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Of Summer Days

by Far1812


Monday, June 11th, 2015

11:21 A.M.

Jamie lays on the grass in her backyard, arms tucked behind his head, staring up at the swirling sky. He briefly remembers something from Chemistry about how humans live with the entire atmosphere crushing them; he wonders if it’s anything like living at the bottom of the ocean, pressure-wise.

A bug crawls around on his leg, but he leaves it be. It’s not like it’s hurting anybody, right? He’s the one invading its home. The tingles it causes are weird and a little unsettling, but he figures they’re probably a good thing, as he often hears how he’s far too comfortable in his own bubble.

His eyes don't dare look towards the sun, even for second, but he feels its heat on his face nonetheless.

Just what I need, he thinks, breathing deeply and shutting his eyelids. A face to match my hair. Jess always snickers at his sunburns. It’s not like he tries to get them; sunblock just doesn't work that well for him.

I don’t tan; I burn.

He perks up a little when he hears the sliding door open. The tinkle of ice against glass tells him she’s holding lemonade, and the clack of plastic tells him she’s dragging a lawn chair with her.

He glances to the side as she settles by him--or rather, above him. She’s wearing his aviators and has crossed her legs, bouncing one sandaled foot over and over.

“You’re gonna hit me in the face,” he greets.

“Might want to move, then,” Jess answers, sipping at her huge glass of cold, lemony deliciousness. She peeks down at Jamie over his aviators as she speaks.

She doesn't stop bouncing and he doesn't move.

“It’s too hot,” she announces, setting her drink down in the grass he hasn't mowed in a while. She sweeps her mane of dark hair over one shoulder and braids it smoothly, fingers twisting in a well-known dance.

Jamie sits up, and while she’s distracted, sneaks a few gulps of her lemonade. The beverage is the perfect combatant to the sun, though his head and neck aren't covered with as much extra insulation as his companion’s.

He’s just laying down again when she picks up her (now significantly less filled) glass. Her head turns from the drink to him and back to the drink; Jamie tries not to snicker as she leans over the side of her chair, raising both her eyebrows over her his shades and holding the glass out.

The cup gleams in the sunlight, perspiration from the ice dripping down its sides.

“I see the gnomes work quick,” she says.

He raises a single eyebrow, something she can't do, and shrugs in the grass. “It would seem so.”

She sticks her tongue out at him and leans back in her chair, straightening her legs and stretching them out as far as they can go. She’s in a loose Panic! at the Disco t-shirt and high-waisted shorts that stop mid-thigh; Jamie closes his eyes again. The hotter it gets, the harder it is for him to remember to not notice her legs.

Panic! at the Disco?” He throws the question into the ether.

“The ticket was cheap,” she says, nonchalant.

He waits for her to elaborate, but she doesn't.

“They’re not close by,” he says. “Also, even I’ve heard of them, which means they've gotta be expensive.”

“You could come with me next time.”

The offer isn’t a new one, but he re-considers it anyway. He thinks of being in a huge crowd, jam-packed with conflicting thoughts, feelings, emotions, all of them crushing him--

“Yeah, I’ll pass. Masses of screaming fangirls aren't really for me.” He taps the side of his head.

“Jamie, you really need to get out more. It’s summer! People do stuff during summer. You can't hide in my backyard forever.”

And there it is again. “But it’s so nice here.”

He catches her look and sighs. “Oh, I dunno. Maybe I’ll get a J-O-B. You're right, though.”

“Come on! We can go practically anywhere. Be more creative.”

“We could get jobs at the same place--it’d sure save me the gas money.”

“Maybe a little more creative?”

“We could find an art shop?”

“Seriously? That’s the best you can come up with?”

“Get it? An art shop? More creative?”

“Uh-huh.”

“Yeah, well, I don’t work very well under pressure. But," He elongates the word, making it two syllables. "...working together could be fun. Think of all the money we could save earning!”

“What?”

Even he has a little trouble working that last sentence out. “It made sense in my brain…”

“Y’know, I don't know why I even bother,” she says, swirling the last bit of liquid in her cup. The ice clinks against the glass.

He grins at her like an eight-year-old told to say cheese! “‘Cause I mow your lawn for free?”

“Since when?” She gestures at the too-tall lawn.

He makes a face. Oh. Right. “Umm...My stunning wit and rapier looks? Wait, I meant--”

She smirks and downs the rest of the lemonade in one gulp. “Sure. Let’s go with that.”

A shout out to my young nephew, who wrote the skeleton of this story with me on a summer day much like this one.


