Young Writers Society


12+

Sweet Nothing - Chapter 1

by havengr1


Paxton flicked the end of his cigarette with his thumb, watching as the hot ash fell onto the snow-covered floor beneath his window. He watched traffic move slowly past his window, a car horn sounding every so often; he assumed the slow traffic was due to the heavy snowfall.

He shivered as a gust of cold wind floated through the window, raising goosebumps on his bare chest. Pressing the cigarette to his lips, he took another long pull, inhaling the toxic smoke before throwing it into the oncoming traffic. He backed away, pulling the window closed as he did so.

Paxton picked his way across his bedroom floor; books, unfinished sketches, and art supplies were strewn across the floor, leaving almost no space for him to step. He pulled his wardrobe doors open, pulling out a plain white t-shirt to match the dark-coloured jeans he had already pulled on previously.

He hummed the tune to 505, as he pulled it over his head. He closed the doors to his wardrobe before making his way to the door and pulling it open. The sound of the kitchen fan filled his ears, along with the smell of fried bacon drifting toward his nose.

Food.

At the idea his stomach growled, making him recall that he hadn't eaten the previous night. He trudged downstairs, embracing the smell of the food that was being cooked, as he reached the bottom of the steps he heard the radio playing in the kitchen; which could only mean that it was Amanda cooking.

Amanda was Paxton's adoptive mother, he usually referred to her as his guardian rather than a foster parent. She was a small, plump lady, with long brown hair and a heart-shaped face. She was a lovely lady, and always did everything with Paxton in mind, or at least she tried. She had adopted him when he was around 7 years old, she'd done everything right, but Paxton was tormented by his past and couldn't come to terms with his past, let alone with someone else pretending to be his mum. Nevertheless, Amanda loved him like her son.

Paxton walked into the kitchen, rubbing the end of his nose as he did so. Two plates of warm toast, eggs and bacon were placed on the kitchen island, with two glasses of orange juice. Amanda turned to look at Paxton as he entered, a warm smile appearing on her face.

"Morning sweetheart. I made you some breakfast, I noticed you didn't eat before bed last night, so I imagined you'd have an appetite," she stated, switching off the radio. Paxton smiled but didn't say a word as he sat down on one of the stools, pulling the plate towards him. A burning sensation ripped through his fingers as they made contact with the hot plate.

"Fuck." he muttered, jerking his fingers away quickly.

"Sorry!" Amanda apologised, bustling towards him. She pushed the plate towards him, placing her hand on his shoulder,

"It's fine. I'm good." Paxton mumbled, shrugging her off of him. She gave him a small smile, a prick of hurt stabbing at her heart. For years she had tried to make him reciprocate the love she had for him, but he was so enclosed that she couldn't tell if he loved her.

"Are you sure, honey?" she queried, "I can get you a cold flannel."

"I'm okay." he persisted. "I just want to eat."

Amanda nodded and took her place at the other side of the table. As soon as she sat down, she began to say grace, but Paxton began eating before she could finish. She sighed at this, before finishing her grace and picking up her utensils.

As soon as Paxton started to eat, the food immediately warmed him up. As he wolfed down the last bite, his phone pinged in his pocket. Shoving his hand in his pocket, he grabbed his phone and read the text.

'See you at college in 10?' the text read. It was from Aiden, his long-time friend, he'd known Aiden since primary school and they'd been best friends since, even after many physical and verbal fights, they had a bond like no other.

Paxton stretched his long legs before stepping down from the stool, picking up his plate and cutlery with it. Amanda looked up at him as he did so, putting her cutlery down as he walked past her towards the sink.

"Paxton... I think we need to have a talk." she started, "about college, your tutor has been in touch with me recently."

Paxton said nothing as he turned on the faucet, rinsing off his plate.

"They said your attendance is very low... they want to have a meeting."

Paxton placed his plate on the side next to the sink before turning to her.

"No." came his short reply.

"It's not a case of-"

"I said no!" Paxton retorted, storming out of the kitchen.

He knew his grades were dropping, he had probably attended around 6 classes a week instead of the full 16 timetabled classes. He studied art, but he was lacking a muse. He couldn't bring himself to start a project without him burning it. He spent most of his time high, meaning he had next to no time to do any coursework. A meeting meant that he was probably getting kicked out, and that was the last thing he needed right now.

He pulled his trainers on by the door before grabbing his coat and swinging it over his shoulders. Amanda appeared behind him as he opened the front door.

