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Glitter - Chapter 1

by ShallowHouse


Katie’s bare feet dug into the soft warm sand, looking over the waves, searching for something. And that something, is the boat where her husband will come from, bringing gifts for her and their newborn daughter.

“He’ll be back soon, dear. In the meantime, why don’t we play on the beach?"

Alone with her baby, she spun around with the child in her hands along the beach where the waves brushed against the sand.

That was twenty four years ago. Katie’s daughter, Lily, watched her mother sitting on her chair, still looking beyond the cold sand and over the waves. She looked at the same view as her mother’s and rather than feel a sense of longing and expectation that a boat might come and beach up on the shore, all she felt was disdain. Disdain for a person who should have been dear to her and yet, she could not quite look at his images without feeling disdain. She once longed for her father; the husband her mother still misses dearly. Now, she wished in her mind that she never knew him since it was because of him her mother kept looking outside., expecting a man who will never come.

She looked at the mantle of the fireplace and saw a letter there, worn and browned. She read it again for the hundredth time: the untimely demise of her father, all summarized in an old piece of paper: Drowned in the Pacific Ocean trying to save passengers in F.S. Quiloquoia. His body was never found but was assumed to have sunk along with the aforementioned ship. Lily placed it back on the mantle and embraced her mother from behind. While she hated her mother's habit of looking towards the sea, she loved her dearly to at least bear the view with her.

“If he saw y­ou­ right now he would have retired and spent the rest of his days on land with us.” Katie placed a hand on Lily’s arms and squeezed it.

“I’m pretty sure he’d still beg you one last trip if he knew.” Both mother and daughter giggled.

“How long will you be staying?”

“Well… with my writer’s block mucking me up, my editor told me to just get a bit of fresh air for a while, he also said-”

“How’s life been?”

“Oh, well… you know…” she struggled to find the words, “…I broke up with Peter.”

“Peter Diaz, the critic?”

“So, you do read my messages." Lily's tone went sulky. "Never considered replying, mom?”

“Many attempts were made, Lily pad. I always just forget to send the mail.”

“How can you forget how to send an electronic mail?”

“I’m an old timer. That’s my excuse.”

Lily had nothing to say. Her hand had reached her face and shook her head sideways.

“So, what happened with Peter?”

“Well, he was being kind of a jerk now since I’ve gotten a block and he wanted to read more of my stuff. What annoyed me the most was he kept pushing me for ideas every second of the day. I was already stressed out from the pressure from my editor, now I have to receive some from him? After a couple of weeks of arguing, I finally broke it off with him and I went back here."

“How long has it been?”

“…” Lily took out her phone to look at the date. “Five days.”

“Do you regret it?”

“Regret what?”

“Breaking up with him.”

“No. Actually I thought it was well overdue. I hate the way he kept gaslighting me.”

“Well, plenty of men in the sea. Or women, if you’re into them.”

“Mom!” Lily could not help but raise her voice to which her mother responded with a light-hearted giggle.

“Well make yourself comfortable, dear. Your room is where it’s always been and I’ve kept it the way you left it.”

“I will mom and you shouldn’t have.”

“Welcome back, Lily pad.”

Lily gave her mother a big smile before giving her a tight squeeze of a hug, “Thanks, mom.” She said, before kissing Katie on the cheek.

Her room was as she had left it: wall shrines of her favorite boy bands, actors and singers, all crammed into a single room, almost every single one of them framed with hearts all over, a pink bed and lavender scented candles. "...Wow, I was such a major dork back then, I almost forgot."

“Sheesh,” Lily scrubbed the edge of the wall shrine and tore it off, “Time to clean up now. V-Sync looks so old now, I can’t believe it.”

