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Dystopia-Chapter 1

by EverLight


Evangeline Cleaves snuggled deeper into her father's lap and yawned. She felt comfortable in her soft white pajamas with bunny prints.

''Daddy, when will mommy be coming home?'' she asked sleepily.

''You ask that question way too many times, you know that?'' her father observed affectionately. ''She'll be home at the same time she always has- 9:00 PM.''

Evangeline's father, Mr. Samuel Cleaves, was a short, broad-chested man with unkempt brown hair. He usually wore tattered old genes and sweaty t-shirts, like he was now. Her mother, Mrs. Diva Cleaves, was a slender woman, with gorgeous red hair, and a slender figure. She worked at a set of skyscrapers known as The Sister Towers, or more precisely, she worked in the Tower Of Economy. The Sister Towers stood in the middle of the Cleaves home town, Caroke Columzio, and were the pride of the nation. Everyone talked about how amazing those three buildings were and how they revolutionized Columzian industry and economy. In fact, the Sister Towers were loved so much, that the Columzian President, Sina Mykatie, declared a national holiday in their honor.

Evangaline understood none of that. To her seven year old mind, all talk of economy and industry was just boring adult chatter. All she really cared about were things like games, toys, and above all, her dear mother.

''Now,'' Samuel murmured, ''Settle down.''

Evangeline humphed. That's all grown-ups ever tell me. Settle down. Why is wanting mother such a problem? She thought rebelliously, but still, she stopped talking. Evangeline closed her eyes, sleep overcoming her...

''Breaking news! An unknown airplane has crashed into the first Sister Tower, causing an explosion.''

Evangeline snapped her eyes open at the sound of the news reporter's voice. Her heart began to pound. She knew her mother worked in the Sister Towers. Is she dead? Evangeline wondered, panic rising in her chest.

''That's bad isn't it?'' she breathed.

''Yes. It's very bad,'' her father answered with a strained look on his face.

The news reporter continued his horrible report.

''At 8:34, an airplane crashed into one of the Sister Towers, causing an explosion to the interior structure. We do not know the identity of the plain, or it's pilot. However, with us today is a witness-Carrie Michelle.''

Evangeline's eyes were glued to the screen. She could hardly believe what was happening.

''Miss Carrie can you explain to us what happened?'' the reporter continued.

''I was just hanging up some laundry...OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD!'' Carrie's voice was panicked. ''The first tower just fell into the secant!''

''Mommy!!'' she screamed, her heart welling with agony. Evangeline had never felt such fear in her life. What if her mother died? Suddenly she heard faint sobbing noises and looked. To her utter surprise, her father was on his knees, tears streaming down his face, his hand pressed against the screen. She could barely hear his uttered words-

''Father, loving father,'' it sounded more like a plea then a prayer, and his voice was racked with agony. ''Have pity on all those men and women. Some of them, are just too young to die! Father, please!'' he sobbed harder. ''Just please...''

At that moment, Evangeline knew. Her mother could die today. She found that tears were streaming down her face. Don't let her die today...she prayed desperately.

At that moment the secant tower crashed into the third. Evangeline let out a wild cry.

''Mommy!'' Her little heart broke into two. Her life fell down. ''She's going to die! She's going to die!''

''Incoming message, for...Samuel and Evangeline Cleaves,'' the reporter announced. Then her mothers voice came on-

''The Economy Tower is falling down...don't know if I'll make it...whatever happens, I want you to know that I love you with all my life and that I'll always be holding you, Evangaline. Even when the sky falls...''

Static sounded. Then the boom of an explosion. Then screaming.

Evangeline let out a long wail

''MOMMY!!''

Her life had torn down the middle. Her whole world had collapsed. And her mother's last words were now engraved on her shattered heart. 


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226 Reviews


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Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:26 pm
dogsrule5 wrote a review...



Hey Dogsrule5 here for a review!

I came across this novel while scanning through the dramatic books section and it caught my eye!

First off let me note, the first thing I got out of it was the historical fiction of it being based off of 9/11 but instead of twin towers, we have sister towers.

Next I noticed the name of the town happened to be Columzio which reminded me of Columbus Ohio haha!

Alright let's get on to some suggestions and things I noticed!

1) First off I noticed the title of the book is "Dystopia." I'm not seeing any dystopia in this story so far. Will this have something to do with the story later? Will it turn into a dystopia if not why this title for the novel?

2) Something I think this chapter should've had more connection between the girl and her father. I felt like, especially as the event was occurring, they weren't connecting and talking. They were both in their own worlds. I know when things like this do occur, it would be a dramatic situation, but I feel like the father should've comforted the daughter, or at least they should've had more interaction throughout the scene, and the chapter itself.

3) I feel like there could've been a little more detail as well. Such as what was the girl seeing on tv, you could've written...
"The young girl saw the screen cover in flames, as she watched the towers blow up on the television" or something else. Give us the drama of the story (as it is labeled as "dramatic") I think adding some more detail about the emotion, and what was happening, give us detail settings, and what did the father look like, you could add something at the end or in the next chapter "I'll never forget the look on my fathers face that day" just to let us feel the full effect of the event!

Overall I think you have a good foundation for the first chapter of a novel. I think you could go back and edit it a little bit, but overall I think it's a great start!
Something else I enjoyed was the length! I like short chapters much better than long, so the length of the chapter is great for me!

I hope to read the next chapter when it comes out!

Keep up the great writing,
Love,
Dogs




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Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:53 pm
KatjaDawn wrote a review...



