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Pink is a Distraction

by Dest


Pink is a distraction, Keva thought.

Whenever she walked down a busy street peppered with passersby, her eyes were what caused the second glance. She had small, diamond shaped eyes with the color of deep bubblegum inside the iris were specs of lilac and other bits of purple. Very attention-grabbing. A person would whip their head around in her direction, ignoring the too-wide gap in her teeth when she sucked in a breath and the beauty mark above her lip that was much too large to be considered beautiful.

“Are those your real eyes?” Was the forever-asked question.

She would stop to look the person and the city’s smoky smell would pool into her nostrils. She didn’t notice the pollution in the air as much when she was in motion.

“Are my eyes real? Yes. Is the color real? No.” She would answer curtly, ignoring a shaking in her bones. She never meant to sound rude but only the upset tone would coat her mouth. Keva would then touch her crown braid and trudge pass the person, an awkward gesture for goodbye.

Keva sighed, pulling her orange coat tighter around her and picked at her oddly fitting royal blue boots. She liked bright, almost obnoxious colors for a reason. The colors were often a great diversion from her facial flaws and communication skills. She had since learned it was better for others to be baffled by pink contacts than the scar above her eye. Her black coiled hair with neon green streaks greeted her in the shop’s clear window.

She needed to pick up her mother’s cake quickly. No more mental dawdling.

A sickly-sweet tune played inside the very white cake shop. White walls, white floors, and white display cases coupled with the giddy tune made Keva feel like she was enclosed in a marshmallow. Not the most comforting thought considering that marshmallows are disgusting.

A heavyset elderly man with an off-white cotton shirt ironed to perfection stood up from his seat behind the counter. As if an artist had skillfully etched them in there, bags hung underneath his eyes. He swung a gray apron around his waist and put on an expectant face.

“Can I help ya?” The shopkeeper asked her, his voice somewhere between polite and impatient.

Keva fumbled with her hands for a moment and watched her yellow nail polish glitter from the shop’s lights. “I… My mom, Jean Knight, ordered a cake from you.”

He bent down pulling out a rack from the display case before pushing it back into position. He placed a white box decorated with pink cursive writing next to the cash register.

“Ain’t you hot, kid?” He wiped his brow and his gray-blue eyes almost narrowed. “It’s a scorcher outside. Doing all I can to keep my cakes alive.”

Keva bit her lip.

“Aren’t you just supposed to ring up the cake?” she said instead of the kinder “Not really.” Inside, she cringed. Rude words just seemed to be on the tip of her tongue.

“I am,” the shopkeeper said, pulling out a roll of receipt paper. Once he finished reloading the register, he peered at her closely. His eyes did narrow this time and he didn’t look pleased.

“You got neon hair—” He started. The shopkeeper rubbed his eyes. “—And pink eyes. You wearing some type of costume?” She could hear the light whisper of a disapproving tone.

Keva looked away and focused on smoothing out her stack of dollars.

“It’s still $12.15, right?” she ignored his question.

The shopkeeper’s voice was gruffer now perhaps upset that she had dismissed his question. “Yeah, yeah. You got any coupons?”

“No…”

“Then $12.15 it is.” He handed her a plastic bag and received her cash, already untying his apron.

Keva frowned. “You’re not going to bag it?”

The shopkeeper sighed and less than dutifully bagged the white cake box. Keva’s frown only deepened. For once her array of mismatched colors had invited distaste and not camouflage for herself.

“Enjoy your cake.”

“You too,” Keva said automatically. The old man smirked and shooed her off with a wave of his hand. How she wanted to cringe violently! “You too”? Why couldn’t she have just glared and walked out? If the cake shop wasn’t a small business, she would have complained to the manager for the nosy service. At least then she wouldn’t have made a fool of herself.

Careful not to bump into the man on the bike who noticeably almost ran into a pole trying to catch her gaze, Keva jiggled the white plastic bag around.

You too! The memory snickered in her head, blowing up the insignificant remark ten times bigger. Keva sighed.

A glance at her watch let her know the bus wouldn’t arrive for another twenty minutes.

