RIPPLE IN THE SEA
PITCH: Horrified over her mother’s treason, desperate to redeem her family’s honor, a Japanese-American girl infiltrates a WWII Japanese prisoner-of-war camp to free victims of medical experiments. That’s the plan, anyway.
IF YOUR MC WAS AN EASTER EGG, WHAT FLAVOUR WOULD HE/SHE BE: Neapolitan, except flavors are bitter almond, too much vanilla, and blood-red raspberry.
FIRST 300 WORDS:
I never set out to be a spy. It sort of crept up and ambushed me. That’s what happens to naive little fools.
Then again, how could I have known what was coming?
Never mind. I’ll make this record, while I still have time. Others can fill in my blanks, or pretty it up, or bury the whole thing. Perhaps the latter would be for the best.
Anyhow, here goes.
It began with dive-bombing sea gulls swooping above the knoll, the only decent park in Alameda, sucking my attention across the bay toward San Francisco and the illusion of a tolerable life. I knew better. Frisco was too close to home. Someone would recognize me.
I brushed a stray leaf off my skirt, exposing the high school mascot embroidered along the hem. My mother’s idea, and the world’s ugliest beaver. A reward, she called it, for putting enough precision into my ship drawings. Others found it a great excuse for taunts, swishing there around my calf. That hardly mattered, though, and neither did my mother’s gesture, paltry and belated. I had made up my mind.
I reached over and adjusted the chrysanthemum perched above Maxine’s ear. My friend smiled, and the wilting flower sagged again. Everything in life was sagging. Children squealed in a nearby playground, oblivious to the fact all creation was falling apart. I hopped up to recover a wayward ball and tossed it to a short cherub who seemed to need a turn.
Floating strands of silky, ebon tresses whipped into my mouth as I sat down. I shoved them around my hair clip. Stupid stuff was always escaping my ponytail. It might be the most attractive thing about my Japanese heritage, but the slightest breeze made it misbehave.