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Progress Meeting, Denied

by Liminality


At the corner of the street where the light was still working, he stopped to pet a stray cat. The boy was young, with a shock of white hair, a shade I'd generated from a list of particularly untrustworthy colours. As I floated closer to him he stood up, flicking the side ponytail off from one shoulder to the other. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Are you really gonna to let them get away just like that?" 

Icy blue eyes glared at me. He adjusted the bag he kept slung over his shoulder and turned away, walking off with steps I'd engineered to seem as haughty as possible.

"I am tired." His voice was cool; he did not look back as he spoke.

I was the one who had summoned him here, with a bolt of blue lightning visible only to myself. Usually, when humans knew they had disobeyed the plot - and that I had noticed - they stepped back in line. This one was by no means a single outlier, but he was breaking a comfortable pattern I had sunk into in the past few years. I zipped down the electric supply and manifested again before him.

On the opposite pavement, the bullies sauntered forth in a zig-zagged line, like backup dancers entering the stage. The leader side-eyed my charge, her Greek nose giving her face a rugged silhouette. I looked at him again.

"Well?" I boomed the word into his mind.

Something seemed to flash in his eyes, looking at her, but then he turned to me, letting out a sigh. "No. The deal is off. But I guess there never really was a deal, was there?"

"No," I smiled. "Despite what I promised, I really can't solve anyone's troubles. Not even if they do exactly as I say."

He scowled. "And you say I'm the crook here."

I watched the expression die on his face, his steely face as he let the emotion slide. The jumble of keys clattered together as he pulled it out of his pocket and chucked it at me. They were keys to the lockers, which he would have utilised to sabotage those schoolmates of his, had things gone according to plan. He turned, and he begun the long walk to the train station.

Maybe, in time, I would create another budding antagonist out of this foggy city. Until then, though, perhaps the story could be left alone for a bit. 


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Fri Jan 01, 2021 5:47 pm
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Yoshikrab wrote a review...



Hey Lim! I checked this out yesterday but didn't have the time to review.

Grammatical

The boy was young, with a shock of white hair, a shade I'd generated from a list of particularly untrustworthy colours.


The first comma there should be removed. The second comma should be an em dash. (Although YWS Doesn't support em dashes, that's okay.)

As I floated closer to him he stood up, flicking the side ponytail off from one shoulder to the other.


After "him", there should be a comma. And I think the "the" after "flicking" should be "his" or "a".

He scowled. "And you say I'm the crook here."


It would be preferred if you replace the first period with a comma, but that's just me.

There are no other grammatical mistakes as far as I can see. Good job!

Technical

At the corner of the street where the light was still working, he stopped to pet a stray cat. The boy was young, with a shock of white hair, a shade I'd generated from a list of particularly untrustworthy colours.


Now, I would suggest that "he" would switch places with "The boy". I would like this because since this is the beginning of a story, you can't be too vague. I understand that you are trying to be a little vague on this, but having a "he" as the first mention of a character is much too empty.

"I am tired." His voice was cool; he did not look back as he spoke.


I don't know if you intended it or not, but "I am tired." is the most robotic thing anyone can say. If it wasn't on purpose try changing it to "I'm tired", which is much more natural.

"Well?" I boomed the word into his mind.

I personally dislike this sentence. You have already justified the fact that the PoV is some ghost or intangible creature. By using the word "boomed", you ruin the spooky effect of a ghost (Assuming it's a ghost). If you changed it to:

"Well?" I hissed into his mind.


or something similar, it would have added on to the 'Ghostly' effect of the PoV.

Plot

Okay, so when I first saw this, it seemed like it would be a typical ghost story. However, as the story progressed, I could tell it wasn't typical.

It seems the PoV can control or create these people like white-haired guy, which brings a mysterious effect on the reader: What else can the PoV do?

This story is certainly very interesting-- if not confusing. I think that you made the perfect amount of vagueness, but for someone who isn't very skilled, this would be confusing.