She sat on a bus stop bench and pulled the cake from its plastic jail. She stared at the pink cursive writing on the front, “Ezekiel’s Cake Shop” before lifting the box flap. “Happy Birthday, Keva Knight, for you are more colorful than any clothing you have ever worn -Mom.”

“Pink is a good distraction,” she murmured, staring at the pink words.

END


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Mon Jun 19, 2017 8:49 am
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Hattable wrote a review...



Review time!

Usually I tackle grammar stuff because I'm not sure how to review otherwise, but other than "Not the most comforting thought considering I hate marshmallows." feeling unneeded, and "How she wanted to cringe violently! You too? Why couldn’t she have just glared and walked out?" sounding like it was asking me "You too?" for a moment until I reread it (might wanna put apostrophes around that, like: 'You too?'), I didn't find much to mention in the grammar department.
(Oh, "her eyes were what caused the second glance." was also a tad confusing at first, but I got the meaning soon after).

Anyway, this was a neat-o little read. I was kinda hoping it'd go on for a bit longer, but where it stopped was good, too. The character's outfit and eyes/hair definitely sound interesting, and I think I got the meaning behind it? Something about insecurities (her scar?) and trying to distract from them? Probably not, though. Whoops.

I think the dialogue was done relatively well. I like that the shopkeeper had a specific way of talking, using "ain't" and "ya". That's always nice to see in stories, though I'm blanking on the exact word or phrase for that...

Oh, other grammar thing - "“Happy Birthday, Keva Knight for you are more colorful than any clothing you have ever worn-Mom.”" might need another comma after 'birthday', and spaces on either side of the dash before 'Mom'.

You've done a good job of making me feel for the character, especially considering this is a short story (or flash fiction), although I feel that I might have been able to make more of a connection with them. I'm not sure how you'd go about doing that, but yeah.
I felt a bit bad for her constantly, inadvertently responding rudely to people. I've definitely done that before by accident.
The extent to which she attempts to camouflage her insecurities, and the extravagance of her outfit are interesting. Kind of fun to envision, with all the colors and whatnot, but yeah, interesting.


I don't really have much else to say — dialogue was good, message was good, and main character was good.

Sorry this isn't a great review. I'm out of practice, if I was ever in practice to begin with. Hopefully you aren't excited by the notif you get from this, just to be disappointed by it! D:

- Hatt




Dest says...


Hi Hatt(able), thanks for the review. I am not disappointed at all, so thanks for letting me read your thoughts. And yeah that's pretty much the message.



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Sat Jun 17, 2017 7:38 pm
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Elijah wrote a review...



Hey there! Eli here for a lovely review on your work!

It is was one wonderful small read for me as it had one hidden meaning which I understood a bit later into the storytelling. From the moment I saw the title ad the way you started this work, I knew that this pink colour will have some kind of a secret meaning which I need to start to look for in the piece.

This short story showed me how some people use clothes and any other materialistic things, objects to distract people from their flaws. Whatever is possible to change their opinion about them. The simple pink colour being a distraction gives me the idea that the girl is using her unusual outfits and strange colour of her eyes to make people ask about them and do not notice the imperfections like the mark under her eye and everything else she is unsecure of.

I do not have any complains when it comes to grammar or punctuation, it seems like previous reviewers have told you for them and you have them edited which is great. Listening but also taking action and editing your work is always good!

Her behaviour was something very interesting. I thought of her as a shy timid girl in the beginning, someone who is unsecure of her own beauty and does not want to show herself to the world. But when she started to talk, I understood I was totally wrong in this aspect. She is full of courage and bravery. Even if she sounds a bit too fearless and rude towards the ones who blindly just ask her questions about her eyes for example.

Overall, it was a great small read with one thoughtful meaning craved into it.

Keep on writing!




Dest says...


Thanks for the review, Eli. I'm really glad you got the message of the story. c:



Elijah says...


Welcome always!



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Wed Jun 14, 2017 3:24 am
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gxldencrxwns wrote a review...



Hello, hello. Gxldencrxwns here for a review. I found this story to be quite relatable. I can relate to Keva's awkward personality and her 'me too' response to the cake guy. Gosh, I do that all the time!

