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Spring Cleaning

by 4revgreen


(A/N I wrote this piece in one of my creative writing classes, which was about displaying characters through dialogue. The prompt was that one character was throwing away something the other character wants to keep)

“What are you doing?”

Eddie looked up in surprise; he didn’t expect his sister back from school so soon. He stood still, holding the brightly coloured cardboard in his hands.

“Nothing. I mean, just, you know, spring cleaning. Tidying.”

River scowled. “Spring cleaning when it’s summer? Tidying when it’s already clean? Bullshit.”

“Hey,” Eddie sighed, still clutching the box. “Watch your language.”

“You can’t see language, so therefore how can I possibly watch it?”

“You know what I mean. I’m just going through the house and getting rid of anything we don’t use. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to happen in spring.”

“Then why’s it called spring cleaning? And you can’t throw that out, that’s very precious to me!”

Eddie glanced down at the box, then back to his sister. “Snakes and Ladders?”

“Yes.”

The box was battered, and old, and when he shook it there was no noise aside from the thud of the flimsy games board against the cardboard lid. “The dice are missing, as are the counters. You can’t even play it anymore.”

“I’ll just use dice from -” She marched past her brother and knelt down to peer inside the games cupboard. “Yahtzee. That’s got dice. I’ll borrow those.”

“And the counters?”

“I’ll use anything for those. They don’t have to be the ones that came with the game.”

She pulled herself up using the top shelf of the cupboard and dusted her hands before taking the Snakes and Ladders box off of her brother.

Eddie sighed, again. “Okay. Keep that one, if you really must. But we’re not keeping all of these games. We never play them, and we could use this cupboard to store other things.”

“Like what?”

He paused. “I don’t know, like uh -”

“This is the games cupboard. It can only have board games stored in it. Look, I even labelled it.”

She had. There was an old, peeling label stuck to the side of the peeling varnished wood. It read: The Games Cupboard.

“See, you can’t ignore a label.”


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Fri Dec 17, 2021 12:23 pm
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GoAmazons wrote a review...



Hi! I enjoyed your piece and would like to share my thoughts on it. First of all, you hooked me from the first sentence (that's why I read it until this box haha). I was dying to know what the main protagonist was doing there and why he acted like caught red-handed.

Sadly, my curiosity wasn't satisfied. You switch the reader's attention to their sister and keep it glued there. Maybe, it was in your plan, but I still had thoughts on the one doing some "secret business" faked as spring cleaning. It WAS spring cleaning, right?

Secondly, I like the way you write their dialogue. I had no trouble following their lines and it is fascinating. Cos it's always a problem for me. Neatly done!

Finally, it could easily be a true story. The characters sound real. I imagined my own sister saying just that. Lovely. Thank you for sharing!




4revgreen says...


Thank you for the review! This was written as an exercise in class so i didn't give much focus to the plot just the dialogue, but i wish i had made it more entertaining!



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Tue Dec 07, 2021 3:19 am
Super says...



It is good . I like the fact that it shows real problems. It also is relatable. It is a fun and good story.




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Sun Dec 05, 2021 5:27 am
HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: OKayy...this is a lovely and very simple little scene here. Its quite nicely done I think. I can totally imagine something like this happening in real life and its the sort of fun dynamic between siblings that puts a smile on your face.

Anyway let's get right to it,

“What are you doing?”

Eddie looked up in surprise; he didn’t expect his sister back from school so soon. He stood still, holding the brightly coloured cardboard in his hands.

“Nothing. I mean, just, you know, spring cleaning. Tidying.”

River scowled. “Spring cleaning when it’s summer? Tidying when it’s already clean? Bullshit.”

“Hey,” Eddie sighed, still clutching the box. “Watch your language.”


Hmm, well this gets to the point rather quickly it seems. There's some instant tension running around between the siblings and I can already sense how this prompt is probably going to end up playing into the story here. Off to a good start here at any rate.

“You can’t see language, so therefore how can I possibly watch it?”

