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E - Everyone

Chapter 3

by shaniac


May 26, 2018

Saturday mornings were considered to be the peak of Ronnie's summer because only during Saturdays, her grandma, her brother, and she would go into town and peek around the local flea market. It was the gem of Shanesburg as local farmers and small businesses would scurry into the small area known as Beech Street Park, and set up their small booths with a different array of purchasable items. Her grandma went to see old friends and buy some of the fresh fruits and vegetables that some of the people provided. Jayson and Ronnie went their normal route of checking out the old antiques and messing around with the older vendors, who just yelled or gave the two siblings an evil eye.

When they arrived at the flea market, a bunch of people was already there. They were clustered like a pack of ants, heading to the ant mound. Ronnie basked in the afternoon sunlight when stepping out of the car while Jayson raced out, dashing to the nearest vendor. Patsy, their grandma, took smaller steps and wasn't in any rush. While walking, she was busy counting the change in her purse, muttering under her breath the total cents she had. Ronnie excused herself from the sunlight and headed over to join Jayson at what looked like a lady selling jewelry.

The lady, who sat in the shade of the booth with a large sunhat over her face, was wearing a white blouse and jean shorts. She wasn't paying much attention to the scheme that her brother was planning and it seemed safe with how careless the lady was, but there was an off chance that her brother could be caught in stealing again.

"Hey, Jayson," she quipped, "let's go over to Mr. Lewson's booth. I bet he has some old trinkets he'll sell to us for a penny."

Jayson, while looking over the different copper and silver items, replied, "Mr. Lewson doesn't like us, all that much since we stole that small clock from him the last time we were here."

"True, what about Miss Magpie?"

Jayson moved from his viewing to the side of the booth. He then picked up a colorful beaded necklace and answered, "I don't think she'll allow us near her booth. Remember when you stole that tacky flamingo?"

Ronnie nodded as the faint memory resurfaced. "I think I gave that flamingo away to someone." She then stepped out of the sun and into the small shade that the booth provided. Her brother had moved on from the colored beaded necklace to a set of rings with different gemstones. He quickly settled on a ring that had a simmering holographic band and pocketed it. Just as he had stuffed it into his pocket, the lady under the sunhat stirred awake. She shifted her body weight on the small stool and glanced over at the two siblings.

"What're you doing?" she asked, her words slurring from just waking up.

Ronnie answered, "We were just looking at the rings. We're leaving now."

The lady got up from the stool and walked over. The sunhat was still covering most of her face but Ronnie could see a glare lurking presently in her hazel eyes.

"One of you stole something," the lady muttered. She then pressed a hand on the ring table, peeking over the different ring stations. She then withdrew her hand and frowned. "If you stole something, give it back."

Jayson rolled his eyes and dug into his pocket, retrieving the ring and placed it gently into her hand. The lady placed the ring back in the station and stood back. She removed the sun hat and placed it to the side of her. There was sweat that formed across her forehead and brown hair now stuck up in different directions.

"What're your names?" she asked, resting her hands on her hips.

Ronnie's brain began to short circuit while Jayson crossed his arms across his chest. "Why are you asking?"

"I'm curious, that's all," she responded.

"Well, I'm Jayson Storkhill and this is my sister, Ronnie Storkhill."

The lady's eyes widen and her mouth formed into an 'o'. She then turned around and went back towards her stool, grabbing a picture frame.

"Are you related to Patsy Storkhill, perchance?"

There were warning lights that sparked inside of Ronnie's brain. The outside noise of the flea market was suddenly drowned out by her heart thumping loudly in her ears. Her thoughts were screaming about trusting strangers with their names.

Jayson nodded. "Do you know her?"

The lady snorted, pulling the photo frame away from her body and smiled fondly at it. "That's a funny question. I guess you can say I did know her." She then walked back to the ring stand and handed the picture frame to Jayson. "This is an old picture of us. Way back before she even had your dad. If she asks who gave you that, tell her that the Hams are ready. She'll know who I am." Once the picture was handed over, the lady went back to her stool and sat down, going back to the same position as when Jayson and Ronnie found her.

It was such a strange request from a stranger that after they left the vendor, Ronnie was still thinking it over. Jayson handed Ronnie the faded grey and white picture and the tarnish picture frame. There was a group of men and woman smiling brightly at the photographer behind the camera. Below the people, Ronnie noticed, was the words 'S.H.B.C Club Picture' in curvy black lettering. What does my grandma have to do with a club? she asked herself.

