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Help Me Find Philip - Prologue - 684 Words

by LZPianoGirl


[A/N: Please excuse the formatting! I copied and pasted this from Google Docs.]

Sabrina was tasked with cleaning out the attic. She loved her great-great-aunt Ida (everyone did) but Ida was a bit of a hoarder. Anyone who saw her attic would agree.

Great-Great-Aunt Ida was moving to a retirement village down in Florida and the family was helping her move her boxes out of her house to the moving truck. Uncle Harrison was cleaning out the kitchen and dining room, Mom was doing the backyard and shed, Dad was doing the two bedrooms, Quincy was cleaning out the living room, and because she was the smallest, Sabrina was assigned the crawl space. Grandpa and Grandma were already in Florida, settling into their own home.

“I do not see why I have to move!” Sabrina could hear Ida exclaim through the floorboards, “I am perfectly happy in my own home.”

“I know, Auntie Ida, but you can’t get up and down the stairs no more,” Quincy said, “Besides, you’ll be with Gramps and Grams near the beach.”

“Quincy, I have lived in this home for seventy-five years. I am not going to live much longer and I want to live my final days in my home.”

Sabrina shook her head and returned to the boxes. She understood Ida’s point, but what is the point of staying in your own home if you can’t move around it?

Sabrina continued to work as she listened to the conversation below. Dad joined it as Sabrina took the first round of boxes to the moving truck. There was nothing important about them. They were just filled with old junk from mom’s childhood. Sabrina climbed back up to the attic and was taking the second round of boxes, which held photographs, down in no time. Sabrina took a few pictures of photographs that interested her with her phone.

The third box was different. It was dusty, and covered in spiderwebs, as if it had been forgotten for a long time. The light shining through the windows for years had faded the box. Sabrina pulled it out of the corner it was sitting in and began looking at it. It had a name written on its side: Philip Edgar Fields. Edgar? That was Sabrina’s middle name. She hated it, mostly because it was a man’s name, and she had thought her mother had a stroke while deciding it.

Sabrina opened the box and began looking through it. At first she thought there were just more photographs, but as she dug farther, there was more. Medals, letters, and a journal. A singular journal, with a green leather color, beautiful decals, and the same name as the box. Philip Edgar Fields - 1943. The cover was torn in some parts, and the edges of the pages were dirty, but it looked well cared for. Sabrina began flipping through it, careful not to tear any of the pages, and ignoring the letters and photographs all together. Only a third of it was full and some pages were so badly damaged that Sabrina couldn’t read most parts.

After a while of flipping through the first pages, Sabrina set it down in the box and rushed downstairs, where Ida was sitting on her couch, holding a picture frame in her hand. The couch was the only thing in the room that hadn’t been moved.

“Auntie Ida?” Sabrina asked, rounding the stairwell and walking over to her.

Ida sighed. “Yes, dear?”

Sabrina paused for a moment, contemplating her next words. Ida had never talked about her life before Grandpa Otis was born. Sabrina had thought she had just forgotten about it, as old people do, but looking through the box made her realize that may not be the case.

“Sabrina, dear?” Aunt Ida said, setting the photo down, “May I help you?”

“Can you tell me a story, Auntie Ida?” Sabrina asked.

“You are nearly sixteen, dear,” Ida said, “Are you not too old for stories?”

“I don’t think so.”

Ida smiled and motioned for Sabrina to sit next to her, “What would you like a story about?”

“If it’s fine with you, I’d like a story about Philip.”


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Wed Feb 17, 2021 5:03 am
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Vil says...



This is really neat! I won't be reviewing this series, but I'll try to be a consistent reader & commenter! c: I'm reviewing a lot of stuff for three or four people right now, I might come back later on and review these XD




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Sun Jan 31, 2021 11:56 pm
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LUNARGIRL wrote a review...



Hello, LUNARGIRL here with a review!
Let's get straight to it.

Sabrina was tasked with cleaning out the attic. She loved her great-great-aunt Ida (everyone did) but Ida was a bit of a hoarder. Anyone who saw her attic would agree.


In my opinion you might want to get rid of the parenthesis around "everyone did" and but a comma there instead.

Great-Great-Aunt Ida was moving to a retirement village down in Florida and the family was helping her move her boxes out of her house to the moving truck. Uncle Harrison was cleaning out the kitchen and dining room, Mom was doing the backyard and shed, Dad was doing the two bedrooms, Quincy was cleaning out the living room, and because she was the smallest, Sabrina was assigned the crawl space. Grandpa and Grandma were already in Florida, settling into their own home.


To start, you might just want to say Aunt Ida, because we already know she is her Great-Great aunt. "Mom was doing the backyard and shed, Dad was doing the two bedrooms" You might want to change the wording of this part because you say twice "was doing" and that does not sound that good.

Sabrina continued to work as she listened to the conversation below. Dad joined it as Sabrina took the first round of boxes to the moving truck. There was nothing important about them. They were just filled with old junk from mom’s childhood. Sabrina climbed back up to the attic and was taking the second round of boxes, which held photographs, down in no time. Sabrina took a few pictures of photographs that interested her with her phone.


