TITLE: Wicked Spirits
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
If my best friend wasn’t already dying, I’d kill her for this.
The man in front of me eyed me coldly, his gaunt face a mask of displeasure. I inhaled slowly and tried to center myself with some yoga-breathing. He noticed my discomfort and smirked.
I wondered at the cruel jest my life had become as I stared down one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. My body tensed, deciding between fight or flight.
Then I remembered my promise to her, and mustered the courage to give it a shot.
“Diah didn’t mention your name when she set this up,” I said, trying to start the conversation with the grim figure seated across from me. “I’m Vesshana—Vess for short,” I offered.
He looked at me flatly. “My name can only be properly pronounced in the throes of agony,” he answered, taking a sip from glass of sweating ice water on the table.
“Oh,” I answered, wondering what the hell I should call him. I certainly didn’t plan on ending up in any kind of throes tonight, let alone agony. “So what do you go by?”
The ice clinked against his teeth as he responded, “Walter.”
I suppressed a laugh. “Ok, Walter,” I said with a smile. Judging by his demeanor, probably the first and only of the evening. “So what do you do for fun?”
I don't have a lot of critique here. I love this opener. It's got a great voice, we get into the main character's head right away, we see the situation unfold without any info dumping, and your descriptions are great. The ice, 'Walter's' reactions...ReplyDelete
The first sentence kind of threw me off. It's catchy, and it definitely drew me in. I think it's the use of 'best friend'. It feels out of place in the midst of this fluid narration. I'd rather see the character's name there (I'm assuming Diah), and find out later that she was the best fried. But that's a nit-picky thing. Great job and good luck ^_^
I'll just echo Loralie's praise. This was very nice. I'd love to keep reading.ReplyDelete
My only critcism would be that I have a problem with the friend's name. Diah sounds like the first part of diarrhea, and that's a problem for me. Maybe that's just personal, but it's a reaction to consider.
I really liked this, it's a very good opener that drew me in instantly. The voice of the MC comes across great, and the name Walter made me laugh. ;)ReplyDelete
Thanks so much for the feedback! Also, I can't stop laughing about Abbe's "Diah" comment. It's pronounced DEE-ah, but I could imagine the horror of thinking her name is like diarrhea.ReplyDelete
Love this! I especially love the shift in mood-- it's frightening at first because it's a meeting with some sort of monster, and then when you find out it's (I think) a blind date, that's just hilarious. I'd keep reading, for sure.ReplyDelete
I'm not sure what the tone of this is supposed to be as it seems somewhat at odds with itself.ReplyDelete
You have her friend who's dying. And staring down one of the four Horsemen. Both of these seem pretty serious.
Then the MC's chatting with the Horseman, almost joking with him. Which gives it a much lighter tone.
It's interesting and I'd probably read on, I'm just not sure if I like the contrast in tone. It could work, I'd just need to read more than one page to find out if it worked for me as a reader or not.
I thought this was a nice start. I liked the humor.ReplyDelete
I did want to know why she was there, but I can wait a bit longer to find out. And I would have liked a bit more description of the horseman. I wanted to know which one he was. I believe they all had different colored horses, so you might state the horse's color to give us a clue, even if she herself doesn't know.
I though Diah was a typo for Dinah, and I would have also pronounced it DIE UH.
All small stuff. I'd read more.
On a date with one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Who goes by Walter. I'm hooked. (And I didn't have any problems with the names.)ReplyDelete
I really liked this, like the way it was written and I found it entertaining. Brill.ReplyDelete
Ha, this is really fun by the end. But the beginning had me focusing on too many things at once. I might just start at "I wondered at the cruel jest..." and replace "I remembered my promise to her" with "I remembered my promise to my best friend." Honestly, the best friend dying thing makes me more anxious than anything, and it's tough to enjoy the humor as much when I'm like BUT WAIT WHAT ABOUT THE WHOLE HER BEST FRIEND DYING THING.ReplyDelete
I LOVE the voice here. “My name can only be properly pronounced in the throes of agony”--hilarious. Just wanted to pop by and say well done!ReplyDelete
Love the first line! Love the voice and the MC so far... I remained hooked throughout the entire excerpt! This is great! Wonderful job!ReplyDelete
Like most of the others who commented, I really enjoyed your voice in this passage.ReplyDelete
I agree with Loralie about the first sentence - I'd use the best friend's name here.
I really enjoyed Walter's description of his name and then laughed out loud when he said he goes by Walter, haha.
I would definitely keep reading :) Great job and good luck!
I want more! This author pulls you right in. Great flow and perspective:)ReplyDelete
I. am. hooked. While there may be a shift in tone, that is what I appreciate so much. I go from suspicion and an ounce of fear to laughing out loud. The name choices are great. If the name was "Ria" or "Reah" that's when I would get the poop reference. haha!ReplyDelete
Heavy. I'm intrigued and wanted more. I was grabbed immediately by the tone and darkness of the topic from the small sample you gave.ReplyDelete
I am absolutely intrigued by this... and a little jealous. I could never write like this and this is only 250 words!ReplyDelete
Okay, I admit, I was tickled by this. You had just the right amount of mix of fantasy and mundanity, so that I felt neither tricked nor bored. Blind date with a horseman of the apocalypse; I am most definitely amused. However, while I felt your dialogue was spot on, some of the writing around it got in the way. “My name can only be properly pronounced in the throes of agony” sets up the problem and is its own punchline. You don’t need Vess adding, “…wondering what the hell I should call him. I certainly didn’t plan on ending up in any kind of throes tonight, let alone agony.” And you don’t need her suppressing a laugh later or pointing out that Walter probably isn’t a barrel of laughs. Humor is a razor edge, and with a situation this hilarious, you don’t need to explain the joke. Trust that it speaks for itself.ReplyDelete