It was a long day cleaning up her old room to suit her new self: a pink bed, a blank wall and a beautiful seaside view, obscured with a couple of curtains. Lily opened a pill bottle, took two pills from it and swallowed without drinking water. Her phone buzzed: Two messages from Peter, her ex-boyfriend -recent ex-boyfriend. Her editor thought the breakup was the reason for the writer’s block but for her personally, she didn't not think so. Maybe it was the routine, maybe the atmosphere, maybe the stress got to her, but all she knew was that the cause was not their relationship. Still, she wondered why Peter kept texting her despite the breakup being mutual at the time.

She checked his messages:

“L, are you okay? I heard you’re having a writer’s block. If you need anything, I’m here.”

“Are you at your home? I could pay you a visit.”

‘Sheesh, he took the breakup well and now he’s back? Peter, I thought you also wanted this.’

Lily shrugged, “I might as well tell him off.”

“This is Lily. No I’m not at home Peter. I'm staying at my family's home.”

To which, Peter replied at an alarming speed:

“Need me to come?”

“Oh, for the love of--” Lily rolled her eyes then texted back.

“No, Peter. I’m fine. Live your own life because I’m living mine. Please move on!”

After hitting send, Lily set her phone down the pink desk and threw herself on her pink bed, not knowing she was already dozing off.

Lily took a deep breath and smelled the cold air, mixed with saltwater and the rustic scent, she felt a little better. Another sniff of the air introduced another smell. A familiar smell. A smell that could make a stomach move and rumble and roar. Food. Her stomach growled and her eyes opened. It was lunch time. She could smell her mother’s cooking from inside her room. Truly, something everyone can agree on: a parent’s cooking is the absolute best. Which, in her case, was her mother’s.

She peeked out from her room and saw her mother in the kitchen not cooking, but baking. Baking what- she cannot fathom. The oven was obscured from her bedroom door.

“Hey mom, what’re you baking?”

“Your favorite, dear.”

“Meringue?”

Katie stared blank-faced into a wall for a few seconds, “…Lasagna.”

“Oh, wow!” Lily came out of her room, “I want lasagna right about now!"

“Well you’re in luck, it’s almost done!”

Both mother and daughter stared at the lasagna through the oven glass, anticipating the timer to ring and when it was time to take it out, Katie moved like a ballerina.

“I never figured you’d still be in your prime, mom.”

“Why not? I raised you while handling two jobs at once. And once you left, I still had a lot to do!”

“What jobs were they again?”

“Proofreading and tutoring.”

“Best Mom of the Century.”

“Oh, come on- they were easy compared to raising you, little Lily.”

“Why, how dare you mom? I remember quite well that I was a darling little angel. Oops-” Lily pretended there was something in her hand as she let go of it right above the floor. “There goes the Best Mom Award.”

The parent and child both laughed and stared at the lasagna.

“Damn I’m hungry.” Lily darted towards the dish cabinet and took two plates and two forks.

“Why thank you dear.”

“I missed you mom. Really.”

Katie looked at her daughter with curious eyes and a loving smile, “I know, dear. I’ve missed you too.”

With a smile, both mother and daughter dug into the hot lasagna; eating quietly beside each other at the table.

“Dear…”

“Mm?” Lily looked up with pasta hanging from her mouth.

“If it’s not with your ex… what was it about?”


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Points: 279
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Mon Aug 10, 2020 9:02 pm
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catikus wrote a review...



Story caught my eyes and I thought I'd leave you with a few high-level review thoughts, since you've gotten great tactical feedback so far.

Overall, really good pacing. There's enough tension and resolution to make you want to keep going narratively speaking, and your sentence structure itself has a nice driving rhythm to it.

"I get that it's a style thing, but I wouldn't recommend going that many speaking sections in a row without attribution," she said.

"Why not? There's only two speakers after all."

"Sure," Catikus said, furrowing her brow in concentration. "But you want to make sure that it's easy to read and that you have those small moments of character tells that make dialogue real."

"But I want it to be fast paced! I thought you said the pacing was good."

"Oh absolutely," Catikus said. "Just throwing it out there."

Please keep writing this story! It's good!




