Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Novel / Chapter » Realistic


How Was Your Day? - Chapter 16.1

by Que


With Mia occupied in the hospital with her mother, Finnley didn’t want to burden her with what Mr. Vaughn had told him, about magic. He had promised his mother that he would talk to her more, but he wasn’t used to being open with her, and he wasn’t sure how he would take the whole “magic exists too and I’m going to learn it” thing. Not that he was entirely sure he would learn magic- he hadn’t technically accepted Mr. Vaughn’s offer yet.

Finnley had been walking home, but now his feet steered him to the other end of the neighborhood, passing by the small houses to a nearby playground. A brisk wind was blowing, and a few dry leaves scraped along the sidewalk, skittering underneath Finnley’s shoes. He was alone. Finnley sat cross legged on a park bench, with his back to the sun to absorb what warmth he could. He wasn’t ready to tell his mother yet, he didn’t want to burden Mia... he needed someone else to talk to. He needed Monica.

Almost as if he had thought her into existence, she was there. Dressed in a long sweater and stylish boots, her purple dyed hair blowing around her chin, she walked towards him from behind the playground.

“Hey,” she said as she got closer, as if she hadn’t just disappeared the other night. As if she hadn’t ditched school that day. Finnley spread his hands in a helpless, questioning gesture, and 5hough Monica seemed to know what he meant, she just shrugged. “I’m sorry. I panicked. After everything that happened... I had to get away.”

“That’s not an excuse,” Finnley said, though he often used it as an excuse himself. “You can’t just run away from your problems.”

“It seemed to me as if the problems were over,” Monica said crossly, “considering I just helped to get rid of a demon. And what business is it of yours whether I attend school or not? I have things of my own to worry about.”

“Sure. Come on, though. What about communication?” Finnley crossed his arms.

“What, are we friends now?” she scoffed.

“Does going through an epic adventure together not make us friends?”

Monica shrugged and nearly smiled, which essentially meant that she conceded, and stepped a little closer.

As much as Finnley had wanted to tell her about Mr. Vaughn only moments ago, he now felt that she owed him an explanation before he told her anything. “Monica,” he said, surprising himself. It would be yet another confrontation that day- he already felt tired of it. “That thing that happened, when I hit my head in the car... you turned colorless. What was that? Monica, what are you?”

Monica blinked, staring at Finnley, before sighing and sitting down next to him. “Look. I know some things, alright? Not much, so don’t get your hopes up. Sometimes when people hit their heads or sometimes alters their vision, they can see a different world. The spirit world, if you will. You already believe in demons- may as well believe in this too, right?”

“So you’re telling me you’re a spirit?” Finnley asked skeptically.

“Not at all.”

“But I saw you,” he protested. “No one else looked like that.”

Monica put a hand on one hip. “Finnley. Did you even look at anyone else?” Finnley was silent. “That’s what I thought. Look, it’s nothing big, I just... I know people who are into that kind of stuff. They like to tell me about it sometimes.”

Finnley sighed and leaned forward, rubbing his forehead. “I’m overthinking everything. What is going on with it all? And, there’s something else.” He turned to Monica and told her about what had happened with Mr. Vaughn that day. “Did those friends of yours tell you anything about magic? Why couldn’t we see you in the plate?”

“Finnley.” Monica put her hand on his shoulder and looked straight into his eyes. “I don’t know anything about this. I promise you. I just know a bit about some supernatural stuff, and I don’t even understand all that. This magic? That’s beyond me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t be seen, and I’m sorry if that makes you trust me less.”

“It doesn’t,” Finnley said, not realizing it was true until the words were out. “But I don’t think you’re telling me everything, Monica.” He shifted so he was facing her more. “Even if you’re not some strange spirit, who are you as a person? What’s your story?”

“My story is your story,” she said, then shook her head. “I mean, it’s like yours.”

“How so?”

She grinned at this. “It means that neither of us know anything about each other, and I don’t see why I have to start first.”

