R-14: VICES

Title: VICES
Age Category: Adult
Genre: Speculative Thriller
Word Count: 97,000

Pitch: Don’t trust Glory Jones. She’s a liar, a manipulative screw-up. She sees the way people die? Sure. Now her sister’s in trouble? Yeah, right. Only, this time, it’s true. Alone, Glory must stop the killer.

First 250 Words:
My earliest memory is of my sister trying to drown me in the tub. She must’ve been about four. There was a noise. The doorbell or a ringing telephone. The warmth of my mother’s hovering hand left my back. Hurried footsteps. I can recall my sister’s outstretched arms, and then the wavy view of drifting suds. I was less than a year old. People say I couldn’t remember such a thing. But I do. I remember my starfish hands and the sweet scent of baby shampoo. No more tears.

I showered this morning. Not an easy feat when you have to be on the road by five-flippin-thirty in the AM. Today, I am Ivory Soap fresh, scrubbed raw enough to conjure Cynthia and that long ago bath. It’s funny how scents can do that. Take you away.

The Carhartt jacket I’m wearing, on the other hand, it brings me back. There’s nothing fresh about it, it hasn’t been washed. It smells like Knox. A bouquet comprised of a once familiar musk: linseed oil, loose tobacco, frayed twine, and overpass breeze. All with a sprig of magic. Like a whiff of moon dust. I shouldn’t think about him. Goddamn. I should burn the jacket.

It’s hard to forget Knox. He’s the only person who ever understood me and believed my secret. I wouldn’t have met him if I were normal. Normal. That’ll keep my mind occupied for the rest of the drive. What would normal be like?

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