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Memories in the Making (A Homecoming Story)

by iheartbooks


I prop my feet up on the dashboard of my best friend’s car, the tips of my neon pink socks just poking out past the bottom of the dress. We open all of the windows because the dance had made us all sweaty and we’d just packed five people into a teensy little Cobalt. The stars are out, illuminating the sky in a way that seems different than last night or the night before. A crisp breeze rushes into the car and nips at my bare skin that isn’t covered by the dress. I shiver, lean back against the headrest, close my eyes, and smile.

“Taco Bell!” Kate yells to nobody in particular, accelerating the car as if her declaration had given her the extra motivation to get us to the tacos we all need at this time of the night. The boys in the back grin. A song with a strong bass pours from the speakers in such an unnatural way that I have to sit up. From that new position, I catch his eye in the side mirror. He turns his head quickly, embarrassed to have been caught, but then turns back. We share a quiet laugh and I turn around to face him.

“We never got that dance,” he notes.

“No, I suppose we didn’t,” I agree. “I guess you owe me.”

“Winterfest, then. First dance is mine,” he requests. I shrug coyly.

“We’ll see.”

When I turn around, I see he’s still smiling. Another burst of breeze hits me from the window and I smell a hint of October in the air. “Wrecking Ball” comes onto the radio and Kate sings with all her might while the boys in the back laugh at her.

We won the football game 45-7. The drum major was crowned queen. I danced an awkward dance with an awkward boy at the request of his mother, but then it ended and it was alright. Maybe I’d been a third wheel at some point, or a few points, during the dance, but the world didn’t end. It was senior year; homecoming seemed like a pretty petty thing to worry about. Memories were being made, memories to laugh at and smile at and flinch at, but memories nonetheless. I don’t know what the rest of my life will bring, but I’m pretty content with what it’s brought me so far.

Just an update: This is a piece I wrote for a short story contest on Figment.com. The goal was to write a short story about homecoming in less than 400 words. That's what this is. I guess it's more a snapshot than a story, which explains the lack of plot. I probably should have said that in the first place.

Also, this was the grand prize winning piece for the contest I entered it in.


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Wed Dec 01, 2021 6:42 pm
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi iheartbooks,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

Hm... that was a very nostalgic piece you presented to us here. At first glance, it gives me a bleak melancholy that turns into a warm-up as I read, putting me in an emotional stupor of reliving a memory I've held for a long time but never wanted to see again. Not because it is so unattractive, but precisely because it is so beautiful and I know I will not relive it as I did that evening.

I like that the story keeps itself so short and lacks anything of a plot. It gives this snippet of memory a greater effect and leaves a good impression on the reader. Most of all, I like how you've managed to tell so much with so little information, that the characters themselves seem very alive and you can feel that the night is coming to an end.

Your writing style seems a bit flat at the beginning, but it gets better as you go on. Still, I really like the beginning because you have done an interesting way of starting the story here; first you describe the immediate surroundings of the characters and the narrator, and then you reveal to the reader where exactly the characters are and from that the first idea of what exactly has happened in the last few hours develops.

I also like the fact that the dialogue itself is kept short so that it feels fragmentary and makes you feel like you remember very little of it. It also gives the text a certain distance that is established between the reader and the characters, which leads to that feeling of homecoming that you describe in the title.

All in all, I like the story very much. It leaves a deep impression on me, and I can well imagine that despite the mention of a song, in such a moment - should this be a film - something melancholic or very calm and relaxed is played by music.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




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Sat Dec 07, 2013 2:31 am
Cressida wrote a review...



"Also, this was the grand prize winning piece for the contest I entered it in." You won? Awesome! :D

I realize I'm on the late side of reviewing this, but I'll still throw my two cents in anyway. I thought this was very good. Short, of course, but they gave you a limit you had to work with. And considering that, I thought it came out surprisingly well.

I entered a contest a while back that was limited to two pages, and the story I ended up with was pretty lousy (I didn't win, nor did I get second, third, fourth, and you get the idea). So that's very impressive that you could not only get all of that to fit in the allotted number of words, but also to WIN! Good for you, and nice work! ;)




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Sun Oct 27, 2013 4:45 pm
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Nike wrote a review...



Hey there, heart! Here we are, on Review Day. Second review for moi. Let's get going, shall we?

I prop my feet up on the dashboard of my best friend’s car, the tips of my neon pink socks just poking out past the bottom of the dress. We open all of the windows because the dance had made us all sweaty and we’d just packed five people into a teensy little Cobalt. The stars are out, illuminating the sky in a way that seems different than last night or the night before. A crisp breeze rushes into the car and nips at my bare skin that isn't covered by the dress. I shiver, lean back against the headrest, close my eyes, and smile.



So, the start is alright. Nothing special really. You might want to amp it up a bit. Make it pop.

