Monday, October 30, 2017

NoQS Adult SF: THE CAMP

Title: THE CAMP
Genre: Adult Science Fiction
Word Count: 94,000

My MC and MA are dressed as:
Celia, the main character, is terrible at picking costumes but she found a ridiculous blue pinafore at a second-hand shop. In a stroke of genius, she decided to go to the party as Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. At the party, Eavar Kilgore arrived with a whole herd of his cronies. They were dressed as flying monkeys and spent the entire time wreaking havoc on everyone and everything around them. Celia got fed up and left, opting to go home and read a good book rather than put up with them.

Query:
Three hundred years ago, Talamh established the colonies of Drea and Baile, safe havens for the population of a dying world. Two hundred years ago, Drea went silent. Ten days ago, missiles rained down on Baile, a surprise attack from the sister colony they thought long dead.

In the first days of her capture after the invasion, twenty-four year old Celia is beaten for using the restroom without permission, separated from the young charge she has sworn to protect, and ogled by the guards during her first shower in weeks. Given the opportunity for an easier life, she rejects it because it means accepting—even supporting—the Drea in their conquest. She won’t pay that price, even if it would buy her better food and an easier job. And when a sprained ankle leads to a fateful conversation, Celia discovers her ultimate destination. The Drea plan to send her and all the other young women to breeding houses. 

To avoid spending the rest of her life as a broodmare for the enemy, Celia jumps at an offer to join the resistance. The problem is that their leader is a traitor. Elijah, a Bailen soldier turned Drea stooge, abandoned her during the invasion. She can’t trust him, and if he betrays her again she faces public execution.

First 250 Words:
The sharp tang of urine blended with the more sour scent of unwashed bodies is so pervasive, I barely notice it anymore.

The guards brutally enforce their one rule: Stay in your seat. Then they leave us for an undetermined amount of time. They could reappear minutes, or hours, or possibly a day later. We don’t know and so we don’t move, even to fulfill the most basic of bodily functions. 

I hate them for the indignity of it. One more thing to add to the long list of reasons to despise the invaders. But hate or not, I remain firmly in my seat while Oona’s squirming becomes increasingly frantic. With no one to grant permission, a trip to the train car’s single restroom is out of the question.

At least it is until the little girl starts sobbing with the pain of holding it, her small body shuddering against the filthy seat. Despite knowing her for little more than a week, I can’t bear to watch her humiliate herself.

I decide to risk it.

Horrified stares follow us as we hustle through the overcrowded car, but no one says a word. No one dares, even as I stand outside the door to the tiny restroom, waiting for Oona to finish. And once she’s done, I place her in the only empty seat nearby while I take my turn.

When I come out, she’s gone, her empty seat a hollow gap that draws me in.

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