"We are going to talk about this, whether you like it or not," she warned.

"Bye." Paxton mouthed as he stepped outside into the cold, pulling the door closed behind him.

-


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15 Reviews


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Thu Dec 08, 2022 2:20 pm
angxlari wrote a review...



oooo this one is interesting!! first off.. i LOVE the reference to 505 lol, i assume arctic monkeys? when i first started reading this, my first thought was actually 2013 tumblr / pinterest hot smoker boy vibes so u hit that on the mark! the storyline so far is good, i like the soft and slow start. it is intimate and it lets the readers have an easy start to learning our character. the gradual movements are very nice, but i have to say it is predictable. to keep readers interested i think u should take some risks in the next writing! i did enjoy this though, looking forward to the rest!




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Thu Dec 08, 2022 1:52 pm
KateHardy 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: This was quite the opening here. Paxton here definitely seems to be caught up in the middle of quite a lot of things that don't seem great for either him or his future here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Paxton flicked the end of his cigarette with his thumb, watching as the hot ash fell onto the snow-covered floor beneath his window. He watched traffic move slowly past his window, a car horn sounding every so often; he assumed the slow traffic was due to the heavy snowfall.

He shivered as a gust of cold wind floated through the window, raising goosebumps on his bare chest. Pressing the cigarette to his lips, he took another long pull, inhaling the toxic smoke before throwing it into the oncoming traffic. He backed away, pulling the window closed as he did so.


Alright, that's an oddly serene start to proceedings here. I suppose whatever craziness was in that extract will take a while to get to. As far as openings go this is a pretty sedate one here and I think it sort of just sets a little bit of a setting up for us to slowly start to get to know this person here. It seems like we're focusing heavily on Paxton for this story.

Paxton picked his way across his bedroom floor; books, unfinished sketches, and art supplies were strewn across the floor, leaving almost no space for him to step. He pulled his wardrobe doors open, pulling out a plain white t-shirt to match the dark-coloured jeans he had already pulled on previously.

He hummed the tune to 505, as he pulled it over his head. He closed the doors to his wardrobe before making his way to the door and pulling it open. The sound of the kitchen fan filled his ears, along with the smell of fried bacon drifting toward his nose.

Food.


Hmm we're continuing on that more serene relaxed note here. Definitely a lot more lowkey of an opening that you often tend to see and I like that. It really gives us a second to immerse ourselves into this scene here and really see what these surroundings are like and what Paxton himself is like.

At the idea his stomach growled, making him recall that he hadn't eaten the previous night. He trudged downstairs, embracing the smell of the food that was being cooked, as he reached the bottom of the steps he heard the radio playing in the kitchen; which could only mean that it was Amanda cooking.

Amanda was Paxton's adoptive mother, he usually referred to her as his guardian rather than a foster parent. She was a small, plump lady, with long brown hair and a heart-shaped face. She was a lovely lady, and always did everything with Paxton in mind, or at least she tried. She had adopted him when he was around 7 years old, she'd done everything right, but Paxton was tormented by his past and couldn't come to terms with his past, let alone with someone else pretending to be his mum. Nevertheless, Amanda loved him like her son.


OKayy interesting moment there. The food description is nice but the way that other paragraph introduces Amanda here is leaving me with one too many questions here namely about how Paxton here doesn't seem to like her very much and yet seems to say she loves him like a son. Its a bit confusing and it might be a hidden POV switch I didn't see but this little paragraph there just doesn't quite seem to match up to the rest of the bits here.

Paxton walked into the kitchen, rubbing the end of his nose as he did so. Two plates of warm toast, eggs and bacon were placed on the kitchen island, with two glasses of orange juice. Amanda turned to look at Paxton as he entered, a warm smile appearing on her face.

"Morning sweetheart. I made you some breakfast, I noticed you didn't eat before bed last night, so I imagined you'd have an appetite," she stated, switching off the radio. Paxton smiled but didn't say a word as he sat down on one of the stools, pulling the plate towards him. A burning sensation ripped through his fingers as they made contact with the hot plate.


Well, it seems like Paxton here really hasn't had a very good couple of days and judging from the way this one here is starting, its not off to the greatest of starts either. You can definitely sense that something is about to go even more wrong, either that or whatever went wrong the previous day is going to end up piling on top of this.

