Pitch Madness

My pitch and first 250 words of your next fave badass chick, Kit Magee’s story The Poison Season! #TeamIceCreamSea
Follow my progress and read more about pitch madness on Brenda Drake’s website.

Pitch:

Poisonous plant expert Kit Magee is devastated by her sister’s apparent suicide. To unearth the truth and set things right, Kit risks revealing she has more than dirt on her hands.

First 250 Word of Manuscript:

Four minutes to go.

Grindhouse Blues” began to moan its way through my earbuds as I inhaled slowly through my nose. Steady hands, Kit, I willed myself.

The blade in my left hand sliced down the length of the flower, cleanly dividing it. With my right hand I spread open the two halves, exposing its male and female parts. Using hemostat clamps I removed the anthers, the male parts holding pollen, and set them carefully onto the paper plate beside me. Breathe.

Two minutes.

I swept a miniature paintbrush gently across the anthers lifting pollen onto the eyelash-fine hairs. Tapping the brush delicately onto the plate, I smiled as the tiny pile of yellow fluff landed softly. Exhale.

Less than a minute to complete this phase of my experiment.

As I turned to set the net cover over the plate my jumbo-sized cat Max jumped onto the workbench.

“Shit!” I grabbed him around his fat yellow middle a split second before his paw landed in the pollen. “Max, you could’ve been poisoned.” I hoisted all twenty-two pounds of him up onto one shoulder and placed the cover over the plate with my free hand.

Brugmansia, or Angel’s Trumpet, was a dangerous plant. My sister Margie and I discovered it several years ago at an herb workshop. The host had grown several brugmansia varieties around her property and was fascinated by the plant’s intriguing history as an anesthetic, hallucinogen and deadly poison, earning it the nickname the Devil’s Breath.

Shimmy

Koko Taylor was pitching a wang dang doodle all night long and Sally whooped. Spinning around she shimmied toward CC and held out her hands. CC smiled and pushed her chair back. She could never resist the opportunity to dance, especially with Sally, whose moves were at once fantastically sexy and so bawdy it could make a truck driver blush. Sally bit her lower lip, brow furled, and slowly twisted while lowering her rear end toward the floor. She must have iron glutes I thought, not for the first time.

“Come on girl. Get your groove thang groovin’,” Sally said as she twisted back upright and added crazy legs to her dance.

I took my wine glass in one hand and Sally’s hand in the other just as the music changed to John Mayall singing Where Did My Legs Go. We two-stepped around the table while CC shimmied solo. The three of us moved easily around each other, clinking glasses when we passed.

CC could dance for hours and sometimes did. She would plug in her earphones and move throughout the house singing and twisting and getting a bit of housework done, though not a lot.

The idea was to relax rather than clean but every now and again something got dusted or sorted, more a side effect of the dancing. One of her favorite songs was Howlin’ Wolf’s Built for Comfort. Sally and I would know when that song was playing in CC’s ears because she would sing along in a growly melisma, with a few “Tell em, Wolf!” or “Lay it down, man!” shouts of encouragement.

Bonus material from The Poison Season