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Missing (1)

by austenite


I still remember that night. A memory that haunts me day in, day out. A memory that will never let our family be the same.

It was the porch light that first woke me up.

My bedroom was at the front of the house, and last summer, in a futile attempt to stop Jack and I from sneaking out, our father had installed one of those heavy duty lights, and I was positive that you could see our house from down the end of our street.

The light flooded into my room, creating shadowy patterns against my wall. As I sat up, it took me some time to register that it was so late at night. Or was it too early in the morning?

My alarm clock read 1:45am in big green numbers. Sliding out of my bed, I peered out of the window, confused at the sight of all the cars in our driveway. A pit formed in my stomach when I recognised the Rosewood County Police markings on the side of the vehicles.

It had been a cold, frosty February day, and the weatherman had threatened snow for the last few days. Nobody had listened, because in our small town of Rosewood snow had been threatening to leave its mark since November just past, without success. I was surprised to see little flakes floating around the night sky, settling softly on the brown ground.

I jumped out of bed, grabbing a hoodie off the back of my chair before racing down the staircase.

Every light in our house blazed bright. From the kitchen I could see various figures huddled around our table, their bodies creating long black shadows against the walls. My interest in who they are wanes as I see my parents through the open front door, standing out in the snow.

My bare feet crunched against the light covering of snow on the ground, causing my parents to turn around. My mother was in her pink dressing gown, and even in the dark I could see the tears glistening down her face. Next to her stood my father, his face hidden in the shadows of the night. He stood stoically next to a policeman, their voices rising and falling in the cold still air.

“What’s going on?” I asked, wrapping my arms around me. The grey hoodie, one of from Jack's collection of college jumpers, fell around my thighs, my striped pyjama bottoms not offering the same protection against the cool breeze. The cold snow-covered ground dug into the soles of my feet like a hundred shards of broken glass. The three adults in front of me turned at the sound of my voice, but didn’t speak. I repeated myself.

“What’s going on?”

“Go back to bed Meg,” my father said sternly, turning back to the officer. I looked at my mother, into her eyes. They spoke of the waves of emotion that could not be expressed by words. It was in her eyes I found the answer to the question that hovered on the tip of my tongue. I asked it anyway.

“Is it Jack? Is he okay?” There’s a lump in my throat I can’t get rid of. At the sound of Jack’s name, a strangled cry comes from my mother’s throat that she tries to cover up with her hand, but it’s too late, I’ve already heard.

I stepped closer to my parents, hoping that if I edged closer enough, I’d catch snippets of my father’s conversation. To my relief, I don’t have to eavesdrop. The police officer steps away from my father as he turns towards me and speaks the words I’ve been dreading to hear.

“Jack is missing.”


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Sun Dec 05, 2021 10:59 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: This was a nice little opening scene here I think. You've created a nice little situation here and you build up nicely to that end here. A pretty well executed first part that you've got right here.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I still remember that night. A memory that haunts me day in, day out. A memory that will never let our family be the same.

It was the porch light that first woke me up.

My bedroom was at the front of the house, and last summer, in a futile attempt to stop Jack and I from sneaking out, our father had installed one of those heavy duty lights, and I was positive that you could see our house from down the end of our street.

The light flooded into my room, creating shadowy patterns against my wall. As I sat up, it took me some time to register that it was so late at night. Or was it too early in the morning?


Okayy...this is a neat little setting being slowly established here. I think you're doing a great of job of quietly setting up an atmosphere in this piece. It does make for a pretty interesting little opening here for this story.

My alarm clock read 1:45am in big green numbers. Sliding out of my bed, I peered out of the window, confused at the sight of all the cars in our driveway. A pit formed in my stomach when I recognised the Rosewood County Police markings on the side of the vehicles.

It had been a cold, frosty February day, and the weatherman had threatened snow for the last few days. Nobody had listened, because in our small town of Rosewood snow had been threatening to leave its mark since November just past, without success. I was surprised to see little flakes floating around the night sky, settling softly on the brown ground.

I jumped out of bed, grabbing a hoodie off the back of my chair before racing down the staircase.


So far I am really loving this description here. You're setting this scene up really nicely here and things are really taking shape for this scene quite well. There's just the tiniest sense that something is about to happen as well, so that helps out in making this even more of an exciting start.

Every light in our house blazed bright. From the kitchen I could see various figures huddled around our table, their bodies creating long black shadows against the walls. My interest in who they are wanes as I see my parents through the open front door, standing out in the snow.

My bare feet crunched against the light covering of snow on the ground, causing my parents to turn around. My mother was in her pink dressing gown, and even in the dark I could see the tears glistening down her face. Next to her stood my father, his face hidden in the shadows of the night. He stood stoically next to a policeman, their voices rising and falling in the cold still air.

