YA Psychological Suspense. In Progress.
Seventeen-year-old Kat Stone is a fugitive. She grew up in a Tennessee trailer park with her Argentinian mother, her American father, and her diabetic sister, Bree. When she gets sucked into a bank heist gang in order to fund her sister’s medication, her entire life spirals out of control when it ends in her face plastered across every American newspaper. She procures a fake passport, steals a car and hightails it to Argentina to start over, to start fresh, to go back to a life on the straight and narrow. But her criminal life follows close behind, and she’s forced to face her past mistakes while navigating a foreign landscape. Told in intertwined timelines of Kat’s criminal beginnings in Tennessee and her new life in Argentina, this manuscript blends the commercial and the literary.
– 1 –
Not Long Ago
100 Miles North of the Mexican Border
Headlights cut through the dark, and as the car bore down on me, I planted my bare feet on the middle of the road. One hand gripped the gun hidden in the waistband of my cutoff jean shorts. The other formed a tornado of motion over my head.
Tires screamed against the pavement and left sharp lines of black in their wake. The hunk of metal shuddered to a stop only feet from my toes. It stood tall before me, a boxy, black SUV at least ten years old. Not ideal, but it would do.
With gritted teeth, I waited to face the driver, only a dark silhouette behind the steering wheel. The headlights burned suns into my eyeballs, and I was all too aware how exposed I was. Slick beads of sweat rolled down my face. My tongue was a lump of sand in my mouth.
I’d crossed six states lines to get this close to freedom, and if even one thing went wrong now, that freedom would be exchanged for a thick set of bars and a new wardrobe of prison orange.
The car door popped open as loud as a gunshot in the dead of night. A bearded face and bushy head of hair preceded a body shaped like a tank. I licked my lips and slid my fingers around the handle of the gun. My plan to steal a car involved a wispy woman who wouldn’t hurt a tick slurping down her blood, not a mountain man on steroids.
“Are you okay?” he asked.
“Can you help me?” I added a wobble to my voice for the right effect. “My car broke down, and I don’t have a cell phone or anything.”
“I can probably get ‘er started for you.” The man glanced around the empty stretch of highway and frowned. “Where is it?”
The last car I’d abandoned sat ten miles off the highway with the license plate ripped off and buried somewhere between here and there, but I wasn’t about to tell him that. Instead, I raised the gun and pressed a dusty finger against the trigger. “Just step away from the car.”