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How Was Your Day? - Chapter 18

by Que


Finnley’s mom was working late that night, and Finnley took Rory up to his room, setting the tan and white rabbit on his bed. He didn’t really think it was fair that this much crazy stuff could be going on in his town and he still had to do calculus homework. He would much rather be doing work for his poetry class, but he knew he had to get this done at some point. If his grades dropped, his mom would definitely decide it was better for them to move again. Despite everything crazy, Finnley didn’t want that.

Finnley had just finished his calculus problems and was moving onto biology when his phone rang. No number popped up on the screen, but he took the call anyway. “Hello?”

“Hey, it’s Monica,” the voice replied.

“Monica!” Finnley said, astonished. He sat up straight. “I didn’t know you had a phone. Can ghosts call people?”

“Sort of. Look, I’m not really calling you. Does it sound like my voice is coming from the phone?” she asked.

“No,” Finnley replied, because the voice that had seemed to come from the phone before was now coming from right next to him. He slowly turned his head and saw Monica sitting on his bed, wearing stylish overalls and a headband, petting his rabbit. He forced himself to hold in a scream while he tried to calm down. Monica saw him and laughed. “Could’ve given me a warning,” Finnley huffed in a disgruntled sort of way.

“That wouldn’t be any fun though!”

“Hm,” was all he replied, because he didn’t think she had come here for fun. Still, she seemed determined to act casual for as long as possible.

“You’ve got a very nice room,” she added, and Finnley followed her eyes, observing his own room for the first time in what seemed like ages. He had painted it navy blue, and it was a dark, soothing color. He had a tack board set up, and various snippets of poetry and ideas were pinned to it. To tell the truth, it was looking a little empty. He had a desk, a closet, all normal things for a room. His gaze were on the photos resting on his nightstand, and he noticed Monica staring at them too — staring at the picture of Allie. “You look so much like her,” she whispered. Before Finnley could warn her off the subject, she held up a hand. "Look. I just came here to tell you those things I was supposed to tell you. It's why I came back, you know? It's why I'm a... a ghost, and it's why I'm here with you now."

"No!" Finnley said, though it came out more like a yelp. He noticed he was standing and sat back down abruptly. "No," he repeated, more calmly this time, "we can't do this tonight. I mean, I just found out you're a ghost and I'm not sure if I'm ready to hear what you have to say." Finnley was, in fact, more than ready to hear whatever it was she had to tell him. But his mind was replaying Monica's parting exchange with Mr. Vaughn — her promise that she would leave when she'd told him. That way of saying "leave", it had some sort of permanence that Finnley wasn't ready for. They'd only just begun to get to know each other.

Monica agreed, and she looked almost relieved. Had she been thinking about the same things as Finnley? But he didn't ask that. Instead, he shrugged. "So what now? Are you going to leave? Where do you even go at night?"

"Spirit world," Monica replied nonchalantly, like talking to a ghost about the spirit world was something that happened every day. As if. "It's essentially just like the energy of this world, like a ghost world or mirror world or something. I've got to go back every once in a while to get energy, like recharging a battery. I just sleep somewhere. It's cozy."

Finnley was sure his eyes would pop out and forced himself to close them. Monica giggled, and when he looked around again, she was nowhere to be seen. Rory was staring up at the empty spot on the bed where she'd been as if he missed her. "Hey, you're supposed to be my buddy!" Finnley grumbled, but he was smiling.

"I'm playing hide and seek!" Monica called from another room. "Come and get me!"

Finnley laughed and ran down the hallway, his feet making light slapping noises on the cool wooden floor. As he was peering into a closet, Monica appeared right behind him. Finnley screamed, and it was high pitched enough that he was embarrassed. Monica doubled over with laughter, though she seemed a bit blurred.

Finnley blinked hard. "Monica..."

Monica glanced self consciously at her hand and winced. "Oops. It's been a really long day, in and out a lot, you know? I've got to go now."

"Will you be at school tomorrow?" Finnley asked hopefully.