Hello EverLight, Katja here to review your first chapter of "Dystopia". As with all of my reviews please feel free to disregard any and all comments or suggestions I make should you find them to be unhelpful. With that being said, onto my review~

Overall Thoughts

My first thought after I finished reading was about the genre and title. You listed this as "Dramatic" and "Satire". Typically satire uses crude humor and irony so i wasn't sure if this was deliberate or not since the story was actually pretty heart breaking and seemingly based off of a real life event, 9/11 which was truly a crushing day for America and her people. Not pointing this out as a bad thing I was just wondering if this was a deliberate choice or not. And the title is named Dystopia, which is defined as "an imagined state or society in which there is great suffering or injustice, typically one that is totalitarian or post-apocalyptic." and this had me wondering in what way the title will apply to the story... Will this society presented be dystopian somehow linked to this event? Intriguing thoughts and I look forward to a second chapter for sure.

The first chapter introduces us to a young girl and her father waiting at home for the girl's mother. She apparently works at the "Sister Towers" more specifically the "Economy Tower" centered in their home town of "Caroke Columzio". Much like 9/11 a plane is flown into the towers. As the young girl and her father are sitting on the couch, the TV changes to a broadcast of this event and the girl immediately senses the danger for her mother. She pretty quickly connects the idea of this happening with her mom was most likely going to die. By odd coincidence the woman is able to send a message to... someone.... the news reporter? The news station? And it is aired for her husband and daughter to hear. Then the building collapses and we are left to assume the mother has died. The story ends with our young (protagonist?) heartbroken.

Overall I liked the emotional aspect of this first chapter. It was fast paced in my opinion and had one too many coincidences, but the way you were able to portray the emotional aspect of such a terrible event kept me reading till the end.

Suggestions

Two things- Firstly, the 4th paragraph has a lot of information presented, and unfortunately it comes off as forced exposition. Secondly based on the story I am confused about the POV, since it seemed to be 3rd person limited, being told only from the perspective of our young protagonist... the 4th and 5th paragraph together introduces the possibility of it being 3rd person omniscient (that being that the narrator tells the story knowing every character's thoughts, emotions, actions, etc.). If you intended for it to be limited, the information, particularly since in the 5th paragraph states, "Evangaline understood none of that." Just my thoughts. My advice is make it clear to the reader which you choose~

On another note the 7 year old girl and her father don't interact whatsoever when the news begins playing this very emotional broadcast for them. There is a MAJOR disconnect between the two characters which feels very empty and almost like the writer was unsure how to show an interaction like this--- which is very valid. But I would just point out that it is noticeable to me that the father doesn't react like a father- he acts like his 7 year old child doesn't exist and falls into his grief, completely ignoring her. Everyone behaves and reacts differently in distressing times, but the complete lack of interaction threw off the father-daughter dynamic that looks strong in the first few paragraphs.

Other than that, there were a few minor spelling and grammar errors but the other reviewer pointed the most noticeable ones out.

Summary

I am seriously interested in a second chapter, I would love to see where this goes and as I mentioned in my "overall thoughts" part of my review, i'm curious to see if the title has hinted to a change in society or perhaps the society already is a dystopia and we, the readers, will have top wait and see. I think so far you have a very strong basis for a novel and I'm excited to see where you take this story. My favorite part of this story was by far the way you started off, showing the bond between the girl and her parents. Even though it is written that she has a preference of her mother above everything, we can see such a sincere bond between the father and daughter. The characters were devolved a little quickly but so far very well done. :)

I look forward to reading more of your work soon and I hope my review was helpful.

Keep Writing,

~Katja




EverLight says...


Thank you (:



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Sun Nov 03, 2019 4:12 am
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DariaTheGirlWhoLovesPizza wrote a review...



Hi. I’m here to review

Okay so first off I think the accident is very obviously based off of 911, but instead of the twin towers it’s the sister towers. I liked the emotion put into your lines and especially the ending to your chapter. Definitely feeling a form of heartbreak.

Alright, time for some constructive critiques~

Firstly, you mispelled a few words. Like you spelled “jeans” as “genes” and “second” as “secant.” Tho it didn’t effect the reading too much for me.

The thing that stood out to me the most was Evangeline’s reactions. Honestly, yeah, kids can understand death and know that they’re not coming back. But I guess I find it kind of strange that her first thought when she saw the news was “she’s dead.” Especially cuz she’s 7. Like idk a child’s mind works in weird ways but I always hated the news when I was a kid and would usually tune it out. That might’ve just been me. I just feel like she would’ve had a different reaction realistically, maybe ask her father some questions. And act curiously.

Also. I get that the father was dealing with A LOT in those few minutes but I find it kind of hard to believe he wouldn’t think abt his daughter at all. Usually adults hold their emotions in around kids in order for them not to know what’s wrong. This can be portrayed differently. Like I guess I wonder why he didn’t cover her eyes or ears or something. Or tell her it’s going to be okay.

Next I’m going to talk abt your fourth paragraph. I feel like you dumped way too much info in that paragraph. Because I forgot most of it by the end. I have a really bad memory lol. I feel like you could do some show not tell or tell the information THROUGHOUT the chapter. That way it’s easier to digest.

Also, weirdly enough, I lost my mother when I was 7. So honestly? It doesn’t really impact you as much when you’re a child, than when you grow up. And when you grow up that’s when you really realize what piece of you is missing.

So yeah this was a decent beginning. Your word choice was nice and there was definitely some good imagery.

Anyway that’s it from me

-Daria




EverLight says...


Thank you (:




Every empire tells itself and the world that it is unlike all other empires.
— Edward Said