So, I like how you casually added "floated" in the first paragraph. That was a nice touch-- letting the reader know that something is different.

Then, you continue this when the PoV "zipped down the electric supply and manifested again before him". That was when all hell broke loose in my mind-- the rest of the story kept on building, but there isn't a very clear climax or resolution in this story, so I'd suggest you work on that. Make the white-haired guy more angry, or emotional so that he'd do something rash.

Those are all of my comments and suggestions for your short.

I hoped this review satisfied you!

Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad. Remember Fireworks.

-y0shi




Liminality says...


Ah thank you for your review and suggestions, Yoshi! I do think I'll try to intensify the emotion in the climax when I revise this, so thanks for pointing that out :D Thanks also for pointing out some word choices I might improve on!



Yoshikrab says...


You're welcome!



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Fri Jan 01, 2021 3:19 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review.

First Impression: This was a really interesting little story. Not what I expected it to be at all and well certainly a pleasant surprise. This was a really fun little short. And I don't think there were any real issues I had with this. We'll see.

Anyway let's get right to it,

At the corner of the street where the light was still working, he stopped to pet a stray cat. The boy was young, with a shock of white hair, a shade I'd generated from a list of particularly untrustworthy colours. As I floated closer to him he stood up, flicking the side ponytail off from one shoulder to the other. "What are you doing?" I asked. "Are you really gonna to let them get away just like that?"


Okay well that's an interesting way to start off a story but definitely getting the reader's attention that way. And you do get a really good sense of where they are and what's going on as well which is again good to see in an opening paragraph.

Icy blue eyes glared at me. He adjusted the bag he kept slung over his shoulder and turned away, walking off with steps I'd engineered to seem as haughty as possible.


Okay, so that last line, does that mean she chose to see it as haughty as possible? I just have to clarify that a bit. Or did she like actually make this dude?

I was the one who had summoned him here, with a bolt of blue lightning visible only to myself. Usually, when humans knew they had disobeyed the plot - and that I had noticed - they stepped back in line. This one was by no means a single outlier, but he was breaking a comfortable pattern I had sunk into in the past few years. I zipped down the electric supply and manifested again before him.


Okay well that got really interesting in a single paragraph, did I jump into a second part here by mistake or is this a really cool introduction into what sounds like a really fun concept.

On the opposite pavement, the bullies sauntered forth in a zig-zagged line, like backup dancers entering the stage. The leader side-eyed my charge, her Greek nose giving her face a rugged silhouette. I looked at him again.


Okay, well that's not a description I thought I would ever hear for an entrance but well, presently surprised, its a good one.

Something seemed to flash in his eyes, looking at her, but then he turned to me, letting out a sigh. "No. The deal is off. But I guess there never really was a deal, was there?"

"No," I smiled. "Despite what I promised, I really can't solve anyone's troubles. Not even if they do exactly as I say."


Okay, well that seems both awfully realistic and kind of like someone just got scammed so I don't know whose side I should be on.

I watched the expression die on his face, his steely face as he let the emotion slide. The jumble of keys clattered together as he pulled it out of his pocket and chucked it at me. They were keys to the lockers, which he would have utilised to sabotage those schoolmates of his, had things gone according to plan. He turned, and he begun the long walk to the train station.

Maybe, in time, I would create another budding antagonist out of this foggy city. Until then, though, perhaps the story could be left alone for a bit.


Well...that sounds like a very interesting ending there but well strangely satisfying too which is a little crazy but that's not really a problem so don't worry about it.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall this was a really interesting sounding concept for sure. And I think you've managed to somehow make this feel complete despite it being so short. So yeah that's about all I have to say.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




Liminality says...


Ah thank you for reviewing, Harry! I'm very happy to hear your thoughts <3 It's good to know which lines I'll need to clarify more on the edit, so thanks again!




Too bad all the people who know how to run this country are busy running taxicabs or cutting hair.
— George Burns