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The Butterfly Effect - Part 1

by MillarS


Standing in front of the mirror and staring at the mascara-stained face that seemed to smirk back, Megan's head was spinning as thoughts shoved each other aside as if trying to fight their way to the front and be the most important. Megan showed no favouritism. Pulling her eyes away from the dusty mirror, she looked into the sink below her. The water reached about 3 inches and was completely still. The liquid was almost crystal clear, the only imperfections being small black wisps of dripping mascara and eye-liner. She looked at her left forearm to see her name, her Gothic name, Magena (meaning “the coming moon”), etched into it and remembered very clearly the day she picked the broken glass up and tore into her own flesh. With a glance onto her right forearm, she saw every single horizontal mark, each a memory and a release from what she feels inside. Some of the ugly scars were only two or three centimetres, others reaching vertically about 6 inches. The largest vertical slash was her latest, the one that hospitalized her for three weeks. Back to the mirror, her soft brown hair with electric purple tips carefully fell to cradle her olive skin. Her lips were a soft pink, her cheeks still rosy. But her eyes had changed. They looked tired, weakened and worn-out from years of distress and anger. Megan stood properly and collected her thoughts, pulling her black cardigan back over her porcelain shoulders and walked out of the bathroom. Her spiked boots pounded down the hallway as she thundered through her mansion towards her parents.

“Mum? Dad?” she called as she hopped down every second step in to the marble entrance.

“Dining room honey,” called her mum. Twisting to her left, Megan took a deep breath and drew open the dining room doors. Her parents weren't alone. Surrounding the table in each and every one of the 20 seats was a business manager.

“What's up?”

“Uh, can I talk to you and Dad once you're finished? Sorry for the interruption.” Megan was extremely polite for someone going through what she had. She pulled the rims of the sleeves until they were bunched into her tight fists and crossed her arm before nodding and leaving the dining room.

She floated across to the living area, a space designed for her by her father. Like almost every door in the house, she had to slide them open. The beige entrance slowly revealed a black cave, the walls plastered with posters of the Black Veil Brides, My Chemical Romance and the All-American Rejects. Spaces in the velvet walls had been carved out for Megan to cradle with a book or homework, and one wall was lined with shelves holding vintage records, new-age CD's and hundreds of DVD's. She flopped into one of her built-in pods and stared at the small print-outs of Andy Biersack, some were extremely bad photo-shops from her best friend of Megan and Andy, also referred to as “Mandy”. There were photos from birthdays, Christmases and random parties that Megan looked over as her head swirled, a similar feeling to when she got extremely drunk and ended up in a police cell due to smashing a window. She slowly traced outlines of her boyfriend's face when they had been to a Black Veil Brides gig. Thinking. Waiting.


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Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:43 pm
beckiw wrote a review...



Hey Millars :)

Let's get right into this then!

I didn't feel like there was anything particularly wrong with your writing, except maybe as Trident points out, you seem to squeeze a lot of unnecessary description into a short amount of space. So it almost stops the action all together so you can describe her hair or her jumper or her skin. Be careful with this because you don't want your writing to have this stop and starting sensation you want it to flow along and be easy to read. For example, I didn't feel like you needed to tell me how long her scars were or go into quite that much detail about the differing ones. It was kind of like you were battering me around the head going 'She cuts herself! Feel sorry for her! She cuts herself!'

The main thing that struck me here though was the main character. To me she seems mainly like a cardboard cut out of a 'messed up' teenager. She cuts herself, she listens to a particular type of music, looks a certain way, her parents live in a mansion and make her her own room yet she's still unhappy...it's just a little tired and feels a little superficial. I'm not saying this is all completely wrong, I'm just saying I want more depth to this. I want more individuality, something that makes me connect to her and I just feel like that isn't there right now. Right now all I am thinking is 'Oh...another story about teenage angst.' And that's a shame because I don't think you're a bad writer.

Having said that, this is Part 1. So maybe the depth comes later...maybe there is more to this girl than meets the eye. So I'd look forward to seeing the next instalment :)

If you have any questions then feel free to PM me!

Bex x




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Sat Feb 09, 2013 3:13 am
Trident wrote a review...



Hello again, I'm working on the Green Room and your work keeps appearing! Here we go again:

Something about this piece is making me revolt over it, but I can't quite put my finger on it. I think it might be the almost scientific way that the girl's scars and past are described. For example:

With a glance onto her right forearm, she saw every single horizontal mark, each a memory and a release from what she feels inside. Some of the ugly scars were only two or three centimetres, others reaching vertically about 6 inches. The largest vertical slash was her latest, the one that hospitalized her for three weeks.


It almost treats them as trivial things, there's no emotion attached to them. Which might be interesting if that's the way that Megan was describing them. As almost surgical. Not meant to be taken as emotional. But that's not the POV you've given us, so the narration sounds callous.

Back to the mirror, her soft brown hair with electric purple tips carefully fell to cradle her olive skin.


One thing I've noticed in your writing is your desire to stick in a lot of description in a little space. That crams things up a bit. Don't worry about spacing it all out. If you think that you are writing too many sentences to describe her hair or face, then perhaps you are. Cut what isn't vital to us characterizing her.

Megan stood properly and collected her thoughts, pulling her black cardigan back over her porcelain shoulders and walked out of the bathroom.


This is certainly not meant to be cruel, but please do me a favor and don't ever use the word "porcelain" again unless you are talking about toilets or sinks.

Megan was extremely polite for someone going through what she had.


Why? You give us no explanation for this. Just because someone inflicts self-violence doesn't mean that they are violent toward others. This is a judgmental statement.

The beige entrance slowly revealed a black cave, the walls plastered with posters of the Black Veil Brides, My Chemical Romance and the All-American Rejects. Spaces in the velvet walls had been carved out for Megan to cradle with a book or homework, and one wall was lined with shelves holding vintage records, new-age CD's and hundreds of DVD's. She flopped into one of her built-in pods and stared at the small print-outs of Andy Biersack, some were extremely bad photo-shops from her best friend of Megan and Andy, also referred to as “Mandy”.


Okay I like the description here, but be careful not to "name-drop" which is to just list certain people or things in order to characterize. There should be some connection if you are going to name off bands here, you shouldn't just be naming them off. I like it later when you describe the specific gig; that gives us an image so you're not just listing names off.

Overall, I just did not enjoy this one as much as your other pieces. Perhaps it's because it relates less to me, but I also don't think the writing was as strong. I actually don't really feel much for this girl Megan because I'm not sure why I should. Yes, all the cutting and scars is sad business, but she just feels like this mold of what that kind of girl should be. For as much as she is different from society, she isn't unique. She is somewhat stale.

That was a bit harsh, but I've seen your other writing so I know what I can expect from you. I think you need to figure out what it is you are trying to do with this chapter. Best of luck in the revision.




MillarS says...


There's a reason it's part 1, I'm still working on another part, but thanks for the advice, it's certainly helped a lot. In my 2nd part I'm hoping to reveal a little more about the whole situation, and Megan herself, but this story relates to me in a weird way, through friends etc, but I've taken in everything people have posted so thank you! :)




According to all known laws of aviation, there is no way a bee should be able to fly. Its wings are too small to get its fat little body off the ground. The bee, of course, flies anyway because bees don't care what humans think is impossible.
— The Bee Movie