Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Surprise Agent Invasion #44

Genre: Urban Fantasy with strong romantic elements
Word Count: 119,000

Stationed in Tampa, FL for the past two years, Develore Quinteele, sixth Knight of Flame of the Knights Elementalis, waits impatiently for the predicted return of his clandestine Order's ancient enemies, the Gray Lords.  Hampered by a centuries-old shame, he knows of only one way to fuel his elemental power—rage.  It broils just below his surface at all times, waiting for the slightest spark to set it alight.  The leader of his Order, anticipating the day when Dev crosses the line from asset to liability, has set a guardian, Wren Sasaki, to report on his actions. 
The minions of the Gray Lord emerge from hiding and attack the Knight of Flame at a chic nightclub. Soundly defeated and grievously wounded, he is rescued by Wren who, desperate to save her Knight, car-jacks the first motorist she sees—Cassidy Sinclair.
Cassidy, trying to piece together the shreds of her life after having it blown apart by the fiery death of her daughter, fills her days with fluff reporting for a local rag until a last minute assignment drags her into a reality she never dreamed existed, one filled with elemental heroes, secret underground fortresses and dark purveyors of life-stealing magic.      
Blamed for the death and destruction at the nightclub, Dev is deemed out of control and stripped of his freedom until he discovers his sense of balance. With the help of his fellow Knights and an improbable romance with newcomer, Cassidy, can he overcome his inner demons and unlock his full elemental potential before the Gray Lord's forces destroy all life in Tampa?    
Over the last year I've published three short stories through Breathless Press under the pseudonym S.E. Holden.  I'm an active member of the Florida Writers Association and I've taken a couple of David Farland's professional writing courses.
First 250:
Alexander Gray stood in front of the floor-to-ceiling penthouse windows and watched the streetlights far below.  A sickly yellow glow bathed the Tamp Bay Times Forum and the Channelside shops.  People, ants from this height, scurried through the darkness from one light post to another while a few late drivers braved the downtown Tampa streets. 
I will kill you all.  His dark power surged, burrowing beneath his skin like angry wasps.  An itch he could not scratch.  Not until their plans came to fruition.   
Out of the flat screen mounted in the corner, a local news anchor droned on about the rash of unexplained disappearances that baffled police. 
Alexander smiled.    
Another small brown bird thumped into the window and fell dazed to the ledge.  Stupid birds.  Alexander crouched and tapped on the window.  He knew neither the sound nor the vibration would penetrate the hurricane-proof glass, but he did it anyway. 
"Hey there," he cooed, "Are you okay little one?" 
The bird got to its feet, shook his feathery head and leaned against the glass out of the wind. 
"I have something for you."  Alexander pressed his index finger against the thick glass and exerted a small sliver of his will.  A dark ribbon of inky-black energy oozed through the window and wriggled on the outside. 
Startled, the bird hopped down the ledge. 
"Take it."  Alexander's face twitched.  "Take it." 
It hopped closer, its curious little head bobbing from side to side.   
A little peck to taste the darkness.

1 comment:

  1. I really liked the image of the energy oozing through the glass into a wriggling worm on the other side. It made the character seem so malevolent. Great imagery! I'd eliminate the word 'another' regarding the bird, since we didn't see any of the others.

    I wasn't quite as taken with the 'I will kill you all' thought, since that seemed too stereotypical. I'd rather just feel a black wave of loathing, or images of destruction, whatever you see fitting.

    I had trouble with the query since I didn't see why the two groups were dire enemies and what each were after. If I'm going to choose sides, I have to know what they stand for. So from this, it made the story sound like a very familiar plotline. More, and unique, details might help distinguish this story from the rest. What are the stakes, who are the players, why here, why now? Give us the big picture and why it's important to us. Otherwise it's just the two groups battling among themselves in the query (his clan's enemies), and doesn't involve the bigger world outside.

    Thanks and good luck!