This is my entry for The Writer's Voice.
After a global disaster strikes, seventeen-year-old Lizzie Wallace is kidnapped from the rubble of her high school in Los Angeles and flown across the devastated country. Her new home is an underground silo hidden deep in the Adirondack Mountains. Like a modern day Noah's Ark, the children are there in pairs - male and female, ranging in age from ten to eighteen. They are the future, each one chosen for their special skill to rebuild society. There's only one problem - Lizzie doesn't have the skill they think she does.
Her repeated failure at the one thing that she's expected to contribute to the group cements her belief that she doesn't belong there. Even her growing attraction to eighteen-year-old Brand doesn't stop her from plotting to escape the silo and return to the family she knows is frantic about her. But when the man who brought her there is killed, Lizzie learns a secret that changes everything she believes about the silo and her place in it.
First 250 words:
The first explosion rocks the room, sending my books flying off the desk. The second makes the ground tremor and the lights flicker. Ms. Clark grabs her large desk at the front of the classroom. I brace for a third and don't have to wait long. This one flings the glass specimen jars from the walls, smashing them onto the concrete floor. The smell of formaldehyde and death fill the science class.
"Everyone remain calm," Ms. Clark says.
"Should we get under our desks?" I ask.
Ms. Clark doesn’t respond, seeming frozen in place. I don’t wait for an answer, crawling under my desk.
“Lizzie,” Christopher calls to me, but in the chaos I can’t find him. Bodies swarm everywhere in panic. Doesn’t anyone remember the drills we’ve been practicing for a decade now?
The ground shakes again and the lights go out. Screams and sobs reverberate over the din of the creaking building, its beams groan in protest at the ceaseless movement beneath it.
I feel a hand on my arm, strong and warm. I don’t even have to look to know whose it is. I have every callous on Christopher's hand memorized. And the wart he keeps cutting off that stubbornly grows back on the inside of his thumb. I grab his hand, lacing my fingers through his, and squeeze tight.
Ms. Clark shouts something but I can't make out the words over the crashing, popping and screaming. I chew on my bottom lip, as my mind races.