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Miki

by Em16


Miki shook her head, shaking the water off and spraying my friend Jen.

“Miki!” Jen said, “Stop it!”

Jen hid behind me, as I laughed and Miki circled us, dripping water onto the leaves.

We were walking along a steep trail, trying to get to the top of one of the smaller mountains, when we heard a crack in front of us, and leaves began to start falling. I stopped, but Jen kept walking. I took a few more steps, but Jen still kept walking, and I could see twigs were starting to fall and catch in her hair. After a minute it was no longer twigs but whole branches, crashing down around her shoulders.

“Lizzie!” Jen said, “Hurry up!”

“Jen,” I said, “I think you should stop.”

“Stop? Why would I-“

Jen’s voice was silenced by a loud crack, rippling from right next to her, as birds tumbled out of the trees and into the sky, and a large, wooden cylinder started falling towards her.

“Jen! Jen!”

I dug around in my backpack and found the flashlight Jen had packed. Hefting it in my hand, I threw it at the tree. It barely made a dent.

“Jen, you have to get out of there!”

“Lizzie, I’ll be fine.”

The tree was falling even faster now, crashing into the branches below it. I ran away, taking shelter behind a large boulder on the edge of the trail. For the first time since I left home and my parent’s church, I said God’s name and meant it.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a white flash, like lightning, that jumped at Jen and knocked her out of the way.

When the wood chips cleared, I rushed at my friend, finding her lying among a pile of twigs, scratched and sobbing. My fumbling fingers pulled out the first aid kit and plastered her body with band-aids.

“It’s ok,” I said, “It’s ok.”

Looking up, I could see hints of white through the branches of the tree, little bits of fur, the only remnants of Miki.


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98 Reviews


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Reviews: 98

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Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:05 pm
Asith wrote a review...



Hello there! You've already got two reviews here, but since this is a piece that I feel could be great if treated with a good supply of improvement, I'm going to offer my own criticism :)

I think a good, general piece of advice for you would be that your readers can't read your mind. They don't know what you know; you have to tell them. It's a problem that I actually think I personally struggled with at one point, and maybe that's why I think it's so glaring. It's really obvious that you have all these scenes beautifully painted in your mind, but you're not conveying it to readers! An important skill is to be able to read your own work blindly; as if you're a reader who has no idea what's going on. I found myself entirely confused as to what Mila was, picturing her as another human for the entire story. I found myself confused at the scene of the tree falling: how fast was it falling; why did Jen not notice the very obvious danger? A lot of this just doesn't make the sense the way you've expressed it; which is why you need to practice expressing your ideas!

Since this is such a small extract, there's not too much more to say. Your characters aren't very well developed, but I suppose this is just a small action scene, and there wasn't much opportunity. Your main focus should definitely be on trying to get better at telling the story that's in your mind. Btw, you have the nice skill of describing motion and action really well. You should try to use that; it's a good strength to have :)




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Mon Sep 16, 2019 1:30 am
Daughter wrote a review...



Hi, there! I'm @Daughter, and I'm here to leave you a quick review!
Let's go ahead and jump right in.

Miki shook her head, shaking the water off and spraying my friend Jen.

This beginning was interesting. I don't see a lot of writers jumping right into what seems to be right in the middle of a scene, and it was a pleasant surprise. However, there was quite a bit of confusion for me here; especially towards the ending. I almost thought that you had shifted perspectives with "spraying my friend Jen", but upon closer inspection I realized that you hadn't. However, I was forced to keep reading to comprehend such, which shouldn't really need to be necessary. Perhaps you could consider editing this and beginning with the perspective of your main character instead of twisting it around.
Also, where did the water come from? You failed to elaborate around this, and it left me very confused. I'd suggest that you consider paying more attention to that what and why aspects of the situations you write about. It would help you improve a lot!

Jen hid behind me, as I laughed and Miki circled us, dripping water onto the leaves.

