Wednesday, April 5, 2017

April Secret Agent #44

GENRE: YA Romance

Our last night together we sit on the hood of my Taurus and gaze at the endless summer sky.  He won’t be back for three weeks. Maybe it wouldn’t seem so awful if we hadn’t spent every spare minute together since we made up in July. Or if he was allowed to be part of the new millennium and have a cell or a laptop.

“Make a wish,” I say when the first star of the night winks at us. I wish for him to have a great first week at college and turn my eyes to the pale, crescent moon.

Twenty-one days. Four hours away. 
I can’t think about that though. I can’t even imagine it. My body rises and falls as he breathes and I lose myself in the perfectness of being here in this moment, feeling his heat flood my back. A moment that tastes of forever and happily-ever-after.

Then I ruin it.

“How can you look at that sky and not believe in God?”

He’s twirling a strand of my long brown hair around his finger. “Stace…” There’s a tiny warning there. He won’t be dragged into that conversation again.

The reminder starts to crimp the edges of the perfectness.

Before the frown has time to fully form on my face, he kisses my shoulder, then slips his hands beneath my shirt to my bare stomach and the moment is all poetic again.

Then he ruins it by sliding his fingertips inside the waistband of my shorts.


  1. Wow, I love this entry! It's filled with character (the mc clearly adores her bf, and has a very deep connection to God) as well as tension and pacing. I like that the bf is going off to college, a very relatable issue for teens to deal with, and it adds even more tension that he doesn't believe in using technology. Only suggestion I have (and I really had to try to find one): setting. Try to describe it a little more, just drop a few hints to let us know where in the US they are. :) Otherwise, fantastic job!

  2. Nice writing! I'm curious why he's not allowed to be part of the new millennium and find this kind of a big issue on top of their theological issue. Maybe the lack of cell phone and laptop is not a big deal and it's just something his parents won't let him have? If so, I'd clarify this with another line or a few words as it is unusual for a teen not to be plugged in these days. I'm also kind of wondering why she would bring up God right at this moment when her biggest issue is his going to college soon and how much she'll miss him. I think your writing is really strong, just seems like several major issues in only 250 words to bring up. I wonder if others will agree or if it's just me. Great job overall!

  3. I like where this is going.

    One suggestion: cut the opening paragraph and move it down...maybe to after Then I ruin it.


    Good luck!

  4. Oh, I like this. The conflicts are all so true to life. This is what kids deal with.

    I'd like to see the narrator's thoughts turning from worry about the boyfriend going to college toward the awe-inspiring beauty of the sky. I'd like to feel the swell of emotion that inspires her to 'ruin' things, knowing it will break the moment. This is obviously a difference of opinion that they've been struggling with for quite a while, and she's worried about losing him, so her emotions must be very strong to bring up God. (Not being a person of faith, I'd appreciate the insight into her worldview.)

    I love the last line. It tells us a lot about the MC's other beliefs (presumably no sex before marriage, and limited touching), and the ongoing issues that made them break up previously.

    If this were on a bookstore shelf, I would totally buy it!

  5. I had a Taurus before so I had to read this :) I liked the character introduction and the word placement seems on point. My only question is if he's not allowed to have a computer or phone, why? It raises a curious question and I'm hoping for the answer :)

  6. I liked the dynamic relationship between the two characters, lots of history and passion but also lots of tension. I wanted to savor the moments between the two a little more. Going so fast from good to bad to good and then back to bad gave me a little bit of reading whiplash. I like how the mood changes, but I wanted to spend more time in each mood before changes.

  7. This was micely done. You give us backstory without going into backstory. Everything is said/implied through her thoughts and actions. The reader gets what's going on without you ever saying it.

    The only thing that felt off to me was the BF's "not being allowed" a cell or laptop. The obvious question is why not? It feels like this bit was thrown in as a way to keep these two from communicating easily. Is the BF allowed to use a regular phone? I would assume so. So what's the difference? And what parent would send their child off to college with strict instructions not to use a computer or laptop? It just seems contrived.

    If you have a good explanation of why this is, I think you have to state it. If you don't, perhaps cut that bit. There are lots of reasons why he might not reply to calls or emails - he's studying hard, he's found someone else, he's looking for a way out of the relationship. We really need that statement explained, I think.

  8. I like the title! But I got a little confused by the last sentence in the first paragraph. What made him not be a part of the new millennium and have a cell or laptop? More importantly, why would she say “new millennium” since it’s been that way for a while now. I could see if she called him a Millennial and wondered how both of them would survive without technology, since they couldn’t communicate with each other, but the way it is can be confusing and made me feel like I was missing something.
    I like her connection with God and how she first ruins the moment and then he ruins it. I can tell how much she cares for him and I’m very curious how this will play out.

    Thanks for entering!

  9. You've packed a lot of conflict into these opening words, which I like. I love the spiritual component and I'm intrigued about how that plays into the dynamic of their relationship. I agree with previous comments regarding time and place. I wanted to know more about where they were, but I realize you have 250 words. I'd like a hint at her age. Is she graduating but staying home? Still in high school? The "new millennium" phrase didn't quite work for me. All in all, this is a great start.

  10. There's definitely a lot of good info shown here, and shown well. And what a spot to begin, all intimate and romantic! I do agree that placing the Taurus in a specific place underneath the vast summer sky could add to the atmosphere. How alone are they?

    Like others before me, I got caught on the bf not being 'allowed' technology. I thought it actually seemed contradictory to his not believing in God (in the vein of over-zealous and ultra-religious parents). It's something to look at, though, to make sure it's not contrived simply as a barrier to communication. Even 'connected' people fail to communicate if one party never responds, constantly has a dead device, checks email once a week ... or if one party expects an instantaneous response and texts every two seconds to make sure the other guy isn't dead. You get the idea ...

    I also agree that I would like to see a bridge between the happily-ever-after moment and her decision to ruin it. This would give us a window into her thought processes.

    I like the conflict in philosophies/belief systems and want to know more what each of them base their beliefs on, how they got to this place. I'm guessing this caused the initial break-up and maybe they agreed to disagree to be together again.

    Nice work! Best of luck!