Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Secret Agent Contest #22

TITLE: Haunted Cowboy Robots

My dad was driving us through the desert at night when we passed a hitchhiker. Lynda, my step-mother, said, "Wait."

Dad ignored her. He was listening to some kook on the radio talking about UFOs.

Lynda grabbed his arm. "Stop!"

He pulled over and slammed the brakes. "What's wrong?"

"Back up. I think she's in trouble."


"Just back up."

Bina and I looked outside. Dad didn't need to back up. Lit by the red glare of our taillights, a figure was running toward us, hair and loose clothes streaming behind. It was a banshee.

Lynda opened her door. Dad tried to restrain her but she slipped out and stood next to our Suburban with her arms crossed. The figure slowed. I hoped it would dissolve into smoke, but it kept coming. Dad opened his door and ran around. I think he grabbed the gun under the seat.

I rolled down my window. Bina crowded next to me.

"Thank you," the phantom said.

It was a girl.

"What are you--" my dad started.

"Let me handle this," Lynda told him. "What's your name?"

"Rosie. Please, I need to get south."

Bina whispered in my ear. "You think they're going to..."

I nodded. Then I looked closer. "Oh, fudge. I don't believe this."


"I know her."

Dad looked back at us. I shook my head, but he told Lynda it was okay.

And that's how Rosie Sanchez ended up in our car a few hours before we


  1. Wow. I'm not sure what to think about this in terms of what's going on but I'm definitely hooked. With the nonchalant attitude towards the banshee and the awesome title, I think this is going to be a fun ride.

  2. I liked this, too, especially the dad grabbing his gun. For some reason, I pictured them in Texas, so that concealed weapon definitely works:) Hooked.

  3. Love the title- a mix of three genres. Humorous and intriguing.

    The first sentence could be stronger. Instead of first stating you were driving through the desert at night, start with the hitch-hiker. "The hitchhiker shivered at the side of the road as my father drove..."

    The sentence "It was a banshee" confused me- were you trying to say "like a banshee?" Or maybe "She was a banshee?" We already know the hitchhiker is female, since Lynda said SHE'S in trouble.

    I would be intrigued enough to keep reading. I like the tone. Nicely done!

  4. I'm confused. I'm sure it will all be explained further on, but I didn't feel connected to the characters of the story. Sorry.

  5. I'm a little confused, too. I would like to know more about Rosie Sanchez, but I also would like to know more about the narrator of the story. We have Dad, Lynda, Bina, Rosie and an MC that has no name yet. I'd read a few more pages to see if I feel connected enough to follow the unnamed MC through the entire book.

  6. Whew! A lot to take in here, but I'm intrigued, and I'd turn the page for sure.

  7. I thought the idea behind this was great, but it does seem to be very bare bones. I wanted a taste of the setting and more about this family.

    You might also diversify the sentence structure. Most of it is short direct sentences. Maybe add a bit of color or flavor.

  8. Okay, I just have to say that there better be a good reason that a banshee (they are Irish) would be named Rosie Sanchez, let alone why she is in the desert in the western US. I was really confused about where the story was headed. Not sure if I'd be hooked.

  9. Love the title, it screams gonzo fiction. But I suspect this is a "Sean of the Dead" type comedic horror and as such it's nicely set up. I think 250 is really too short to judge anything about this one.
    "Buy the ticket, take the ride."

  10. I totally agree that there is not enough here to judge - so that means I would definitely read on.

    Confusedly, perhaps, but I'd be reading. :)

  11. I'm intrigued but there isn't enough here about the MC. Who is she other than the daughter of a man who keeps a gun under his car seat, and a girl who doesn't like Rosie Sanchez?

  12. I dug this! Can't wait to find out what happens.