They spent the rest of their time at a few more vendors. They finished their spree and headed back to the car, where their grandma was waiting. Patsy noticed Ronnie carrying the picture frame and asked, "what do you get there?"

Ronnie looked down and handed it to Patsy. "Some lady. She said to tell you 'the Hams are ready', whatever that means." She then got into the car while her grandma, now staring at the picture with big eyes, stood outside.

Jayson noticed and asked, "what is with the picture that's got her like that?"

Ronnie tried to think of a reason. Maybe it was an old friend who wanted to reconnect? But, why would her grandma cut someone off? It was all perplexing to Ronnie and she only hoped that later on, she'd get answers to all of it. 


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Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:30 pm
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elysian wrote a review...



wifey <3 excited to read on in your AMAZING story <3

**disclaimer: I will most likely focus on negative aspects more so than positive aspects when reviewing, and this is just to help you grow as a writer! It is totally okay not to agree with something I say! Also, If I repeat anything already said, it's probably because it needs to be changed!**

When they arrived at the flea market, a bunch of people was already there.


were already there

Ronnie basked in the afternoon sunlight when stepping out of the car while Jayson raced out, dashing to the nearest vendor.


the beginning of this read weird to me? maybe there's too many verbs? Or maybe it's because the verbs are different tenses. Or maybe it's that "when" should be "while"? because i would use when if I said "when she stepped" not when she's stepping out...I DON'T KNOW SOMETHING IS WEIRD XD
Basked
Stepping
Raced
Dashing

While walking, she was busy counting the change in her purse, muttering under her breath the total cents she had.


maybe try changing it to counting the number of change under her breath?

Ronnie excused herself from the sunlight and headed over to join Jayson at what looked like a lady selling jewelry.


not??? really??? something to change??? but I thought it was weird to say she "excused herself" from the sunlight because that immediately made me picture that she was having a conversation with the sun and asked if she could be excused..lol. I don't know, if you don't wanna change it, I think it's fine it's just a little awkward?

"Mr. Lewson doesn't like us, all that much since we stole that small clock from him the last time we were here."


no comma needed in this sentence

okay, so pretty good chapter. I'm very confused on the timing of all this? Like it says 2018 but I felt like it was back in time almost. And the pace was a little too fast for my taste, especially the ending. Why wouldn't the children press their grandma for more information if they were so interested in it? They kinda just hand it to her and leave.

Also, I think it's weird that she was just curious about the names. It would've been more realistic if she was a bit more angry about them trying to steal, and then her anger fade when she realizes who they are.

Honestly, and I think this is completely me, I'm so confused on all these different characters and scenes all jumping around, and I'm finding it hard to connect. I might just need to go back and read it all the way through back to back to understand since I have week gaps in my reviews and may just forget, so.

Overall, I think every chapter is improving in storyline and writing, so keep that up! hope this helps!

- del




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Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:50 am
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scribbleinks wrote a review...



hello! I'm back! SEE I'm catching up and I'm only a little late. *looks around at the bone dust of the other reviewers* huh. must've read the date wrong.

It was the gem of Shanesburh as local farmers and small businesses would scurry into the small area known as Beech Street Park,


Oh! I love that you're including little details about the town as well! It kinda makes it feel like you're opening one of those books that has pop-up illustrations instead of just like, a little house doodled on the side? Wow that's a weird analogy sorry anyway.

Jayson and Ronnie went their normal route of checking out the old antiques and messing around with the olders vendors,


chaotic energy.

or gave the two siblings an evil eye.


I'm sorry that this is pure commentary so far but I just imagine the vendors chucking little evil eye symbols at them in spite.

muttering under her breath the total cents she had.


not enough to not kill a man. Oh wait that's the other cents.

(Okay but uh, this reads a little awkwardly? I'm trying to get off of line nitpicks though so I'm gonna just offer as a little Heads Up and move on)

The lady, who sat in the shade of the booth with a large sunhat over her face, was wearing a white blouse and jean shorts.


It's odd that you described Miss Vendor's clothing and not anybody like Ronnie or Jayson or Patsy? I mean, I'm not asking Ronnie to look down at herself and be like YES I am wearing a HOT PINK ROBE and slippers but this just...felt odd to me.

