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Serendipity - chapter 1

by Cloudthing


"Boys are stupid," Judy sneered delicately. Her soft, pointy nose wrinkled in distaste.

I sighed. "Still no text back?"

Judy slammed her phone face down into the tv blanket that engulfed us both. It made a soft thump and slid into the back of the sofa. "Nothing, Edith! Not a word! I don't get it!" She threw her long arms across her face. My heart broke for her. "It's because I'm too tall," she mumbled into them.

"Of course not!" I hurried to reassure her. "It's, it's –"

"Oh, quit it, Edith, you suck at lying." Judy peeked at me from under her arms, her full mouth in a pitiful frown. "And it's the truth, there's no way to avoid it. There isn't a single guy in our sophomore year that would date a freakishly tall girl." Her voice broke at the end of the sentence, and I could hear the tears hitched in her throat.

I slid closer to her on the couch and wrapped my tanned arms around her. She didn't move to acknowledge the gesture. "You know," I started, giving her a little squeeze, "Models are super tall. And it's, like, their job to be beautiful and irresistible. So your height is a bonus. It's a good thing!"

Judy let out a small hmph and I took that as a good sign. "And once we grow up and leave this god forsaken town, you're going to have so many boys trailing after you, it's going to be ridiculous. I bet I'm going to have to fight them off," I laughed, envisioning myself acting as a human shield. I bet I could punch a few admirers straight in the jaw before anyone realized what was happening. I was tiny, of course, but strong and nimble. I continued with more confidence. "And you're right, I suck at lying, so you know I'm telling the truth. You are more than your height, or you weight, or your hair. You are a good, interesting person, you can hold a conversation better than any other person I know –"

"You're just trying to say I blab a lot," Judy interrupted, but I could see a smile playing in the corner of her lips.

"No, I'm saying you're bubbly, Judy." I gave her another squeeze. "Any guy you end up choosing is going to be so lucky." I meant it. Sometimes I wished Judy could see herself through my eyes. "You're my best friend," I said, trying to simplify the surge of emotions going through me. I could see she wasn't buying it, so I shrugged. "I didn't choose wrong when I chose you. So have some faith in my judgment, will you? Also, as you'd already pointed out – boys are stupid."

Finally, she laughed. She returned my hug awkwardly. "Well, I guess not all boys," she amended. "Where's Spot, anyways?"

"Oh, he's behind the sofa, waiting to cuddle you at the first sign of weakness." My tone was entirely matter of fact, though it was hard to miss the rhythmic thumping of his excited tail. At the mention of his name my overgrown golden retriever launched himself over the couch and into my lap. He started diligently licking Judy's face as she giggled and cringed away from his saliva. Spot always liked my favorite people. I petted his golden fur lightly, then pushed him off of me and got to my feet. "Ok, no more moping! So one guy didn't text you back. Big deal. Let's go to the mall and find you an outfit that makes him regret he was ever born."

Judy smiled gratefully, still under the weight of the face-licking monster. "That sounds nice, actually."

I was already making a mental list of all the shops we should go to when a soft knocking sound came from the door.

My mom's head poked through the door. She seemed to be hiding something behind it. "Oh, hi girls!" she called cheerfully. "I just ran into the new neighbors right outside and I was inviting them in for a nice cup of coffee."

I immediately adjusted the straps of my tank top nervously, trying to look a tad more presentable. My mom was so easy going and trusting, I'd have to talk to her again about having strangers over. As a single mom, it was just her and me here. In my mind, she never fully grasped the danger in that.

The door swung open and my mouth, quite literally, fell open. Judy gasped. A part of my brain realized how rude we were being, but the rest was too dumbfounded to do anything about it. The couple that entered our house was impossibly beautiful.

"This is Deborah," my mom chirped. The woman, with lovely autumn hair and warm honey eyes smiled at us kindly. "It's a pleasure to meet you," she murmured. She couldn't be over twenty, but she had a very motherly feel to her. I could sense it in the way she held her hands and the set of her mouth.

