NAME: Ticara Gailliard
MENTOR: Heather Marie
GENRE: YA Horror
WORD COUNT: 53,000
PITCH: Between homeschooling, caring for her younger sister, working a loathsome full-time job, and relationship drama, Jack Sunshine doesn’t have time to deal with the undead. Unfortunately for her, the undead rarely wait for an appointment.
If I were smarter, I would have gotten out before things spread. I would have noticed that the kids in our building had something more than a simple cold. My sister Lucy's best friend in our building, a pudgy redhead named Alice, came down with the cough last that I know of in their playgroup, but hers was the most severe. She coughed hard enough to crack a rib, according to her equally chubby and redheaded mother, and was starting to cough up blood with her phlegm. That was when I stopped letting Lucy play with the others.
It was easy enough to ignore the kids in the building getting sick; after all, that was what kids did, sharing their germs amongst themselves like free samples in a grocery store. When older people—people around my age—began coming in to my job with the cough, things became a bit more curious.
I had the misfortune of dealing with other people almost constantly at Caramela, a hipster's paradise of stolen merchandise ideas and overpriced bullshit. Thanks to my lack of higher education, given that I only recently earned a GED, my job prospects weren't particularly good; still, I had to find something better than my previous position as an ice cream scooper at Johnny B's Ice Cream Emporium, which explained why someone like me was working in a clothing store for people nothing like me.
A few days before Halloween, a group of freshman girls rolled in to the store.