Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January Secret Agent #11

TITLE: Sector12

The roof was leaking.

Alex stared up at the watermark on the ceiling; she could barely even see it in the low light that radiated from the single light bulb, but there was no mistaking the steady drip of water that fell from the dirty ceiling and buried itself in the moth eaten carpet.

Running a weary hand over her face, Alex dropped her head back and groaned. This was what happened when you rented a rundown piece of junk. Everything would have been so much easier if she lived on campus with everyone else. Unfortunately, there was no way her parents could afford the type of rent that the Nova Rose Institute of Science charged. So instead, she rented a tiny studio apartment that froze in the winter, boiled in the summer and leaked whenever it rained.

“Danny?” Alex called, thumping her fist on the wall above her lumpy old couch. “Do you have a bucket?”

“What do you need a bucket for?” Danny yelled back. His voice sounded hoarse and scratchy as though he hadn’t slept in weeks, and knowing Danny he probably hadn’t. He was two years ahead of Alex at the Institute and already a year into his specialised study. If his workload was any indication, Alex had some serious study ahead of her when she elected to specialise at the end of the year.

“I have a leak,” Alex said, with a sigh.

“Another one?” Danny asked. “How many is that?”

Alex rested her forehead against the cracked plaster. “Three.”


  1. Although it was a little heavy on the exposition, the smooth writing made up for it and I'd read on. (If only because I'm a sucker for Hogwarts-like school dramas.) You know there will always be evil bullies and teachers to hate and fun powers to learn. (Of course this is all speculation because the only thing I know about the MC right now is her hatred of leaks and being poor.)

  2. I really enjoy your writing, but when I read a phrase like 'weary hands' I can't help but think, is her hand actually weary, or is she? Maybe replace that with trembling, or something like that.

  3. I like your writing style, although sometimes you're heavy on adverbs (steady drip, dirty ceiling, moth eaten carpet). It does a good job of setting the scene. It's easy to imagine what the apartment must look like.

  4. I love your first line and your description of the apartment--I feel like I've been in that apartment before. I want to know more aobut the Nove Rose Institute of Science and Alex's relationship with Danny, both of which would keep me reading if there were more here.

    However, I can't figure out if Danny and Alex are in the seperate apartments or if Danny's in the next room. Also, I think you can take the dialogue tags out when Alex says "I have a leak" and Danny says "another one"--or, if you like to leave them in, give us a little more about Alex or Danny. For example, is Danny sympathetic, laughing, annoyed?

  5. I really liked this one - I feel like I get a sense of your character through how she perceives her apartment (admits it's shabby, appreciates its good qualities like the fact that it's cheap, acknowledges but doesn't bemoan being too poor for something else).

  6. My first thought was - her apartment is prone to leaks, it happens often, yet she has to borrow a bucket? You'd think she'd own several all ready. And Danny, who has loaned her several buckets for this very reason, has to ask why she needs one? Wouldn't he assume why?

    Perhaps she might all ready have several buckets under several leaks and need 'another' one, and perhaps Danny might ask "Another leak?"

  7. This opening pulled me right into Alex's world. You did a nice job of setting the scene, and offered up just the right amount of information about the Institute to peak my curiosity, without going into too much detail/backstory right up front. I'm intrigued and would continue reading.