Wednesday, January 23, 2019

January Secret Agent #38

TITLE: Blood Numbers
GENRE: YA Dystopian

I’ve had nightmares about my Blood Test Day before. None of them started like this. None of them prepared me for the nightmare of reality.

When a Technician is on my porch, in his white lab coat and black bag in hand, my mind goes blank. I blink over and over, willing myself to wake up, yet here he stands before me with unnatural precision and a purposeful stare.

Stitched over the pocket of his coat, the giant red letters “DMR” stand out against all the white, like blood seeping from a wound. My sweaty palm slides against our wobbly door handle.

Why is he here? It’s June. I’m not yet sixteen. My birthday isn’t for another month. Surely, this Technician is mistaken, or lost, but the Division of Medical Resources doesn’t make mistakes.

“Aston Vazeto?”

His pronunciation of my Hungarian name is close enough, so I nod. He eyes my body in a way that makes me cross an arm over my chest. I hide behind my hair as it inches over my face, hopefully masking my shock and fear.

This Technician is older than I expected, and surely too old to be donating. His hair is greying on the sides and worry lines linger on his brow. When he flashes an eerie donor smile, my heart quickens. All citizens like me are donors to some degree, but he looks too healthy to still be donating at his age. Why, when I’m alone, weeks away from my Blood Test Day, is he here- without notification or preamble?


  1. LOVE this line: ' the giant red letters “DMR” stand out against all the white, like blood seeping from a wound.'I'm a bit confused about it being her blood test day, but the guy at her door is donating blood? I'm sure it's explained later. I want to keep reading!

  2. Definitely hooked me with the Blood Test Day right off the bat!

    The first sentence of the second paragraph feels a bit off. Maybe because the action is buried at the end of the sentence. It might be easier to picture if you brought the action to the front front like: “The technician steps onto the porch with his white lab coat and black bag, and my mind goes blank.”

    Where I really get invested in the scene is with “why is he here? It’s June”. Maybe consider moving this thought up? Her confusion caught me a bit off guard because for the first few paragraphs she acted like this man showing up was a routine or predictable thing. If she doesn’t know it’s her blood test day, and this technician appears on her porch out of the blue, I’d think her first reaction would be confusion—not terror, necessarily.

    Interested to learn more about the testing and why this guys on her doorstep! I’d keep going :)

  3. This is definitely intriguing. I too loved the "like blood seeping from a wound" line. And I also was a little confused about the donor guy coming to draw her blood, but I think I get the idea of what's going on. Keep it up! I'd definitely read more.

  4. Really creepy vibe, which is great! I was a bit thrown by "I hide behind my hair as it inches over my face". I know what you mean I think, but the visual made me think of her hair as some kind of sentient being lol. Might be just me, but thought I would mention my reaction all the same.

  5. This is excellent! You’ve done an excellent job grounding us in this world effortlessly. Some of the phrasing is awkward: When a technician is on my porch my mind goes blank, or both crossing an arm over my chest and hiding behind my hair, but mostly just copyedits. The content is solid, and feels like a surprisingly unique dystopian premise.

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