Word Count: 72,000
Genre: YA Paranormal Noir
System(s) of Oppression: Homophobia, Racism / Cultural Identity
Author's Identity: [removed], Black
Ever since her mama drove her car into the Mississippi, sixteen-year-old Bria Dauphine's made it her mission to leave behind her overbearing dad and get the hell out of New Orleans, before the city drives her mad like it did her mom. Since her daddy won’t pay for her to attend college outside the city, and leave her duties as heir to one of the oldest supernatural families behind, she decides to earn the money herself by becoming a paranormal investigator. For the world she lives in is full of strange and magical things—and most of them don’t play nice with humans. That’s where Bria comes in. Takes a clairvoyant to catch a, well, whatever.
There’s just one problem. The only cases Bria receives at first are requests from old ladies asking her to find their cats. And old ladies don’t pay much, if at all. So when the ruling body of supernatural creatures enlists her and Ty—a hot wizard with a past as dark as her own—to consult on a series of murders with ties to voodoo, Bria figures, with her abilities, this will be easy money. But when there’s powerful voodoo, there’s a bokor—a sorcerer who practices dark magic—behind it. And now that bokor knows Bria’s name. If Bria and Ty don’t stop the killer soon, they’re going to be the next ones dead, washed up on the riverbank.
So much for easy money.
First 250 Words:
I would’ve been back in bed hours ago if my nose wasn’t acting up, again. I kneel on the ground like I’m about to pray. Only, I’m not. I’ve prayed to St. Anthony three times tonight, yet seeing as I’m still here, cat-less, with less than two hours before school starts, it’s time to turn, once again, to magic.Another power that seems to fail me when I need it most.
The wind’s howl pierces the air as I’m kneeling in the middle of the park. "Here, kitty, kitty," I squeeze my eyes shut and then open them to speed up their adjustment to the darkness. Thanks to my shifter dad, on a good day I can track a smell better than a bloodhound. However there hasn’t been anything good about this summer. My powers have developed a mind of their own, working when they please rather than when I need them to. My therapist said it’s my body’s way of grieving. I stopped seeing my therapist because, well, no duh. Google could’ve told me that.
Alright, come on Bria. Focus. What's one little cat? I snort at my mental encouragement. One little cat has been leading me across the entire city. First it was the Warehouse District, then the French Quarter, and then all three St. Louis Cemeteries.
I shudder. Cemeteries, ew.
Now, I’m crawling on dog shit or something, "Come on, kitty." I clap my hands; the sound echoes through the park. When I picked up the cat’s scent from the third cemetery, I got a vision of the City Park sign. I’ve been searching this park for the past hour. What's the point of being clairvoyant if I don’t see complete images? I shake my head and stand.
I'll just have to tell Mrs. Kato the truth: I am the worst detective ever.
I can’t even find a cat.