"True, what about Miss Magpie?"


this is the One Complete flea market if it has a vendor named Miss Magpie.


-the real mystery should be about these siblings with all the things they're stealing.


"One of you stole something," the lady muttered. She then pressed a hand on the ring table, peeking over the different ring stations. She then withdrew her hand and frowned. "If you stole something, give it back."


She's convinced one of them stole from her but then immediately contradicts this in her next sentence by saying "if" ?

Ronnie's brain began to short circuit


"oops which alias was I using today darn"


-*squints* is that Chloe?


-I know it's a little pivotal here I'm sorry if I'm ruining stuff but usually when people ask my name I don't say my full name? Like, I don't hear a lot of people introducing themselves by their full names like that cause it sounds pretty formal, but in another sense, if they live in a sort of small-ish town where a lot of people know a lot of people (or just where a lot of people in the flea market know each other following a similar thread), then someone new could spark enough of a reaction to do this, I suppose. I don't know, I felt like it was worth mentioning but take it as you will.


Her thoughts were screaming about trusting strangers with their names.


yeAH JAYSON STRANGER DANGER >: (

tell her the Hams are ready.


excuse me

S.H.B.C Club Picture


it IS CHLOE ISN'T IT AND THAT'S THE CLUB!!!! Does that mean Patsy DID join the club?? patsy you fool even though I don't even know what this club is idk probably the Stabbity Homicide Blood Crimes or something

They finished their spree


they're browsing spree or a stealing spree? ;)

But, why would her grandma cut someone off?


You should probably ask Benjamin about that one.


While I really like this chapter and I feel like they're definitely getting better as it's going along (I'm very very enticed now I hope you know this and I am Ready for all these mysteries), it felt almost...vague? I'm not exactly sure how to describe it. I really liked weaving in little bits about Shanesburg and how Ronnie and Jayson interact with it and the people of Shanesburg. I guess maybe I would have liked to see a little more of that and Ronnie and Jayson Doing Things? I don't know, but I do like the plot progression this chapter provides with Chloe trying to get Patsy back into Shady Things (I MEAN that's what I'm ASSUMING anyway) and Ronnie and Jayson starting to meet parts of the past and people associated with Ben's murder.


That was a whole jumble that I hope you can pull something useful from but otherwise, I'm out! I'm sorry so much of that was commentary D: I already told you in the pad and here that I'm trying to focus less on individual lines and it's a Challenge.

Anyways, the plot thickens!! I'm excited but you already knew that!!! I hope you're having an amazing time! <3




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Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:28 pm
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BiscuitsLeGuin wrote a review...



Saying hi seems strange since I'm talking to you on that pad while doing this...

Nit-picks:

When they arrived at the flea market, a bunch of people was already there.

Not to sound too much like Sherlock in the opening scene of The Great Game, but were already there.

Ronnie basked in the afternoon sunlight when stepping out of the car

For some reason I think this would be smoother as "sunlight as she stepped out of".

"Mr. Lewson doesn't like us, all that much since

No need for that comma

"What're your names?" she asked, resting her hands on her hips.

Ronnie's brain began to short circuit while Jayson crossed his arms across his chest. "Why are you asking?"

"I'm curious, that's all," she responded.

I mean, I think the answer of "I'm going to report you for stealing" would have been fairly obvious to Ronnie, even if that wasn't actually what the woman was thinking.

What does my grandma have to do with a club?

Since she doesn't know what kind of club it is, this seems like a strange part of the item to get hung up on. For all she knows it could be a bridge club - point being that there's nothing suspicious about a club at first glance. I think it would make more sense if she wondered what the letters stood for, or what ham had to do with anything.

Overall:

I think the way to describe this chapter is solid. Solid setting description, solid character development (funny also, the way they list things they've stolen was really goofy and I liked it a lot), solid though slightly slow plot advancement. While it's true that not that much has happened, what has happened is extremely tense because you don't spell it out for us. I'm assuming that's Chloe, which hooks it back into the previous chapter, and tells me that Patsy and Chloe went their separate ways, losing contact, which changes the dynamic of the 1987 chapters, even if it doesn't actually change all that much for the kids.

