Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #26

GENRE: Adult Fantansy

The frigid metal plank leeched all the heat from her body, sucking it up and destroying it without a trace. The table didn't get any warmer, and she only got colder. But today, Essence didn't care. Her mind failed to register anything that happened to her strapped-down body. It raced and worked, amplifying the noises of the outside world, cataloging the technicians’ activities, prioritizing her escape.

Hollowed screams bounced down the concrete hall outside her cell. An unforgiving march as soldiers dragged a new inmate along. Another captive like her, but also not like her.

Essence’s ears perked, hearing the scrappy push and pull of resistance. Quieting the urgency of her mind, she tried to see if she recognized the woman. The unit stopped at an empty cell. The woman shrieked again as metal batons shoved her in. The heavy door rattled closed, scratching at its hinges. A jarring sound, and never a good thing. Either they captured someone new, or they extracted someone old. Neither would ever be seen again. An icy shiver ran through Essence’s body.

The woman called out. Grief—more than pain, more than fear—filled her cries. The voice sounded young, too young. Shaking her head, Essence’s eyes clouded over and she plunged back deep inside. The new inmate wasn't the one she searched for, the one that led her to this place, the one that got her caught.

But the woman didn't have to worry. In a few minutes, Essence would set her free.


  1. Ooh, chilling and intriguing! My only difficulty was in understanding whether Essence was only able to hear what was going on, or if she was seeing as well (or possibly observing in an extra-sensory way?). The line: 'she tried to see if she recognized the woman' is what's giving me the idea that she can actually see what's going on, but that may not be what you're trying to convey.

    Well done! I would turn to page two for sure!

  2. I would like a little more description of what the cell looks like. At this point, I can't visualize the place or what Essence feels.

    You have a great ending line--would definitely keep me reading.

  3. Very intriguing opening! I love the last line, and that would definitely make me read on. I was also confused about Essence trying to see if she could recognize the woman...I also assume this is some kind of extra sensory, and if you take it one step further to show us what she's "sensing" or how she's perceiving this woman who is in another room, that would instantly clarify, and be really cool, too.

  4. Thank you; that's really helpful feedback!!

  5. I agree with the others. I also really like the name "Essence," different and very fitting in your context. You write very descriptively, but I would like more info about the location and Essence's implied telepathy. Great first and last lines. Good luck!

  6. I think this could be tightened up a little bit. There are tons of sensory descriptions here, almost to the point of repetition (for instance, if a metal plank is leeching the heat from her body, is it necessary to describe it as 'frigid'?) I think if you cut a few (just a few -- I'm not a "no adjective/adverb" proponent) of the descriptors of setting and senses, you could give me some hints of Essence's personality before the last line, which is a killer.

    Even as it stands, I'd be intrigued enough to read on.

  7. Interesting way to start, with the MC strapped to a metal table. I get the idea that she has some sort of ESP, but it is unclear whether she uses only sound to know what's happening beyond her cell, or if her consciousness leaves her body so she can see.

    I think you have several opportunities to trim words and leave the nitty gritty of the story. As an example: The metal plank leeched all heat from her body, yet remained cold as (the mountains/iced-over lakes of her homeland, her father's colorless eyes, the sword of her enemy ... you get the idea). Essence didn't care. She disengaged from her body, strapped down and freezing to death/sucked nearly dry. Her ears gathered every sound from beyond her concrete/sterile/cramped cell for her mind to catalog and organize toward escape.

    A few little details could also shed some light on Essence's past and what landed her in this situation.

    Also consider having her identify the screams as female, or the place where she's held as only for females, before she tries to 'see of she recognizes the woman.' (Or struggled to identify to woman. This way you avoid both 'try' and 'see.')

    I really like the last line, also.

  8. I loved the descriptions in this and it put me right in the middle of the situation. However, I felt that a little bit more emotion from Essence and how she felt being trapped there was needed. I also wondered about the last line. How can she set the woman free when she can’t even save herself? But it did make me curious about who the inmate she was searching for was, the person that seemed to have betrayed her and put her in her prison. For that part, I’d try to add in a little more hate and possibly desperation in finding that person as they seemed to be a prime antagonist to the story.

    Thanks for entering!