Genre: YA Fantasy
Word Count: 66,000
My Main Character's Most Fearsome Obstacle:
Trusting the enemy is Syra’s most fearsome obstacle. All her experiences tell a story of her enemy killing innocents of her kind. Trusting them is terrifying, and if Syra wants to save her friends and stop the fighting, she’ll have to overcome this fear.
Syra made a horrible mistake. She saved the life of a human.
Seventeen-year-old Syra never met a human, but she's told if she ever does, they’ll kill her for what she is. Two hundred years ago natural disasters nearly destroyed the world. Natura, unaffected by the Storm, emerged from hiding to help humanity rebuild. Instead of being grateful, humankind blamed Natura, Syra’s race, for the destruction and ever since, the two races have been at war.
All Syra wants is to commune with the earth’s energy and develop her healing powers, but when her tribe infiltrates a human survival camp, all her desires are put on hold. To help her tribe destroy the camp, Syra is forced to befriend the enemy and locate the camp’s armory. As she spends time with the humans, she sees qualities in them worth protecting and defies what she’s been taught, healing and saving a human girl’s life.
Syra must trust the girl to keep her Natura identity a secret because if the girl doesn’t, the guards protecting the camp will kill her. With the tribe setting their plan to destroy the camp in motion, Syra’s human and Natura friends’ lives are in jeopardy. She can save her friends, but if she does, she risks banishment forever from the only family she has ever known.
First 250 words:
The wind sets my skin tingling, and with a deep breath I stretch my mind down through my toes and into the Earth, pulling on the humming energy beneath my feet. A pleasant warmth floods through my limbs as the nature around me sings.
The smell of pine and wet soil fills my nostrils, but the sharp, musky stench of humans cuts through everything—instantly making me gag. My heart beats faster, and any calm I had is gone. They’re lined up in front of me, waiting to pass through the camp’s metal gate and return to the protection of the compound’s nine-foot high-fence.
I’d give anything not to be in this line, pretending I’m one of them. Over my shoulder, the forest’s treeline reaches into the distance. That’s where I belong. Out there, with crunchy, dried leaves beneath my feet and unspoiled air in my lungs. The Wild. Sighing, I shift my laundry bag to my other shoulder.
A bird above me cries while in flight. It swoops down in a burst of white energy. It’s too close and I cringe.
Wings out, the bird spirals to the ground. A blue jay. Dead. Its essence ceases as quick as lightning across the sky. There one second, gone the next. The kids around me glance up, but its death doesn’t echo through them like it does through me.
By now, the animals should know better than to come this close to the camp. Every time they do, the guards shoot them down.
“Syra,” Trax whispers, tugging on my arm.