Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #19

TITLE: Lunatic Squad
GENRE: YA Science Fiction

I pounded the last nail in the coffin. Just another day’s work getting the pretend dead bodies ready.

            “Only ten days until opening night,” Scout muttered as she unfolded one of the many bloodstained sheets we had. She tossed them from the back of my cousin, Kincaid’s, pickup truck.

       Kincaid sat his lazy carcass on one of the lawn chairs in front of the porch. The house was soon to be the fabulous Nightmare Lane. Our family’s haunt or better yet reason number eleven I was an inconvenience to them.

            “You know, this would go a lot faster if you got off your ass.” I smiled at him with all the lovely sarcasm I could muster. I huffed and puffed. Pushed sweaty pieces of my ginger hair aside.

            “Why don’t you just use your powers?” he sighed. “It’s such a waste of time doing this the normal way.”

            “Because Grandpa’s gonna know,” I said, resisting the annoying urge to add “duh.”

            “Duh,” Scout said as she hopped out of the truck’s bed and wiped her hands on her ripped jeans.

    We may have been fraternal twins―Scout had all the color while I had zero―but our heads were always in sync no matter what. I could count on it.

            “The moon’s full. And you promised, Salem,” Kincaid pointed out as he took a sip of his bottle of coke, sitting up taller in the lawn chair with that stupid smug look on his face. I guess he wasn’t tall enough already.


  1. I love the voice here, and the setting we're immersed in - prepping a haunted house - is a ton of fun. I hope we get more details about that in the next page. The sentence about her being an 'inconvenience' plants a question, for sure. I'd like a little more of a hint about why she's an inconvenience, or why the haunted house is connected to that, before we charge on into the next paragraph.

    Really well done!

  2. Good job! I, too, have questions about her being an 'inconvenience', which only means I want to read on. I liked the idea of this happening around prepping for a haunted house. It sounds fun, but creepy. And I liked the dialogue. It felt natural. I wondered, though, if Salem has powers, wouldn't her twin also have them? And why wouldn't Kincaid as her, too. I did have to reread due to so many characters and making sure I had all of them straight, but overall, I'd keep reading. Good job!

  3. The opening lines really drew me in and I have a good sense of the three character's personalities.

    I am very curious about Salem being an inconvenience, though I wonder if there are commas missing in that fragment: Our family's haunt, or better yet, reason number eleven ...

    Just a few questions: where does Scout toss the sheets to? Why is Salem huffing and puffing-what is she doing that she's sweaty and her hair is in her face? Salem has zero color yet has ginger hair?

    There are a few tense anomalies that confused me: 'We may have been fraternal twins ...', 'I could count on it,' 'I guess ...'

    Sounds like an interesting world with a haunted house and a girl with powers, maybe the power to get her lazy cousin off his butt. ;-)

  4. I had to pause on that second sentence on the words “…pretend dead bodies ready”. What did that mean? A little better clarification is needed. From the later sentences, it seems like they’re getting a haunted house set up so I would rework that phrase so that it’s maybe something like “the pretend dead bodies that will be hidden in here.” Or you could potentially even take out the word pretend and really pique the readers’ interests so they’re wondering why Salem is getting a coffin ready and what she plans on doing with it, which would really get them to keep reading.

    I loved the character’s name, Salem. Sounds awesome.

    I didn’t understand what that last sentence was trying to portray. Kincaid sat up and she guessed he wasn’t tall enough already. What did that mean? Try to clarify here as well. This has a lot of potential.

    Thanks for entering!