Name: Anna Orridge
Twitter Handle: @orridge_anna
YA or MG: MG
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy
Title: The Wishbone Curse
Twitter Pitch (140 characters max): Bereaved Pip finds bone with 1 wish to give. Kickboxing pal has a loved one to save too. Now, a different kind of fight.
1st 250 words of opening: Pip released the bag and aimed a spiteful kick at its soft leather flank. Overstuffed with punch pads, it barely fit into the storage cupboard.
“I’ll do it!” her sister Immy shouted. “I’ve got big muscles!” With a toothy grin, she tensed and patted her skinny biceps.
“Yeah,” Pip sighed. “To match your great big mouth. Fine. Do your best.”
Immy started to push, eyes squeezed shut with effort. After a minute or so, she collapsed on top of the bag with a groan. “This is impossible!”
Pip bent down and gave it one last, hard shove. Finally, with a painful, nails-on-chalkboard scrape, it moved. Only an inch or so, but enough to wedge it between two crates.
“Yes,” Pip hissed, bringing down a clenched fist in victory. As she moved to close the door, Immy pointed at the back of the cupboard. “What’s that?”
A wooden disc about the size of a dinner plate was propped against the crates. It had a black circle at its centre, surrounded by slices of colour, like a pie chart. The shades glowed bright and autumnal: misty grey, pumpkin orange, the warm red of blazing campfires. But what really caught Pip’s attention was the wishbone in the middle of the circle, embedded deep in the wood.
She swallowed. She’d seen quite a few wishbones at Gran’s house. The old lady always picked them out of the chicken carcass for her and Immy when she cooked them a Sunday roast.
Synopsis (200 word max): Twelve-year-old Pip Gillies has lost interest in almost everything since the death of her grandmother from cancer. Even martial arts, her usual respite from the antics of her madcap little sister and Am Dram mother, has lost its shine. It’s just not the same without Gran cheering her on from the sidelines.
During a kickboxing class at an old Victorian dye house, she finds a wishbone. When split by two people, it grants the wish of whoever yearns hardest. Turns out, though, using the bone has a catch—it can re-form on its own. If somebody else cracks the bone again and makes another wish, the first one is revoked.
When the bone falls into the hands of the class bully, who uses it to gain the superhuman martial arts skill he has always craved, Pip is left with no doubts about how dangerous it can be to have a wish come true.
Eventually, Pip gets the bone back. But now she must choose whether to use it to bring Gran back for once and for all, or pass the wish to her new friend, Georgia, who could use it to return her sick mother to good health.
Feedback tips (any areas where you specifically want people to focus?): All and any feedback is appreciated. I have had some comments that it was difficult to visualize the disc. Is this still the case, do you think?