"I..." Monica glanced from side to side. "I don't know. Time in the spirit world doesn't work like it does here. I shouldn't lose more than a week, but I can never tell. Finnley, we'll talk more-"

Then she was gone. Reluctantly, Finnley padded back to his room and stretched out on his bed. Maybe a whole week- a week in which he'd have to make up his mind about being Mr. Vaughn's apprentice and convince his mother to agree to it. A week in which Mia was still not in her house, with her mother still in the hospital and her uncle still trying to fit in. A week where any sort of thing could go wrong.

Finnley went over to his inspiration board and tacked up a fresh sheet of white paper. His fingers landed on a sharpie, and he scribbled, "Ghosts — past and present — sister". Finnley looked again to the smiling photo of Allie. Monica hadn't said she looked like Finnley — she'd said that he looked like her. A chill ran down his spine and he added to his notes, "Mysteries within mysteries."


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Wed Feb 21, 2018 6:52 pm
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Panikos wrote a review...



Yoooo, Querencia. Back again.

He didn’t really think it was fair that this much crazy stuff could be going on in his town and he still had to do calculus homework.


Hah!

“Monica!” Finnley said, astonished. He sat up straight. “I didn’t know you had a phone. Can ghosts call people?”

“Sort of. Look, I’m not really calling you. Does it sound like my voice is coming from the phone?” she asked.


Ghost privilege is getting to call people without having to fork out £25 per month for a phone contract.

In all seriousness, though, I like this. It's a neat idea and I love how nonplussed Finnley is by it.

He slowly turned his head and saw Monica sitting on his bed, wearing stylish overalls and a headband, petting his rabbit. He forced himself to hold in a scream while he tried to calm down. Monica saw him and laughed. “Could’ve given me a warning,” Finnley huffed in a disgruntled sort of way.

“That wouldn’t be any fun though!”


Have I mentioned that I love Monica

"Look. I just came here to tell you those things I was supposed to tell you. It's why I came back, you know? It's why I'm a... a ghost, and it's why I'm here with you now."


Oh, so it's to do with Finnley? Interesting. I wonder if she has a connection to Allie somehow? It feels like high time that the matter of Allie came back into the plot in some way, because it felt like it played a big role at the beginning but has kind of been forgotten about.

"I'm playing hide and seek!" Monica called from another room. "Come and get me!"

Finnley laughed and ran down the hallway, his feet making light slapping noises on the cool wooden floor. As he was peering into a closet, Monica appeared right behind him. Finnley screamed, and it was high pitched enough that he was embarrassed.


I am kind of shipping these two cuties. Which is terrible, because one of them is dead and relationships with dead people generally don't work out so well.

Monica doubled over with laughter, though she seemed a bit blurred.

Finnley blinked hard. "Monica..."


I think you handle the transition from light-hearted humour to something more serious really well. I can feel the mood flattening and it makes me sort of sad, in a way, because I just feel like Monica deserves so much more than she has.

Monica hadn't said she looked like Finnley — she'd said that he looked like her.


Oh, that's a subtle detail that I didn't notice. I like that. Is Allie chilling out in the spirit world as well and she and Monica have met? Has Monica come back because Allie can't for some reason?

This is one of my favourite chapters for quite a while. It's got a lovely balance of humour and poignancy, and I love seeing the interactions between Monica and Finnley. There's a subtle note of mystery to it as well which I'm really intrigued by. Looking forward to the next chapter! I feel like I'm finally on the way to catching up now.

Keep writing! :D
~Pan




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Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:31 pm
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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'm just going to mark the ones I can with red because I'm too lazy to write explanations.

You've improved on the dashes, but there are still a few problems.

Finnley’s mom was working late that night, so Finnley took Rory up to his room, setting the tan and white rabbit on his bed.


Maybe a whole week{ }- a week in which he'd have to make up his mind about being Mr. Vaughn's apprentice and convince his mother to agree to it


"Ghosts — past and present — sister."


Suggestions:



No suggestions. This is a great chapter :D

Confusing things:



Nothing confusing.

Other comments, reactions, and fangirling:



Rory


**squints**

Image

Overall:



Overall, I liked the chapter. I loved the little detail about how Monica grows blurry as she goes into the spirit world. I'm looking forward to Finnley going to said spirit world - assuming that he does, anyways - since I can't wait to see what it looks like. Great job and keep up the great work!

