I am thrilled to get to be a part of this contest! Thanks to the addition of 25 more slots, and by the skin of my teeth, I made it!! YAY!
Query Plot Summary for The Near Fall:
If George Konvolinka doesn’t get a wrestling scholarship, he’ll end up bussing tables at Mr. Greek, his family’s restaurant, and worse, living with his parents. Which would be intolerable even if his mother didn’t dress like a teenaged skank, and his father didn’t throw chairs at the matches.
His sister Dorrie made it out of Waterboro unscathed (he thinks), and George is on track to do the same. But the new surfer-dude dishwasher that George recruited for the team, Clive Duval, turns out to be a former state champion, and wants George’s spot.
When his mother amps up her flirting with Clive, George becomes a head case on the mat. It doesn’t help that the coach is on Clive’s side, and that Erin Breedlove, the team manager, has breasts he can detect under her baggy sweatshirt.
At Thanksgiving, Dorrie comes home thirty pounds thinner and his mom is thrilled she’s a size zero, whatever the f*** that is. But when George hears his sister throwing up in their Jack and Jill bathroom, he knows something is wrong.
Her timing couldn’t be worse. Dorrie has a heart attack, caused by an eating disorder, right before the State Tournament, and George must decide between wrestling for his scholarship, and supporting her during Family Week at her rehab center.
First 250 Words
I have thirty seconds. My thighs are on fire, but I crouch low to the mat and circle him, moving in and out quickly. I shoot in and grab his leg, then explode up through his body. Again. And again.
Sweat streams into my eyes, but I couldn’t see him clearly even if he was really there. I watch him, my imaginary opponent, as Three Doors Down plays Kryptonite in the corner of the gym. If I go crazy now will you still call me Superman? I check the clock and go again. I’m on my two hundredth shot when I feel a jolt of electricity right behind my elbow. I lose my balance, and stumble in the middle of the take down. I look at my time; 199 take downs in twenty minutes. I failed.
She should have warned me. Made a noise. Stomped her fucking Eskimo boots. Something. She’s lucky I didn’t jab her in the eyeball.
Erin Breedlove taps her ear, and I take my ear buds out. I don’t know what to say. I should have said something earlier, back last spring when it happened. Her sister OD’ed and woke up dead. Or didn’t wake up at all, rather. Heroin. I don’t bring it up.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you. I just wanted to let you know I’m here. Didn’t want to freak you out if you saw me in the office.” She jerks her head toward the little glassed-in room in the corner of the gym.