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A Quiet World

by saltysnakes96


The world has been quiet lately. Usually on a day like today, the rumble of the train passing through town would flow through the air until the ground shook. Now, only the barren cries of crows melt onto the ears of the few people out and about.

The world has been quiet since the accident. There is a rust-covered sign on the outskirts of town. It tells tourists that they have mistakenly driven past the big city into the void of desert beyond. It reads, “Branford, Population: 390”. Belle Albright knew each of the 389 others with whom she shared the town. She was the mayor’s daughter, the sweetheart of Branford. Big things don’t come along too often in a small place, but she was one of them. Her smile gave all who witnessed it goosebumps, as did her temptingly melodic voice. Many chased after her, though she was happily engaged to a promising young man from the city.

The world has been quiet since her screams were so loud. The train tracks are closed off now. Inspectors from the railroad company observe the scene with their official clipboards and superior attitudes. They say Belle was killed on impact, that she died before she could have known what was happening. Now a great wave of flowers floods her father’s porch, as if poppies could resurrect such a vibrant soul. They never can. Death always overcomes life and silence drowns laughter. So the world is quiet for a while.

Of course, there is the other girl. The one whose corpse they found next to Belle’s. The police said they were both hit by the train, just enough to take their lives instantly. Both died, but when people speak of the accident, they will talk about the poor girl, singular. They will say what a tragedy it is that the mayor’s child died, that she was a bright young woman. They will not mention the other victim. Perhaps they forgot, or perhaps they preferred not to think about why two girls were meeting on the railroad tracks that day. They will not think about why they were too distracted to spot the train, too enthralled to even hear its shrieks, or why they failed to mention to anyone where they were going. They will not ask why Belle’s engagement ring was nowhere to be found, or why her cheek was stained with a lipstick she did not own. They will say that Belle’s death was a great sorrow, but they will omit the other girl. She will be a casualty of their denial, a prisoner to erasure. Her family’s front stoop will remain empty, flooded with nothing but absence. Their tears are unseen, their sobs echoed only by the crows. When the people of Branford go to the railroad tracks again and see the makeshift headstone placed there, they will wonder whose life and death are carved into the rock. They never bothered to learn her name, so it sits ignored, wasting away by the tracks. It will stay there, drenched in silence, because the world will be quiet for a long time.


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34 Reviews

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Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:01 am
farq4d says...



Hey there, I’m here to give a review.

It seems that this is a story that observes something that we see too often; the media covering parts of a story that only fit the narrative that they want to share. This is further fortified by the way you chose to keep the other victim’s name omitted from the story, further pushing this idea that she has also been completely forgotten, even by the narrator themselves.

One of the things that stood out to me was the following sentences:

“There is a rust-covered sign on the outskirts of town. It tells tourists that they have mistakenly driven past the big city into the void of desert beyond. It reads, “Branford, Population: 390”.”

What I love about this sentence is how it shows how insignificant this town is to the people who don’t live there. You do this by describing the town’s sign as a warning to tourists that they ventured too far. I also live in a fairly small town so this kind of gave me a little chuckle.

I also love how you compare and contrast the houses of the two victims houses; one of them covered in flowers and the other barren. It really hits home how the other victim and her family were completely neglected.

Overall, thanks so much for sharing this piece, it was a lot of fun to read and I expect the ending.




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34 Reviews

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Wed Sep 20, 2023 12:01 am
farq4d wrote a review...



Hey there, I’m here to give a review.

It seems that this is a story that observes something that we see too often; the media covering parts of a story that only fit the narrative that they want to share. This is further fortified by the way you chose to keep the other victim’s name omitted from the story, further pushing this idea that she has also been completely forgotten, even by the narrator themselves.

One of the things that stood out to me was the following sentences:

“There is a rust-covered sign on the outskirts of town. It tells tourists that they have mistakenly driven past the big city into the void of desert beyond. It reads, “Branford, Population: 390”.”

What I love about this sentence is how it shows how insignificant this town is to the people who don’t live there. You do this by describing the town’s sign as a warning to tourists that they ventured too far. I also live in a fairly small town so this kind of gave me a little chuckle.

I also love how you compare and contrast the houses of the two victims houses; one of them covered in flowers and the other barren. It really hits home how the other victim and her family were completely neglected.

Overall, thanks so much for sharing this piece, it was a lot of fun to read and I expect the ending.




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Mon Sep 18, 2023 7:58 pm
Razor wrote a review...



This is a great story. honestly, I think that there are always people who are ignored, and the ones that are well known are not. That's the sad truth of this world. Your story invokes the whole mystery vibe and is written elegantly. The end is what gets me. It leaves it up to the reader to decide how they were murdered, and I have a pretty good idea of what happened.