I tried to swallow. "Likewise," I said, darting up and reaching to shake her hand. Her hand was hard and ice cold in mine, and I felt for her. I should offer her tea to warm up. It was hot today, but maybe they had the AC running. It wasn't uncommon to catch a cold in the summer. Even Judy and I were wrapped up in a blanket before they showed up.

"And I'm David," the man said. I tore my eyes away from the beautiful Deborah, only to lock eyes with David's honey ones. It was strange, how they had the exact same eye color. Maybe they were siblings. Dominant genes and all that. He was beautiful as well, with light blonde hair and a straight nose. Almost too perfect. I shook off the mean thought and immediately reached my hand out to him. "I'm Edith," I said, flashing the two of them a smile. His hand was cold and just as hard. I swallowed, suddenly uncomfortable. "And this is my best friend, Judy." I let my hand drop to my side.

Judy managed to come to just in time. She smiled at the strangers shyly, covering part of her face with her long, dark locks. "It's a pleasure," she said softly. Blush was spreading all over her face.

"The Smith's just moved out here from Alaska," my mom intervened, navigating the conversation expertly. "Their kids are about the same age as you!"

"Their kids?" I asked, in what I hoped was a polite tone. They looked fresh out of college, if that.

"Well, foster kids," David said, and his honey eyes flashed with some emotion I couldn't recognize.

"But we feel for them as if they were our own," Deborah added, her hand reaching out to hold his. "They're great kids! I hope you get along with them. They're worried about starting school in the middle of the year…" As she spoke about her kids, her lovely face lit up, and then crumpled with concern.

"We will," I immediately agreed, trying to elevate her worries. It seemed like a crime to let someone so soft looking be hurt.

Judy nodded heartily beside me. "You can count on us," she said, and I saw her eyes flash with resolve. She would befriend the Smiths as if her life depended on it now. She was just that kind of person – once she'd made up her mind, there was no talking her out of it. I smiled at her.

"Thank you," Deborah said, her voice colored with gratitude, but there was an uncomfortable edge to it.

I just remembered. "You must be cold. Mom why don't you make them some tea or coffee? I'll go turn the AC down."

The couple traded looks, as if this was some kind of inner joke. "We won't stay long," said David. "We really were just stopping by to say hello and introduce ourselves."

My mom's face fell. "Well, come on now, you're invited to stay for dinner! The kids too, of course."

David's lips pursed in a line as he looked over at Deborah. It looked like they were having a silent argument.

"I bet your kids would love to meet Judy and Edith today too, that way they'd know someone tomorrow," my mom hedged.

That seemed to settle it. Deborah tore her eyes away from David's and smiled warmly at my mom. "Our kids are kind of… picky about their food. Would it be alright with you if we came after dinner? I can bring a cake and we can have tea…" her voice trailed off.

My mom clapped her hands. She honestly seemed delighted. "That settles it, then. You can come over at around 7. It's still a school night, after all." She winked at me, knowing the whole responsible parent charade was far from how she usually behaved. I raised one eyebrow at her, but kept quiet. I didn't want to do anything that would embarrass her in front of company.

"7 it is then," David conceded. 


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29 Reviews


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Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:23 am
starlitnight wrote a review...



okay, who told you to write so beautifully?? i'm in loveee with this story already!

i definitely feel for judy in this. i do hope she gains more self-confidence! i already want to protect these characters. and edith seems so cute! she's literally the perfect best friend~ i love the thought you put into their characters. their personalities are already shining through and it's only the first chapter. i'm captivated~

and

"Boys are stupid," Judy sneered delicately. Her soft, pointy nose wrinkled in distaste.

I sighed. "Still no text back?"


this sounds like all best friends, i'm living for this xD

i hope you continue writing because you're doing well ^w^

~laynie <3




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Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:03 pm
mckaylaam wrote a review...



Hello there! Welcome to YWS, by the way! I'll be doing a brief review of your first chapter so let's jump right in :)

"Boys are stupid," Judy sneered delicately. Her soft, pointy nose wrinkled in distaste.

I sighed. "Still no text back?"

Judy slammed her phone face down into the tv blanket that engulfed us both. It made a soft thump and slid into the back of the sofa. "Nothing, Edith! Not a word! I don't get it!" She threw her long arms across her face. My heart broke for her. "It's because I'm too tall," she mumbled into them.


