Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Secret Agent Contest #14

TITLE: Whispers Under Covers
GENRE: Contemporary YA

Graham slithered through the hall. His usual victims scrambled out of his way, but he ignored them. His beady eyes stayed focused on his next target. Mary stuffed books into the locker next to me, not realizing the danger that approached.

"Where can I get something this fashionable?" Graham asked, grabbing the homemade dress Mary wore.

She tried to pull away, but her struggles didn't earn her freedom. Instead, seams ripped and everything fell apart. Mary's eyes widened and she clutched her clothes in a futile attempt to maintain her decency.

She failed. Her desperate grabs made the damage worse. Tears welled in her eyes and she slumped onto the hallway floor.

A throng of students gathered, drawn to disaster like moths to a flame. Graham's lips contorted into a twisted grin.

"Mary, Mary why are your panties so scary?" The crowd howled with laughter. Mary's face turned crimson. She shifted her hands to hide panties that looked home sewn too.

"Mary, Mary..." Graham began again. The crowd leaned forward.

Not me. I didn't want to hear it. He'd mouthed off at me all semester in Algebra like an annoying gnat I couldn't get rid of. But now I had the opportunity to squash him.

"...why are your legs so -"

Graham didn't get to finish. My fist slammed into his jaw. He dropped like a bag of Chemistry books and hit the floor with a thud.

He'd made Mary's day s*****. But now Graham was the guy who'd been knocked out by a girl.


  1. I love that the main is a girl. Graham is horrible, maybe a bit too horrible. I can't imagine a boy yanking on a girl's clothes, but maybe that's just me.

  2. Nice -- I love the little reveal at the end! I'd read more.

  3. I do like it, but I don't see the dress scene as all that believable. I teach low-income students and see a lot of homemade clothes - a simple pull is not going to completely destroy it. Just my two cents! Good luck!

  4. I liked the surprise at the end, but I, too, didn't believe the homemade clothes falling apart. They'd be made just as well as store bought clothes. They just wouldn't be 'fashionable.'

    I also didn't buy that Mary didn't say a word. SHe didn't tell Graham to stop. She didn't call him a jerk. She didn't scream or cry out. This just wasn't believable to me.

    And while I liked her turning out to be a girl at the end, there isn't anything here that says what the story is about. The main problem could be anything at this point.

  5. Hmmm--I had trouble with slithered, but I see what you're trying to get across. I saw shades of CARRIE, and I could believe that Mary would not be the type to fight back or speak out. I was that kid:( But the homemade clothes was a stretch for me.Homemade can often be made better and stronger than the sales rack. Maybe there's something else you can pull out. Also, I wanted some sensory--You say the crowd, but in high school something like this would be huge. Kids would be jostling and hooting and hollering. The hall floor would be dusty or littered, and lunch would be cooking down the hall. Bad lunch! These are just thoughts. I loved CARRIE, so I'd read further. Nice!

    Sorry, but I really did. This is so wonderful. I'd buy it in a heartbeat as is, and read on for sure. I love that the narrator ended up being a girl. I "whooped!" when Graham went down. This is just fantastic!
    Great job,
    Ninja Girl

    The one phrase I might reconsider was "but her struggles didn't earn her freedom." Seemed just a little off, but like I said, Awesome! That is the word for this story. Loved it

  7. Questions I had to ask myself that distracted me from enjoying the ah-ha: is Graham a snake?; why doesn't protag protect Mary BEFORE Graham strikes if she sees him coming? Does Graham have special powers? Is Graham's special torture stripping his victims? Is he multidimensional evil or just evil for evil's sake?