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Mon Sep 18, 2023 1:34 pm
brookewritesbooks says...



hey there! brooke here.

this is a really great piece of writing you've got here. the prose flows extremely well, and you've done a great job of drawing the reader into the story. it's a quite heart-wrenching tale you're telling here, so congrats on that! only a few small things i'd like to point out-- feel free to disregard my advice if you so choose.

throughout the story you've got some minor tense issues. the final paragraph makes frequent use of "they will," and while the repetition is poetic, this phrase is in simple future tense while the rest of the story is present perfect continuous ("has been"). this may seem nitpicky, but i noticed it right away-- and some other readers or writers may as well. keeping your tense in check is tricky!

additionally (and this is much more of personal choice in style), the literal writing seems to drag on-- for lack of a better term. while your prose is indeed beautiful, the language combined with the sentence structure gives the writing a very antiquated style. you may have been going for this depending on your target audience, but if you're planning to write for those of a younger audience (anywhere under maybe 35), a large portion of your readership will be turned off by the huge blocks of text and stop reading quickly. consider more paragraph breaks or simple sentences -- it's fun and makes you feel confident to make use of your skill in prose (i often do the same), but readers often want to just get on with the story, and lengthy blocks of purple prose seems almost self-indulgent of the writer, from a reader's perspective. of course, if you're writing just for yourself or for an audience that doesn't/wouldn't mind the style, keep at it! i personally like it myself :)

i hope this helps! have a great day!




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Mon Sep 18, 2023 1:34 pm
brookewritesbooks wrote a review...






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Fri Sep 08, 2023 9:08 pm
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Roxanne wrote a review...



Greetings Storyteller!

Beyond my beloved horizon, I'm setting sail into uncharted pages with an itch for adventure. Through binoculars, I spy with my little eye a captivating story titled “A Quiet World” that deserves a good review. So without further ado, let’s begin.

Image

Very first of all, you have written quite a mysterious tale over here. The preciseness in the story, such as “Brandford, Population: 390”, definitely made the story seem much more realistic. The beginning of your story is very engaging and you have done a pretty good job on letting the reader in on something and then take a drastic turn.

The story actually tells a heart-wrenching tale of a young lady named Belle Albright, the mayor’s daughter. It is rather impressive how you managed to make your story, “A Quiet World”, seem mysterious and yet have nothing to do with mysteries, or maybe not yet…

I’ve noticed that you don’t use a lot of imagery in your story, you can try to improve that. That can help with connecting more with the reader. But you can also decide to leave it as it is, there are many different types of writing styles, and yours is just as unique as this story.

You could definitely consider expanding this chapter or maybe turning it into an entire novel, I’m pretty sure it would turn out to be an incredible tale. If you ever decide to do that, you can maybe put a mystery behind the “crash”, a secret (everybody loves a good secret that leads to a major twist) and many, many, many more things.

This was a truly delightful read, I found it incredibly intriguing. This story has great potential, I hope you continue it, but if you don't I wish you good luck with your future writing projects.

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

Yours in Puzzling Shadows,
Rose




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Thu Sep 07, 2023 9:44 pm
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NadyaStatham wrote a review...



Salutations, curious mind!



Image

Rinisha here, ready to dive into the pages of this intriguing story. 📚!

Buckle up, 'cause we're diving into my review magic! ✨

The Good Stuff:

First of all, let's talk about the parts that really rocked!

I have noticed a lot of these kinds of stories on YWS lately. The ones where someone gets murdered and the police/detective comes to investigate the crime scene. But I had not seen one with a twist such as this one yet. The fact that the other girl will be left forgotten, is a beautiful way to leave the reader in suspense with a cliffhanger wanting to know what will happen next.

Because you've placed this under the short story section, I think this is the end. I also think this would make a very nice prologue if you ever decide to expand this into a novel. That’s something to think about…

Areas to Improve:✒️

I think if you made the news report cursive it would help a lot to make a difference between what's happening now and what has happened.

The world has been quiet since the accident. There is a rust-covered sign on the outskirts of town. It tells tourists that they have mistakenly driven past the big city into the void of desert beyond. It reads, “Branford, Population: 390”. Belle Albright knew each of the 389 others with whom she shared the town. She was the mayor’s daughter, the sweetheart of Branford. Big things don’t come along too often in a small place, but she was one of them. Her smile gave all who witnessed it goosebumps, as did her temptingly melodic voice. Many chased after her, though she was happily engaged to a promising young man from the city.


~~~
You have mentioned twice that “the world has been quiet lately.” I’m not sure if that was your intention, because of your title, but I thought I would point it out.

The world has been quiet lately. Usually on a day like today, the rumble of the train passing through town would flow through the air until the ground shook. Now, only the barren cries of crows melt onto the ears of the few people out and about.


And over here too:
The world has been quiet since her screams were so loud. The train tracks are closed off now. Inspectors from the railroad company observe the scene with their official clipboards and superior attitudes. They say Belle was killed on impact, that she died before she could have known what was happening. Now a great wave of flowers floods her father’s porch, as if poppies could resurrect such a vibrant soul. They never can. Death always overcomes life and silence drowns laughter. So the world is quiet for a while.