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184 Reviews


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Sun May 29, 2016 1:49 am
RoyalHighness wrote a review...



Royal here for a review!
I loved this. The characters are three-dimensional and well-rounded. The dialogue is a smidge flat, but it reveals a lot about their personalities, which is good. I like the cute geekiness in both of these characters, and you do a great job of setting up the scene. I think I need some more elaboration in the narration. You do a good job of using dialogue to set up the exposition, but I need some background in the narrative. Other than that, wonderful job!




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Sun May 29, 2016 1:09 am
Carlito wrote a review...



Hello, hello! Happy review day! :D I'll get right to the good stuff.

Sometimes when people have really awesome first chapters or openings the next chapter kind of falls short. I don't really think that was the case here. I'm not quite on the edge of my seat, but your writing style lends itself to intrigue. Like I said in the previous installment, you manage to say a lot with not a lot of words, and that's a cool skill to have. I appreciate that even though not much is really happening, there's actually more going on under the surface. You're planting a lot of seeds and I can't wait to see what all is going to come!

Jamie lays on the grass in her backyard, arms tucked behind his head, staring up at the swirling sky.

I'm not sure if that "her" is a typo or not. I had to read this sentence a few times to make sure I got it. I assumed we picked up right where we left off, with a boy named Jamie hanging out in what I assumed was his backyard. So I'm not sure who "her" is, if you really did mean to use "her". As much as I like the intrigue, I think I'd rather know who she is and where we are.

He briefly remembers something from Chemistry about how humans live with the entire atmosphere crushing them; he wonders if it’s anything like living at the bottom of the ocean, pressure-wise.

This is an interesting thought, but I feel like we need a bit more here. He's looking at the sky, and this is what comes to mind. Where did this come from? How did his mind go here? And then develop it a bit further. What does he think of that chemistry (which doesn't need to be capitalized) fact? Does he agree or disagree? What are the implications? What does that have to do with living at the bottom of the ocean? How does he make that jump? How would he know what living at the bottom of the ocean is like?

A bug crawls around on his leg, but he leaves it be. It’s not like it’s hurting anybody, right? He’s the one invading its home.

I really, really liked this little detail. It's a simple thing, but it reveals so much about his character. He's a peaceful, gentle soul that doesn't like to hurt living things. He doesn't freak out or worry about the small things.

His eyes don't dare look towards the sun, even for second, but he feels its heat on his face nonetheless.

Why not look at the sun? And since he's laying down, if he's not looking at the sun, where is he looking? Are his eyes closed?

A face to match my hair. Jess always snickers at his sunburns. It’s not like he tries to get them; sunblock just doesn't work that well for him.

Liked that little detail about a face to match his hair - now I know what his hair color is.
Jess is mentioned here and I want to know who she is and what her relation is to him. I love the mystery you're setting up, but give us a little bit :)
Also, I feel your pain Jamie. Literally :p

The tinkle of ice against glass tells him she’s holding lemonade,

Who is "she" and how does he know who it is without seeing her? Does the same person come at the same time every day and do similar things? Is he just assuming?

“Might want to move, then,” Jess answers, sipping at her huge glass of cold, lemony deliciousness. She peeks down at Jamie over his aviators as she speaks.

I kind of like her already :) I have a soft spot for girls with a lot of attitude.
I slashed that last little bit because I thought the wording started to sound a bit clumsy. She does this as she speaks and yet she has stopped talking and there was another action before this one. So did she peek at him and then sip her lemonade or did it really go in the order you have here?

raising both her eyebrows over her his shades

I think this is a typo but is it her or his? You can't have both :)

“I see the gnomes work quick,” she says.

He raises a single eyebrow, something she can't do, and shrugs in the grass. “It would seem so.”

Maybe have him clarify what the gnomes thing is referring to.

The hotter it gets, the harder it is for him to remember to not notice her legs.

Love this line.

You're right, though.”

About what?

I thought the dialogue was good and enlightening. You do a nice job of showing the characters through the dialogue. We're two scenes in and I feel like I already have a sense of who each of these characters are and what they're like. That can be really hard to do! And these scenes are pretty short which makes it even more impressive! :)

I still have a lot of questions and I'm still very intrigued by this story so I really hope you're going to post more!! I'll be looking out for it, but in the meantime, if you have any questions or if something I said was confusing, let me know! :D




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Fri May 13, 2016 3:54 pm
HazelShay says...



That was pretty good.





The emperor is rich, but he can't buy another day.
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