I already feel like I can relate to Judy and Edith, which is something that I really like when reading a new novel (it's not required, of course, but it's just something that gets me hooked even quicker). I'm sure that I've had this exact conversation with my best friend over multiple guys, and you do a great job at capturing moments like these between friends. Another part that I really liked and could relate to was when you wrote this paragraph:

"No, I'm saying you're bubbly, Judy." I gave her another squeeze. "Any guy you end up choosing is going to be so lucky." I meant it. Sometimes I wished Judy could see herself through my eyes. "You're my best friend," I said, trying to simplify the surge of emotions going through me. I could see she wasn't buying it, so I shrugged. "I didn't choose wrong when I chose you. So have some faith in my judgment, will you? Also, as you'd already pointed out – boys are stupid."


I love how supportive Edith is of Judy, and she is a great example of how people should treat their friends (and people in general). And while we don't know too much about Judy herself yet, she seems to be a really nice person. The mom seems a tad bit awkward, but overall a sweet and easy-going person like you describe. I loved the part near the end of the chapter when you wrote that Edith's mom knew "the whole responsible parent charade was far from how she usually behaved"; I thought that this was a little sweet detail to add and makes me understand the mom's character a little more.

What I thought was interesting was the mystery you created surrounding the new neighbors and their family. Why did they seem to suddenly move from Alaska in the middle of the school year? How old are the parents? What made them decide to adopt kids? I'm interested to see where your novel will go and if/how these questions will be answered. I don't really have anything I'd like to specifically critique/recommend for improvement since this was the first chapter and it was fairly short, so keep up the great work and I can't wait to see the next chapter!




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Mon Mar 23, 2020 8:07 pm
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Lethargic wrote a review...



First things first. This was an amazing first chapter! I’m already hooked. I’m going to separate this review into a few different sections.

CHARACTERS:
I think you have great characterization so far. Edith has a lot of potential. She has some great dialogue with Judy. I like how supportive she is of Judy, to the point of even being kind of aggressive. She’s a good narrator, too. I love her little thoughts and observations. She also seems to be quite perceptive to the world around her, and I’d love to see how that plays out in the future.

Judy is a really nice character. Her and Edith have great chemistry and play well off of each other. Her and Edith’s banter at the beginning is really well written and I hope to see it more in the future!

I like Edith’s mother pretty well. She seems like the “cool mom” type. She seems kind to a fault, which is a trait that can spawn some really great character moments and drama if done well.

David and Deborah are written really well, too! Deborah especially. I got kind of a nervous vibe from her, which makes me even more curious than I was to meet her kids.

STORY:
I think you have a great setup so far! I feel like I’m already getting to know these characters and their quirks. I also love the mystery set up around the Smiths’ odd behavior near the end. I’m really curious to meet their foster kids, as well as learn why Deborah was acting a bit nervous near the end.

I’m not great with technical stuff, so I’m gonna leave this review off here! I hope to see more from you in the future, as this story has heaps of potential!




Cloudthing says...


Thank you so much for your review!!! I'm really glad you enjoyed it so far!



Lethargic says...


Of course! I%u2019ll be sure to keep up with this story, so expect to see me review a lot of the chapters going forward!



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:11 pm
Draculus wrote a review...



What can I say, dear author?
I'm waiting for the second chapter!
As this is only the first chapter, I'd call the story simple, but I have a feeling that it'll get more interesting in the following parts. The mix of characters you've created is very promising. And I like that you've made different types of characters, it means the story will have lots of unexpected plot twists. I'm looking forward to them.
Don't stop writing this story.

Sincerely yours,
Drak.




Cloudthing says...


Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it!



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:41 pm
4revgreen wrote a review...



Hi there!

I really enjoyed this chapter. You seem to have a knack for creating really realistic dialogue, paired with some great personalities! The dynamic between Judy and Edith is really cute, and they seem to be in such a believable friendship - able to have a little banter with each other as well as cheering each other up!

I can't really fault you for anything here! It flowed well, and the description was brilliant. I can't wait to read more!

