Middle-grade fiction, 20,000 words
When ten-year-old Lulie comes across an antique ring that seems to grant wishes, she's torn. Sure, she's thrilled that magic has entered her boring life. But she's freaked, too. She knows magic's not real, so either something's gone majorly wrong with reality, or she and her mentally ill Uncle Bobby have a lot more in common than she'd care to admit.
Every time Lulie makes a wish now, it comes true. Coincidence or magic? A fire drill that frees her from a surprise math quiz might be pure dumb luck, but how about her beloved uncle acting almost normal for a change? Still, Lulie frets that either she's gone off the deep end, or she's meddling with folks in a way that she just has no right to.
What to do?
She confides in Isabelle, her best friend since kindergarten--Isabelle, who used to be good old Izzy but who is working at turning herself into somebody named Belle. Lulie shows her the ring anyway.
A feisty fifth-grader with a maybe-magical ring ought to be sitting pretty. Could be, though, that Lulie's luck has taken a turn for the worse.
I love this.
Notice how you get a sense of character without "description", and the conflict is a natural flow in the story? This is really good. It doesn't follow the XYZ template (and shouldn't!!) but every element is here implicitly or explicitly.