Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Secret Agent #1

TITLE: Water Speaker
GENRE: YA Modern Fantasy

The pebbles had started growing again. I ran as fast as I could, but by the time I reached them, they'd blown up to the size of refrigerators and blocked the entire length of the playing court. Behind them, my opponent merrily dribbled the ball towards my goal.

Not now. Not this game. Focus on his weakness.

Right. Focus. I never had to tune out the screaming spectators; perks of being a deaf athlete. So I breathed deep and recalled my research on this opponent. His boulder-growing magic was nice and all, but it made him a one-trick pony. Once he set up his stupid barriers, he became like a soccer player, moving the ball with nothing but his feet.

I, on the other hand, had my water.

I cupped my hands, and the floating puddle next to me flowed through my fingers, letting me manipulate it like putty. The words "25 meters to goal" flew across the glowing blue scoreboard.

I sent two jets of water flying into the closest boulders. They broke clean through. The fake rocks fell to pieces, sending decent vibrations through the rubber flooring. I leapt over the rubble, and my lungs seized with the dusty air.

"15 meters to goal," flashed the scoreboard. How had he passed the center line already? I split the water again, creating a line of four liquid globes. No problem seeing my opponent now – his uniform was a blazing red and yellow monstrosity. But the gap between us was huge.


  1. Wow, this is the first entry I read and I'm totally hooked. I love how you make such unrealistic things seem so ordinary. And a funny hearing impaired MC is someone I can instantly get behind. Red and yellow monstrosity. HA!

  2. This is brilliant! I love how the scene comes to life, how deeply we're in your character's viewpoint, and the world-building comes across effortlessly (which is SO hard to do). I'm not just awestruck, I'm envious. Beautifully done!

  3. This sounds like a fun and interesting premise! I remember it from a previous contest.

    I'm wondering if you might start this just a bit earlier than the game, the reason being that I don't have time to acclimate myself to this world.I don't know if the MC is playing a professional sport, or this is game between schools, or what. And I don't know what the stakes are.Is it a friendly game?Is it imperative that the MC wins? Starting a bit earlier would give you the opportunity to get that in.

    You could also cut pargs 3 and 4.The M is an athlete, and would be making split second decisions, and often, he wouldn't even think about him. He would just react. Thinking and rationalizing about what he is about to do, or should do, slows this tremendously. It would much more exciting without those two pargs.

  4. Next time, I'll proofread before I hit send. :-)

  5. I like the suggestion to back up a little for some context. Once I had an idea what was happening, this was enjoyable. I kept going back to the first line just not getting it until I got to the line about boulder-growing magic. I'm afraid if paragraphs 3 and 4 are cut, then we lose all context. Perhaps the MC walking into the match, before it starts, would give a nice set up. He/she can contemplate for a line, you can show the setting in another line, and introduce the arena/field/etc and the game begins.

    This reminded me of The Last Airbender with manipulating elements. Could be very cool!

  6. I was completely drawn in by this. I can see why the first line may have thrown off some, but I think that's personal taste - every reader is different. Just speaking for myself, I didn't need to have context for the first line, I just went with it! The magical fantasy element was offset really well with the subtle way you wove the character and setting into the narrative. I really want to find out what's going on and immerse myself in the worldbuilding, and find out more about the characters - the hearing impaired MC particularly!

    I really hope this gets picked up. It feels like a Last Airbender meets The Hunger Games, and the concept is really cool!

    Best of luck!

  7. I am loving this. This is great.. I enjoy the voice and I love the fact that the MC has a disability. This is fun. I think this is great. Good Job! And good luck ! :D

  8. Interesting premise! A magical sporting event is a great way to open, and you introduce an intriguing world here. I admit that I did a bit of a double take on that first line, but I was quickly pulled into the action.