Genre: YA contemporary fiction/Thriller
Word count: 56K
Rachel Dorsett’s older sister has gone missing.
No one’s seen college freshman Leah Dorsett for almost two weeks. After a difficult breakup with her boyfriend, she allegedly attended a prayer meeting at a small and radical church near Baylor University’s campus. Then she vanished. With every passing day, police leads are drying up. Rachel can’t stay at home a second more watching her father post online calls for help or her mother embroidering “Leah” items. Sick of waiting for a miracle, Rachel starts hunting for answers.
#1 on her list of places to investigate: the church Leah went to.
There, Rachel meets Tim, a college-age guy who offers to help look for her sister. Normally, she’d be wary, but he comes highly recommended by the pastor. Tim is a leader in the church and even runs one of their Life Groups. What’s more, he seems perfectly poised to help. He’s grieving his brother who died in a car accident exactly one year ago. Aiding Rachel in her search, he says, will help take his mind off his sorrow. But he has another reason for offering assistance. He’s far more involved in Leah’s disappearance than it would appear, and it might be too late by the time Rachel realizes who she’s dealing with. If she’s not careful, Rachel might end up with a broken heart, just like her sister. And if she’s not careful, she too might go missing.
PHILIPPI is a YA contemporary fiction complete at 56K.
No one knows whether my sister’s alive or dead. Whichever it is, it’s giving me a serious ulcer.
I close the refrigerator door harder than I meant to. No way I’m eating.
It’s unbelievably disconcerting when someone goes missing; there’s just no ending. No conclusion. It’s like an explosion in outer space—the astronaut is catapulted and there’s no way back. Moving out and out and out. Reaching and stretching and trying to gain traction, but not being able to. That’s how I feel.
The last time Leah was seen was on March 1st. She showed up at a church—one of those small radical ones Texas is famous for. Then she disappeared.
What was I doing that day? I have no idea, honestly. It was just a day. I’m guessing I went to school, practiced for All-State Choir, did homework, ate dinner, did a little more homework, and then went to bed. Snug and safe. It was a normal day. It could have been any other day . . . for me. For Leah? Who knows? Maybe she drove to New York City. Maybe she hit her head and got amnesia, or somehow fell in Lake Waco and drowned. Maybe some psycho killer dude drugged her and then—
I stop myself.
I’ve considered many ways Leah could have died, been tortured and then died, been raped, tortured and then died, etc., etc., etc. This is not a good habit to get into—imagining your slightly older “Irish Twin” beaten, raped, strangled, burned, mutilated. From experience I can say, it only makes a person heave up whatever’s hanging out in the parts of the body reserved for digestion.
Or maybe that’s just me.
My dad sits at the table. His computer’s open. He’s hunched over a small, portable radio, greedily listening to an NPR story.