Wednesday, September 10, 2014

September Secret Agent #7

TITLE: The Sinner Rose
GENRE: Adult Fantasy

The streets of Yuin are no place for love.

Only for death.

I creep through the shadows, wearing all black in a city of pale stone. Even at night, Yuin is never dark. The fire light worms along my skin, exposing me. It reflects off my long braid, flares into my amber eyes, and draws smudges under the sharp lines of my body.

My shoulder guard pings against a white eithra-stoned wall. I press myself closer and tilt away from the glow. The darkness shields better than any armor.


I reach for the polished hilt of my cutlass.

A wine bottle rolls into the alley. A giggling couple stumble out after it. The woman’s laughter grows to a squealing chuckle. She clutches her sides, bunching up the flowing layers of orange, pink and purple that make up her long pleated dress. The man’s grin is wide enough to crack his face. They scamper toward the bottle, reaching for it.

The woman's glazed eyes rise to meet mine. Her laughter cuts off.

F***. I hate it when people see me.

She tries to stand straight, but wobbles. The man frowns at her. She grasps his hand and pulls him close.

“It’s one of them.”

The man straightens. When he makes out my shape, he pales. A mewing sound escapes his throat.

Just perfect. I try to smile. The corner of my lips jerk up.

Everything grows quiet, but for the distant music of vihuelas and bongo drums.


  1. I love the contrast in this sentence: "I creep through the shadows, wearing all black in a city of pale stone." Lovely imagery.

    Really great descriptions throughout. My inclination would be start the chapter with the sentence I noted above - because it's a powerful image and immediately makes the ready curious to know why your MC is creeping through the shadows.

    Overall, great job!

  2. Honestly, a lot of this is really working for me.

    The one thing that isn't: Clink!

    It feels like a short cut in the narrative. It feels somewhat childish. Of course, this is my opinion. But you had me going until Clink. I'm willing to go along with you in terms of what she's doing because I trust her, I trust the narrative.

  3. I liked it except for "shoulder guard pings" and "clink." Tighten up this small quibbles and it's a great opening!

  4. I really, really liked this and wanted to read more. You've done a lovely job setting up this world--I could visualize it so well.

    I wasn't sure what the 'clink' was for--his cutlass, or a sound that made him draw his cutlass?

    Why does he hate people noticing him when he wears all black in a white city? It seems like he's inviting it.

  5. This is well done. I didn't like the "clink" and I had to re-read the ping of the shoulder guard sentence twice to figure out what you meant. I liked "I try to smile. The corner of my lips jerk up." That's brilliant. It's so NOT a smile. :-)

  6. I enjoyed this. I could see that couple coming for their wine bottle.

    A few things.

    Maybe say - Only death - instead of Only for death.

    Instead of telling us she's wearing all black in a city of white, show us.

    Maybe - The 'corners' of my lips etc- rather than 'corner'

    Maybe cut the 'for' in the last sentence.

    I'd read more.