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by Liz

1. Boston 52

You can see everything that is inside reflected in the window if it's past five-thirty on a winter's night, and the light in the room is on. The clean whiteness and the dirty blackness of your jacket and the straw colouring of your cords and the dice hanging from your ears and your brown-looking hair tied back in a neat ponytail.

The world on the other side of the window is almost a splitting image of the real thing, but there are a few mistakes. Auburn hair looks a shiny, browny colour, and everything is slightly darker. Like someone has shaded it lightly with a charcoal crayon. It's kind of weird to look at yourself, being held up in the air by nothing, looking at yourself from a warm room and yet able to feel the cool oxygen prickling on your arms.

2. Fishnets

I make it so damn obvious that I hate you.

Don't I?

Every single day I avoid you. And whenever you attempt to spark conversation with me, I brush you off. Because you don't understand what I've been through even though you looked so dead serious when you told me you did. The dark velvet coat in your eyes just told me. Usually your eyes are grey with little glitters that bore the hell out of me but seem to fool everybody else. And you frame them with smoky, inky mascara like they are masterpieces.

I feel sick to the stomach just thinking about you and the things you try to say to me because you can't deal with the truth.

3. Maxum

You can see the milky whiteness of the curtains covering the murky night, but even their random squiggles can't drown it out. The triangular space in between two of the curtains reluctantly lets the darkness in. And the wooden bars of the veranda are visible too. The clay-coloured tiles lie flat out and take the night on, causing violent head collisions. You can feel the salty mass of familiarity forming in your eyes but it never falls out. Compared to the sky and its spitting session which cancelled netball training, your eyes leaking is hardly anything to care about. Everybody notices the rain, but nobody notices your water.

4. Valleygirl

You're nothing but kind to me, but I still feel awful after I talk to you. Maybe it's because I lied to you last night, and made you worry needlessly about me. If you worried at all, that is. I guess you must have, or you wouldn't have brought up Lauren and her legs. As if you know all about it. Jesus, you've just been hiding in your plastic boyfriend's arms the whole year, how would you know a thing like that? And if you'd seen her arms you wouldn't have been talking to me about her legs.

She's more slashed up than me.

And when you say you've got to go, I just lie like I always do, and say I do as well. I'm jealous of you, but you'll never know it. You ask me to go places with you but I brush you off like I brush everyone off. Almost everyone.

I've been a serious bitch, but the only words that escape your lips are sugary, sweet, kind words that seem to drill a hole through my head even more than theirs.

5. Midford

The smudged ink marks left over from school stain your hands. The nails are not perfectly round; there is a chip on one of them, and some are just bumpy. But there is no dirt under them, and they're pinky-pearly-white and shining in places where the artificial light hits them. The night is quiet, beyond the simple glass of the winow. All that you can here is the soft, constant whirring of the air-conditioner, and the occassional revving of a car, sometimes leaving from somewhere close to you, or slowing down somewhere close to you, or just passing by. Although why anyone would want to drive through these streets at night is beyond you. Nothing except houses, short-trimmed lawns and boring people.

But how do you know they're boring? You've never got to know them because you just assumed they were like the faces they wore. You're nothing like the face you wear, so why the hell would you judge people on a thing like that? They could be the most interesting people you've ever met.

But that's just a thought. A fantasy to while the time away while you're at home by yourself, with nothing to do but French homework.

written: Wednesday 21st July, 2004

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404 Reviews

Points: 35611
Reviews: 404

Wed Sep 12, 2018 6:33 am
EditorAndPerks wrote a review...

Hello there.

Popping in to give you some feedback that I think everyone deserves, even if this is coming years and years later.

I guess I'll be going part by part.

For the first short, I think that this would honestly be more effective as a poem, as it almost reads as one. These long, run-on sentences in a story format try to carry the reader deeper into this image, but I'm a little perplexed by what this is supposed to mean. That first line especially seems like it's being a preposition or two to really link the pieces together. I guess that my biggest recommendation would be to either draw this out a little more, like adding a few more "personal" thoughts besides just describing what we, as the reader, are supposed to see. I do like the imagery here, but I feel like in a poem format, this would flow better and you'd have an easier time adding or not adding punctuation.

For the second one, I assume this is supposed to be a more personal message for someone the writer knows since there is some information missing here. As a short story, I don't think is too effective at really connecting the reader to the speaker, as we don't know why this person hates another. And I think the beginning lines sound a little off in their present state. I think the slight change of tenses is what throws me off the most. Here, I recommend either to make this longer with more hints or to turn this also into a more poetic structure and draw the reader in that way.

For the third one, I somewhat feel sympathy for the speaker, but I also don't know what to feel? The descriptions are interesting to a certain extent, but then I want more than just seeing what she can see. I want to know why she's ignored, or at least why she thinks she is. The sense of hope/helplessness is sad, but I feel that is something touched upon by a lot of writers in different ways. I simply want more information on this character. I recommend extending this or giving some sort of hint in one of these parts to really let the reader know what caused this sadness/depression.

For the fourth one, I'm also perplexed by the change in tone here. This is a separate person than before, but still, the ending part of this is much darker and almost seems disjointed from the beginning. This had a decent implication of what's been going on with the narrator, which I'm appreciative of, but that idea does also make me sad. I think the shortness of this part actually works out in your benefit because the reader at least has some sort of knowledge to grasp at here, and it feels a little more finished. The thoughts in this seem a little harried and all over the place, but maybe that adds a little to this story.

For the fifth one, I like the longer length as well. Here, it's interesting to filter through the information the speaker feels is important enough to speak, and find what's hidden. I think the set of questions is interesting but also weird since the way they're worded don't allow for a smooth feel. Instead, this feels disjointed as well and a little scatter-brained, but maybe that's what you were going for. Most people at least thinking-wise aren't the most on top of things. The last line was a little blunt, but I think that does a good job summing up these random thoughts and shorts collectively.

Overall, I thought this collection was different, but I do wish there was a stronger sense of uniformity, as I'd almost rather read these as separate pieces instead of together.

That's all I have, for now, I guess.

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321 Reviews

Points: 890
Reviews: 321

Mon Jan 24, 2005 3:54 am
Liz says...

The narrator alternates in who she's talking to: 1, 3 and 5 are to herself; her musings. 2 and 4 are to "friends".

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36 Reviews

Points: 1579
Reviews: 36

Sun Jan 23, 2005 3:26 am
Sabine says...

beautiful. Confusing but beautiful. pleasingly dark and olbique. were they drabbles? here's what i can't decide, is the main cahracter talking to a friend, a parent, or to herself?

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122 Reviews

Points: 1115
Reviews: 122

Wed Jan 12, 2005 7:10 pm
Brian says...

I thought that this was really well done. It seemed like to me a series of flash fiction, but all were pretty much about the same story.

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1258 Reviews

Points: 6090
Reviews: 1258

Tue Jan 11, 2005 9:46 pm
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Sam wrote a review...

I thought this was quite good. :D Poetic, to be sure. It wasn't really a story, but that's OK, it did have sort of a plot...*sigh* no critique, for now. If I think of something, i'll post it later.

Maybe I should say something quote-worthy, like, I dunno... "You can only be happy if you decide to be happy?"
— Necromancer14