I think once again your main problems are stylistic. Some sentences are too long, without punctuation to break them up into a comprehensible rhythm. Some sentences start with the same form as the previous sentence, eg

They spent the rest of their time at a few more vendors. They finished their spree and headed back to the car, where their grandma was waiting.


which can feel a bit plodding. Also want to put emphasis on my last nit-pick because it's something you do fairly often - have Ronnie focus on the important plot elements rather than what would be important to her as a character. Like with the Accidental Murder sign from last chapter, that's probably always been there, and it's clearly a joke, so she wouldn't find it suspicious unless she has reason to, and while we the readers have that suspicion, she wouldn't, which makes it feel a bit engineered. Lastly, it might help to briefly mention the murder case, perhaps just Ronnie coming here to take a break from it, or wanting to get back to it, just so I know that that plot element hasn't been left behind.

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)




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Sun Jul 29, 2018 12:00 pm
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Carlito wrote a review...



Hello again!! Yay caught up for now!! :D

I think it's interesting that they've stolen so much they can't go to certain vendors anymore, and yet they continue to steal and don't seem to care that they've gotten in trouble. I wonder what the purpose of the stealing behavior is for them. And when Jayson stole the ring I was surprised that the store vendor was so forgiving. (and she's chloe isn't she ;))

My one qualm with this chapter is that I think there's still too much focus on grandma. We've discovered half of the big secret - Grandma = Patsy and she killed Benjamin in chapter 3. There's still the why, but other than that, what's the readers motivation to keep reading? I almost think we could learn the why before we learn the who and the who could be the big twist at the end that rocks their world. Now, if the focus of the novel is going to be how Ronnie and Jayson cope with finding out their grandma killed someone rather than the mystery of who killed Benjamin and why, this might work (I'll weigh in more later as it develops :p)

So if this is a mystery and in the next draft you do decide to hold off of the grandma reveals until later, what to put here instead? I think this chapter could be a great place to set up a subplot. You do some great character development with Ronnie and Jayson and then the picture and club stuff kind of overshadows it. Maybe there could be a subplot with Jayson stealing stuff and Ronnie is worried about him because she doesn't want him to get in trouble or she thought they had already put that behind them. Maybe she sees a cute boy that's going to throw her for a loop (I can never resist a good romantic subplot :p). Maybe something else. But going to this flea market is the perfect place for the beginnings of a subplot that has nothing to do with grandma ;)

Looking forward to reading on to see how this develops!! Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like feedback about something I didn't mention! :D




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Mea wrote a review...



Hey shan! I'm back on this lovely review day for a review, and I'm slowly getting caught up with things!

Overall, my favorite thing about this chapter was how we got to learn more about Ronnie and Jayson. It's interesting to find out that Jayson steals things just for fun, because it shows that he's not exactly the most scrupulous character. :P

I think something you could improve a bit is the transitions. The parts of this chapter between the dialogue often feel a bit like dead space, where you were just putting something in to fill the gap between one bit of important stuff and the next. The idea is usually to either make the transitions a lot shorter and sharper (like leading in with "Back at the car" rather than saying they spent more time there and then went back to the car) or (and this may work better in this situation since it's a more relaxed scene) to fill those dead/transitional spaces with one or two carefully chosen interesting details, adding so much extra flavor to the scene (J.K. Rowling is really good at doing this, in my opinion.) (Also I have used far too many parentheses lol but I hope this makes sense.)

But I'm also interested in the woman! And I think you could spend more time on showing Patsy's reaction to being handed this blast from the past - it's got to be quite the shock. Having Ronnie's speculations focus on her grandmothers' reaction would, I think, work better than the current last paragraph of the scene - it feels a little bit on the nose right now.

Saturday mornings were considered to be the peak of Ronnie's summer because only during Saturdays, her grandma, her brother, and she would go into town and peek around the local flea market.

This is just a small thing, but it's one of the first few things I noticed. Quite simply, this first sentence is in passive tense ("were considered"), and to me that sounded kind of strange because it seems to imply that Saturday mornings are widely or generally thought of like that by lots of people, while logically not very many people are sitting around assessing the best parts of Ronnie's summer. So just saying Ronnie considered it the best part of her summer would be best. :P

She wasn't paying much attention to the scheme that her brother was planning and it seemed safe with how careless the lady was, but there was an off chance that her brother could be caught in stealing again.

I wasn't sure who the "she" was in this sentence at first, since the previous sentence was talking about the lady, but it makes more sense for it to be Ronnie.

And I think that's all I've got! Looking forward to the next chapter. :D





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