Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Secret Agent #28

TITLE: Fatal Errors
GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction/Suspense

So I’m a hacker—get over it. My boss Patrice sure did, as long as she could use me. But I didn’t realize that until I got fired. That Gypsy sixth-sense Grandma Zigana insists I have failed me miserably.

Patrice had appeared at my cubicle in the college computer center one morning in late November and offered to buy coffee. Of course I accepted. Only after we were seated at Beaner’s did she blindside me.

“You’re firing me?” I echoed.

I clutched my mug of chai, hoping to ward off the chill her announcement caused. My question silenced the chatty barista at the counter behind me, and I wanted the trio at the next table to stop staring. They did when I glared at them.

Patrice looked everywhere but at me as she fidgeted, adding more sugar to her already syrupy coffee, checking her watch.

“You’re firing me,” I repeated, only a tad calmer.

“It’s been brought to my attention that you’ve been bypassing security protocols to gain access to confidential files.” Patrice could have been reading from the employee handbook.

I groped for a semi-professional answer, glad most of the Gem City Business College students—at least anyone I knew—were gone for the long holiday weekend. I hate scenes.

Silence stretched while a scathing response eluded me. My mood dropped to match the gloomy November weather. Twice in my twenty-four years, my hacking had backfired, leaving me betrayed by someone I trusted.

Bypassing security protocols my ass. “At your request.”


  1. I get a good sense of the mc’s voice, and it’s catchy. There are just a few things throughout I have suggestions for. The last sentence in the first paragraph is confusing to me. I think it needs to be worded clearer so you don’t slow your reader down right away.
    In the second paragraph “of course I accepted” I think could be a good place to tell us more about your character or their relationship. Of course means nothing at this point because I don’t know anything. Being more specific would be better. Like: getting coffee together is what we do, so I accept...
    I think rather than saying her mood dropped to gloomy... show it in her reaction. What are her thoughts/emotions about it. Other than that, it’s really good. Good luck!

  2. Hmm... Okay, I like a good hacker story. I'd read more. This line probably should be past tense like the rest, I'm thinking: "I hate scenes." This line threw me: That Gypsy sixth-sense Grandma Zigana insists I have failed me miserably. It sounds weirdly worded, and I don't understand how it fits in with the rest of the story.

  3. Your MC might hate scenes, but I wanted to see one. Perhaps we could see them at the coffee shop, get a bit of dialogue, see if her boss is firing her with glee, or sorry to have to do it.

    As is, the piece is all told, so it's just stuff that happened, rather than evoking feelings and emotions. If you show the same scene instead of telling it, readers will get far more from it.

  4. The beginning line is *generally* not my cup of tea because it has a second person edge to it, but by the end of the snippet, I was ready to read more. My concern is that I have no idea what the storyline is beyond the betrayal of the boss, who had her employee break protocol and is now firing her for it. From this bit, I don't know why the boss had her break protocol, why she had her *in particular* do it, and what type of files we're talking about. Medical files? Legal files? Military files, even? That would give us some indication about the plot that's to develop. Still, a nice start, and an enjoyable reading experience. I'd read more before I made a decision on it.