~~~
Over here, I think if you seperate the last line from the paragraph it would make a better impact on the reader.

For example,
Before,
Their tears are unseen, their sobs echoed only by the crows. When the people of Branford go to the railroad tracks again and see the makeshift headstone placed there, they will wonder whose life and death are carved into the rock. They never bothered to learn her name, so it sits ignored, wasting away by the tracks. It will stay there, drenched in silence, because the world will be quiet for a long time.


After,
Their tears are unseen, their sobs echoed only by the crows. When the people of Branford go to the railroad tracks again and see the makeshift headstone placed there, they will wonder whose life and death are carved into the rock.

They never bothered to learn her name, so it sits ignored, wasting away by the tracks. It will stay there, drenched in silence, because the world will be quiet for a long time.


~~~

As IcyFlame mentioned, I also think it would be a good idea if you separated the last big paragraph into some short little ones or else it can be seen as a chunk of words stuck to each other.

Nailed It!💐

I think I like your title the best, it is what made me think. Mmm… something is off. Why would a world be quiet? Good job on that!

Overall Feelings:

I have the feeling that this would make a nice prologue if you decide to make a novel out of it. You have an amazing writing style which fits nicely with your concept. I can't really say a lot anymore because it really is a short story.

Be sure to check out…📔🔖

Heartless by @rpanda

This is also a story of the sudden death of some people who were on an island. And in the end if you find out who did it, gosh. It’s going to be so … (>> You have to find out for yourself) This was one of the stories I was talking about which I think you will really enjoy based on reading your story. The title already says a lot on its own too.

The lights blinded my eyes as I entered the interrogation room, why is it always so bright in here? I blinked out the stars in my vision and sat across an empty table, crossing my legs to build up the walls of my own security. He entered the room. I couldn’t tell if his face was truly such a pale complexion or if it was a mere illusion of the obnoxious lights above. He seemed to carry a sense of urgency, his darting eyes matched the speed of his strides over to the chair. The chair creaked as if it was complaining about the weight of anxiety it had just been given to hold. Nothing about him was any different than all of the other killers I have been asked to decipher. That was until I lifted my eyes to his.


Have a nice day or night further! Keep writing! You are amazing!

Amazingly yours,
Rinisha
– Be yourself and keep writing! 📖🎉




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Thu Sep 07, 2023 8:14 pm
IcyFlame wrote a review...



Hey saltysnakes! Welcome to YWS :) I hope you're enjoying the site so far!

I'm going to get straight into the review.

The world has been quiet lately. Usually on a day like today, the rumble of the train passing through town would flow through the air until the ground shook. Now, only the barren cries of crows melt onto the ears of the few people out and about.

I like the amount of description and scene setting you've managed to get into just the first paragraph. The only thing I might change is the 'out and about'. To me, it conveys a more lighthearted, happy-go-lucky type vibe which I'm pretty sure isn't at all what you're going for here.

The world has been quiet since the accident.

I like this! It's very shocking. Maybe it could even be a paragraph on its own?

The whole of the second paragraph feels like there's a bit too much information for one section. I'd think about spacing it out a bit - I think the section describing Belle is probably a new paragraph.

Of course, there is the other girl. The one whose corpse they found next to Belle’s. The police said they were both hit by the train, just enough to take their lives instantly. Both died, but when people speak of the accident, they will talk about the poor girl, singular. They will say what a tragedy it is that the mayor’s child died, that she was a bright young woman. They will not mention the other victim. Perhaps they forgot, or perhaps they preferred not to think about why two girls were meeting on the railroad tracks that day. They will not think about why they were too distracted to spot the train, too enthralled to even hear its shrieks, or why they failed to mention to anyone where they were going. They will not ask why Belle’s engagement ring was nowhere to be found, or why her cheek was stained with a lipstick she did not own. They will say that Belle’s death was a great sorrow, but they will omit the other girl. She will be a casualty of their denial, a prisoner to erasure. Her family’s front stoop will remain empty, flooded with nothing but absence. Their tears are unseen, their sobs echoed only by the crows. When the people of Branford go to the railroad tracks again and see the makeshift headstone placed there, they will wonder whose life and death are carved into the rock. They never bothered to learn her name, so it sits ignored, wasting away by the tracks. It will stay there, drenched in silence, because the world will be quiet for a long time.

This is also a lot in one paragraph! It's especially noticeable given that it's a lot longer than the others, so you could perhaps think about how to restructure and break this one up.

I like the way this is written, and the narrative is pretty cohesive. I don't really have much else in the way of improvement suggestions, because I think it's more about form and structure than actual content!

Thanks for sharing, and I hope this was somewhat helpful :)

Icy





No, it's not that you didn't succeed. You accomplished a lot, but, if you want to touch people, don't concentrate so much on rhyme and metre. Think more about what you want to say instead of how you're saying it.
— LCDR Geordi La Forge