Finnley smiled back at her. Wanting to know Monica’s background didn’t make him want to tell about his own. They could both remain mysteries for the time being.

“Fine. I’ll tell you something trivial.” She tucked a strand of purple tipped hair behind her ear as if she was embarrassed. “I love watching Disney movies and eating twizzlers. I eating chicken noodle soup when I’ve had a rough day.”

Finnley shook his head in amazement. “Pfft. Get a life!” Though he said it rather affectionately, Monica looked offended. Trying to make amends and keep her talking to him, he asked another question. “Tell me. When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”

Monica laughed a little bit. “I really wanted to be an Olympic skier. Only, I’d never skied in my entire life! I would put all my winter gear on and stand in front of a poster of a snowy mountainside in the middle of the summer and just pretend until I got too hot to stand it.”

“And now? What do you want to be, Monica?”

Her smile slowly faded and she looked away. “Something that’s not possible any longer,” she muttered. Finnley didn’t press the issue, and they fell into an uneasy silence. 


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
641 Reviews


Points: 46598
Reviews: 641

Donate
Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:57 pm
View Likes
Panikos wrote a review...



Hiiiya, Querencia. I'm back again. I'm shooting to get up to date with this novel by the end of the month. Realistically, that probably won't happen, but I'm going to at least try.

Finnley didn’t want to burden her with what Mr. Vaughn had told him, about magic.


No need for the comma.

Not that he was entirely sure he would learn magic- he hadn’t technically accepted Mr. Vaughn’s offer yet.


Ha! Imagine being given the offer to study magic and being like 'nah, thanks'. Obviously it's not going to happen because plot progression is A Thing, but there'd be something hilarious about a teenager being offered a magical apprenticeship and being like 'you what?? On top of school exams? Get lost.'

A brisk wind was blowing, and a few dry leaves scraped along the sidewalk, skittering underneath Finnley’s shoes.


Nice description. I especially like the use of 'scraped'.

He needed Monica.


Oh yeah, this made me remember where the last chapter left off. It's kind of weird that Finnley doesn't mention Monica sooner, to be honest, given that her spookiness has now been confirmed. He's bound to be a bit unsettled by it. Did Mr Vaughn actually talk to him about what the blackness in the silver plate meant? I feel like if you're going to open the chapter with him ruminating over what he's going to tell Mia about, the focus should be less on him learning magic and more on what happened with Monica. That was the last development in the story, after all.

“Look. I know some things, alright? Not much, so don’t get your hopes up. Sometimes when people hit their heads or sometimes alters their vision, they can see a different world. The spirit world, if you will. You already believe in demons- may as well believe in this too, right?”


This is interesting. I wonder what other ways there are to see the spirit world? What does she have in mind when she talks about 'altering their vision'?

“Finnley.” Monica put her hand on his shoulder and looked straight into his eyes. “I don’t know anything about this. I promise you. I just know a bit about some supernatural stuff, and I don’t even understand all that. This magic? That’s beyond me. I don’t know why I wouldn’t be seen, and I’m sorry if that makes you trust me less.”


This is very interesting. I'm really not sure whether to believe her, which is excellent. Either she genuinely doesn't know, which raises a lot of questions, or she's deliberately lying, which raises even more questions. I like the mysteriousness of Monica. She's about the only character who I'm never sure whether to trust or not.

“Finnley.”


“But I don’t think you’re telling me everything, Monica.”


“And now? What do you want to be, Monica?”


Something I notice about your dialogue is that your characters tend to use each other's names a lot. It's not a massive issue, but it does always stand out to me as odd, because in real life we actually use names way less than we think we do. Mostly, we'll just use them to get someone's attention - once a conversation is established and it's obvious who we're addressing, it's pretty unnatural to use names.

Pay attention to your own conversations throughout the day. See how often you call people by name. I guarantee it's less than you expect.

“Something that’s not possible any longer,” she muttered. Finnley didn’t press the issue, and they fell into an uneasy silence.


