Thursday, November 13, 2008

19 SECRET AGENT: Are You Hooked?

TITLE: Blind

I'm not going to call this a memoir. I'm going to call it what it was: a dream. One long dream interspersed with brief, jarring moments of reality that faded until they were as black as the ice that freezes on the highway. You can't see it, but it's there, and it'll kill you if you don't go slowly.

Much like people. People can kill you, too, without you ever seeing them.

Sneaky little buggers.


The waitress came to my table again, her short hair curled in a way that screamed "I'm middle-aged!" She fluffed out her apron to retrieve a pen and paper from the side pouch, filling the already coffee-laden air with the delicate scent of cinnamon and powdered cream. "You sure you don't want anything, hon?"

I shot my eyes to the door, to the sidewalk beyond, to the empty parking spots. "Um–"

A green Corolla pulled in. His Corolla was supposed to be green, wasn't it? My heart grew to twice its size, my blood heated to an unnatural temperature–

Until a woman got out, then unhitched her toddler from the backseat.

Everything returned to normal. "No. Thanks."

The waitress tucked her pad and pencil back into her apron. "Have a nice day, then." The tenseness behind her smile said something decidedly less friendly as she took my menu and roll of silverware. I didn't blame her, though; if some depressing little girl had taken up space in my coffeehouse for the past forty-five minutes and not given me business, I would have actually said those things the waitress kept behind her smile.


  1. Yes. I love the voice and the premise. I would definitely read on!

  2. Love the last line about saying those things the "waitress kept behind her smile." Very clever.

    The first paragraph has me thrown for a loop. "Not a memoir but a dream..." I don't understand this. Do you need this? With phrases like... "people can kill you without you ever seeing them"... I'm unsure if I'm reading a fairy story -- or an assassin book.

    The first para is all artsy-farsty/literary and the rest that follows is YA voice. I LOVE the very observant YA voice, the other, not so much.

  3. Interesting. I'm half-way hooked.

  4. Yes. I'm still iffy about the first part with the dream thing. But I like the scene at the restaurant - strong pov.

  5. I like the voice and I can feel the MC's tension.

    I'd cut 'Until' from this sentence. I' don't think you need it:

    Until a woman got out, then unhitched her toddler from the backseat.

  6. Nice job!

    one nitpick: the last line (after comma) feels awkward. i see what you're trying to say, but maybe it could be simpler?

    (i.e.) it would have pissed me off too. (or something to that effect)

  7. Definitely like the diner scene. I am curious about how the first bit fits in and would hope it's explained soon.

    I'd read on.

  8. I'm afraid I'm not quite hooked, mostly because of the opening "dream" paragraphs. If everything that happens next is an actual dream (versus a metaphorical dream), then the narrator looses a lot of their credibility and the reader never knows what to trust or distrust.

  9. I'd drop the whole first dream bit. Doesn't drive the story forward.

    Nice voice, almost there. Still needs some tightening up. Not quite hooked.