R-16: ALL OF US WITH WINGS

Title: ALL OF US WITH WINGS
Age Category: Young Adult
Genre: Magical Realism
Word Count: 91,000

Pitch: Xochi loves her fairytale job: live-in companion for tween genius Pallas. She’s trying not to screw things up, but the polyamorous tribe of musicians that share the family’s San Francisco Victorian are hard to resist.

First 250 Words:
On the night of the Vernal Equinox the sky was clear, the moon nearly full. Arching above an ancient Hawthorne, the tower of the white Victorian rose like a sister moon to meet the last hours of night. Defeated revelers straggled down the hill toward Haight Street, mascara-smeared and nearly sober. Xochi’s taxi swerved to miss them, turning up the steep drive to deposit her at the garden gate.

Ambient music leaked from an upstairs window, the soundtrack to the after-party’s demise. Xochi shivered, bare arms sticky with spilled beer and sweat and unlocked the back door. Sometime in the past few weeks, she’d learned this part of the house well enough to navigate in the dark. Laughter trilled up from the basement studio. The after-after party? Xochi wasn’t even tempted. All she wanted now was a hot shower and clean sheets. She trudged up the servant’s staircase, legs aching as she climbed the final flight.

The attic door was unlocked. Pallas sat hunched in the window seat, feet tucked under her long white nightgown, a cigarette in one hand, a teacup in the other. A real live smoking twelve-year-old.

“Pallas?” Xochi switched on the light. She felt the anger in the room now, goading her to react. “What’s up?”

“What does it look like?” Pallas dropped the butt of the clove cigarette into the gilded teacup. It hissed when it hit the liquid inside.

“Are you OK?” Xochi kept her tone neutral, careful not to look Pallas in the eye. Like a moose, she thought. Or a bear.

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