Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April Secret Agent #27

TITLE: An Absence of Light

The dark rind of dried blood wasn’t coming out from under my fingernails no matter how hard I scrubbed. I finally grabbed a paper towel to turn off the faucet and push open the graffiti-coated door.

The gas-station teller read Busty Babes in the Bedroom, his eyes glossy as he turned the page. I dropped the bathroom key attached to the giant wooden dowel in front of him, biting back my “In your dreams” comment—the last thing I wanted was him remembering me.

Turning, I nearly ran into the cop behind me, her coffee mug so large it bordered on a bucket. I stepped out of her way, forcing a smile that probably looked more like a grimace.

Keep calm. She’s not here for you. Take a deep breath and get out of sight. No way the cops had any idea to look for me so far from home. Not yet.

The stolen BMW out back was a different story. Was she waiting for me to return to it so she could pick me up? Had she even seen it?

I tried to walk slowly as I exited the store, though my feet wanted to take off sprinting. I went the opposite direction from the beamer, rounding the other side of the building and ducking behind the gated off area housing a propane tank. The cop’s cruiser sat out front and I could just make out its back bumper.

It was then I noticed the snaking coldness pool around me.


  1. This is another case where 250 words was just enough to slide the scary hook in, although I have to admit the rest of this tense situation would have kept me reading on with interest anyway.

    I wonder how many of us cranked our beginning around to make sure the hook didn't fall off the end of the 250 word line!

  2. What a chilling beginning! We already get a great sense of the stakes to the MC with a cop and a stolen car, but add a snaking coldness to the mix, and I definitely want to keep reading.

    One tiny thing: is "Busty Babes in the Bedroom" a real thing? It kind of threw me off. Maybe just a Playboy? Other than that, everything was super-smooth. Great beginning!

  3. I liked the voice and you definitely have my attention. I would read on for sure.

  4. There is a lot of great imagery here. I like that you lead with the protag cleaning out the blood from underneath their fingernails. I liked that you note that the counter guys eyes are glossy, but what about the cop? Is she looking at the protag? The coffee tells us a detail of why the cop is there, but I would think that the protag would be focused on reading her face. Do they see something there that makes them think they are done for? Great place to start, def makes me want to read on. Good luck!

  5. Really like this, hooked! Only thing I'dd add is I hope you explain her predicament a bit more very soon, I don't like keeping things artificially from the reader for too long. But very nice!

  6. That last line's sufficiently creepy to make me want to continue reading.

  7. Yes I would read on. I am interested how this story will turn into Sci-Fi. I guess that is foreshadowed in the last line.

  8. Very well done. I would read on as well, and I'm really wondering about the sci fi element to come. I also got caught up on the corny name for the girlie magazine - the humor of it didn't fit into such a tense scene.

  9. I'd read on to find out if the snaking coldness is alluding to the sci-fi element - or if it's something as simple as propane leaking from the tank near her.

  10. I think this is my favorite. :)