PW #203: YA Thriller: THE RUNAWAYS
Mentor Name: Kim Graff
Mentee Name: Jenny Rosen
Title: THE RUNAWAYS
Word Count: 88,000
When seventeen-year-old Hailey unearths her U.S. Senator father’s ties to a mass murder, he hires Caleb—teenage-Casanova-turned-
Dad had a loaded gun for a girlfriend. He hid it under his bedroom floor. Technically, the place was off limits, but I’d never been good with imaginary lines.
Compulsive eavesdropping had its perks. These halls always buzzed with bittersweet political whispers. But the sink-your-teeth-into-Nancy-
“Nothing’ll save you, son. I own you and keep a .45 under my bed as an insurance policy.”
Some monsters speak truth. Mom said Dad was one of them. She stormed into the living room the night before she left, newspaper in hand, broken heart splattered across the headlines, and threw it in his face. He was too busy watching his poll numbers plummet to notice.
I noticed everything–like our family falling apart because of big, bold headlines calling Dad a “bio-terrorist” and a “murderer”.
She moved out. I kept digging for black and white reasons behind our brokenness.
Nothing felt solved. Nothing made sense, until now.
I snuck in when he stepped out—tiptoed down the hallway while he hurried downstairs. He would’ve heard me if he paid attention. He never has.So I scraped my pink toenails across his expensive floors hoping he’d catch me.
His voice cut through the quiet, ripping the air from my lungs. I plastered myself against the wall and waited for my body to remember how to breathe.