ShallowHouse says...


"Thank you for the review!" ShallowHouse bowed, "And I hope you like and read the next chapter!"

Shallow made two finger hearts with a smile. <3 <3



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Sun Aug 09, 2020 5:05 am
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LittleLee wrote a review...



Hello, Shallow! Here I come to review your story!

I'll begin by saying it managed to capture my attention, and I'd like to see where the story goes from here. Tag me when/if you continue posting the next chapters.

I'll begin my review with criticism, and tell you everything I liked afterwards.
On with it, then.

You've mixed tenses in a few places; I'll point them out as I read.

And that something, is the boat where her husband will come from,


Like Star said, remove the first comma. And tenses:
was, not is.
would, not will.

Katie’s bare feet dug into the soft warm sand, looking over the waves, searching for something. And that something, is the boat where her husband will come from, bringing gifts for her and their newborn daughter.

“He’ll be back soon, dear. In the meantime, why don’t we play on the beach?"

Alone with her baby, she spun around with the child in her hands along the beach where the waves brushed against the sand.

Put this whole thing in italics; suddenly saying, "That was some time ago" is a bad way of dropping the passage of time on the reader. Also, i didn't feel anything here; that whole beginning could have been omitted and it wouldn't have mattered too much. So try adding a little more description, mention the worry gnawing away at the mother's face... You know.

Oh, and is Lily remembering this? That's what it sounds like. If that's the case, how is that possible? She was a baby.

That was twenty four years ago. Katie’s daughter...

After the first sentence, leave a gap; begin the next on a fresh line to emphasize on the passage of time.

She looked at the same view as her mother’s and rather than feel a sense of longing and expectation that a boat might come and beach up on the shore, all she felt was disdain. Disdain for a person who should have been dear to her and yet, she could not quite look at his images without feeling disdain.

This entire bit was very choppy to go through. It's confusing, especially "She looked at the same view as her mother's". What view? Why is this even here? I'm just saying, things have to be clearer for the reader.
And don't repeat the word "disdain" twice in one sentence. Replace the second one with "so."

She once longed for her father; the husband her mother still misses dearly. Now, she wished in her mind that she never knew him since it was because of him her mother kept looking outside., expecting a man who will never come.

Rewriting this with the correct tenses:

"She had once longed for her father, the husband her mother still missed dearly. Now, she wished in her mind that she had never known him, since it was because of him that her mother kept looking to sea, hoping for a man who would never come."

I also made a few other changes, as you can see.
A suggestion, though; the way you've portrayed Lily's resentment towards her father is a little sloppy. Instead of saying it was because of him her mother looked outside a lot (which sounds a bit silly, to be honest), you could say her mother had become more distant towards her or something. That makes sense; it isn't realistic for someone to resent a dead person just because someone else misses them.

Her hand had reached her face and shook her head sideways.

...I can't imagine what she's trying to do here. Is she moving her head around with her hand?

a beautiful seaside view, obscured with a couple of curtains.

Obscure is a strong word to use, it changes what you meant completely. Try saying, "which was framed by curtains", or something like that.

I suggest making all the texts and thoughts italics; it gets very confusing to read otherwise.

Which, in her case, was her mother’s.

Completely unnecessary clarification.

Baking what- she cannot fathom. The oven was obscured from her bedroom door.

*could not fathom.
*obscured by her bedroom door makes more sense.

“Hey mom, what’re you baking?”

“Your favorite, dear.”

“Meringue?”

Katie stared blank-faced into a wall for a few seconds, “…Lasagna.”

“Oh, wow!” Lily came out of her room, “I want lasagna right about now!"

“Well you’re in luck, it’s almost done!”

Aww, that's sad. :(
I liked this part; it showed rather than told how her mother could be at times.

The ending was extremely abrupt. Too much so for my taste.