The way you word this is a bit strange. Once again, I'm left wondering where the leaves and water have come from. Here's a few questions you might want to ask yourself when writing:
1. Where are my characters? Is there any way I can convey to the readers what is going on around them?
2. How can I describe the scene's environment? Is there anything important that the readers need to know? What can I foreshadow?
3. What is compelling about the scene? I found myself becoming a bit bored not knowing much of what was happening during the first part of your piece. Is there any descriptive language you could use that would help spark the reader's interest? Use your skills! Don't be afraid to blow your audience away with imagery. Most of us appreciate it!

We were walking along a steep trail, trying to get to the top of one of the smaller mountains, when we heard a crack in front of us, and leaves began to start falling.

This sentence is kind of all over the place. Here's a revised version:
We were walking along up a steep trail, trying to get to the top of one of the smaller mountains, when we heard a crack in front of us, . And leaves began to start falling.

That sentence was a bit of a run-on, and this way it's a lot easier to understand. You don't even need the part about the leaves; you talk about that excessively later in the piece.

As for the rest of this, I think all I can leave you with is that please consider what I've said! Many of your other "errors" are because of reasons I've already listed, and I wouldn't be doing you much good by being too redundant.
Thanks so much for sharing!
Dughter




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Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:07 pm
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey Em16! I'll be dropping in for a review today :D


Miki shook her head, shaking the water off and spraying my friend Jen.


For an opening line, I don't find this particularly strong? It doesn't catch my attention. I don't know who these characters are, and since it's the first line, I have to ask why I should care about them? I don't mean this in a negative way. As of right now, there's no reason for me to have any connection to them.
So! Generally, a really good way to open any work of prose is to pose a question. The line itself doesn't have to be a question, but it should make the reader want an answer, and that intrigue for the answer is what sparks them to keep reading. Thus, hooking your reader in.

(as for actual line critique, what is she spraying Jen with? A hose? Magic? Right now, it wouldn't hurt your story at all to add some more description!)

I could see twigs were starting to fall and catch in her hair. After a minute it was no longer twigs but whole branches, crashing down around her shoulders.


This strikes me as very odd? When something solid hits you (even something like a twig), you'd be able to feel it. I'm willing to let this go to give you some benefit of the doubt, but I lost it when you mentioned that branches started falling around her.

as birds tumbled out of the trees and into the sky,


This took me a few times to read and comprehend. I think you mean that the birds are flying away, but I'm honestly not sure? This is a really odd description, and I don't really understand what it's supposed to be representing.

a large, wooden cylinder started falling towards her.


At first, I thought you meant like, an actual wooden cylinder, but I think you just mean the tree now? Why,,, didn't you just describe the tree.

My fumbling fingers pulled out the first aid kit and plastered her body with band-aids.


Okay, I've got several questions. 1) Where did Lizzie get a first aid kit?? Like, she just pull it out of thin air? There's no mention of her having it before. 2) "plastered her body with band-aids"? What's that going to do? What is she even doing? Slapping band-aids all over her body like some new rendition of making a mummy? I'm really confused by this section.

For the first time since I left home and my parent’s church, I said God’s name and meant it.


I really like this line! This gives a deeper depth to your character, and reveals a few different points of her life without trying to info-dump or blatantly express it, so great job!


Overall, I'm pretty confused by what happened? There's a lot of things that you didn't really describe. I didn't know Miki was a dog (is she a dog???) until the last line, I thought she was another person. How did Miki get wet in the first place? Why did this tree randomly fall? How did Jen not notice it (trees falling are LOUD)? Why does Lizzie throw a flashlight at the tree? Why does Jen so blatantly ignore her?
Right now, the story is too confusing for me to connect to. Remember that your readers don't have the same information you do! They only know as much as you tell them!

I think this could be a really interesting (and SAD because Miki dies and dogs are the Purest )))))): ) story! I'd recommend trying to describe the setting more specifically, what the characters' goals are and make their objectives clearer, and show their reaction to Miki at the end (that will add more of an impact but also sAD).


That's all I have for you today! If you have any comments or questions about anything I said, please let me know. Otherwise, keep up the good work! :D

I hope you have a wonderful day, and Happy RevMo!

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Prometheus, thief of light, giver of light, bound by the gods, must have been a book.
— Mark Z. Danielewski, House of Leaves