“What’s going on?” I asked, wrapping my arms around me. The grey hoodie, one of from Jack's collection of college jumpers, fell around my thighs, my striped pyjama bottoms not offering the same protection against the cool breeze. The cold snow-covered ground dug into the soles of my feet like a hundred shards of broken glass. The three adults in front of me turned at the sound of my voice, but didn’t speak. I repeated myself.


Okayy...well it seems like something interesting is going on down there. That's certainly an unusual sight to see three adults just casually talking so late at night. Something is definitely going on here and it seems they either don't notice our main character here or don't want to tell them anything.

“What’s going on?”

“Go back to bed Meg,” my father said sternly, turning back to the officer. I looked at my mother, into her eyes. They spoke of the waves of emotion that could not be expressed by words. It was in her eyes I found the answer to the question that hovered on the tip of my tongue. I asked it anyway.

“Is it Jack? Is he okay?” There’s a lump in my throat I can’t get rid of. At the sound of Jack’s name, a strangled cry comes from my mother’s throat that she tries to cover up with her hand, but it’s too late, I’ve already heard.

I stepped closer to my parents, hoping that if I edged closer enough, I’d catch snippets of my father’s conversation. To my relief, I don’t have to eavesdrop. The police officer steps away from my father as he turns towards me and speaks the words I’ve been dreading to hear.

“Jack is missing.”


Well that's certainly a lovely cliffhanger. I really love the buildup you had to this. You could definitely tell that something was very wrong right from the start and then we get this scene to really nail it home and confirm that something is indeed very wrong here and everyone is in just a light state of panic.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, we're off to a good start here I think. You've created a lovely atmosphere here and a wonderful little cliffhanger that certainly manages to hook you in as a reader and I know I'm certainly interested enough to read a second part here. :D

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

Stay Safe
Harry




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Fri Sep 03, 2010 2:51 am
SporkPunk wrote a review...



Hi austenite! I was intrigued by both pieces, so I'm here to review as requested.

Grammar

My bedroom was at the front of the house, and last summer, in a futile attempt to stop Jack and I from sneaking out,

For subject/verb agreement, it really should be "Jack and me." Because "Jack and I" is objective rather than subjective, so you wouldn't use the subjective pronoun. Make sense? Basically, take "Jack and" out and read it. "...To stop I from sneaking," sounds bizarre, right?

“Is it Jack? Is he okay?” There’s a lump in my throat I can’t get rid of. At the sound of Jack’s name, a strangled cry comes from my mother’s throat that she tries to cover up with her hand, but it’s too late, I’ve already heard.

Tense switch. Watch for that. Stay with one. :]


Storyline

I still remember that night. A memory that haunts me day in, day out. A memory that will never let our family be the same.

I suggest you delete this. This is kinda boring and overdone, but your next sentence was like...BAM! It caught the reader's attention immediately.

Other than that, this was pretty good. Well written, drew the reader in, and revealed just enough detail. Only one more nitpick. I don't know about the policies in other countries, but where I am, a person must be missing 24 hours before a missing persons report can be filed, and thus get the police involved. Your scenario loses some of its realism, because it seems as if her parents didn't know, and the police were coming to them with the news, not the other way around. Just something to think about. :)

Overall
Other than my nitpicks, this piece was great and I really liked it. Good job!

Keep Writing!
~Sporks




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Wed Sep 01, 2010 8:28 pm
Rascalover wrote a review...



Hey,
Thank you so much for requesting a review :) It seems that you have gotten some good reviews, so I will try not to be redundant.
On to your review:

I still remember that night. A memory that haunts me day in, day out. A memory that will never let our family be the same.

The last two sentences are not complete thoughts, therefore they are fragments and not complete sentences. I suggest combining the sentences together with commas instead of periods. That way you could just lower case both A's.

I was positive that you could see our house from down the end of our street.

The end of this sentence doesn't quite make sense. Rather, it should be you could see our house from down the street. (or) you could see our house from the end of our street.

As I sat up, it took me some time to register that it was so late at night. Or was it too early in the morning?

The second sentence isn't a complete thought so it needs to be combined with the first: As I sat up, it took me some time to register that it was so late at night, or was it too early in the morning?

My alarm clock read 1:45am in big green numbers.

am Should be A.M.

The grey hoodie, one offrom Jack's collection of college jumpers, fell around my thighs, my striped pyjama bottoms not offering the same protection against the cool breeze.

It should read: one from Jack's collection...

The cold snow-covered ground dug into the soles of my feet like a hundred shards of broken glass.

I love the description. Good job!

Overall: I really enjoyed this, and I would love to read more; please PM me whenever you add to this. i like the gradually build of background information, and the current events of what was going on. I would really like to see a little more of what's going on inside of Meg. What are her emotions like? is she scared? Worried? I also would like a little more description, and I know you can give it because I seen a couple of really good example in this text.

Good job and have a great day,
Tiffany




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Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:44 pm
Button wrote a review...