So, I like where this is going! There's some conflict introduced already, and I have a sneaky suspicion that Lily's dad is still alive (because you put this in the fantasy section) and I also LOVE the fact that she's a writer, it makes everything seem a lot cooler!

If my review was too critical, I'm sorry; just trying to help.

I'm looking forward to reading the rest; tag me!

- Lee




ShallowHouse says...


Hiya, Lee!

Thank you for the review and no apology needed! I need critical reviews as well so thank you for that! And I must admit, I wrote that when I was like... 19? It's an old one that I edited while I was half asleep! X3
I'll keep all of these in mind when writing the next chapter and I swear I will tag you when I finally post it!



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Sat Aug 08, 2020 6:12 pm
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starlitmind wrote a review...



Hey there! The title of this novel caught my eye, so I decided to give it a review! :D
Ooh, this chapter is a good start! The story between the mom and her husband is sad, and I liked your descriptions of the beach. Your dialogue between the characters also seems pretty human and natural. I really enjoyed reading this chapter! I'm just going to point out some grammar/nitpicky things if you don't mind!

And that something, is the boat where her husband will come from, bringing gifts for her and their newborn daughter.


The comma isn't really needed here. Also, in this sentence you switch to present tense (with "is"), but the rest is in past tense.

She looked at the same view as her mother’s and rather than feel a sense of longing and expectation that a boat might come and beach up on the shore, all she felt was disdain.


I think this would be more grammatically crochet if you said "feeling" so it would reader "...and rather than feeling a sense of longing and expectation..."

She once longed for her father; the husband her mother still misses dearly. Now, she wished in her mind that she never knew him since it was because of him her mother kept looking outside., expecting a man who will never come.


Ooh, I like this part! Small thing, you have an unseeded period after "outside"

She read it again for the hundredth time: the untimely demise of her father, all summarized in an old piece of paper: Drowned in the Pacific Ocean trying to save passengers in F.S. Quiloquoia.


I would replace the first colon with a comma personally.

While she hated her mother's habit of looking towards the sea, she loved her dearly to at least bear the view with her.


Ah, I love this sentence, especially the "bear the view" part.

“I’m pretty sure he’d still beg you one last trip if he knew.” Both mother and daughter giggled.


I think this would flow better if you put "for" in between "you" and "one"

“…” Lily took out her phone to look at the date. “Five days.”


I think instead of the "..." something along the lines of "Lily paused and then took out her phone" would seem a bit more clean.

“I will mom and you shouldn’t have.”


"mom" should be capitalized since it's being used as a name.

Lily gave her mother a big smile before giving her a tight squeeze of a hug,


The comma should be a period.

"...Wow, I was such a major dork back then, I almost forgot."


xD

Lily scrubbed the edge of the wall shrine and tore it off,


The comma should be a period.

Lily took a deep breath and smelled the cold air, mixed with saltwater and the rustic scent, she felt a little better.


This is a run-on sentence. You could fix it by adding "After" to the beginning of the sentence. I like this description though!

Truly, something everyone can agree on: a parent’s cooking is the absolute best.


Agreed

Baking what- she cannot fathom.


I don't think the dash is needed.

“Hey mom, what’re you baking?”


"mom" here should also be capitalized since it's being used as a name.

“I missed you mom. Really.”


Same thing here.

With a smile, both mother and daughter dug into the hot lasagna; eating quietly beside each other at the table.


A comma works better than a semicolon.

“If it’s not with your ex… what was it about?”


Ooh, nice ending. It'll definitely make the reader want to come back for more!

Overall, this is a great chapter! You have some funny an relatable moments in this, and I'm excited to read the next parts. I hope this helped! :D




ShallowHouse says...


omg I forgot I posted this! X3
Thank you so much for the review and I absolutely must thank you for the punctuation nitpicks! Anything beyond the comma and period is just mind-boggling for me and it really helps, thank you!
I'll keep working on this :3




It's been many years since I had such an exemplary vegetable.
— Mr Collins, Pride and Prejudice