Hmm, interesting. I really am intrigued to know Monica's backstory. She seems like she's normal in a lot of ways, but there's definitely a big streak of strangeness somewhere. I still have a hunch that she's lying about a lot of things, but we'll see.

This is definitely one of the best chapter segments for a while. Despite my point about overusing names, I think the dialogue in this section is really good; it flows well and it has a lot of personality. I loved getting a little more insight into Monica's life and personality - she's probably my favourite character overall. You do probably need to make a few changes to the opening as well and centre Finnley's thoughts more pointedly on her and what happened with the silver dish, but that's fairly easily fixed.

It's interesting to see you've abandoned the blog entries. I don't know if that's a permanent thing, but I do think it's a good decision to not stick to it so rigidly. I think that format restricted the kind of transitions you could have between chapters, always forcing you to set them a day or a few days apart. Dropping that formula means that chapters can start pretty much where they left off - or just a few hours later, as appears to be the case here.

That's all for now. Keep writing! :D
~Pan




User avatar
1727 Reviews


Points: 94060
Reviews: 1727

Donate
Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:48 pm
BluesClues says...



Oh man this chapter. No real puns but omg literally they talk about it and he doesn't even know.




Que says...


%u201CGet a life%u201D ;)



User avatar
364 Reviews


Points: 15980
Reviews: 364

Donate
Wed Oct 18, 2017 10:32 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, Querencia! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

Give me your soul.

With that aside...

STOP! Grammar time!



I'll mark the problems with red. If it's a spacing problem, I'll explain it. Otherwise, I won't, since I'm too lazy to :3

With Mia occupied in the hospital with her mother, Finnley didn’t want to burden her with what Mr. Vaughn had told him - about magic.


Not that he was entirely sure he would learn magic- he hadn’t technically accepted Mr. Vaughn’s offer yet.


All dashes must have a space before and after it unless it's combining a word. I won't point this out again.

5hough


Just wanted to point the typo out.

“It seemed to me as if the problems were over,” Monica said crossly. "Considering I just helped to get rid of a demon. And what business is it of yours whether I attend school or not? I have things of my own to worry about.”


Suggestions:



Dressed in a long sweater and stylish boots, her purple dyed hair blowing around her chin, she walked towards him from behind the playground.


I would remove that. I'm assuming that people already know that she has purple dyed hair, so we don't need to know this.

I would make this chapter longer, actually. There was a weird time jump to Finnley walking down the street, so I would add something in between to clear up the flow a little.

Confusing things:



Nothing confusing.

Other comments, reactions, and fangirling:



I ship Monicley already :wink:

Overall:



Pretty short, but good chapter. You need to work on your dashes punctuation, like I've said before, but that's an easy fix. Keep up the good work.

Give me your soul --

Kara

Image


This review courtesy of
Image




User avatar
1727 Reviews


Points: 94060
Reviews: 1727

Donate
Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:43 am
View Likes
BluesClues wrote a review...



Oh suuuuuuuuuuure just leave off like that, why don't you?

Okay I know I said I didn't want any romance at all in this story and that I was happy Mia and Finnley were just going to be friends, but.................he and Monica have some cute chemistry going on.

(Although at any rate I feel like this is less obvious because usually it would be Main Boy + Main Girl, guaranteed, for certain, especially if they're best friends at the start or quickly become best friends.)

So, like, as long as they don't become all coupley and start leaving Mia out of things. Then she has my permission to kick their butts.

I think the second part of this installment was all right, when they acknowledged that neither of them really knew anything about the other and they told each other dumb things about themselves. The first part felt...awkward? Like Monica obviously knows that Finnley's not dumb and knows something is up with her, but all she'll say is, "I dunno, I just have some friends who know things about supernatural stuff," which is weak and also just strange to say. I'd kind of expect her either to spill or to not say anything at all about any of it.

Anyway, I'm curious to see what happens when she meets Mr. Vaughn, which she obviously has to do.

Image




Que says...


Thank you!!




Ogres are like onions.
— Shrek