Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April Secret Agent Contest #31

TITLE: Shakespeare on the Lam

I pounded on the bathroom door and yelled at my slug of a sister: "Athena, how much longer you gonna be?" I mean, the 'fairy queen' had barricaded herself in there for over half a century and I needed to get ready for school. Talk about a 'Midsummer's Night's Nightmare.'

No reply. Instead, she continued practicing her lines: "'If you will patiently dance in our round, and see our moonlight revels...'"

"Excuse me," I shouted. "My mistake. I meant to say, 'Queen Titanic, wilt thou quit being the world's biggest bathroom hog and hasten out of there...'"

"The name's Titania, you dolt," came the muffled response. "Go use the other bathroom." Was she trying an Australian accent? Why was I cursed with such a raving actress for an older sister?

"All my stuff's in this bathroom. So get your majestic fairy..."

That was when Mom yodeled from the kitchen: "Jared, can you keep it down, please?"

More droning from the bathroom: "'Fairies, away; we shall chide downright if I longer stay.'"

No kidding. I decided to light a fire under the Queen. "The bus is coming."

I heard a scramble and a squawk. The door flew open. I blinked. In the glimpse I had of her before she slammed the door in my face, she looked five inches taller. Was she wearing heels? And what the heck had she done to her hair? She was in big trouble now.

"Red hair? You dyed your hair red? Mom's gonna kill you..."


  1. I liked this. The voice is great. My only suggestion would be to include why Jared can't use the other bathroom. Otherwise, great job!

  2. I want to read more of this! Love the voice, though I didn't get the sense it was a boy until half-way down the page. Perhaps sneak that info in earlier? Otherwise, great job!

  3. Until I got to the name "Jared," I really thought this was a sister squabble.

    I wouldn't say I'm hooked, but I would definitely read on.

  4. Like the voice, and love the idea of bringing Shakespeare to the kiddies. But I'm not thrilled with this as the beginning, because our MC isn't doing anything. I'm getting a nice picture of his sister, and I like the insults he thinks up, but... I just don't get the sense of something-is-going-to-happen-that-matters-to-our-hero from this scene.

  5. I liked this a lot once I got through the first paragraph. For me, in the first paragraph Jared seemed to be trying too hard to be clever with "fairy queen" and "Midsummer's Night's Nightmare".

  6. I thought the MC was a girl too. It does seem like there's a bit much about the older sister though, considering Jared is the MC. I'm interested in Athena but not Jared so much at this point.

  7. Not hooked. Although I like the voice, it seems too old for MG. And this is another case of learning more about a supporting character in the first 250 than the MC himself.

  8. I liked the scene, but was waiting for some conflict. It also read older than MG to me. Maybe tween?

  9. I am way more interested in the sister than the annoying brother. That's problematic, if he's the main character.

    I'd keep reading but am skeptical about openings that involve people getting ready to do things. I want to see them DO things! :)

  10. Thanks, everyone, for taking time to comment on this. Believe me, this story was a heckuva lot of fun to write, so I'm glad most of you liked the voice. I'm taking all of your comments to heart and going back to the drawing board to make it more convincing about Jared.

    Secret Agent: Thanks for taking time to review all fifty entries.For those who are about to rewrite, we salute you.

    To all other MSFVers: As I said in preface to all of my comments: it takes guts putting your work out there. Keep following your writing dreams. Remember: rewriting, chocolate, and a big old dab o' love conquer all.