Wednesday, March 10, 2010

40 Secret Agent

GENRE: Urban Fantasy

“CONDOMS, condoms . . . where the bloody hell . . . ?” As he rifled through the bedside table, Gavin Cassidy’s hand fell upon a familiar old cigar box. He removed it from the drawer and ran his fingers across its frayed, papery surface.


It hadn’t been there yesterday.

The falcon.

Though he hadn’t thought about his favorite childhood toy in ages, he was grateful for a diversion before heading off to yet another party promising steady supplies of alcohol and eager groupies who fed the illusion that he was living.

Typical night at Mike’s house.

Hell, typical night period.

Tossing a dirty shirt aside, he took the box, sat cross-legged on the bed, flipped open the lid, and removed the tiny bird. A smile creased his lips.

The colors had faded a bit, and the branding on the wooden body was a little worn, but overall, the falcon had held up well for, how long had it been? He remembered playing with it when he was maybe two or three ….must’ve been twenty years he’d had the bird.

He pulled the string on the belly, his smile spreading into a chuckle as the seashell wings flapped. His Aboriginal friend, Yileen, would appreciate a bird like this. In fact, the craftsmanship reminded him of Yileen’s.

He didn’t know where it had come from, but the falcon had always brought him luck. Man, he could use some now.


  1. Really like this! I think this has the perfect balance between imagery, internal thoughts and intriguing details to make me want to read more. Also love condoms as the first word...tells us alot about the character.

  2. I thought this was really strong-- the only thing I wasn't in love with was "His Aboriginal friend, Yileen," because it seems odd to me that he would think of her as an Aboriginal friend first, and name her second. I wonder if you could move that descriptor of her as an aboriginal to the second sentence, with the "reminded him of Yileen's."

    Otherwise, great imagery and great characterization from the start.

  3. I like this. It is well written. My only hang-up is that I wouldn't read a book with a MC that goes through condoms like I go through Diet Coke. :) There would have to be a mighty change of heart early within the novel to make me like him. But, I'm intrigued to know who he is and what is going on here. Good luck!

  4. I liked it, but I would agree about the mention of the aboriginal friend. Unless that specific point becomes important in the rest of the story, I would toss it.

  5. I liked this a lot and would definitely keep reading. The only thing that really hung me up was this line: "eager groupies who fed the illusion that he was living."

    I LOVE the line itself, but just wonder if the person thinking it would actually think this. To him, getting drunk and laid *is* living, right? Or is he tired and bored of what appears to be a typical night. Just curious.

    Nice tight writing though and good voice.

  6. Man oh man, I LIKE THIS!!! First of all, starting a book with the word "Condoms" got me HOOKED from the get-go! Also I loved the childhood toy references - what a contrast to the desperate need for condoms! FABULOUS! And that last line is a KILLER! ㋡

  7. Great voice and I'm caught in the story. The only suggestion I have is...does anyone remember something from age two or three? Not likely. I'd make the age a bit older, just five or six maybe. Anyway, great job!

  8. I'm hooked and would read on to see about the Falcon.

  9. Interesting. Nice balance between MC moving and thinking. Tighten here and there as already suggested. I think the falcon part is well written but slows the story for me so if the falcon's not relevant to the story as a whole I wouldn't open with it in such detail or save some of it for later.

  10. I would like to read more before deciding if I really like it. So far it catches the imagination and has me interested.

  11. 'My aboriginal friend' is the equivalent to 'he ran his fingers through my long blond hair'.

    My aboriginal friend is condescending and demeaning, like I'm only friends because he's aboriginal or I'm only friends because everyone needs at least one aboriginal friend on their list.

    This wouldn't intrigue me so for me it didn't work. Condoms dialogue etc., didn't necessarily bother me but as a whole I think you really need to work on a hook for this IF this is the 1st page, chapt. 1 submission in my slush pile.

  12. I liked this, but I did think it was a bit rushed. Perhaps spend a bit more time on the box suddenly being there to help create a mysterious tone/mood. And maybe rewrite parg 5.

    I felt like the bird was the intro to the fantasy part, and perhaps Aboriginal ideas and beliefs might play into the mystery/fantasy of it all.

    Small nit - His smile spreading into a chuckle - impossible. A chuckle is a sound.

    I'd read more.

  13. This felt very disjointed to me. The voice in the first few paragraphs changed drastically when he grabbed the little bird, and I understand that in a way it's probably sending him back twenty years, but even still. When a guy is looking for condoms and has getting laid on the brain, this "sit back and reminisce" type moment feels very out of place and doesn't really draw me in. I'd rather see something like this come out later maybe? Or maybe it's his lucky trinket that he always has with him, despite the childishness of it?

  14. I liked this one. Suddenly he's back in his childhood with his Aboriginal friend. Maybe he's afraid of growing up. I would read on to find out who the aboriginal friend is. I also want to know what happens when he goes to the party.