Wednesday, January 13, 2010

44 Secret Agent

TITLE: VIOLET RAY AND THE MAGNETIC POLE REVERSAL
GENRE: Middle Grade fiction, science mystery


Rain pelted the huge glass dome like beating fists. Violet Ray shifted nervously in her fuzzy orange chair, leaning in to peer cautiously through the enormous eyehole of her massive telescope. Her fingers flew over the keyboard, punching in coordinates with blurry speed until her hands stopped in mid-hover, her fingers trembling. She pulled back from the telescope, biting her lip to concentrate, for she knew what was coming next.

All at once, a bright flash exploded, streaked across the sky and splintered into a web of lightning. Great bolts of light refracted against the dome interior, casting giant spider shadows along the lab walls. Eerie green light appeared as if spilling from space and rolled over like ocean waves before skipping along the sky like a stone. The bright green faded, turning into a deep red cloud. Ruby red sheets spread across the horizon until vanishing into tiny red sparkles that settled back into the stars.

Violet Ray sat rigid, with her mouth open and her eyes wide with fear.

“One hippopotamus, two hippop-ppotamus,” her voice cracked as she counted the distance, hoping it wouldn’t be closer this time.

“…Three hippopotamus—“

Crrrrrrrack BOOM!

The air rumbled in deafening tones, like a dozen trains passing at once then the sea threw an enormous wave crashing against the far side of the dome, spraying seawater all over the telescope lens.

Violet Ray screamed, jumping out of her chair as her whole lab suddenly fell pitch black.

15 comments:

brendao said...

This sounds like it could be an interesting premise -- young girl scientist. But I can't picture the setting, and I don't get much of a sense of the mc. All of the colors in the one paragraph overwhelmed me too, so I lost the visual there.

Sarah Laurenson said...

Lots of colorful description. I had to pause to make sure her name wasn't Ruby when I got to that sentence. I, too, had a bit of trouble picturing this. I think a bit more grounding in who she is and where she is and you'll be good to go. Love the voice.

redqueen1 said...

I like the bit about her counting between lightning and thunder. I wasn't quite sure (until then) that lightning was what she was seeing. There were a few awkward bits (mid-hover threw me for some reason) but, on the whole, I think I'd read more.

turn too said...

I liked 'punching in coordinates with blurry speed...'
I was hooked there.

Secret Agent said...

Hmmm, interesting! I was a little confused about the lightning--did she cause it, or did she expect it to come for some other reason? It's nicely written and very exciting--I would keep reading.

Krista G. said...

I liked this, but the second paragraph tripped me up a bit, what with all of its metaphor-drenched description. Still, I'd keep reading, mostly because the title is so charming:)

One small note: The second to last paragraph could use another comma ("The air rumbled in deafening tones, like a dozen trains passing at once -->,<-- then the sea...").

Angie said...

I wasn't clear if she put in coordinates and then happened upon this or if she caused it. That could use some clarification. Good details but not quite grounded into where she's at. Is she in a spaceship or down on a planet, etc...
But I'd keep reading.

Amy said...

Loved it. Funny that she counted "One hippopotamus" too. I've never heard someone do that before.

I'd keep reading.

Ant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ant said...

This seems like it's going to be a very exciting story! The voice seems just right for MG, too. The only criticism I have is to be careful how many similes you're using (this may just be a personal nitpicky thing...)**that deleted comment was me, I had a typo!

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

I was distracted by the many adjectives. Sorry! I'm sure you can find stronger verbs/nouns to portray the same action. It has a nice younger feel to it, which is great for a young audience.

inkspatters said...

I'd keep reading -- even though you almost lost me in that second paragraph (beautiful, but somewhat overwhelming and confusing) -- because I like your opening paragraph and your protagonist counting in hippopotamuses :)

Casey McCormick said...

Loved this! Great descriptions, perfect energy. I'm hooked.

Bonnie Staring said...

Great voice! You hooked me with the hippopotamus. ;)

Trish said...

I liked this and loved the hippopotomus count.