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Empty - Prologue of Wanderer

by Hijinks

A/N I have edited this, so it's a bit different.

I remember, the day it happened. I had just got back from swimming lessons and you were at the kitchen table, drumming your fingers on the table.

"Hi, Ma!" I said to you. You didn't reply, you were so buried in your thoughts. "Ma?"

Even then, you didn't say 'how was swimming?' the way you usually do. Instead, you looked up, a troubled expression on your face. "Avani . . . " you trailed off, and I got a funny feeling in my stomach, the same one I got the day Pa died.

"Avani, I went to the store today." Such a normal sentence, yet it seemed so morbid.


Your eyes stared at me, empty. "There - there wasn't any food. Oh god, the world has finally run out of resources." The last part was not meant for my ears, I could tell.

I imagined me, a year later, a skeleton sitting at the kitchen table, my soul finally reunited with Pa. Even though I'd expected it since forever, it sounded like it was from a dream. Everybody knew one day we'd run out. And one day had come. 

"But . . ."

"Avani, there's nothing we can do about it." You sounded so defeated, unlike I'd ever seen you.

"But, the garden?" I asked.

"You can't live off a balcony garden, hon. It's just not possible." Your voice was interwoven with a bitter vein. That was the end of the discussion.

Dinner, that night, was silent except for forced small talk. You made me eat a whole bowl of chili, even though I felt bloated on worry. I didn't understand how you could act so . . . okay.

Later, I came to say goodnight. You replied to me as though you had not a worry in the world, "Sleep well." 

You knew as well as me, though, that that wasn't going to happen. As I turned to go to my room, I met the eyes of Pa's portrait. They stared back at me, echoing my own dismal thoughts.

In bed, I couldn't sleep for a stomach ache, not from gas, but from fear. You seem to have a sixth sense, though, perhaps one only mothers have, and you came to my room and sat on the edge of my bed. 

"Avani," you said, "You only live once. It's your choice; live happily, or live buried in worry. And, as your mother, I'm asking you to live it happily. Nobody your age should have a worry. Except if you crush loves you." You sounded not sad, but nostalgic. "Can you live happily for me?"

I nodded, and even though it was dark, I know you understood.

It's funny, you know, how you said not to worry, yet the last sound I heard that night was the drumming of your fingers on the kitchen table.

I remember. Oh, I remember it all. I'll never forget you, Ma.

Is this a review?



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364 Reviews

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Fri Aug 10, 2018 11:32 pm
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zaminami wrote a review...

Hey chamical! I remember that you requested this review of me quite a few months ago (a year, I think) and I have decided to catch up on all of my owed reviews and get a head start on my reviewing game for RevMo :)

So for the hook, I wasn't really hooked. Usually, I'm hooked with strange sentences, something like: "Kara stared at the marble, wondering why it looked like that" or something. I've also noticed that most people are actually attracted by that as well, which is why I tend to use strange sentences in the beginning and then slowly lower the strangeness into normal human level XD However, the sentence that you chose seemed extremely cliche which is something that would be great if you fixed.

Next, I've noticed a lot of tense changes. You change from past to present tense constantly inside of this piece. Now, I'm not saying that I do it too (because I do; I know I'm being a hypocrite) but you do switch back and forth a lot, even in the same sentence at some points. What I recommend is reading it out loud and/or looking for verbs inside of the piece using a "verb finder" (look it up on Google and you should get one. If finds other parts of speech as well, if you would need it}. This should also help you in the future, when you have to use more tense changes.

LIke LadyBird/Lizz said below, this is an extremely awkward prologue. I don't really feel immersed in it. Maybe a flashback within a flashback would help, or more connecting sentences and conjunctions (I think that's the term lmao). There are also a few extremely awkward sentences that could be fixed. I'll give you one example:

"And, as your mother, I'm asking you to live it happily. Nobody your age should have a worry. Except if you crush loves you."

First of all, it's "your", not "you."

Second off, you could probably combine the second two sentences together. It'll make a lot more sense than the fragment sentence in the end. I would also recommend putting an idiom in the sentence along the lines of "worry in the world"?? idk

You don't have to take this advice.

Then again, I'm pretty sure that you asked me to do this a year ago. But hey, a girl's gotta keep her promises [i]sometime[/i[, right?

Hope you have a fantabulous day!

This review was brought to you by zaminami.

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Sun Aug 13, 2017 2:15 am
Brigadier wrote a review...

Hey there PearlC10 and a somewhat late welcome to YWS. It's just Lizzy dropping by real quick, so without a further ado, let the reviewing begin.

You will often see me lurking around in the prologues and first chapters of novels, because for me they reveal the true soul of the novel. What I'm looking at right now is basically what you felt was the most important for someone to view first. Understanding wise, it took me a couple of read throughs to get a complete gist of what was going on. This flashback is something that I can only refer to as awkward, half submersing the reader into this memory of the character but they still feel like a stranger. Bad feeling to have right there. I'm not really able to connect to the characters so far so most likely I wouldn't be a repeat customer.

Onto more technical stuff though because I'll start rambling any second now. Occasionally you've skipped commas and letters but that's not really affecting how I read through all of this. I start to drone on about the horror stories of grammar errors in novels to just give you another tripwire to avoid, or at least be cautious about. Novels give you a lot of places to mess up on so just always keep an eye out.
The only thing in this section I really had to comment on was your dialogue which is currently mingling a little too close with the text. Maybe split it up further? Just a suggestion. It's also a bit plain and could be utilized further to help spur the storyline along. A little bit of spice here and there makes things go a very long way.

Overall it's a little bit too far in the ditch and vague for me, even for a prologue. I'm plunged into this story next to nothing and the few details given seem to conflict. Maybe as the plot goes on it will clear and clean up a bit but as a first impression, let's just say I'm not impressed. The very end is a kind of hook to lead into the next chapter. For the most part I don't see myself reading the rest of the novel even though I want to see it get better.

That's really all for now.
Good night.

Hijinks says...

Thanks for the review!

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118 Reviews

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Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:54 am
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PastelSlushie wrote a review...

Hello, PearlC10! PastelSlushie here for a review. Let's get right into it!


1) "Hi Ma!" I said to you.
^ Make sure to add a comma after hi.

2) But you seem to have a sixth sense, perhaps one only mothers have, and you came to my room and sat on the edge of my bed.
^ Make sure to add an apostrophe on the end of mothers.

I really can't much about this because of the length, but every word counts, right? The first thing that hit me as different was the point of view you used for this. There's nothing wrong with it, I've just never seen a story where the other character is supposed to be the reader if that was what you were going for. Good job on that part.

At the moment, I'm a bit confused about the plot. The only clear part I know is that the store has no more food and the main character and mother won't able to survive with the 5x5 garden they have. It also brought me a question: how did the store run out of food? Wouldn't more food be shipped if they ran out? Is the food they sell relied on a garden, and the garden won't grow the food they sell?

However, the whole prologue being in italics definitely caught my attention - it really reminds me of a dream or a flashback the girl is having. It definitely got me interested. You definitely earned a novel follower!

Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions or disagree with anything in my review. Good luck on your future pieces and keep writing.


Hijinks says...

Thanks for the review :) The prologue is supposed to be vague, but it will get explained throughout the story. And, I read a book where flashbacks were is second person, and I thought it had a really cool effect.

Hijinks says...

were *in, sorry ;)

He who has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.
— Friedrich Nietzsche