Some sentences seemed a bit out of place and not needed, for example, She was often awkward and a bit shy, but said rude things when she was caught off guard. I don't feel that was very needed.

Overall, I personally like this. It's relatebale, amusing, and something I could read over and over when I'm feeling it. Good job, make sure to keep writing!




Dest says...


Thanks Gxldencrxwns, for the review! I certainly will keep writing.



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Tue Jun 13, 2017 12:32 am
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Europa wrote a review...



Man...I haven't done this in ages. Well, here goes. Errie here for a review!
I did enjoy reading this very much. I can totally relate to your main character's awkwardness, and I like the message you bring to light: that differences shouldn't matter in society. It was very well written with no spelling of grammar mistakes that I could see. Really there are only a few things that I would consider changing.

oddly fitting royal blue boots,
This description feels excessive and out of place here. It would fit better when you're describing her other clothing.

She liked bright—almost obnoxious colors
you don't need a hyphen here. Try a comma instead.

She was often awkward and a bit shy, but said rude things when she was caught off guard.
This sort of goes without saying, so you could probably just cut this.

Overall, it was a great story. I really enjoyed reading it a lot! Hope this review was helpful!
-Errie




Dest says...


Hi Europa, thanks for the review! c: I decided to make those changes



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Mon Jun 12, 2017 10:24 pm
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myjaspercat wrote a review...



“Pink is a distraction,” Keva thought. Just wanted to remind you that you don't need to put thoughts in quotation marks. As long as they are italicized then you're fine. If you were to keep the quotations then it makes it seem like your character is speaking out loud rather then thinking.

Whenever she walked down a busy street peppered with passersby, her eyes were what caused the second glance. A person would whip their head around in her direction, ignoring the too-wide gap in her teeth when she sucked in a breath and the beauty mark above her lip that was much too large to be considered beautiful. My one suggestion with this is to connect back to how her eyes are the distraction. Right now you describe other aspects of her face that everyone seems to bypass but you never give your readers a description on her eyes. Since the eyes are obviously the main focus of her face [or I am assuming based off of what is said] then it would be nice if we also saw a little of that description that you used for the teeth and beauty mark.

“Are those your real eyes?” was the forever-asked question. Capitalize the word 'the' [or 'was' if you decide to keep that as the beginning of this sentence.]

The smoky smell of the popular city would pool into her nostrils when she stopped. She didn’t notice the pollution in the air as much when she was in motion. I don't understand where the smell of the city comes in here. For the last few little chunks you were talking about your characters face and in particular her eyes, so where in all that does the smell of the city come in?

“Are my eyes real? Yes. Is the color real? No.” She would answer curtly, ignoring a shaking in her bones. She never meant to sound rude but only the upset tone would coat her mouth. Keva would then touch her crown braid and trudge pass the person in her oddly fitting royal blue boots, an awkward gesture for goodbye. Again, you just switched from something completely irrelevant in to talking about her eyes again.

Keva sighed, pulling her orange coat tighter around her. She liked bright—almost obnoxious colors for a reason. The colors were often a great diversion from her facial flaws and communication skills. She had since learned it was better for others to be baffled by pink contacts than the scar above her eye. Her black coiled hair with neon green streaks greeted her in the shop’s clear window. Maybe it's just me but I think you switched tenses here. Remember that if you start in past tense then you want to continue through in past tense.

She needed to pick up her mother’s cake quickly. No more mental dawdling!The exclamation mark here feels a little out of place and unneeded

A sickly-sweet tune played inside the very white cake shop. White walls, white floors, and white display cases coupled with the giddy tune made Keva feel like she was enclosed in a marshmallow. Not the most comforting thought. I mean, I think it would be like one of the best things in the world to be enclosed in a marshmallow. Think about it, marshmallows are wonderful [in my opinion at least.] Tell us why Keva doesn't like this thought.

A heavyset elderly man with an off-white cotton shirt ironed to perfection stood up from his seat behind the counter. Bags were underneath"were underneath" feels wrongfully placed. It feels like you could put a better way of describing/ and or introducing this idea into the writing then what you currently have. his eyes as if an artist had skillfully etched them in there. He swung a gray apronMan I was hoping for a white apron around his waist and put on an expectant face.