“Taco Bell!” Kate yells to nobody in particular, accelerating the car as if her declaration had given her the extra motivation to get us to the tacos we all need at this time of the night. The boys in the back grin. A song with a strong bass pours from the speakers in such an unnatural way that I have to sit up. From that new position, I catch his eye in the side mirror. He turns his head quickly, embarrassed to have been caught, but then turns back. We share a quiet laugh and I turn around to face him.


This should have been the start. When someone yells and the people drive somewhere, away. What I don't like is the part when the MC looks at the guy. Maybe describe how he looks. Tell us how she feels.

“We never got that dance,” he notes.

“No, I suppose we didn’t,” I agree. “I guess you owe me.”

“Winterfest, then. First dance is mine,” he requests. I shrug coyly.

“We’ll see.”

When I turn around, I see he’s still smiling. Another burst of breeze hits me from the window and I smell a hint of October in the air. “Wrecking Ball” comes onto the radio and Kate sings with all her might while the boys in the back laugh at her.

We won the football game 45-7. The drum major was crowned queen. I danced an awkward dance with an awkward boy at the request of his mother, but then it ended and it was alright. Maybe I’d been a third wheel at some point, or a few points, during the dance, but the world didn’t end. It was senior year; homecoming seemed like a pretty petty thing to worry about. Memories were being made, memories to laugh at and smile at and flinch at, but memories nonetheless. I don’t know what the rest of my life will bring, but I’m pretty content with what it’s brought me so far.


The football thing wasn't important. And the conversation was okay, bland, but okay. That's how it usually is. I felt the awkwardness and stuff, but no feelings. Please add feelings to your characters. I like the ending, it felt John-Green-ish. GREAT STUFF THERE. How she describes life, goooood.

Overall, I like the idea. I like the plot. I enjoyed reading this story. It was just sort of empty. You should throw in details, emotions, light, all the skadoodle.

PM me for anything!

- Nike :)




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Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:20 am
Bugslake wrote a review...



Honestly there was a lot of content in something so short. It proves that you are able to create worlds with only a small amount of words. I really like the idea of the little bit of romance that is going on and the bit of flirtation. I would really like you to turn this little short into a story. I think that you could create a wonderful piece of literary work on it.




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Thu Oct 03, 2013 2:58 am
avidav wrote a review...



avidav attempting a review.
first off I would like to say short stories less than 1000 characters are usually the best to read simply because it shows great skill in being able to tell a good story in a short amount of time so congrats on that. I really did enjoy it, but it took me a moment to appreciate it. yes there was no build up, climax or drop off, but that doesn't make it bad. I would say not to change this particular piece, but to work on it in the future.

400 characters not necessarily forming a story, but rather a snapshot moment of memorable night of someones last year in high school. this probably wouldn't make much sense to write unless you can remember the feeling of being in high school as the last year of a completely structured life before it is twisted with forced hard life choices and so far life long friends leaving off into the world. So its nice to sit back and recall a moment with those friends that shouldn't be forgotten.




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Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:51 am
PeanutPhoebe wrote a review...



Okay, PeanutPhoebe, here to review!! I've got to say, this is very well written. You describe things well, and the little dialogue that is in there flows well. You did a good job on that. However, I agree with VeerenVKS... There's no plot to this story. You give no background information and only ONE out of the five character's name, who isn't even the main character. Also, we have no idea what's going on at the moment, just start right in to the "story" of it. It seems a lot shorter than four hundred words, too...but i could be wrong on that.:) Great job overall, and keep writing!!




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Wed Oct 02, 2013 1:12 am
veeren wrote a review...



Heyo there, i<3books, I am here to critique this piece of literature you've given us today to enjoy.

Now first thing is first, this feels very rushed. It's written as if it's a real life experience or a random idea you wanted to get down. There's no real point to it, and unless you planned on continuing this idea, as in developing it into a full story with this as the prologue or even the epilogue, I don't see any purpose to writing it.
To expand on that point, there isn't enough information given for us to get to know any of the characters. You give us very little backstory and just take us straight in to a single moment in the lives of these five kids. Not only that, but the use of the five kids is pointless as we only meet three of them, one who just seems to scream things at the top of her lungs while she drives. It makes perfect sense to have characters in the background, but the mentioning of them so early on leaves us with the feeling that will come in to play later. Not doing so leaves us with an even deeper impression of their worthlessness within the plot.
Speaking of which, there is practically none here. When trying to scour the masses of works here, all I ask for is a buildup, a climax, and a drop off, none of which are present here. As stated before this seems much more like a retelling of a moment in a characters life and seems like it would be classified much more accurately as a status update on facebook than a short story.

All that being said, this was superbly written. It's actually some of the better writing I've seen on the site. It's sort of like a Holden Caulfield tradeoff where you have no idea what you're writing about, but you just write it so excellently. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. The grammar of a work is always one of the more difficult parts; with a better idea and more time given to the plot and, as well as attention to the characters, you could make some absolutely fantastic works.
So you have potential, you just have to use it. Work on basic story building elements and ideas for novels, prose, short stories, whatever will come to you naturally, and putting them down on paper will come just as smoothly.

So that's all, you're a great writer, so keep up the great work.
Adios.





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