Give me your soul --

Kara

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Tue Oct 31, 2017 5:07 pm
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BluesClues wrote a review...



Ooooooh cool, has Monica seen his sister in the spirit world? Like obviously whatever she's supposed to tell him must be about his sister. I'm sure of it. Omg.

I loved the little hide-and-seek scene in this chapter, even though it was so short. It was so cute and really felt like it was kind of amping up the potential romance that we know won't work because Monica's a ghost and has to leave as soon as she fulfills her last bit of work. So I can't wait to see further development of this - before, I thought it was so straightforward, like obviously there's going to be this romance and it'll all end up happily ever after, but you really threw a wrench in the works with this ghost business! So now there's this clear tension in this subplot, which is fantastic.

I like Finn's thoughts toward the end, not only the thoughts on the fresh mysteries but his thoughts about Mia and her family and everything else still sort of wrong right now. It was a nice tie-in to the main plot. You have a lot going on in this story, but it never gets to the point where I feel like you've wandered off from any one plot point for too longer, unless it's the mystery of Finnley's sister back at the beginning - but you returned to that one in this chapter with Monica, so good job there. Plus you had his therapist asking after him...last chapter? A couple chapters ago? Which brought her back up, although I'd probably want to see him thinking about her a little more overall.

It would especially be nice to get some specific memories he has of her, so we can really feel his and his mom's pain and get to know his sister a little more beyond "she is his sister and she is dead."

(On that note, do we know how she died? Because I feel like at this point we absolutely must, but I don't remember.)

But back to this chapter! I'm a little confused here.

Finnley laughed and ran down the hallway, his feet making light slapping noises on the cool wooden floor. As he was peering into a closet, Monica appeared right behind him. Finnley screamed, and it was high pitched enough that he was embarrassed. Monica doubled over with laughter, though she seemed a bit blurred.

Finnley blinked hard. "Monica..."

Monica glanced self consciously at her hand and winced. "Oops. It's been a really long day, in and out a lot, you know? I've got to go now."


Like I assume her hand disappears or fades or something, but you never clarify that so I'm not quite sure what they're really looking at here.

So! Sorry I didn't have more to say on this chapter in particular, but I tried to incorporate more overall feedback after discussing novel chapter reviews in workshops and stuff. Let me know how helpful you found this and if you prefer this sort of note or if you'd rather have more chapter-specific feedback right now, and I'll keep that in mind for the upcoming chapters!

Image




Que says...


Haha giving feedback on your feedback.
I'm glad you think that I don't get too far away from the main plot! With LMS going on, I often worry about that since it's so piece-by-piece. It's good to know I'm approximately staying on track.

I'd planned for Allie to be dead from the beginning, so I didn%u2019t put much thought into who she was, but I think you're right about the memories thing. any ideas about where I should put them in? Like begin to slip them in after the message from Finn%u2019s therapist? And, uh, no, I haven't said how she died. I know how, but I'm never been sure how or if to hint at it since I want it to be clear Finnley's trying not to think about it too much.

Oh yes, her hand faded, should have made that clearer! I kind of said blur in the last line, but didn't make the hand part specific.

That was pretty good! Stuff on the individual chapter is fine, although it's nice since you've been so faithfully reviewing the entire thing (thank you so much!!) to get some larger perspective stuff too. Whatever you feel comfortable with is good! I, uh, might ask for some help on something specific at times, though.



BluesClues says...


Of course! I'm always happy to answer questions about specific things, especially when I *really* don't feel like reviewing but think I should.

Mmmm honestly you could probably have memories of Allie sprinkled throughout, just like little one-liners in most cases, right? Like he's doing something or someone says something and it reminds him of something Allie liked or disliked or once said or did. And then in cases like his therapist bringing it up and reminding him, you could bring in more detailed memories that are a bit longer.

Hmm which is making me think I need a bit more of that myself re: Edna's son because now that I think of it the only thing we know about him is that a) he died a long time ago and b) he was a Knight. Well, well.




If writers wrote as carelessly as some people talk, then adhasdh asdglaseuyt[bn[ pasdlgkhasdfasdf.
— Lemony Snicket