Wednesday, November 4, 2009

16 Secret Agent

TITLE: Kunitsu Eyes
GENRE: Fantasy

The animal was calling him again.

Darkness clogged Arekkusu’s vision, an oppressive force so black that it seemed to blot out sound as well as sight. His arms and legs felt weighted down by it, and as he struggled to move every fiber of his being ached to answer. Yet he could not even tell where the call was coming from, or what sort of creature made it.

He swung his head wildly from side to side, trying to sort out direction, to get some bearing amidst the shifting sand of his senses. The need to answer bordered on pain, and yet he could make no reply.

Suddenly a real sound cut through his confusion. Heavy breathing. Not the animal, something alien. Something dangerous. It stank, and was so close that Arekkusu was too frightened even to cower. He could hear each rasping intake of breath, and smell rotten teeth on the exhale. It was so close. Where was his mother? Was she all right?

The animal’s call came again, and joined with Arekkusu’s urgent need to find his mother, to protect her from the looming danger. But no, he was too small. He clenched his hands to fists, feeling nails dig into the palms of his hands. Something wasn’t right, his hands weren’t strong enough. He needed help. Desperately, he called out to the animal, but his cries melted into the darkness.

It was no use. He was too weak. And with the strange beast looming so near, Arekkusus retreated into his own terror and lost himself in the dark.


  1. Not hooked, although I'm not sure why. The writing is fine, if a tad overwritten. The scene should be intense, but I just can't dredge up much concern for the character. On the whole, the most I can feel for this one is indifference (which may be why it hasn't gotten as many comments as the others so far).

  2. I think "a tad overwritten" is a tad of an understatement. Basically everything in here could be done in one or two paras, max. Also, he can't move his arms and legs but he can swing his head wildly from side to side? I found this all very confusing. Sorry.

  3. I like the description. It is a bit much but it isn't bothering me too badly. Something about this sample had a Prologue vibe to it which is why I may have been kinder than the other commenters about all the description. I am kind of expecting the tone to ease up a bit and the story to take off. Of course I could be totally wrong about that.

    I am not generally a fan of really complicated names that do not have obvious pronounciations. That Fantasy naming convention almost always pushes me away from a story, rightly or wrongly.

  4. I am a bit confused with what's going on. Something is calling to him, and he wants to answer, but can't, and then he's afraid of it, and then starts thinking about his mom? I feel like there could be less description, and that would actually make the scene more tense like you probably wanted it to be. Also, he wants to protect his mom, but he's too small? Is he a child? Is he a small person? The action and thoughts are all geared toward someone who is older, so why is he too small? I hope this helps. Good Luck!

  5. I really like the tenseness of the scene. I agree that it sounds like a prologue, so I expect that much of this would be explained later on in the actual story. Despite knowing this, however, I became confused with the premise of an animal in pain, his mom, something bad, and another helpful animal. At least, that's the way I read this. If that's not what you meant, then perhaps think about clarifying who is doing what and separate the reality from the protagonist's thoughts a bit more clearly?

  6. I'm intrigued by the situation of this boy calling out to the animal for help. I'd read on.

    One nitpick: 'feeling nails dig into the palms of his hands' could just be 'feeling nails dig into his palms'.

  7. Not hooked, sorry.

    One problem I had was that the POV character sounds very adult until he starts wondering if his mother is all right and thinking about how small he is. I couldn't figure out whether he's supposed to be a child, or an adult reverting to childhood trauma under stress, or what. The other problem was that by then I was too confused to care very much.

    There is a lot happening in this scene, which could be great and hook-y but somehow isn't. Part of it I think is the overuse of vague, unspecific, very similar nouns -- "the animal", "something alien", "the strange beast", "what kind of creature" -- to denote what should, I suspect, be two very different-feeling entities (the one that scares him, and the one he hopes will help him). We should, I think, feel like one is comforting / familiar / safe / non-threatening / on the MC's side while the other is scary / strange / dangerous / threatening / attacking the MC. Instead, I repeatedly got confused as to which one was which.

  8. There is a confusion switching from one animal calling to an actual present danger. I do like the description. I'm not sure whether Arekkusus is weak, or made to feel weak by the terror.

    Why would he call out to the animal, if he does not know what creature it is? Does he know if it will be a friend?

    With the name, I like it but wouldn't want to read it repeatedly. Arekku stops more naturally.

    I like this, and am curious as to what happens next. So hooked. Just think it could be cleaner/clearer.

    Good luck with it!