Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August Secret Agent #27

GENRE: Ya Fantasy

Trapped. There’s no going back now, Christopher thought as he eyed the room with mounting unease. Frilly, poofed dresses and ornate hairdos filled the space as far as the eye could see.

“Oh, isn’t it wonderful!” Christine tugged on his arm, beside herself with joy. “I’m so glad we came. Papa, aren’t you glad we came?”

“Mph.” Richard, Christine’s father, shrugged his stocky shoulders.

“Mph is right,” Christopher said with a roll of his eyes.

So many girls. Everything in his being wanted to flee, but manners dictated he smile warmly at all who passed.

“Don’t be such a grump. We’re here to have fun.” She pinched his arm. “You included! You’re such a scaredy cat.”

“I’m not afraid.” Christopher drew up to his full height and lifted his chin, his smile broadening as he glanced down at Christine. “A woman is not a thing to be feared.”

“Says the man who avoids them like the plague. Did you forget that I’m a woman?”

“You’re thirteen.”

“Only four years younger than you.” She smiled, her dark eyes alight. “Please try to have fun tonight. Don’t just stand in the corner. Dance with someone. You can dance with Vanessa!”

“Vanessa is just as bad as…” Something caught his eye. A cat sat on a nearby windowsill watching him intently.

“As bad as what?” Christine asked, but Christopher hardly heard her, his eyes fixed on the cat.

One corner of the feline’s mouth twisted up.

Do cats smile?

It winked.


  1. Something tells me that Christopher is going to meet a woman who is to be feared! <3 this!

  2. I'm all about reading more on winking cats that smile, although I'm more of a dog person. I'd read more on this one.

  3. My favorite lines are: Frilly, poofed dresses and ornate hairdos filled the space as far as the eye could see.

    And of course- One corner of the feline’s mouth twisted up.
    Do cats smile?
    It winked.

    I'm intrigued!!!

  4. I'm confused on Christopher and Christine's relationship. At first I thought they were brother and sister, but then he talks about "her" father, so I assume they're not. It's only 250 words, so it's probably okay that we don't know for sure yet, but I hope that's answered soon.

    I also don't really get a sense of the time period. Big, frilly dresses could be a prom type thing or centuries ago. They seem to talk pretty formally, but Christopher's thoughts are really casual and modern.

    The smiling cat is intriguing. I'm interested to see how it ties in with the rest of the scene.

  5. This was fun and intriguing. I like the winking cat, although maybe you could get to it a little sooner?

    I think this would be improved by cleaning up the prose to remove some unnecessary words. For example, you don't need the words "Christopher thought" at the beginning. We know it's a thought when it's in italics. Also, I wonder if some of the dialogue and that first thought aren't a little stilted and unnatural sounding. For example, people don't always talk or think in complete sentences. Instead of saying, "I'm not afraid," "I am not" might sound more natural. Or at the beginning trying leaving out "There's" in the character's thought, so it's just "No going back now." Of course, it this more formal-sounding dialogue is part of your fantasy world, that's fine. It just felt a little unnatural to me.

    Oh, and I'm also confused about the Christine's father line. Is that info even needed here?

  6. The dialogue is the strong point here, I liked the banter which helped the pacing. I agree on ditching some of the extra words as noted above.

    Replacing the cliche "as far as the eye could see" with something original is a great opportunity to show voice and something about your character. Show us a phrase we haven't seen before that relates to the story or the character.

  7. The banter was great, but I'm confused about Christopher and Christine's relationship. I'd also like some hint of where they are--the dance(?), I mean. Is this a festival? A ball? A coming out party of some sort?

  8. I agree the relationship is confusing, but that may be okay in the larger context of the entire book.

    The women are not to be feared line was great. I also really liked the winking cat. Really wanted to read more of this one.
    I agree with the extra words comment above. Your on to something here though. The story draws the reader in.

  9. Loved this!
    Although I was confused at first about Christopher's relationship with Christine. I thought he was her father :)
    I suggest you add something like this- She turned to the gray-haired man breathing down his neck, "Papa, aren't you glad we came?"

    But I'd snatch this up in a bookstore!

  10. I liked the opening sentences and thought that the dialogue was well handled. The winking cat was an interesting twist and I'd read on just to find out why it winked. Good luck.

  11. I really wanted to know where they were because I found it odd that a seventeen year old boy didn't have an interest in a room full or pretty young girls. But it is a fantasy and maybe there is a reason to fear women.

    I'm thinking the cat is a woman in disguise, and Christopher will be falling in love. I'd read more.

  12. I think this is very cute and fun!