"Boys are stupid," Judy sneered delicately. Her soft, pointy nose wrinkled in distaste.
I sighed. "Still no text back?"
Judy slammed her phone face down into the tv blanket that engulfed us both. It made a soft thump and slid into the back of the sofa. "Nothing, Edith! Not a word! I don't get it!" She threw her long arms across her face. My heart broke for her. "It's because I'm too tall," she mumbled into them.

This is a really great opening! I love how we jump right into the action, and immediately meet Judy and Edith and get a glimpse of their personalities and relationship.

You are more than your height, or you weight, or your hair.

Just a typo, but it should be 'your weight'

The couple that entered our house was impossibly beautiful.

'who' would work better than 'that' here

The woman, with lovely autumn hair and warm honey eyes smiled at us kindly.

There should be a comma after 'eyes'

"7 it is then," David conceded.

Nice ending, it leaves us on a not so dramatic cliff hanger, but still makes us want to know what happens next!

Keep writing :-)




Cloudthing says...


Thank you very much!! You're right, I can't believe I missed those! I'm really very thankful for this review.



4revgreen says...


No problem! And don't worry - I never spot typos in my own work which is why I love this site!



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:35 pm
SMLocke says...



It was good. The name is a little much,but if it means something that's cool. The story flowed well. The tone of the narrator (Edith) was very interesting.

There were some typos. (I think they were typos). It gave the story some creativity. Also Smiths' not Smith's if it was a family.

In general, it was a well-rounded story. I hope you can post chapter two soon. I had a good time reading.
~S.M.Locke~




Cloudthing says...


Thank you!! I'm really glad you liked it! You're right - I had a few typos in there! I'll fix them up :) Thanks!!



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Mon Mar 23, 2020 6:34 pm
SMLocke wrote a review...



It was good. The name is a little much,but if it means something that's cool. The story flowed well. The tone of the narrator (Edith) was very interesting.

There were some typos. (I think they were typos). It gave the story some creativity. Also Smiths' not Smith's if it was a family.

In general, it was a well-rounded story. I hope you can post chapter two soon. I had a good time reading.
~S.M.Locke~




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Mon Mar 23, 2020 5:40 pm
Tawsif wrote a review...



Okay, Cloudthing! A nice little beginning for your Novel 'Serendipity' (And that's a pretty interesting name, by the way), and I liked it!

I like the narrator's tone. It's funny, kind of has an air of simplicity, and it reads pretty well. That's one of the things that made me like this chapter.

A few points:

"And once we grow up and leave this god forsaken town,......"

'Godforsaken' is a single word, so you don't need that space in between 'god' and 'forsaken'.

'Judy managed to come to just in time.'

I don't understand what you meant by the phrase 'come to'. It's probably a typo!

'"The Smith's just moved out here from Alaska,'

Shouldn't it be the 'Smiths' (though I'm not sure about this)?

'It seemed like a crime to let someone so soft looking be hurt.'

I think it should be 'looking to be hurt' rather than 'looking be hurt'.

There's one more thing I'd like to add. You added a bit of description after every dialogues in this chapter. As for example: '"You're just trying to say I blab a lot," Judy interrupted, but I could see a smile playing in the corner of her lips.' Like this one, you have used a number of sentences to show some facial expressions of the characters. It's definitely a good thing, it makes the writing more eloquent. But you shouldn't overdo it. Like, if you add these descriptions in every dialogue, then readers might feel a bit bored to see the same structure getting repeated. What you can do is, add these descriptions for some special dialogues to make them more interesting, but not for all the dialogues. This way, there's less chance for your readers to get bored. (NO OFFENCE!)

Overall, I found all the characters (including the adorable face-licking-monster!) quite intriguing. And I'd love to read the next chapters.

Keep writing.

Overall, I find the characters of this chapter




Cloudthing says...


Thank you for your thorough review!! I didn't notice about the sentence structure. That's very interesting! I'll make sure to pay attention to that in the next chapters. Thank you!



Tawsif says...


You're welcome.




You're going to go through tough times - that's life. But I say, "Nothing happens to you, it happens for you." See the positive in negative events.
— Joel Osteen