Author Topic: Max Aguas and the Supers - MG Sci-fi  (Read 308 times)

Online gman

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Max Aguas and the Supers - MG Sci-fi
« on: December 05, 2022, 06:40:33 PM »
Finally ready to start querying. Just want to see if this makes you want to keep reading.


Chapter 1: Super Time

I love water. I welcome the power it has over me. The cool, wet goodness soothes my body, keeps the scorching South Florida heat at bay. I feel alive, more aware. I never want to leave . . .

Ugh, I sound like a freaking mermaid or something. No wonder I don’t have a girlfriend.

I’m at Junior’s pool. Not too big and not too small. Just the right size to fit a dozen little people with no problems. Kids shout and laugh with giddy excitement, water splashing. The sweet smell of barbecue fills the thick humid air. Junior’s dad stands in front of a giant grill wearing a “Kiss the Cook” apron like some cheesy wearable dad meme, burgers and hot dogs sizzling. Plumes of smoke rise to join dark marshmallow clouds.

A storm is brewing.

I'm floating in the shallow end by myself, watching the other kids play. This is my first time being invited to one of Junior’s famous pool parties. Not sure why. Junior and I never hang out much anymore after he made the football team. He made new friends. Cooler friends.

“Hey, Max Aguas!” Junior shouts from the deep end of the pool. He’s a tall, stocky kid with freckles sprinkled across his chubby face, a huge contrast to my own short, lithe frame. He seemed to mutate after hitting puberty, while I remained pretty much the same.

A group of kids huddle around him, staring.

“Yeah?” I shout back.

“Wanna play a game?”

I swim on over and grab hold of the edge. “What game?”

“Who can hold their breath the longest.”

I hate that game. “How about a water balloon fight instead?”

Everyone laughs. I feel like sinking to the bottom and never coming back up.

“Water balloon fights are for jits,” Junior says. “You see any jits here?”

I shake my head.

“Are you a jit, Max?”

I like to believe that I left the jit life behind in sixth grade, so I shake my head again, with a little more oomph this time.

He smiles. “Good. Then you’ll play. You go first.”

I stare at my old friend, a look of mischief on his face. I get the feeling he’s using me to show off to his new friends. There’s no going back now. I’ll be the laughingstock at school if I refuse. The coward. Still, I know I can’t beat him. He’s much better than me at this game, and he knows it. Better to fail trying than not try at all, I guess.

In the corner of my eye, I spot a blurry figure underwater. A little voice in my head tells me they may be in trouble. So, ignoring Junior, I dunk my head in the water to investigate. It’s a girl. I recognize her from my history class. Adriana is her name. Her long, dark hair appears to have caught in the drain, and she can’t seem to free herself. I know this might sound crazy, but it’s almost as if the pool is trying to eat her.

I come back up and say, “Adriana’s trapped underwater.”

“Stop trying to delay the inevitable, Max. Are we going to do this or what?”

“No, really, her hair’s—”

One kid says, “Chicken.”

“Yeah.” Junior chuckles. “Don’t be a chicken, Maxy.”
   
I hate it when he calls me that. Anger flaring, I check on her again. She’s more frantic now, pulling on her hair like some madwoman. I come back up. “Please, you have to help her.”
   
“If you want to forfeit, just say it,” Junior says. “We’ll understand.”
   
Everyone laughs again.
   
Screw it, looks like it’s up to me to save her. I go under and swim over to her. I give it a shot, make sure not to tug too hard to avoid hurting her, but it doesn’t budge an inch. The drain’s snagged her up real good.

A surge of energy flows through me as an idea comes to me. Still holding on to her hair, I plant my feet on the pool wall and torpedo myself toward the opposite end. But I end up going much faster than I anticipate. Her hair comes free and I let go before dragging her behind me. But I forget about shielding myself from the wall. I strike it headfirst and sink down to the bottom.

It gets darker underwater all of a sudden. I look up, head pounding, somehow still alive. I can see through the surface as clearly as if I were looking out of a window. The black clouds have maneuvered overhead in a threatening manner, like an army getting ready to attack. Unbelievable. Since when—

Lightning flashes—a jagged bolt stretches through the sky like a vein—and a deep rumble follows, reverberating the water and me along with it, a mix of fear and awe overtaking me. Good or bad, something tells me this is exactly where I need to be. A moment later, a barrage of raindrops attack the surface.

Then something out of this world happens.

I breathe.
« Last Edit: December 05, 2022, 06:56:22 PM by gman »

Offline Tallis

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Re: Max Aguas and the Supers - MG Sci-fi
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2022, 06:21:38 AM »
Hi gman,

Simple answer:  yes!

You pulled me right in, and I read straight to the end without realizing it.

It could still be refined -- personally, I find the bullies a little cliched in their dialogue -- but it's a strong start. 

One small thing:  I might omit the second sentence of that very first paragraph.  The rest is more about water's goodness (the sensation, the cooling) than some kind of power over the narrator -- it seems to set up the wrong dynamic.  (I also prefer the rhythm that way, leading up to the nice punch in the second paragraph, but that's a subjective thing.)

Good luck!

Online gman

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Re: Max Aguas and the Supers - MG Sci-fi
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2022, 01:00:50 PM »
Thank you for reading, Tallis. I'm glad you enjoyed it. Your feedback is spot on as well. If you have anything you'd like for me to read, I'll be more than happy to return the favor.

Offline MFeuerman

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Re: Max Aguas and the Supers - MG Sci-fi
« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2022, 06:45:31 PM »
I agree with Tallis.  This pulled me right in.

Some thoughts:

I’m at Junior’s pool. Not too big and not too small. Just the right size to fit a dozen little people with no problems. Kids shout and laugh with giddy excitement, water splashing. The sweet smell of barbecue fills the thick humid air. Junior’s dad stands in front of a giant grill wearing a “Kiss the Cook” apron like some cheesy wearable dad meme, burgers and hot dogs sizzling. Plumes of smoke rise to join dark marshmallow clouds.  (the dozen little people with no problems confused me.  If your protag's in junior high, then he's not going to think of himself as little people.  Also the first time I read it, if made me think that the little people were extremely healthy or something like they didn't have any skin diseases)

I also grew concerned about the girl with the stuck hair.  Your protag seems a bit too laid back about it especially for a kid who is not good at breathing underwater himself.

Love the ending of the chapter.  It really makes me want to turn the page.