“Can I help ya?” The shopkeeper asked her, his voice somewhere between polite and impatient.

Keva fumbled with her hands for a moment and watched her yellow nail polish glitter from the shop’s lights. “I… My mom, Jean Knight, ordered a cake from you.”

He bent down pulling out a rack from the display case before pushing it back into position. He placed a white box decorated with pink cursive writing next to the cash register.

“Ain’t you hot, kid?” He wiped his brow and his gray-blue eyes almost narrowed. “It’s a scorcher outside. Doing all I can to keep my cakes alive.”

Keva bit her lip.

“Aren’t you just supposed to ring up athe cake?” she said instead of the kinder “Not really.” Inside, she cringed. Who would believe she had an equally bitter and shy self, and the rude part often appeared due to her awkwardness. This final sentence is a little confusing for me. The word choice and the way you structured it seems a little weird.

“I am,” the shopkeeper said, pulling out a roll of receipt paper. Once he finished reloading the register, he peered at her closely. His eyes did narrow this time and he didn’t look pleased.

“You got neon hair—” He started. The shopkeeper rubbed his eyes. “—And pink eyes. You wearing some type of costume?” She could hear the light whisper of a disapproving tone.
Keva looked away and focused on smoothing out her stack of dollars.

“It’s still $12.15, right?” she ignored his question.

The shopkeeper’s voice was gruffer now perhaps upset that she had dismissed his question. “Yeah, yeah. You got any coupons?”

“No…”

“Then $12.15 it is.” He handed her a plastic bag and received her cash, already untying his apron.

Keva frowned. “You’re not going to bag it?”

The shopkeeper sighed and less than dutifully bagged the white cake box. Keva’s frown only deepened. For once her array of mismatched colors had invited distaste and not camouflage for herself. I feel like this idea is a little background. You're telling us that Keva is wearing crazy bright mismatched colors to blend in but wouldn't doing so make her stand out. Think about it for a second, if you were driving down the street and all of a sudden this person wearing what she is wearing passes your car, wouldn't you be inclined to look? I can see why she wears what she does. I get that she is trying to hide parts of herself that she doesn't like [in fact I do it too.] When I had really bad acne I used to wear bright and crazy colored lipsticks to draw attention away from my blemishes but even then I knew I was still drawing attention to myself. So, is she really blending into the background or not. As it seems it would be the latter.

“Enjoy your cake.”

“You too,” Keva said automatically. The old man smirked and shooed her off with a wave of his hand. How she wanted to cringe violently! You too? Why couldn’t she have just glared and walked out? If the cake shop wasn’t a small business, she would have complained to the manager for the nosy service. At least then she wouldn’t have made a fool of herself.

Careful not to bump into the man on the bike who noticeably almost ran into a pole trying to catch her gaze, Keva jiggled the white plastic bag around.

You too! The memory snickered in her head, blowing up the insignificant remark ten’s timeten times bigger. Keva sighed.
I don't feel like you had a good transition here.
She sat on a bus stop bench and pulled the cake from its plastic jail. She stared at the pink cursive writing on the front, “Ezekiel’s Cake Shop” before lifting the box flap. “Happy Birthday, Keva Knight for you are more colorful than any clothing you have ever worn -Mom.”

“Pink is a good distraction,” she murmured, staring at the pink words.


Ok. So I actually liked this little short story. I do have a few overall suggestions though. First of all, I really liked your ideas of using colors to describe everything, but through it all I feel like it made the description in your story lack the bang that you would want it to have. You need to remember to give your readers something to grip onto and find that they could also picture in their own minds. Also, the transitions of your story felt a little weak. Other then that I don't have much else to say. I hope I helped at least a little, good luck and continue writing.




Dest says...


Hi Myjaspercat, thanks for the review. I hadn't realized I jumped around so much and lost focus. I wasn't sure whether I would add a description of her pink eyes or not, but I think I will. I will be making some serious edits to this when I get the time. Thanks.




Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen.
— Leonardo da Vinci