Wednesday, March 7, 2012

March Secret Agent #42

GENRE: YA - Supernatural

Josh ran hard down the alley until the stitch in his side forced him to stop. He bent over and tried to will away the pain. Deep breaths.

He listened for the sound of approaching footsteps. It was hard to hear anything over his gasping. He dared not rest long. The sharp prickling in his abdomen continued. His gym teacher had always said to 'run through the pain.' But, he wasn’t here right now.

No one was.

Never before had Josh been happy to be alone when he was down a dark alleyway in the middle of the night. In fact, he was praying that he was alone.


He whirled and raised his fists. "Who's there? Leave me alone!" His heart beat lifted the T-shirt away from his body in drumming twitches.

There was no one in the alley but him. Josh turned and stumbled in a circle - arms flailing at nothing but the night air.

“Josh.” The voice spoke again – this time in a sweet sing-song mimicking a child’s rhythm. “Jaaw-osh.”

The voice was anything but childish.

"Where are you?" Josh screamed. He couldn't locate the voice. He twisted so violently that he over-balanced and fell to the pavement - scraping his knee right through the jeans.

“Why do you run? Come wih us?”

"Leave me alone!”

Josh realized – too late – that he had made a terrible mistake. He had chosen an alley with no way out except the way he had come.

A dead-end.


  1. I thought the pacing was good, the snippets of dialogue appropriately creepy and the scene set with a minimum of description. I liked the detail of the overbalancing while taking a swing and scraping his knee - an effective visual tidbit. I would be encouraged to read more.

  2. Oooohhhh I like this! Creepy? Yes. Exciting? Yes. And male POV to boot! Love the start of this. The only nit-pick I have is the visual I get with "His heart beat lifted the T-shirt away from his body..." I have seen far too many horror/Sci-Fi movies to not get a rather graphic picture in my head. I know the effect you're going for, but might work better if re-worded a bit. Unless you are going with a YA Supernatural via Rob Zombie sort of thing... *wink*

  3. Nice. I love eerie stories. You have done a great job with pacing and plot. It has a Dean Koontz feel to it. I thought the dialogue worked well.

    The only nitpick is the t-shirt line. Let me first say - I have no idea what's preferred by publishers - but I think you wanted to not sound cliche but the result is a descrition that sticks put like a sore thumb. Hey - there's another cliche! Sometimes I think something cliche has become a cliche because its a good way to describe something. That's my opinion. I think my heart thumped in my chest - or pulse quickened. You get the idea.

    I would read on for sure. Good luck and thanks For sharing,

  4. I like this and the idea that the voice/ghost is chasing him. You have good descriptions that show his fear, panic, disorientation, rather than telling us.

    The use of so many dashes was a bit distracting for me, though. It chopped up the sentences and the flow of the scene. Also, the "dead-end" line falls a little flat since you just told us there was only one way out. It's repetitive and loses it's punch.

    That said, I would definitely read on.

  5. creepy, i'd read more

  6. Whoa, why do they want Josh! I agree with others about the heart/t-shirt description. Otherwise I think this is really great!

    I'd definitely read on to find out why they want him! Oh, and who wants him! :)

  7. Great pacing and dialog. Good imagery.

    Unless the gym teacher plays an important part later, I'm not sure you want to mention him here. This is a perfect spot for a tiny hint of back story. What brought him here? How long has he been running?

    I'd read another page or so, but as of now, I'm not quite hooked. I think I could be, though.

  8. Form rejection. I would fully be on board if this was page 2, but in this particular time and place I don't know what he's running from, or what's at stake. I have no idea what whe voices will do to him if they catch him. The dialogue and the "no one was" read a little simplistic for me.