A group of teenagers in a small town mysteriously fall ill, suffering from uncontrollable twitching. Was the cause environmental, or psychological?
"Before the media vans took over Main Street, before the environmental testers came to dig at the soil, before the doctor came to take blood, before strangers started knocking on doors and asking question after question, Katie Krautwurst, a high-school cheerleader from Le Roy, N.Y., woke up from a nap. Instantly, she knew something was wrong. Her chin was jutting forward uncontrollably and her face was contracting into spasms. She was still twitching a few weeks later when her best friend, Thera Sanchez, captain of one of the school’s cheerleading squads, awoke from a nap stuttering and then later started twitching, her arms flailing and head jerking. Two weeks after that, Lydia Parker, also a senior, erupted in tics and arm swings and hums. Then word got around that Chelsey Dumars, another cheerleader, who recently moved to town, was making the same strange noises, the same strange movements, leaving school early on the days she could make it to class at all. The numbers grew — 12, then 16, then 18, in a school of 600 — and as they swelled, the ranks of the sufferers came to include a wider swath of the Le Roy high-school hierarchy: girls who weren’t cheerleaders, girls who kept to themselves and had studs in their lips. There was even one boy and an older woman, age 36."
PUBLISHED: March 7, 2012
LENGTH: 30 minutes (7584 words)
In any other set of twins, the natural conclusion about the two events — Krista’s drinking, Tatiana’s reaction — would be that they were coincidental: a gulp, a twinge, random simultaneous happenstance. But Krista and Tatiana are not like most other sets of twins. They are connected at their heads, where their skulls merge under a mass of shaggy brown bangs. The girls run and play and go down their backyard slide, but whatever they do, they do together, their heads forever inclined toward each other’s, their neck muscles strong and sinuous from a never-ending workout.
PUBLISHED: May 25, 2011
LENGTH: 28 minutes (7108 words)
In “The Hunger Games” Collins embraces her father’s impulse to educate young people about the realities of war. “If we wait too long, what kind of expectation can we have?” she said. “We think we’re sheltering them, but what we’re doing is putting them at a disadvantage.” But her medicine goes down easily, thanks to cliffhangers, star-crossed lovers and the kinds of details that create a fully formed universe. Collins labored for days over the construction of the arenas in “The Hunger Games,” analyzing “Rambo” clips to help her visualize the use of weaponry like crossbows.
PUBLISHED: April 10, 2011
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2918 words)