#PitchMadness Blue Team #16: THIS BLAZING STAR

TITLE: The Blazing Star
GENRE: Historical/Fantasy
WORD COUNT: 71,000

When an ancient scarab yanks a teen, her genius sister, and an odd freshman to the court of Ramses I, the girls are forced to choose between finding a way home or saving Egypt from the nightmarish monsters attacking the capital.

It didn’t take 20/20 to see her nerves. My sister stepped into the light with a wince, her trembling hands responsible for a fumble with the microphone. “Good morning,” she began. The mic returned a claws-on-chalkboard screech, and her face went slack as the audience contorted and groaned. She gripped the podium for dear mercy, and repeated herself. “Good morning, everyone. My name is Alexandria White.”

A whistle sang through the auditorium from a group of boys near the back. My father lurched around in his seat. “Portia,” he said to me, flustered at the interruption. “What is that?”

I stifled an eye roll. “Dad,” I replied, voice pancake flat. He’d done the adolescent thing once. He knew how this worked. “Boys.”

“Is this a school or a damn construction site? The mayor is here.”

I drummed up my helpless, baby-of-the-family face until a teacher made a beeline toward the group. “See? Those guys stopped.” I pointed to my sister. “And Alex is still going.” My dad grunted before focusing on the podium again, pacified only by pride. The spotlight swallowed Alex, harsh against the darkness of the room. My big sister didn’t like public speaking or crowds, but nothing short of the apocalypse would stop her speech. By May, most seniors only cared about prom and graduation, but not Alex, the star of the academic decathlon team. They’d called the legions, and it was time to hail Caesar.

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