Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Secret Agent #33

TITLE: White Water Sacraments
GENRE: YA Urban Fantasy

Kensington Pier looked like a dead land. Just the way Aleera liked it.

She grinned and dropped from the merry-go-round, landing with ease. Her boots barely made a sound as she dashed toward the Ferris wheel. Springing over the gates, she scaled the beams as if they were mere stepladders. With a heavy pack slumped across her backside, her legs slinked through the metal bars like a wiry feline. The daggers strapped to her thighs and waist remained unmoving in her haste. She moved like the wind — silent, swift, sometimes fatal. In one final weave through the webs, Aleera swung her body upward and landed onto a swinging cart.

Mere hours before, city folk filtered in and out of the lit-up carnival strip. They munched on deep fried treats and caramel coated popcorn. Blending with the night, Aleera had watched the children scurry up and down the shoreline, splashing water and building sandcastles. Now closed and deserted, debris blew across the ashen pavement and strings of dangling bulbs hung depleted of light. The eeriness of the vacant strip sent tingles down Aleera’s spine.

That’s when she heard it.

A screeching whistle. A slight rumble with the winds, rustling leaves and rippling the nearby lake. Nature had nothing to do with such sounds and they certainly  come from Aleera. She smirked and hummed a melody as the eerie sounds leveled off around her.

“Oh, c’mon.” Her whisper, a low rasp. “Don’t hide. We haven’t even begun to play.”


  1. Excellent prose! Your action scenes are very vivid and clear, and I have a very solid visualization of what's going on.

    Aleera is an intriguing character, and her one end at the end was really attention-grabbing. You've built up an effective atmosphere that's mysterious, adventurous, and omnious.

    A couple suggestions:

    "Kensington Pier looked like a dead land. Just the way Aleera liked it."
    Would liked a bit of elaborate on what this means. Don't leave us hanging ;)

    I'd also like to know the time of day sooner than later. I had imagined it to be daytime, until it's revealed that Aleera had been watching the carnival hours before, when it was already nighttime. So that means the story takes place around midnight?

  2. Great action and eerie atmosphere.
    Word missing in this sentence? . Nature had nothing to do with such sounds and they certainly come from Aleera.
    It should say certainly didn't come from Aleera.
    I agree with the previous poster that the first sentence is really good, but we need just a tiny bit more of why she likes it looking like dead land. It would be a nice place for a touch of foreshadowing. Really well written and I would want to keep reading. Good luck!

  3. A couple small things:
    -I think there's a word missing here: "and they certainly come from Aleera".
    -You have 3 similes in the 2nd paragraph. I would suggest you try to keep it to 1.
    -This sentence fragment reads a little awkwardly: "Her whisper, a low rasp".

    This is great otherwise!

    Good luck!

  4. Great imagery. Love the deep fried treats and popcorn line. If I had any critique it would be, maybe a few too many metaphors in your second paragraph- stepladders, feline, wind, webs. Your meaning gets a little bit lost in all of those comparisons.
    Well done!

  5. In terms of the first sentence, I can absolutely understand what sentiment you are trying to convey—and yet, I found myself tripping over this. What exactly is a dead land? How does something appear this way? I like the punchiness in the beginning and I’m already getting great insight into Aleera, but I wonder if this first sentence could be tweaked for better clarity. Or tie the description of the second paragraph into this imagery more. There’s great action, great movement—I’m being pulled in quickly! I believe the word “didn’t” is missing from the 4th line from the bottom. I love the final line here—again, great insight into Aleera. That said, I did feel like there was a disconnect between her seeing the “dead land” and saying it was just the way she liked it. And the “eeriness of the vacant strip” sending tingles down her spine. In the beginning it seemed like Aleera was embolden by the deserted landscape, then by the 3rd paragraph it almost seems to leave her on edge with no clear indication why there was this shift. Overall, really great job! Love the voice!