“You know what I mean. I’m just going through the house and getting rid of anything we don’t use. Spring cleaning doesn’t have to happen in spring.”

“Then why’s it called spring cleaning? And you can’t throw that out, that’s very precious to me!”

Eddie glanced down at the box, then back to his sister. “Snakes and Ladders?”

“Yes.”


So far I'm really loving this bantering back and forth with the two siblings. You've done a pretty good job of making that pretty realistic and you've added in a nice little vein of humor to things too which is always nice to see. The specific item it appears has also been mentioned at this point.

The box was battered, and old, and when he shook it there was no noise aside from the thud of the flimsy games board against the cardboard lid. “The dice are missing, as are the counters. You can’t even play it anymore.”

“I’ll just use dice from -” She marched past her brother and knelt down to peer inside the games cupboard. “Yahtzee. That’s got dice. I’ll borrow those.”

“And the counters?”

“I’ll use anything for those. They don’t have to be the ones that came with the game.”

She pulled herself up using the top shelf of the cupboard and dusted her hands before taking the Snakes and Ladders box off of her brother.


I love that you took the time there to describe that box. Its pretty clear that this is pretty much all just sentimental value rather than anything else and this is a wholesome little argument that I'm sure a lot of people can relate to.

Eddie sighed, again. “Okay. Keep that one, if you really must. But we’re not keeping all of these games. We never play them, and we could use this cupboard to store other things.”

“Like what?”

He paused. “I don’t know, like uh -”

“This is the games cupboard. It can only have board games stored in it. Look, I even labelled it.”

She had. There was an old, peeling label stuck to the side of the peeling varnished wood. It read: The Games Cupboard.

“See, you can’t ignore a label.”


Hmm, this is a lovely little note to end on. I get the distinct feeling that the sister here is a bit on the younger side maybe not even in their teen yet with the way her arguments are constructed while the other one is a bit older, maybe sometime in their late teens. It is a really fun little dynamic here between the two and I think you capture it really nicely.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this was just a wholesome little scene to read. Honestly nothing else for me to say here..xD So...that's it for this one. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




4revgreen says...


thank you so much! <3



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome <33



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Sat Dec 04, 2021 3:01 pm
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi 4revgreen,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

At first glance, this short story seems very exciting in the sense that we get to see quite a bit of the characters through the dialogues themselves. Since this is only a slice of Eddie and River's lives, you can't make clear outlines of their personalities, of course, but at least their attitudes already give us a good look at the generality of the story.

I find the idea you present here very refreshing, in that you make the characters come alive through words rather than writing a long paragraph where we learn more. You can clearly see here that Eddie is a "doer" of sorts. He doesn't seem evil or ruthless in what he does, but seems more to get rid of the excess power he holds, and in the process has acquired a sudden cleaning mania. You notice that he thinks a bit narrow-mindedly, which also makes him unable to understand what his sister cares about. I thought the beginning was very good when you described that Eddie was in surprise to see his sister already. Of course, that could also show that he would have preferred to do the tidying up if she hadn't been there.

Because now we come to River and it seems like she seems very indignant about what Eddie is really up to. I can understand how she reacts to that and yet I wonder (and this is why you can judge attitude more than personality here) if River would also be so outraged about cleaning up the games if she had found out later what had happened when everything was ready. You build up a good bond between the two of them and I also like the dynamic. It seems to me as if they are regularly in this kind of quarrel before things get a bit more optimistic and quiet again. Since I can't judge with the age either, I think they are both in their teens.

In general, I like the story. I like how so much happens in the words and we got a kind of "typical family scene" there too. I even think you can expand on that a bit and conjure it up into a longer short story.

I think a highlight in the story was this answer, which I'll keep in mind. :D

“You can’t see language, so therefore how can I possibly watch it?”

Have fun writing!

Mailice




4revgreen says...


Thank you so much for the review! It means a lot <3 You're correct in that they are both teens, perhaps i should have mentioned that! Eddie is 18/19 whilst River is 13, these are characters i've actually written about before!




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