Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January Secret Agent #17

GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction

All I hear is David Byrne’s musical warning thrumming through the sound system, him moaning like a demented traffic cop for us to Watch Out—lest we get what we’re after. The whole club screams along.

I follow Audrey across the dance floor, her padded deltoids a shelf that stretches from one shoulder to the other. Drum beats cut through the cigarette-thickened air, mixing with perspiration and swerving blue spotlights as darkly-clad people bounce around the floor. Audrey, Trina, and I orbit each other like satellites in mini-skirts, jockeying for more space on the gritty floor as the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down the House” ratchets to full throttle.

Audrey’s oversized shirt jogs along with the music, fabric draping past her knees and obliterating the kick-ass figure she has under there. I swivel a huge, asymmetrical red leather belt back down toward my waist to keep it from jutting into my rib cage and cutting off my breath. Passing out on the dance floor would not be good.

As we get near the back wall, a pattern of miniature glass tiles emerges from the obscurity, brightened by a spotlight sweep. Remnants of my last rye and ginger prickle the recesses of my brain as a huge mosaic image falls into focus beyond the bobbling bodies on the dance floor. I stop cold and grab Audrey by the arm.

“Holy God.” I blink. The light system does its next once-over. Glass flakes sparkle like spring water.


  1. Usually I don't like 1st person present, but I really like this! I could really see the club as it was described, made me wanna go on a night out :)

  2. This is VERY atmospheric, the sentences are really vivid and so well-constructed but I wonder if its a bit too much so? I mean, it takes us in the club and we can see, feel, hear, it all but then then there's this moment of a mosaic coming into focus for the MC and she says "Holy God!" but then it goes back to prose and I'm afraid it might get purply after that stage. I know we're only commenting on these 250 so I'll just say that showing how the prose shifts to a more guttural, basic, less flowery voice might better underscore the MC's reaction to that mosaic. Hope this makes sense and helps!

  3. I feel like I am IN the club, which is awesome....great job making the setting come alive. It's hard to tell what dialogue is going to look like, so I guess I'll have to read more when it's published :)

  4. I agree in that I feel like I'm in the club. Great job there. But then you go into describing what the characters' clothes are doing instead of what the characters are doing. At this point, you're losing me. And then you get to the mosaic and catch my interest again. The MC is shocked, maybe scared, and I'm wondering what is going on with the mosaic, but we get no description of it all. Glass tiles emerge from the obscurity of what? The glass falls into focus, but she doesn't tell us what she sees. What is it a mosaic of? Something Muslim? Mayan? Religious?

    Maybe it's described more fully on the next page, but if you cut some of the dancing clothes, you could get it on this page. Holy God won't make me turn the page because she may be drunk and imagining it, but a strange mosaic coming out of the wall is real. I'll turn the page.

  5. I get an 80s vibe with this, with the clothes, music and cigarette descriptions lol.

    I think its vividly brought to life, and well written

  6. “her padded deltoids a shelf that stretches from one shoulder to the other.” Huh?
    Audrey’s shirt comes past her knees but she’s also in a mini skirt?
    “I swivel a huge, asymmetrical red leather let back down toward my waist to keep it from jutting into my rib cage…” I don’t know what this means.
    The way you describe their attire, I was trying to figure out if this was some near-future SF. It’s very odd, and I’m unsure of the significance.
    I had a bit of trouble understanding what the mosaic was about. I would consider perhaps workshopping this one a bit more.

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