Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Secret Agent #14

TITLE: Twenty Five Sundays
GENRE: MG Fantastical

The first time Ellie felt the hum was on aisle three at Junior’s Market. A light vibration tickled the underside of both eyelids while she searched for egg noodles. A swirling gray shadowy shape appeared in the corner of her eye, but then it was gone. She blinked, set her basket down to rub her eyes and the sensation stopped. She picked up her basket again. Where in the world were the egg noodles?

“Can I help?” Junior, the owner of the market, asked, smiling at her while he wiped down his check stand.

Ellie shook her head, probably harder than was polite, but then tossed him a wave just in case. “Got it, thanks.” She’d already asked for help three times. Four felt like too many. She scanned the shelves. Wasn’t like she’d never been in a store by herself before. She was almost thirteen.

“You’re doing great.”

Of course she was doing great. Why wouldn’t she be doing great? The beef stock squatted on the bottom shelf like a frog. She pulled one can—no, two cans—and dropped them into her basket along with the rest of the ingredients for Daddy’s special dinner. Junior’s, despite its small corner-store size, always seemed to have what they needed. Next, she tried to remember whether “cream” on her list meant sour cream or the milk kind of cream.

It was when she passed by the frozen raspberries that her eyelids tingled again.


  1. Oh so good. I really like the set up here. The cans being like frogs set me off a bit but it is cute. The "You're doing great" came out of nowhere almost though. I ?think? it is Junior. But why would he say that? IDK and for a second I thought it was someone else talking to her. A couple lines could be trimmed or cut to get back in the main action sooner, but seems good to me :)

  2. Just a few small nits you may want to look at.

    This starts out as a flashback. Since you give us the whole scene, why not just tell it in real time. You might add what she thought about feeling that sensation.

    If she's in aisle 3 and Jr. is at his check stand, how are they having this conversation?

    And who said she was doing great?

    Nice cliffhanger ending the page.

  3. Your first sentence hooked me to continue. And your last is a page turner. Great writing!

    Who said, "You're doing great?"

    The last two sentences of the 5th paragraph could be left out and you'd come to your page turner faster with some meat attached to it.

    I agree with Barbara about telling it is real time rather than a flashback.

    Keep writing!

  4. I'm intrigued. I do agree with the above comments on the "You're doing great" line. It pulled me from the story because I didn't understand it.

  5. I agree with earlier comment: you could tell this in real time. I am hooked. Want to know about this mysterious tingling and where this will lead. Hope you have good luck with this ms.

  6. I like how the beginning starts with the estranging of the familiar. I also like how the age is quickly established. Haha. I also like her response to his odd sense of need to let her know she's doing great. Immediately synced with the character's response, which pulled me right in. My only main concern here is the last line; the wording, coupled with the first sentence, indicates that we're reflecting on a past time, but also sort of sounds like maybe the "current" *is* in the store and this *is* the now. So, I think maybe those two lines need to be reworked or the beginning needs to be cleaned up a bit to keep the reader in sync. I did like the exchange between the owner and the character's response, though. I always like when other characters don't seem to have gotten the script; it seems more natural than when everyone might as well be mindreading and on the same character motivation line.

    Things I liked
    • great opening
    • unique

    • unclear time (referring to present or past?)