Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #12

TITLE: The Curse of the Moon Spirit
GENRE: YA Fantasy Romance

 I knew it meant trouble when we were summoned inside before the sweltering August sun set. Father didn't like work to go unfinished around the farm, especially right before harvest. Dusty from replanting red beans, my sister and I took turns patting each other down outside our ramshackle little house. The large shutters attached to the yellowing walls of the house to keep the snow and rain out, splintered down the middle, could barely do its job. I couldn’t count how many times I had small flecks of wood in my fingers after shutting them with a bang. Being patient with us, Mother would take out each splinter with a smile.

 Even though the house looked like it would fall apart at any second, Mother still worked hard to keep the house clean.

 My older brother, Yasahiro strode past us, already having gotten most of the dirt from his clothes. I gave my little sister a final pat and waved away the dust cloud that filled my lungs, making me long for water.

“You’re good-go on.” I said

Yuki’s tired face stretched into a smile, “Thanks, we better hurry.”

“You go in, I’ll just be a minute.”


 She hurried inside leaving me to stare at the shabby straw woven mat we used as a door. It seemed I’m always being rushed along somehow, be it in the fields, or even rushing to get to bed to wake up and repeat the process all over again.


  1. I like your descriptions of the setting: farm, dusty, run down, etc. however, you say at the beginning how they're rushed in before sunset. I feel like you could give more hint as to why. Maybe your character has a few thoughts? Weather, something she'd overheard, a past memory once when they were called inside early. I feel like it would give the reader a little more incentive to keep going past the descriptions to solve the mystery.

  2. I agree that your description is great! I really got an image of the ramshackle farm, but a hint of the fantasy element might draw the reader in more.

  3. I agree. Good description, but I felt removed. Maybe try to ground the reader in the experience so they feel as if they are there.

  4. There's great imagery here, but the dialogue felt a bit stiff. I didn't get a good sense or knowledge of the Main Character's personality or attitudes or voice from this opening, and I desperately wanted to feel some of her anxiety or fear or some guesses as to why her father has summoned her inside.

    Thank you so much for sharing!