Wednesday, May 13, 2009

39 Secret Agent

TITLE: Kunitsu Eyes
GENRE: Fantasy

Oburo lay panting in the dirty snow. The two remaining bandits circled, their swords ready, watching Oburo’s wounded leg pump scarlet. Oburo observed them both, looking inside himself at the same time, to slow the bleeding and push the pain away.

He was tempted to curse, but this was no more than he deserved. No one had asked him to meddle in the affairs of humans.

Five common bandits, ill armed and completely untrained. Killing them all should not have been difficult. Oburo had not even bothered stalking them before he attacked. Two were down in the snow clutching their spilled intestines before the fight had fairly begun. Oburo took the head of the third, the leg of the fourth .But he had used his nose to count them instead of his eyes, and he had made a mistake.

There had been six.

The two remaining bandits circled him warily. They were not brave; Oburo had shown too much skill to be attacked lightly, even now. Still, the dark blood spurted. In a few moments no bravery at all would be required to finish him off.

One of the remaining bandits came in from behind, poking clumsily with his blade. Oburo swatted him away without looking. He was watching the other man, perhaps a leader, certainly the better swordsman of these two. For a moment their gazes locked, and the expression in Oburo’s strange eyes drove the man back a pace.

Then, deliberately, Oburo looked away as if in fear.


  1. I'm hooked. What is Oburo if not human? He still bleeds red. I need to read more of this!

  2. Oburo sounds like an animal type, werewolf? Wolf? Big cat? I'm curiuos. Good Job!

  3. Actually, I'm a little confused. It never says how he got injured, and I'm not finding it easy to infer. The other men aren't brave, so I can't picture one of them as a successful attacker. Did his injury come from one of the men he killed already?

  4. Someone laying in dirty snow and panting heavily is not my idea of a great introductory visual. Maybe that's just me.

    the wound "pumping scarlet" also puts me in mind of some disturbing imagery. "bleeding profusely" says the exact same thing without any scary visuals.

    I also have a problem with 'this is no more than he deserved.' Is he some sort of angsty teenaged vampire, that he's going to meddle in the affairs of humans and then bemoan it later?

    Not hooked, sorry.

  5. I'd keep reading. But I'm wondering how he got hurt. It sounds like his skills are far superior to the others. I want to know more about him so I'd keep reading. Good job!

  6. I like where you start. I like the action, I like that he miscounted.

    Too many -ly words.

    How does he know the dude is the better swordsman - I mean, the guy appears to scared to attack.

    "leg pump scarlet" seems a bit over the top.

    But I think I'd read on to see how the battle ended.

  7. Hmmmmmmmm... I think I really wanted a little more description of the bandits. Otherwise, this is really perfect for the type of fantasy I generally don't read.

  8. I'm not really hooked at all. I'm reading Oburo as a werewolf, and if he is, I just don't buy the set-up. He killed four of the six and then got jumped by the remaining two? Before he could get away on an extra pair of legs? Maybe he's not a were, and everything would make more sense later, but that's how I read it. Also, the three uses of his name in the first paragraph was a big turn-off for me. It felt like the story was being told in first person by someone who refers to themselves in third person (If that makes no sense, don't stress about it, just change some with he or his.)

  9. At this early stage, I don't care WHAT Oboru is, I just want more story! Love the imagery, the gritty, no-nonsense "voice", the opening scene.

    As someone who swings a sword regularly for a hobby, I can really get into the mindset you've given us: the viewpoint of a professional fighter who got cocky and is now in a jam, but is still thinking tactically.

    Good job!

  10. I like the writing in this and the hook of him not being human, although I had no idea what he was. Something primal, as he uses his nose to count them. My only nit would be that you might use a better opening sentences.


    Oburo lay panting in the dirty snow and cursed his bad judgement but this was no more than he deserved. No one had asked him to meddle in the affairs of humans.

    I'd read on.

  11. Totally hooked. Loved the imagery. And really liked the part where he shouldn't have even been there.
    Good job.

  12. Hooked. I didn't care that I don't know exactly who or what Oburu is right of the bat. I'm assuming it will come later.

    You could give some description of the bandits. You describe their skills, but maybe give us something on how they were dressed. It will help create a sense of time and place.

    A technical mistake -- This is from Oburu's POV, so you want to use he/him/his, rather than Oburu. Oburu wouldn't think of himself as Oburu.

    and - the expression in Oburu's strange eyes drove the man back a pace -- this is a pov jump. Oburu wouldn't know why the man stepped back (unless he can read minds.)

    Nice work!

  13. I'm hooked.

    I can't think of a thing to critique except maybe leave of the "Then" in the last sentence.

    Good work.

  14. Barbara said most of what I would. And I understood how he'd miscounted. But I don't know what the sixth man did. Come up from behind? Was he the one who wounded Oburo, which is why O would think that particular bandit is the better swordsman of the group?

    And I'm getting the impression Oburo is playing semi-dead?

    Just a bit of clean up here, but I'm hooked.

  15. I'm hooked. You've given us enough information that we know what's going on, without slowing down the action. Well done.

  16. I'm irritated that I don't know if he's human or animal. I'd like to know by now..

  17. Holy Mother of God am I hooked! Let me know when this is published. Seriously. I don't care what he is right now. I'll want to know soon, but right now, I'm ok. I did spot one passive: was watching. Your writing is too good to let that remain. If there's more, I was too captured to notice.

  18. This is not hooking me either.

    Regardless of whether Oburo is human or not, you completely destroy any shred of plausibility your novel has by letting him sit there in the snow and watch his leg pump red. If his leg is pumping, he's bleeding out FAST and will soon die. He's not going to placidly watch it; he's going to lose consciousness shortly.