January 23, 2013

Pitch Wars Entry #26 - LORD OF THE DANCE (Adult Contemporary Thriller)

NAME: Usman T. Malik
MENTOR: Tina Moss
TITLE: LORD OF THE DANCE
GENRE: Contemporary Thriller
WORD COUNT: 110,000

PITCH: When Dara, an immigrant Pakistani symbologist, receives a mysterious call from his estranged cousin, he's brought into a world of superstition and chaos he thought he left behind. Now, to save a possessed teenage girl, he must solve the cryptic symbols written in her blood, while facing his past and the family he abandoned.

FIRST 250:

What is it about a dying girl that calls to you, no matter who you are?

Dara wet his lips. He stood motionless, head cocked, watching the snowflakes tumble and swirl outside his apartment window, following the flicker of their pale shadows with narrowed eyes.

Ghost shadows. Restless shadows.

“Will you at least take a look at the symbols?” she said.

“No.”

Zareen Apee fell silent.

Dara’s ear ached. He shifted the cellphone to the other side and, when the hot metal touched his flesh, he grimaced. “How’d you find me?” 

“I didn’t,” Apee said. 

“I don’t understand.”

“The campus newsletter. That review article had your picture at the top. You literally showed up on my desk.” 

She paused. “I won’t lie, it gave me a nasty jolt at first, but I took it like a champ.” 

That article. That damn article.

Dara gritted his teeth and said nothing. 

Minnesotan winter groaned and thumped against the window, and a gust of wind drove the snowflakes mad, flurrying them around the glass in a dervish dance.

 “A kid, Dara. A seventeen-year-old kid,” his cousin was saying. “An American girl found sick in northern 
Pakistan and brought here. She’s sick. Really sick. Dying slowly but surely. Don’t know why I didn’t think of you before. Maybe we were too stuck on the pathological stuff more than the--”

Dara hung up.

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