"Sorry!" Amanda apologised, bustling towards him. She pushed the plate towards him, placing her hand on his shoulder,

"It's fine. I'm good." Paxton mumbled, shrugging her off of him. She gave him a small smile, a prick of hurt stabbing at her heart. For years she had tried to make him reciprocate the love she had for him, but he was so enclosed that she couldn't tell if he loved her.

"Are you sure, honey?" she queried, "I can get you a cold flannel."

"I'm okay." he persisted. "I just want to eat."


Hmm that's definitely unearthing an interesting little detail there. It seems as if Paxton is stuck in some sort of dilemma on whether or not he can actually love Amanda in the way that he feels she deserves and well, that definitely makes for an interesting little conflict to be introduced into the story already.

Amanda nodded and took her place at the other side of the table. As soon as she sat down, she began to say grace, but Paxton began eating before she could finish. She sighed at this, before finishing her grace and picking up her utensils.

As soon as Paxton started to eat, the food immediately warmed him up. As he wolfed down the last bite, his phone pinged in his pocket. Shoving his hand in his pocket, he grabbed his phone and read the text.


Okay well that seems quite typical there. I suppose we're moving on from that little mental conflict and onto the rest of this day. I get the feeling this day is definitely not done throwing up surprises and being horrible for Paxton here.

"Paxton... I think we need to have a talk." she started, "about college, your tutor has been in touch with me recently."

Paxton said nothing as he turned on the faucet, rinsing off his plate.

"They said your attendance is very low... they want to have a meeting."

Paxton placed his plate on the side next to the sink before turning to her.

"No." came his short reply.


Okay well that clearly indicates quite a few problems there and it looks like Paxton here is definitely not going to end up explaining anything at all about it from the looks of things. Well that's a another thing to add to the list of things that are kind of about to go wrong.

"It's not a case of-"

"I said no!" Paxton retorted, storming out of the kitchen.

He knew his grades were dropping, he had probably attended around 6 classes a week instead of the full 16 timetabled classes. He studied art, but he was lacking a muse. He couldn't bring himself to start a project without him burning it. He spent most of his time high, meaning he had next to no time to do any coursework. A meeting meant that he was probably getting kicked out, and that was the last thing he needed right now.


Well that's certainly not a good sign, I do hope we get to see a bit more about what exactly all of that means here, because that definitely hints at a lot of problems having cropped in recent times, especially when you total that together with everything else we've learnt so far.

He pulled his trainers on by the door before grabbing his coat and swinging it over his shoulders. Amanda appeared behind him as he opened the front door.

"We are going to talk about this, whether you like it or not," she warned.

"Bye." Paxton mouthed as he stepped outside into the cold, pulling the door closed behind him.


Well that seems to be par for the course there. Makes for a somewhat abrupt end but definitely makes that it would be the logical choice for Paxton to make, not a bad place to end chapter one this.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, I think its a solid start here. Its not the most action packed but there's just so many little red flags being tossed about by the way Paxton acts here that instantly as the reader you have hundreds of questions to ask. You definitely do find yourself wanting to read that next chapter which is what I am going to do now.

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

Stay Safe
Harry




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Tue Dec 06, 2022 1:03 pm
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vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Cool story so far! It seems like Paxton doesn’t want to make an effort to change his life, like he already gave up. Amanda seems to love Paxton and wants to make things work. Maybe the meeting isn’t about him getting kicked out, maybe it will help him. He didn’t stick around long enough to find out. I’ll keep up with the chapters to see which path Paxton takes.

I wish you a lovely day/night.




havengr1 says...


Thankyou so much!



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Mon Dec 05, 2022 9:33 pm
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enidskittyteef wrote a review...



I really like the story so far. I will 100% be keeping up with it. I like the description and language you used. I can't notice any issues, so if there is any they are minor. Even within the first paragraph we get to know the kind of person Paxton is. I love stories where you can know a lot about characters with such little description. Keep writing! Have a good morning/day/evening




havengr1 says...


Thank you so much! I really appreciate that. Have a nice day!



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Mon Dec 05, 2022 4:15 pm
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ImlayTheDay says...



I love your writing! It's so descriptive yet it's not too much. And oh wow, I feel so bad for Amanda. The only thing I noticed is eleven paragraphs down from the top there is a comma instead of a period. Otherwise, that's the only issue I noticed! Can't wait until chapter two!




havengr1 says...


Thankyou so much! I noticed the comma after I posted it I was gutted haha




If you want something badly, you just gotta believe it's gonna work out.
— Andy, Parks & Rec