Personally, I think this was very well written.. it's very well balanced, lots of personal details that add a lot to the story without overwhelming it. I love the character development and the pace you're moving the story at.
I do have to wonder... how do they know he is missing? Usually, it's after two days that the police will start looking for them, and the parents wouldn't mention something, and then wait until the middle of the night. That's the only thing I was curious about.

Great write.. definitely looking forward to reading more from this. :)

-Coral-




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Tue Aug 31, 2010 4:58 pm
ArcticMonkey wrote a review...



Hey, here to review as requested! :D

OVERALL IMPRESSION:
The opening paragraph was quite capturing, and the flow was most of the time, excellent. You paced it well, and the characters are believable. I’m going to go into more detail now…

NITPICKS AND SUGGESTIONS:

A memory that haunts me day in, day out.

This doesn’t flow very well; I think it would look better as:
A memory that haunts me day in and day out.
My bedroom was at the front of the house, and last summer, in a futile attempt to stop Jack and me from sneaking out, our father had installed one of those heavy duty lights, and I was positive that you could see our house from down the end of our street.

This is an extremely long sentence. Try breaking it down a bit. ;)
There’s a lump in my throat I can’t get rid of.

You changed tenses

CHARACTER:
Meg
From what I’ve read I already know a bit about her. I’m quite happy that you didn’t reveal too much, otherwise the story wouldn’t have many surprises. I think that she is quite easy to relate to. She is also quite well defined. Personally, what I like about her is that she handled the whole situation. Calmly, though I do want to find out what she does in the next chapter.
The others: All of the other characters mentioned in this chapter are well defined. I think that you’ve made the father very realistic. The character interaction was good too.

PLOT:
Although I’ve seen a few stories with this sort of theme, I hope that yours is different. Read some other stories like these and get some interesting ideas. You’ve probably planned most of it out; just make sure you don’t copy anything. I’ve done that once.
I am enjoying this so far, I do want to see what the parents do next, and if Meg breaks down. How the police handle it, and what life becomes like at home.

WORDING:
There were a few times when I found that the line/ paragraph didn’t flow well. I’ve probably mentioned it above. Reading it out loud usually helps, as you read it you can tell when things don’t flow well. Look out for the same words in a sentence. Reading aloud also helps with grammar.
I like how you didn’t over describe the surroundings, but a lot of this piece was dialogue. My advice is when your describing something, use the five senses to help.

PM me with the next part!

#400080 ">*Taffy*




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Tue Aug 31, 2010 3:22 am
imaginemymind wrote a review...



Hey TheEnigma,
I Only found one nitpick which is:

The grey hoodie, one of from Jack's collection of college jumpers, fell around my thighs, my striped pyjama#FF0040 ">Pajamas is the correct way to spell that :) bottoms not offering the same protection against the cool breeze.


The beginning of the chapter is VERY attention grabbing. I loved that! It drew me in. Your description of the next events were very clear except for one thing I'm not sure about, Where there people inside her house? And, did she recognized them? Because my understanding was that her parents were outside. But anyways, I could really picture the scene, her getting out of bed, walking to her parents, the police officer telling her her brother was missing. It was great. I liked how you ended your chapter on a strong note, just like you began it. I absolutely enjoyed reading this first chapter. Can't wait to read more.
~ Imaginemymind.




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Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:50 am
TheEnigma wrote a review...



Wow, great start to a novel. I was intrigued. You revealed just enough to hook the reader while still keeping things suspenseful. Not to mention the writing was very good. I only have a few things to point out:

I still remember that night. A memory that haunts me day in, day out. A memory that will never let our family be the same.


I question the necessity of this sentence. I've seen similar starts to a stories, especially tragic ones, all over the place. I really just kind of skimmed over this. It was the next sentence that really got my attention:

It was the porch light that first woke me up.


Now that grabbed me from the start. If you start the book like that, you leap right into the action and hook the reader immediately.

Every light in our house blazed bright. From the kitchen I could see various figures huddled around our table, their bodies creating long black shadows against the walls. My interest in who they are wanes as I see my parents through the open front door, standing out in the snow.


You briefly lapsed into present tense here. Careful.

Those are just a few things I noticed. There was nothing in grammar or spelling as far as I saw.

Overall, this was great. It was so suspenseful, and you revealed a lot about your characters in so little time...but not enough to give everything away. I can't wait to read more of this. PM me when you post more. Well done.




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Tue Aug 31, 2010 12:49 am
megsug wrote a review...



I could only find one mistake so I'm going to nitpick.
[/quote]As I sat up, it took me some time to register that it was so late at night. Or was it too early in the morning?[/quote]
Too should be so.

That's all I could find. I loved the concept and want to read more. Keep writing and I'll keep reading.





The simple truth is that authors like making people squirm. If this weren't the case, all novels would be filled completely with cute bunnies having birthday parties.
— Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians