Wednesday, March 27, 2013

March Secret Agent #37

TITLE: Bound In Blue
GENRE: YA Contemporary Fantasy

Fear is white and thickly veined with sea-green.

I reached over the bed rail and touched Mom’s cheek, but the industrial clock on the wall ticked loudly and I jerked my hand back fast. She was cold. But she was always cool and thin and strange with her pale, pale eyes. Now they were open and staring and I couldn’t bring myself to close them the way they always do in movies.

The only thing Mom was ever afraid of was a man with silver hair. I saw him once when I was little. Mom pulled me tight against her chest and the sound of her heart was a wave crashing against rocks. That fear crept out of her chest, crawled through my ear, and made its way down to my own wildly beating heart to take up permanent residence.

Rhiannon, listen to me, we cannot be seen. Hide in the shadows and be still and silent.

And as she held me, my fear broke apart like ice on a churning ocean and all the colors of my emotions erupted out of it.

The man didn’t see us.

I once tried to tell Mom about the colors I felt, but she just smiled and looked away. I didn’t try again. It would have been nice to talk with someone about it. I’m sure my colors would be pretty interesting to some psychiatrist bored with the usual budding Unabombers.

But fear is white and an ugly sea-green that matches the color of the hospital walls.


  1. I like how this is written, except for the first and last sentences. I think I could have done without those. Otherwise, it made me feel concerned for the main character, and want to know what's going to happen to her next now that their mother is gone.

    I'm also curious about the "industrial clock". That could mean anything from steampunk to a militaristic setting to just a regular hospital clock. But the setting doesn't seem as important here as the main character's inner thoughts and feelings, and the description of when the colors broke out inside of her.

    I definitely want to read more.

  2. I like this and woul read more but as above was u certain of the purpose of the first and last sentences?

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  4. "...the sound of her heart was a wave crashing against rocks. That fear crept out of her chest, crawled through my ear, and made its way down to my own wildly beating heart to take up permanent residence."

    WOW! I felt that! Very expressive. In the previous paragraph, the way your character uses "and" gives a poetic feel that matches this description. Because of that, the last two paragraphs read disjointed to me. The cadence isn't there. I'd love to see the voice match up.

  5. I'm guessing the narrator has synesthesia? "The man didn't see us" made me wonder WHY he didn't see the narrator and her mom. I think with just a few descriptive sentences, you could really add to the fear the narrator and her mother felt toward this man and amp up his sinister-ness (that is not a word!) at the same time without taking too much away from the hospital scene. Great start and I want to see where it goes!

  6. I was going to say I didn't like the first sentence, but then I did like how you worked in her seeing emotions in colors later. I enjoyed everything up to the line about psychiatrists bored with budding Unabombers. That felt too flippant for the somber tone of the rest of the page. And I didn't care for the repeat of the first sentence about the color of fear at the end. Other than that though, great job!

  7. When I read the first sentence it intrigued me and I figured where you were going with it, but seems like there is too much gap between mentioning the colors and then getting back to expanding on the idea. Perhaps move them closer together somehow? Good concept, I would keep reading to see where it goes

  8. I really liked this. I like how the colors relate to her feelings and I like how the stage is set for something big to happen. I get that she's afraid now that her mother is gone (been there, done that, got the T-shirt), and I can see how it would follow that she might even be afraid of the only thing her mother ever feared. But I feel like this could be stated a bit better, that the colors and their relationship to her feelings could be better tied to what is happening in the here and now, not just in the recalled memory. But I would definitely keep reading. :)

  9. I really like the opening sentence and the synesthesia here. You have a nice prose style.

    But I felt like this jumped between ideas too fast. I wanted more time to get used to the synesthesia, and why she was feeling fear, before we moved into her mother's death, before we moved to the man with the silver hair. I found the movement a little disorienting and it kept me from really connecting with the character's voice.

    I think with some clarifying this will be a stronger start.

  10. The combination of fear, foreboding and foreshadowing intrigues me and would make me continue. Like to know more about feeling colors.

  11. I liked this quite a bit, especially how you brought back the first line. I could feel what she felt - the fear, the panic, perhaps some of her loneliness.
    I certainly wanted to read more!

  12. Thank you to everyone who commented! I appreciate it very much.