I think you meant to say dad joined in, not "Dad joined it." You also say in the second sentence that the first round of boxes are just junk from her mother's childhood. Are those boxes going to Aunt Ida's new house too, because I am guessing the new house is going to be smaller, so it can be easier to maintain. So why would you take old junk to her new house the.

Overall, I think this is a pretty good and well written prologue. I really like the characters in this story so far and I can't wait to hear the story about Philip. Can't wait to read what you write next!

Carpe diem,
LUNARGIRL




LZPianoGirl says...


Thanks for the review!



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Fri Jan 22, 2021 1:31 am
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NateAtNight wrote a review...



Hi!
I thought this was a really good prologue, especially the dialogue.
I did find some mistakes in it, though.

Great-Great-Aunt Ida was moving to a retirement village down in Florida and the family was helping her move her boxes out of her house to the moving truck

I think this is a bit of a long sentence. I think you could either maybe split it into two parts, or take out the "to the moving truck."
Dad joined it as Sabrina took the first round of boxes to the moving truck.

When I read this I was confused at first, and had to read it a couple of times. Maybe you could change the "it" to "the conversation." And before you have Sabrina take the first round of boxes to the moving truck, I suggest you have a sentence or two describing what she noticed about the boxes. Nothing too big or noticeable in the story, just some basic stuff. Maybe something like, "Sabrina picked up the box nearest to her. The box was quite light, and simply labeled 'JUNK'."
Sabrina climbed back up to the attack and was taking the second round of boxes, which held photographs, down in no time.

This is a good sentence, I'm just guessing you mean "attic" and not "attack."
Sabrina took a few pictures of photographs that interested her with her phone.

I'd say here put what one or two of the pictures were of.
and she had thought her mother had a stroke while deciding it.

It's likely that it's just me who doesn't get this, but I don't understand what you mean by "and she had thought her mother had a stroke while deciding it."
Last one:
and ignoring the letters and photographs all together.

I found this very confusing. At first I thought you meant as if Sabrina were ignoring the letters and photographs that were stuck together, until I realized what you really meant. Maybe you could make it clearer?

Overall, I thought this was REALLY GOOD. I really liked the dialogue, and the plot, and the voice.
I really hope you come out with the first chapter soon!

Nate




LZPianoGirl says...


Thank you! I fixed the "attack" mistake. =)



NateAtNight says...


=)



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Thu Jan 21, 2021 9:50 pm
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Plume wrote a review...



Hey! Plume here, with a review!

I really enjoyed this prologue! It's a lot more straightforward than most of the prologues I've read before, so it was, in a way, quite refreshing. I really enjoyed it and thought you did a remarkable job.

One thing I enjoyed was the way you opened and closed this. Your first sentence jumps right into it, introducing Sabrina and what she's doing. Your last sentence is also quite good. I really enjoyed how you ended it with dialogue, and what she's saying segues into what I'm predicting to be more info about Philip. I'm also interested to see how you're going to incorporate the diary format that you mentioned in the description. In short, I'm excited to see what comes next!!

One general suggestion I had was to maybe put in more visuals/Sabrina's thoughts? When I first started reading, it was told from a very objective point of view. It felt like you were almost dictating the tale. It was very straightforward, and sometimes stories are. It just felt a little too straightforward, you know? And that could just be your style, in which case just ignore this part.

Specifics

She loved her great-great-aunt Ida, everyone did, but Ida was a bit of a hoarder.

I don't think it's grammatically incorrect, but I feel like the "everyone did" would be better in parentheses rather than commas. It's more of a side thought/bit of info rather than part of the sentence.

Uncle Harrison was cleaning out the kitchen and dining room, mom was doing the backyard and shed, dad was doing the two bedroom, Quincy was cleaning out the living room, and because she was the smallest, Sabrina was assigned the crawl space.


Since you've eliminated the articles before them, "dad" and "mom" should be capitalized. By taking away "the" or "her," you've made them proper nouns that refer to specific people in your story, and proper nouns = capitalization.

That was Sabrina’s middle name. She hated it, mostly because it was a man’s name, and she had thought her mother had a stroke while deciding it.


Augh, the struggles of hating one's middle name. I know that all too well. My parents gave me my mother's maiden name as my and all of my siblings' middle names, so I can relate somewhat to Sabrina here.

Ida sighed, “Yes, dear?”


I think this would be better if you replaced the comma after sighed with a period. The way you have it now (with sigh as the dialogue tag), it reads like Ida is sighing the words out. I think you meant to say that she sighed and then spoke. At any rate, sighing out words is pretty hard to do, but if you meant it that way, please feel free to ignore this.

Overall: splendid job! I can't wait to see what comes next!!




LZPianoGirl says...


Thanks for the nice review! I've fixed up a few things that you suggested. <3




Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
— Mark Twain