Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #3

TITLE: The Measure of Angels
GENRE: Urban Fantasy Thriller

Seth identifies his brother's body at the morgue.

Kate tensed when the attendant pulled back the draping to reveal Zeke's pale face. The two brothers were identical except for Seth's scar and long hair. While Seth's blond waves fell below his collar, Zeke's hair was shorn Marine-short, just as Kate had seen in her dreams. Everything else was the same: high forehead, strong jaw, shapely lips.

"He was older by four minutes," Seth said, tears choking him. "The first to do everything - to walk, to speak, to kiss a girl..."

The first to die.

Kate's throat constricted when Seth turned to her, grimacing. "He survived the g******ed war and dies like this? Mugged by some vagrant in a park?"

He covered his mouth with a hand and then leaned down, pressing his forehead against his brother's. Kate had seen corpses before but the contrast between their skin shocked her. Seth was so alive, his face flushed red while Zeke was pale, his lips blue.

Kate bit her cheek to ward off tears and thought instead about the bond between identical twins. Only a paranormal explanation could account for everything, but Kate was a scientist and clung to the belief that everything had a material basis. Someone less skeptical would say that Seth's unease last night been a premonition of the murder and that the two were connected in some way not yet detectable to science. Kate wasn't ready yet to believe it, despite the strangeness of the case.

When Detective Bertelli cleared his throat, Seth straightened and wiped his eyes.


  1. I like Seth a lot in this - his reactins seem genuine - he' shocked, angry, doesn't say everything. Kate, i don't like so much - she comes accross as clinical, (maybe she's supposed to be) and her thoughts are a kind of tell-don't-show. If I were you, I would warm her up a little by quoting her exact thoughts, instead of summing them up.
    Overall, though, an good, solid scene.

  2. Seth's response was great. I could feel his shock and grief.

  3. I agree with the above, but considering Kate is a scientist I can see this as her reaction. Very well written. Loved Seth's reaction.

  4. I thought Seth's reaction was well done too--you could feel his emotion.

    The part that gets too clinical for me is the 5th paragraph down. Kate is trying not to cry, but then starts to analyze...

    I did like this and I'd read on.

  5. I like "The firs to die" part. Really brought it home for me. It's real. I think you could make it a tad more emotional, having Seth show just a little more feeling, like tears. Just speaking from experience. But maybe he already knew his brother was dead? When I found out my brother was dead I was in complete shock and the tears came all on their own, I couldn't help it. (I am a girl, but my other brothers acted the same way)

  6. This was a very real scene, I can definitely imagine it happening. It made me think of the twins I know, and that made me cry to imagine one of them losing the other. I loved Seth's reaction.

  7. Author here -- thanks for your feedback! I probably could have included more info in the lead-in didn't have enough space so here is a bit more. The reader would know that Kate has only just met Seth and is trying to appear professional in front of her mentor on one of her first cases. Seth knew his brother was dead, having been told earlier in the day so this is after that initial scene. Hope that helps!