Thursday, November 11, 2010

"Halloween Magic"

by Lisa Weaver from the November 1, 2010 issue

Tagline: Officer Phillips was expecting some ghoulish encounters on Halloween, but the pretty witch took him by surprise!

In A Nutshell: Officer Phillips helps Emily get the neighbor's cat out of the tree. Afterward, he's called back again to Emily's, but not because of any real mischief. The neighbor is playing matchmaker. Emily and the policeman make a date for dinner.

Observations: This story is first person, present tense, which I always have to get used to.

A lot happens in this story, so much that I wondered how the author fit it all in. The hero and heroine interact quite a bit, which is terrific, but I found it a little choppy in the middle.

"Can you both stay for some hot cider?"

I radio headquarters to let them know I'm taking a break, then head inside, where the talk turns to superstitions.

"My grandmother believed that if you gazed into a mirror at midnight on Halloween, you'd see the reflection of your future spouse," Mrs. Jenkins says, peering over her mug of cider at Emily and me.

I'm due back on patrol, so I extend my thanks and leave.

This scene is so short that it can't be anything other than foreshadowing. It's so obvious that they're going to see each other's reflection later because there isn't much of an attempt to disguise this smoking gun with a little more conversation or internal thought. In my opinion, this could have been done a little more smoothly.

Also, because it is midnight when they look at each other in the mirror, I wonder how long did they sit and chat over cider? What time was it when he rescued the cat, because midnight is pretty darn late for both trick or treaters and/or matchmaking/false alarm attempts by elderly neighbors.

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