Monday, August 25, 2014


78,000 words
YA Urban Fantasy

Chapter One
First Period

“Finally!” Maya exclaimed to herself as she looked down at the drops of blood that had started to soak her underwear. She’d have to make a wad of toilet paper work until she could ask her friend Jules for a tampon. Jules, who along with every other almost sixteen year old she knew, had started her period years ago. Maya was the very last one, and right in the middle of first period English class she felt it start. The irony of the timing was not lost on her. She’d blushed as she had to ask Mr. Wilkins for a pass to the bathroom. Luckily he was easily mortified by girl “trouble” and didn’t ask questions. Maya opened the stall door and Jules was waiting by the sink with a tampon between her fingers like a cigarette.

“So? Did you friggin’ bleed yet?” she said with a wicked grin.

“Hallelujah—behold the flood!” Maya grabbed the tampon gratefully and turned back into the stall.

Jules tapped out a fast rhythm on the other side of the metal door. “What the hell were you going to do if I didn’t have one? Let it flow?”

“I had a wad—” Maya started. “Never mind. I was coming to get you.”

“I saw the panic on your face and figured, so I told Wilkins I had to plug you up,” Jules said.

“You what?”

Jules laughed. “I’m kidding, freak show. I told him I had girl trouble too, and that we were on the same moon cycle, and left while he was stammering away. You need some help?”

“I’ve studied the diagram inside the box since I was eleven. I think I got it. Can you believe it finally happened? I really thought I was going to have to ask my dad to take me to the doctor. I’d probably get into the Guinness World Records or something for the oldest non-bleeding teen,” Maya said.

“Hmm…maybe Ripley’s, between the shrunken head and the bearded lady.”

“So helpful, as always, thanks. Could you stop the drum solo?” Maya asked. Jules finished with one last loud bang and stopped. Maya tossed her paper wad in the toilet and flushed the beginnings of her womanhood.

“I should get back to class. You okay, or you wanna talk about becoming a lady and crap?” Jules asked.

“No. I’m good. We can have our Lifetime movie talk later. No reason we should both be in trouble with Mr. Wilkins,” said Maya.

“Okay. See you later and we’ll talk about your men-stroo-aytion,” Jules drew out the syllables. Her laugh echoed in the bathroom as she left.

As Maya washed her hands, she looked at herself in the mirror. Nothing showed on her face to mark the change she had been waiting for patiently, then desperately, then in total disbelief and terror. Until today Maya had laughed knowingly when the other girls talked about cramps and headaches and joked about pads with wings. Finally, she could feel like she wasn’t going to end up next to the bearded lady after all—at least not for this. Her boobs hadn’t really made an appearance yet, either, but she could usually water bra her way out of that one.

Nope—still the same old tall, flat-chested Maya. She missed her mother so intensely in moments like this. She knew her dad loved her more than anything, but lady business was not exactly his speed. Plus, he was so overprotective that he would have immediately taken her to the doctor, which would have been perfect because she would have died of embarrassment and there would have been someone nearby to resuscitate her.
Boobs would come in time, and if they didn’t, she could live with it. They seemed like they would get in the way of swimming, which she loved, and kung fu, which her best friend Michael was secretly teaching her after school. Secretly because her Dad forbade it, she thought as she left the bathroom. He was always scared something would happen to her.

Mercifully, the final bell rang before she entered, so she didn’t have to walk into class to thirty curious stares. Maya slipped back into the room to grab her bag. Jules was plying Mr. Wilkins with random questions about verb tenses to stall him, and she gave Maya a quick wink over his shoulder. Maya smiled and made her escape from having to answer any questions. She turned the corner out of class and smacked right into Michael.

“Hey, M. What’s your hurry?” he laughed as he steadied her with his hand.


  1. I LOVE the chapter title and the voice! What a wild place for a book to start. The characters are so engaging, and I connected with Maya right away. Well done!

  2. Yes! Awesome material to work with (there needs to be more period recognition out there). I think the voice and writing is good, but towards the end you sort of bog the story down with details. Not too much, but enough that I slowed down from the earlier flow (pun fully intended).

    Good luck!

  3. The dialog here is really well done. I have to say - noticing the Urban Fantasy tag and given the title, I have to wonder what other transformations are coming in Maya's life!


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