Wednesday, September 23, 2015

September Secret Agent #35

Title: Coincidences
Genre: Fantasy

The car Luke rented looked like it had been in a demolition derby. I had to hand it to rental place—keeping the bumper on with chicken wire was some kind of sorcery.

My head hit the window as we bounced over a crater in the Mexican toll road. I rubbed my forehead, giving Luke, my partner, a pointed look.

He didn’t notice. No surprise there—he’d ignored the last three questions I’d asked. Before I thought better of it, I reached over, chose an arm hair, and plucked it out by the root.

“Hey! What was that for?” Luke rubbed his arm while his thoughts seared into my mind. One of the bonuses of our position: telepathic link. It was great for communicating while invisible, but a serious liability when it came to privacy. Unfortunately, the switch that kept my thoughts to myself shorted out like wiring chewed by a neurological rat.

I held up my hands with a grin and slipped into the non-visible realm. The air around me shifted, like I had walked into an air-conditioned room after being outside in scorching hot weather.

“Funny. You know I can still see you,” Luke said with a little tilt to his lips.

Wasn’t that the truth. Luke was the only person I couldn’t hide from. Of course, whether or not he wanted to find me was a whole other matter.

“What’s got you wound so tight?” I asked.

Luke shook his head, dark brown hair falling into his eyes.


  1. I like this one. There's a feeling of action without dumping us straight into something we can't figure out. Down to nuts and bolts they're essentially just riding in a car, but the details about the state of the car and the road and the location give a sense of place and a hint of an interesting purpose without overload. And it gives a great way to intro the unique bits of this world and these characters. The voice comes through too, which strengthens the whole.

    I'd totally read more.

  2. Loved this! The voice is fantastic. I love that you weave their special powers into a normal scene, and everything is introduced very organically. I'm dying to know if the MC is a guy or girl, but other than that, I can't point out a thing that needs changing. I would definitely keep reading!

  3. This was great! I want to read more, not just to find out if the MC is female, but I'm hoping she is. Totally agree with everything in the first two comments.

  4. Hello!

    I liked this. A good voice and an interesting magic system. Why does the MC need a partner? Is it a law-enforcement deal?

    Anyway, there were some good lines in this:

    'I had to hand it to rental place—keeping the bumper on with chicken wire was some kind of sorcery.'

    'Unfortunately, the switch that kept my thoughts to myself shorted out like wiring chewed by a neurological rat.' (although I think you should edit to 'had shorted out', assuming it doesn't work anymore)

    While you do a good job of introducing the magic and the world, I sincerely hope that we're about to get into some conflict/tension after Luke being wound tight, as without something exciting coming up, this beginning would seem quite slow. But as long as we get to the good stuff soon, I really liked this.

    Well done and good luck!

  5. Interesting! Your writing is sound and you have a nice voice. I also felt grounded in the setting--it's easy to identify being in a bumpy car, so it made the introduction of the special powers less jarring. It felt natural.

    The only suggestion I have might be to have us actually hear Luke's thoughts as they sear into the MC's mind. Show us how the link works.

    Nicely done! I wish I could read further.

  6. This is some serious fantasy! And I like the idea of an older MC. Though, I have to agree with Utah, showing us Luke's thoughts would be good. At the moment, that paragraph is in the passive, but if you let us 'hear' what Luke said it would bring it into the active and the description of the telepathic link would flow more naturally rather than being an info dump.

  7. Quick question: I guess italics don't show up? In case anyone is curious, all of Luke's lines should be italics because they are his thoughts.... :)

  8. I really like this. I think some of the formatting got dropped so it took me a couple of read-throughs to get what was being said and what was telepathic and how the scene worked. I’m curious as to the gender of the MC and I would like it cemented earlier on. But I love the imagery here, I love the turns of phrase you use. Especially the neurological rat comment. But you gave us great insight into the world, great world building, and an introduction to the magic system that doesn’t at all feel forced.

    It’s one I’d definitely read more of for sure.

  9. My thought is that you need to get in why they are in, or going to, Mexico, and what is bugging Luke. The invisibility and telepathy aren’t enough because we have no idea why they use/need it. It’s one of the perks of their position, but we don’t know what their position is. If we know why they’re in Mexico and what they plan to do, we have a goal, and if we know what’s bugging Luke, we have a problem. The goal and the problem are what will pull me in.