Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August Secret Agent Contest #17

GENRE: Mystery/ Fantasy

The lifeless body taunted me with its secrets. "Male. Three feet, two inches tall. Post-mortem weight ninety-six pounds. Ligature marks on the neck suggest strangulation." I turned off the voice recorder and leaned on the exam table.

A dead leprechaun. That's what I have to work with. A dead freakin' leprechaun. At least with a dead vampire I could start with DNA testing and find the family members of his most recent victims, but how was I to find the killer of a leprechaun? Investigate The Gold Exchange?

Searching both of his pouches, I learned two things. One: whoever it was must have known that the single gold coin was nothing more than a decoy because it remained in the leprechaun's pouch. Two: the silver shilling was gone. It was my first break in the case. Once the shilling returned, I could place a reverse trace on it to... to do what? No one uses shillings any more, not even the creatures I investigate in the Mythological Victims Unit.

The sound of the door swinging open interrupted my thoughts. "Alright, Cutter. Whatcha got?"

"S***, Frank. That's what I got. S***." I turned to face my supervisor. Normally, I didn't mind Frank's cocky swagger, but this time everything about him irritated me from his neatly combed hair to his shoes which seemed permanently shined.

He looked over my shoulder. "Good thing he's dead. He might be offended to hear someone call him s***. Respect the dead. He's a leprechaun."


  1. This is a good place to start the story, and I like what you're writing! It sounds both exciting and fun, and I'd definitely keep reading.

    There are some things a bit confusing at the beginning - such as who is talking. I assume it's her recording herself, but I wish you'd said she was talking into the voice recorder. She could, theoretically, be listening to something already recorded. Then, what was she expecting besides a dead leprechaun? A live leprechaun? A vampire that would give the clues to the leprechaun's death? I mean, this case is about a murdered leprechaun, so of course that's what she's working with.

    "his shoes which seemed permanently shined." sounds awkward to me. I would say something like "his permanently shined shoes" or "the seemingly permanent shine of his shoes". Even substituting "that" for "which" could help.

    I'm also not sure about the last sentence. Do you mean, "Don't call him shit, call him a leprechaun"? Otherwise, I'm trying to figure out why him being a leprechaun is important enough to comment on. It's not like she didn't notice.

  2. I really like the idea of having such parallel between what a real medical examiner would find and one that works on magical creatures. I liked the voice of the main character and her sarcasm.

    I got a bit confused like Elemarth did about who was talking-if she was talking into the recorder or playing it back.
    I also didn't get that she was insulting the leprechaun by calling him a s*** but rather she didn't have anything to report.

    Your story sounds fun and like something I'd like to read.

  3. I'd keep reading. It starts strong and leaves me wanting to know who killed the leprechaun! Good job.

  4. I love the originality of this and the humorous voice. I've been very pro-leprechaun since reading "American Gods!" Sounds like the rules of your world are well ordered too.

    I also don't think the last sentence is necessary - you may be trading too heavily on the originality of the leprechaun idea - but that's nitpicky. I'd love to read this.

  5. I thought this worked really well. My only suggestions -

    Parg 2 - That's what I 'had' to work with, to keep everything in past tense. And I'd cut - respect the dead. He's a leprechaun.

    I did like the idea of Investigating the Gold Exchange. So may ideas came to mind!

    Good luck with it!

  6. Definitely an odd world we've entered, but I'm not a fan of the quick download of intel to get us oriented to this world. I prefer a more gradual assimilation into strange worlds. In general, just too much telling, not enough showing.

  7. Thanks, everyone for your comments, especially the SA. I went back and analyzed the scene through fresh eyes and fixed the issue you pointed out. I dropped the second paragraph and delayed the mention of the leprechaun until Frank called him one.