Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August Secret Agent #15

TITLE: Watcher
GENRE: Fantasy

I watch my daughter cradle her swollen belly as she kneels to place the flowers on my empty grave. Pink carnations this time... last year was red roses, the year before, golden mums.

Her lips move as she whispers to the flower-strewn ground, but I'm too far away to hear her precious words. Her shoulders quake with her sobs and, swallowing, I fight to stifle my own. She caresses my name etched into the grey granite, tracing the letters one by one before wiping the tears from her cheeks. Her fingers touch her lips, then the top of the cold hard stone.

My own fingers clamp against my mouth, smothering the impulse to cry out to her.

As she turns to walk back to her car, a breath of summer wind lifts her hair. It floats for a moment, waving goodbye. Her scent reaches out to me and triggers memories of our brief life together. Seventeen years was not enough--not enough time to share with her, to hold her and teach her and tell her how much I love her. In a flash of anger, I curse the evil creature that stole me away, leaving my daughter to finish growing up alone, and leaving me... leaving me no longer human.

My chest heaving, I watch her drive away, then step between the markers and cross the lawn to my grave. I rest my trembling fingers where hers last touched, press them softly against my lips, and whisper, "I love you, Andrea."

14 comments:

Slushpile Slut said...

Oh my!! I love this!! Definitely hooked and wishing I could read more. Well written and good fluidity. Good luck!!

groupofseven said...

I was caught up in this too. Beautifully written.

Jonathan 3d said...

Yes, hooked. Well done.

I'm curious how MC has fingers if she's no longer human. If she's a zombie, I probably wouldn't be interested. If she's a rabbit, or deer, or troll, I'd be quite interested.

But I guess the main point is, I want to know what she is, so this works very well.

Princess L said...

Loved it. Great writing- I already felt empathetic for the characters.

coffeelvnmom said...

Love this. Would read more for sure.

alex said...

Really love this! Especially that its from the perspective of the dead mother, and not the girl. Would totally keep reading.

Barbara said...

I wasn't hooked. The writing is great and there's lots of emotion here. I loved the first paragraph - how you used the different flowers the daughter brought to denote the passage of time, rather than just saying three years.

But by paragraph 3, I wanted something more. Why is she dead? How did she die? Was it murder?
I get a small taste in paragraph 4 but it's not followed up in paragraph 5. We go back to the grave and the daughter and at this point, I had enough of them. I've gotten the point. I want to move on.

I'd probably make myself read on a bit more because the writing is good, but if she hasn't left the gravesite by the end of next paragraph, I'd be gone. I guess for me, I wanted a bit more about how and why she ended up dead.

Anonymous said...

It kind of worries me that the whole opening is about "what happened to the women?", when I can easily see that issue actually being the back-page blurb. Then there goes all the tension you're building up here.

is the story about what she is now? or about the process? or about past events? Or the daughter? Or ??? I am not left knowing any of these things, and therefore I would not read any further. Especially taking into account the back-cover-blurb.

Ramsey Hootman said...

The mystery hooked me but by the end I felt like it was a little overkill in terms of descriptions of their mutual agony. "Shoulders quake" "sobs" "swallowing" "wiping tears" "smothering" "flash of anger" "chest heaving" "trembling fingers." I just felt like less might be more, in this case.

Rebecca Chastain said...

At first I thought the mother was dead, which I admit was an immediate not-hooked for me. But then to realize she's physically still there, only changed--very intriguing!

I was dissapointed by "the evil creature" description. I wanted something harsher, like "vile monster" or "despicable hellspawn" or, best yet, an actual name, either "vampire" or "demon" or "Filbert" or whatever the thing that has changed her is called.

I'm hooked! Great writing!

Peazy said...

I really enjoyed reading this scene. I think you've provided a very good visual here, lots of emotion and good conflict. It's well written and I care about your characters.

If I were to add anything (hopefully) helpful, I would say that you could describe one or two physical changes that have occured in the daughter over the three years. She's gotten so tall..., or she cut off her beautiful, long hair...something of that nature. It's very sad, as a parent, when we miss those milestones.

I like this piece. Thanks.

Secret Agent said...

I’m hooked. An emotional scene that introduces the characters and grounds us in the world, and smoothly written. The only additional thing I’d want would be a lingering sense of danger, or time running out, if either of those are accurate (if, for instance, the daughter or her unborn child are in danger). But this is definitely enough for me to want to read more.

Sandra said...

Perhaps I shouldn't have read the comments first.. I was going to say that the writing is beautiful and that I'm definitely hooked. Well, these things still stand, but on second read some of the comments seem pertinent. But, as I said, it's good, I'd read on!

Angela Robbins said...

i like the touch of it seeming the mc is dead or a ghost to find out she's something else, but i'd like to know what soon. good emotion, so it makes me vested in the character. i'd keep reading.