Wednesday, October 24, 2012

October Secret Agent #5

TITLE: Embrol
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

Mom died on my seventeenth birthday. We held her funeral two days before the tenth anniversary of Dad’s death. So the random sightings of blond curls that disappeared the moment I turned to get a better look didn’t make me crazy, just sleep-deprived and desperate for an escape.

Though, I’d take crazy over this nightmare any day.

I sat on the loveseat farthest from the casket, a shiny black monstrosity with silver handles. Patty said it was elegant, like that mattered. It would be buried underground, never to be seen after today. And that wasn’t my mom in there, not anymore.

“Livy?” Patty tucked my long bangs behind my ear. I resisted the urge to release them, so I could go back to hiding behind their auburn curtain. “You sure you don’t want to see her? You still have a few minutes.”

As if a few minutes could change my last memory of her or the hateful words I’d said.

“I don’t want to remember her like that.” I stared at my lap, willing the stupid tears to retreat. Golden hair flickered in my peripheral vision, but I didn’t look. He wouldn’t be there.

“I need to talk to the funeral director,” she said. “Will you be okay for a minute?”

Yes. Go. Leave me alone. But I couldn’t say that. Annoying as her never-ending attention was, she meant well, just doing her job as my pseudo-grandmother and legal guardian.

The loveseat shifted as someone settled down beside me. Familiar fingers wrapped around mine.


  1. When I read the opening line, it seemed like this was looking back on the past, as in her mother died several years before, so I was surprised to see it was a few days. Mainly in the way it's phrased, I'd say.

    Also, there's nothing here that stands out to me. It could be any number of stories about a girl who lost her mom. It's missing a spark that would grab my attention and clutch onto it for a good long while. Not that I'm suggesting a catchy opening line or gimmick to draw in readers, but this just doesn't have that undefinable quality that would keep me reading.

  2. "I'd take crazy over this nightmare any day" deserves to be higher I think. There's not anything in here to indicate that this is sci-fi other than your genre label, so that would be something to consider.

  3. Verb Police have been dispatched! Establishing setting and time is crucial in the first few paragraphs.

  4. The first paragraph led me to believe the funeral was over, but then the MC is sitting in a funeral home. I'd scratch the first paragraph and start at "I sat on the loveseat..."

  5. The part that intrigued, and I confess, confused me was the "blond curls" that kept showing up. I feel like that is an important part of the story, but it seemed out of place in the first paragraph.

    I like the part where Patty tucks her hair back and Livy wants to hide behind her hair again. Good image.

    You write well about a funeral and the feelings that they invoke. I do feel for Livy, and I'm curious to see what argument she had with her mom.