A challenge from the Shark

shark-vector-4_43873Janet Reid is a New York literary agent that, despite her sharkly reputation (sure it’s a word!), provides a lot of advice to unpublished authors through her blog and particularly through Query Shark.

Sporadically she poses writing competitions to give away her swag from book fairs or ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies). She tends toward the suspense and thriller genres, so the writing challenges have that kind of lean.

I’ve never entered one before, the entries attracted are seriously high quality, she is a big time agent after all.

But tonight I thought I’d give it a whirl.

The challenge was 100 words, yup you read it right, just 100. And 5 of them have to be


So here you have ‘Toolbox’, at 99 words.

Goddamn Ratchet. How many times had Coop told him Maisie was off limits. There was no telling a grunt like Ratchet, even if his years as College fullback hadn’t pulverised his brain, he wouldn’t have listened. Maisie, she sure was something. Boss knew it and paid for it, Ratchet knew it and was about to pay for it. Damn. Coop made the call. Ratchet and the Claw were buds back in the day, but Boss called the shots and Claw was a tool. Grubby, relentless, impassive. Coop knocked on Ratchet’s door, took the hood off Claw and walked away.


6 responses to “A challenge from the Shark

  1. He was back. It was three days since a steel ratchet was used to knock him unconscious. Coop had brained him and then threw his limp body into a filthy pit at the side of the road. For three days he had to claw and crawl his way to the road but now he was back. He started to laugh, a long full maniacal laugh that would have sent shivers up the spines of anyone nearby. Covered in dirt, mud and shit he knew he must look like some sort of boogie monster and that is what he would become.


  2. Okay, I have my tools ready; screwdriver, ratchet, hammer and all pink too! The store wanted me to pay full price but seriously, who else would buy pink tools? Kids are so excited. We’re building a chicken coop today. We were keeping the chickens in a crate but this morning I saw a claw mark on the outside. I had to explain to the kids that the chickens need a safe home from the cat. “Are we ready kids? Grab your paint, out the back we go!” Yes, I’m letting them loose with paint, this is going to be fun!!


    • And another early morning fiction – thank you so much for coming to play. I love that this is very different, reflects your current life experience, and I can just imagine the carnage, kids not cats. I also pictured pink paint for some reason 🙂 thanks Steph – I really enjoyed it


  3. hank petterson

    I enjoyed your submission to JetReid, good luck! cheers French sojourn


    • Thanks so much! I enjoyed your entry too – you used 4 of the words in one sentence, so bonus points there, and I liked how claw was so seamless you didn’t notice it was included.
      However, your tag name is a story in just two words ‘French Sojourn’ – ah the images that are conjured!
      Thanks so much for visiting 🙂


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