Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Secret Agent Contest #11

GENRE: Adult Paranormal

I gripped the wheel and fought to keep control of my convertible, while it skidded along the dark beach road and smacked onto gritty sand. The car pitched and rolled over the dunes. My head snapped forward and back, and my hair flopped into my eyes. Panic surged through me when I ground the brakes to the floor, and my vehicle picked up speed.

A beach pine appeared in front of my headlights. "Eeeee," I screamed and tried to swerve, but the car slammed into the tree and my head smashed into the dashboard.

Bright light drifted down from above and blinded me. A terrifying silence filled the air.

I floated up and out of my seat. Gusts of cold wind blew across my face and body, but they didn't faze me. Neither did the fact that I could look down, pick out my house, see lights sparkling along Venice Avenue, and watch the surf pounding in from the Gulf of Mexico. Mangroves and slash pines shivered below me along the Florida intracoastal, and swimming pools gleamed like custard cups of shimmering water.

Up and up I went, into the clouds and beyond. I grabbed hold of a passing ladder and climbed to the top.

“Welcome to Halfway Central, Sydney,” a warm voice said.


  1. Yep, I'd read on.
    The "Eeee" seems almost comical. Is it intended that way? Maybe push it harder one way or the other; maybe more of an expletive of fear, or something really bizarre for humor.

  2. She died or at least that is what you want the reader to think. Try editing a few clauses that maaaybe you don’t need. Example, first sentence: “My convertible skidded along the beach road as I fought for control.”

    Please cut “Eeeeee’. Oh, my…puleeze get rid of it. ‘I screamed’ is good enough. “…tried to…” is a phrase you should avoid.

    I am not sure but maybe add ‘waterway’ after ‘intracoastal’?

    IMHO, you can cut “…of shimmering water.”

    I would read on but you could edit some of the extraneous descriptions to tighten this submission.

  3. I thought the pacing was off here. The crash is fast paced, as it should be, but after she hits the tree, you might want to slow it down and get a bit of a pause in there. It continues on at the same pace, which doesn't allow the MC or the reader time for reactions.

    You might reverse the order of the first sentence. The car skidded along the dark beach road and smacked onto grtty sand. I gripped the wheel and fought to keep control.

    Definitely cut the 'Eeee.'

    Perhaps add a reaction between parg 2 and 3 to slow the pace.

    And perhaps as she's leaving her body she might react to that rather than describing the scenery.
    What's she thinking and feeling about being dead and floating away?

    You might also look at tightening it up a bit.

  4. Really? Well, the "Eeee" is fine with me. And I'm not sure what the big deal is. Anyway, I love this and would most definately need to read on. I like that this is a ghost story and we see right away how she becomes a ghost. So often we don't. Nice job. Eeeeee! Sorry:)

  5. Sand is always gritty. Panic surging is one of those botox phrases that sets me off. Same with terrifying silence; shivered, and shimmering. I suppose this is a tension-filled opening gambit, but I'm distracted by all the language choices that I don't approve of. Nit picky again, but there's no need to tell us what the scream sounded like. Moreover, "eeeee" is generally the sound of a titter, not a car-crash scream. Better to just say "I screamed," or, best, leave out the sound of the narrator's exclamation entirely.

  6. I get that she (or he, I don't know)isn't fazed when leaving her body, but wouldn't she be even slightly curious or confused or something?

    I would read more of this. I love the ladder idea.

  7. I really enjoyed it!
    This was a great opening, enjoyed the entire feel you gave to the car being out of control, the breaks failing. One thing I might consider is making the second sentence the first. "The car pitched and rolled over the dunes" is snappier, straightforward. But like I said, I loved this entry :)
    Ninja Girl

  8. Oh, and the title! Love the title!