Author's Name: Juliana Jones
Category: Middle Grade
Stage of Completion: Work in Progress (60K)
Preferred Critique Style: A Spoonful of Sugar Helps the Medicine Go Down
Cat Person or Dog Person: Dog
Tea or Coffee: Coffee-75% to Tea-25%
The Final Segment is a MG, coming-of-age story set on a distant planet settled by humans. A twelve-year-old academic overachiever in the healing arts is sent to live with her aunt in a backward country with no chance of realizing her dream. When escape proves difficult, she focuses on people’s unorthodox behavior instead and soon discovers her aunt’s government is drugging its citizens and forcing kids into deadly time travel. She knows a healer wouldn’t sit on her hands while everyone around her is being harmed and convinces many of the mistreatment, sparking a rebellion.
The aircraft hovers in front of Tego’s closed gate like a humming bird searching for nectar. I peer out the windshield, craning my neck to the left, to the right. A twelve-foot high, brick wall topped with rusty, barbed wire, extends from both sides of the entrance. My heart sinks and I slouch back in my chair. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I got to this foreign country, but it doesn’t look sweet or nourishing. The pilot pushes a lever, stabs a series of buttons, and we land with a loud hiss onto hard-packed dirt.
“Thank you for getting me here safely, Captain,” I say politely. But in my head I’m screaming, Take me back. Take me back now!
Lightning suddenly flashes and thunder rumbles from behind. The sound waves pass through the craft, in and out my torso, and soon echo off the surrounding hills. The sky darkens and rain begins to pelt the roof. When the ship begins to rock from wind gusts, I grasp my chair’s arms and hold on tight.
“Storm’s finally caught up to us,” the pilot says, stating the obvious. He turns to me and grins, showing pearly white teeth. “Too bad the governing board outlawed time travel.” He slaps the flight wheel and cackles. “We could’ve been here yesterday and missed the whole thing.”
My chin begins to quiver at the mention of time travel. Doesn’t he know who my mother was? Didn’t he see the news about the accident?