Wednesday, May 16, 2018

May Secret Agent Contest #9

TITLE: The Mostly Invisible Boy
GENRE: MG Contemporary Fantasy

Casey Grimes was invisible—at least most of the time.

He stood on the corner under a stop sign, jogging in place as his school bus sped down the street. It slowed to roll through the intersection and Casey sprinted alongside, smacking the door as his backpack bumped his spine. Sound and movement gave him a fighting chance to be seen. For a few seconds, anyway.

“Open up!” he yelled.

The driver squinted through the smudged glass, and Casey banged harder, until the brakes squealed and the accordion doors whooshed open.

“Where’d you come from?” the driver asked.

“Same place I always come from.” Casey jumped into the bus. The driver shrugged and floored the accelerator.

The other two kids on Casey’s route always sat together in the back. He waved, but they didn’t notice, so he took his usual seat by the window, pressing the vinyl with sweaty palms. Don’t give up on the day yet, he told himself. Things might still change.

But they reached Vintage Woods Middle School and nothing was different.

Nothing at all.

“You new here?” A girl asked as Casey opened his locker.

“Of course not,” Casey said. “You’re Lydia, we sit next to each other in—”

But she’d already started talking to someone else.

Manuel walked past—they’d had a five second conversation once—and Casey whirled.

“Hey Manuel,” he said.

The boy’s gaze paused for a millisecond and slid away like it was magnetized.


  1. Great opening! The first line is awesome and I completely sympathize with Casey's situation. I was once the invisible kid in school too. My only suggestion is to add more description in when Casey arrives at school. But this entry is really awesome and I want to know what the story is about :)

  2. Love the opening line - this caught my attention. You do a great job introducing Casey's problem without telling us everyone ignores him. You left me wondering why no one sees him for long and wanting to read more. Nice tight writing here and great use of sounds.

    One small suggestions: "...slid away like it was magnetized" didn't quite make sense to me. What about something like "...slid away as if pulled by a magnet"?

  3. The concept is very interesting and I think a lot of MG students feel invisible and will relate. The magnetized bit didn't make sense. Also, I wasn't sure if the bus driver let him on or just sped away until he waved to the kids.

  4. I like the quick pacing you've got in your opening page. The voice is really strong as well. The only thing that's really missing for me is how Casey feels about being ignored. It's almost as though it doesn't bother him much.

  5. The idea of feeling invisible in middle school is something that I think most kids this age will relate to. The bus ignoring him, the girl asking him is hie's new and Manuel refusing to make eye contact are great ways to show this. The only thing that I would suggest is that you might want to give us a clue to what the narrator wants.

  6. Voice was definitely on point and I want to urgently read more! So many memories this invoked and I'm not the only one.
    Suggestion I would make is setting for the school. Give n idea on how the school looked on the outside even if it's a few words on passing.

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  8. I loved this opening!

    Just one nit-picky suggestion: It slowed to roll through the intersection --> It slowed and rolled through the intersection.

    Explained motivations are my pet peeve, and it feels a bit silly to assign a motivation to a bus.

    The voice and the character jump off this page, and I'd love to read more!

    Thank you for sharing!