Wednesday, October 9, 2013

October Secret Agent #17

TITLE: The Cry House
GENRE: YA Gothic Romance

The sticky sweet closeness of death coated Faith’s senses like over-ripe strawberry jam. Someone was watching her. Shadows shifted across the desolate street. She peered over her shoulder at the Cry House. It stood in the distance, vacant and still. Not a single floating sheet or rattling chain in sight. She would have welcomed a moaning specter, something to explain the feeling of being stalked. She had a lot more to fear from the living than the dead.

Unable to shake the feeling that she was being followed, Faith took off running. Wind tossed her hair, scattering it over her eyes. A streetlight flicked on with an electric hum and pop above her head. The air grew damp and heavy with the approaching night.

Faith took another hasty scan of the house. Empty. Slowing down, she exhaled.

Get over yourself. No one is chasing you.


The sound of Logan’s voice made every muscle in her body tight. Oh God, kill me, kill me now. Closing her eyes, she waited a beat before reopening them, willing herself to disappear. He probably thinks I’m eight shades of crazy.

“Hey, I thought that was you,” Logan said as he hopped a low fence to catch up to her. “What were you running from?”

Irrational fear and shame burned her pale cheeks. Toeing at a weed that poked through the sidewalk crack, she tried to come up with a witty response.

“Um, you.”



  1. I enjoy the suspense you build in your first paragraph.

    Your last statement: Brilliant, is brilliant.

    Best of luck with it!

  2. You had me hooked, and really creeped out talking about death and the Cry house. But once Logan enters the scene, I lost the tension. I felt like we go from a story that is something different and creepy on a whole new juicy level- and then we downshift to a girl is nervous around a boy.

    Now if Logan were creepy or scary, it might keep up the tension.

  3. I can't say I lost the tension once Logan hit the scene (love the name Logan by the way.:))Sure Faith may be afraid of him because he's a boy and boys unnerve her. Or there may be a history there we don't know yet. But it's enough to make me want to keep reading.

    I do like her response at the end. Makes me think there's way more to the story.

  4. Loved this piece, but I'm wondering why she's explaining death so sweetly, like she's welcoming it. Unless she'd prefer to die and get it over with instead of being afraid. Still, I loved that description. I also like the Logan part, something unexpected so it makes me want to read more to she if he's dangerous or if she's just nervous around him. All the luck

  5. Personally, I liked the sudden switch from the fear at the beginning to the shame-faced realisation of the second half. It rings very true ... but then, I've scared myself over nothing a few times. Of course, since we're dealing with Gothic romance here, it might not turn out to be nothing after all. But I guess that's for the rest of the book to reveal ;-)

    I noticed a couple of minor points. When Faith first looks at the Cry House, it's in the distance. Then she takes off running. Then she scans the house again. I just wondered whether if it was already in the distance the first time, she'd even be able to see it once she'd run away - or closely enough to know it was empty, at any rate.

    I'd also lose the pale from 'burned her pale cheeks', because she can't see her cheeks, so that takes me out of her POV.

    As I said, minor points. I'd read more.

  6. Nice suspenseful opening. You've created a mood that suits gothic well. It does lose something when Logan enters the scene, but I don't think the tension entirely vanishes. After that opening, I'm thinking Logan might be creepy in his own way.

    I would suggest cutting that first sentence. It's super-purple prose, it doesn't really say anything, and it isn't finished. The sweetness of death is coating her senses like jam (which should be coating something as well, to complete the simile.)

    Start with "Someone was watching her." A much stronger opening.

    I'd read more.

  7. We think this is a good opening scene, but we’d like to know who Logan is. Is this a cute boy? A relative? A small description in the paragraph where she hears his voice and wants to die could help.