hadn’t even popped in since I’d quit. Maybe it was better that way. Because just thinking about how weird she’d been acting lately made me sweat all over. Staring out the window, tears filled my eyes, blurring the falling rain. I didn’t even know my best friend anymore. I almost wished she’d never visit me again.
A gust whipped fat drops against the windshield, forcing Dad to slow down and lean forward. We crawled through the downpour and turned into the mini mart’s lot. While Dad ran in for drinks, Mom flipped down the visor’s mirror and applied that bright-red lipstick I hated. She saw me looking at her. “You still mad at me?”
“I was tired. I didn’t mean to yell.” I’d swear she was more concerned about being yelled at than why I was so upset when she woke me for church. I’d barely slept all night, and I really wanted to tell her why. Tell Dad. Tell someone.
Gabby’s mantra echoed: Keep it inside, where it’s safe with me and you.