Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Narrative

E - Everyone

i spy with my little eye...

by sofiscarlat

‘dear diary…’

There was ink on her fingers from the fountain pen she was holding, scrambling onto the crumpled piece of paper she had placed on her lap.

I was looking directly at her from the other side of the empty train station we were sharing for the evening, but she did not seem to notice my presence.

The bright, cold lights from the lamps around the platform made her eyes hurt terribly and the cold air seeped through her bones and made her skin crawl. Nevertheless, it seemed almost impossible to distract her attention from whatever it was she was nervously writing.

Her long, honey-colored hair flowed slightly in the wind and as my gaze was hypnotized by the way it moved in a sort of a wave-like manner, I didn't even notice the midnight train slowly approaching onto the rails. It stopped next to the platform, creating a barrier between the two of us that only I seemed to notice.

As it left, I watched on the other side of where I was standing as the girl got up, pulling her bag closer onto her shoulder, crumpling up the piece of paper yet again and leaving it onto the bench without even blinking, as if nothing had ever happened.

I was, of course, intrigued, so I was able to get my hands on the mysterious note. What follows is a word by word reconstruction of what i read that night.

‘dear diary…

as i’m sitting here tonight, i’m haunted by the same question as always: ‘why?’. people always seem to ask that. so i’m asking them back. why do you ask why? why do we question everything?

everyone seems to have this idea of what the perfect, incredible life is like and if they don’t match up to that high standard it’s considered nothing but pointless. i was there, but not for the reason some people are- i was there because everyone else was and there sadness clung to me like leeches. we look for disappointment with a magnifying glass and when it’s not there we create it, just so that we can destroy ourselves further. i don’t get that. it seems to me as if the more we have, the more we start to lose. we’re surrounded by technology and innovative designs that are supposed to simplify our lives and make them better but all they do is make things worse. we assume that nowadays, because we’re so ‘advanced’ and we have these pathetically-high standards, we have to enjoy more impressive things and we have to achieve more impressive things. it seems as if the ‘little things’ are gone. but not for me.

so this note i’m leaving you – or better said, leaving the world – is my take on things. an inspirational quote, if you will.

screw everything. high standards, expectations. little things that we do not plan are what life’s all about. things like getting in bed after a long day in freshly washed sheets or waking up very early but choosing to watch the sunset instead of going back to bed. things like screaming the lyrics to old music at the top of your lungs as you’re driving fast down an empty road. watching home videos and laughing at yourself for being the weirdest baby. taking warm baths to relax and think about how you week went. ordering pizza because you’re too lazy to cook anything. binge-watching old TV shows and movies alone or with somebody else and laughing at the fact that you remember most of the lines. hearing a new song you immediately fall in love with and wanting to sing along to it but not knowing the lyrics. changing from your clothes to pajamas after a long day. dancing around your room until you’re so tired you just fall onto the bed and call it a night. hugging a cup of hot chocolate when it’s freezing outside. watching the people you care about smile. having to walk during cold weather and having nothing but the music flowing through your headphones to keep you warm. meeting up with someone but having no where to go so you have to improvise. walking around at home with your new shoes because you’re literally obsessed. reaching that climax in a book and it being so captivating and painful that you hold your breath. running home so you can have wifi to text your best friend. talking to someone who makes you happy but not hearing a word they’re saying because you’re too busy admiring every single feature of theirs, from their eyelashes and eyes to the tip of their nose that has turned red from the cold. hugging someone for 10 minutes straight and taking in their smell because you never want them fully ‘gone’. pulling out your laptop at 2 a.m. because you just had an amazing idea that you need to write about.

i could go on forever because, after all, everything in life should and can make you happy. you- whoever finds this: a stranger, a friend, someone i will meet in the future, or me- should understand that everyone’s life is a masterpiece. it’s so unique and amazing and disappointing and fun and crazy and unexpected that i struggle to find a word to describe it because something like this shouldn’t be underappreciated. we try to define and find explanations for everything but life itself cannot be described because no one knows what it is. it’s different from one person to the next and it’s always one step ahead of all of us. we get the chance to experience something new that no one has ever felt or lived before while also making a huge impact on the others who will also soon get their chance at doing the same.

so my question to you, dear reader, is one that i don’t want answers to because if you do answer it, it means you didn’t understand anything that i have been trying to say.

my question to you is: why refuse life?’

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?



User avatar
271 Reviews

Points: 16577
Reviews: 271

Wed May 24, 2017 8:42 pm
rosette wrote a review...

Hi, Sophie!
I like the idea you have for this because honestly, people are sooo caught up in technology and themselves, I do agree with this girl. Some things in life are very unappreciated now, and it's frankly sickening. But I don't think you executed your idea the way it was intended.

First off, I'm not sure I like the point of view you have here. Here's a suggestion: why don't you try writing from the girl's perspective? Right now, we're with the "I" in the story (who we don't know anything about anyway, just that they're watching a girl), and this random girl left a random note on a seat at the train station. Why? What was her purpose for doing that? What happened that made her do it? Writing from her perspective would give some necessary backstory and details, and possibly make the whole idea of the letter more understandable and clear. Because as of right now, we just have this random letter with a random opinion. Why?
I do suggest you chop up that paragraph about doing the simple things in life like hugging a cup of hot chocolate, and watching home videos. That block of words was difficult to get through.

I was confused in the beginning because you sort of switched with the point of view.

I was looking directly at her from the other side of the empty train station we were sharing for the evening, but she did not seem to notice my presence.
The bright, cold lights from the lamps around the platform made her eyes hurt terribly and the cold air seeped through her bones and made her skin crawl. Nevertheless, it seemed almost impossible to distract her attention from whatever it was she was nervously writing.

So maybe you thought you were sticking with the first person perspective but... that's kind of creepy. How would the narrator know if her eyes were hurting, or if the cold air bothered her or not? Anyway. Just stick with one perspective, please.

I had an issue with your opening lines, as well.
‘dear diary…’
There was ink on her fingers from the fountain pen she was holding, scrambling onto the crumpled piece of paper she had placed on her lap

1. The "Dear Diary" beginning literally made this sound like a letter, but it's not. And why start with that, anyway, when we have no idea what the girl was writing until later? Also, why would she purposefully leave her diary entry at a train station? Diaries are usually pretty personal, yet she's addressing people like it is a letter. In that case, why begin with the "Dear Diary"?
2. So the description of the ink made me think the narrator was sitting nearby, but WAIT - he/she is sitting on the other side of the station. How in the world did Narrator notice the ink from that far away?

I was, of course, intrigued, so I was able to get my hands on the mysterious note.
Er, how exactly did that come about? Okay, I'll just say it. If you want to stick with this point of view, why did you make Narrator sit on the other side of the station? There was no point in the train coming - you didn't mention any significant person stepping off, or the girl or Narrator himself jumping on it, so... why not keep the story simpler, and have Narrator on her side? It would take away this annoying little sentence that needs more detail on how they got the letter, anyhow.

Overall, I thought this could use some major improvement in the whys of everything, and I do suggest you go back and edit this - you had a few grammatical errors.
If you have any questions about anything I said, do let me know.
I hope to see more of your works around here soon. ;)

User avatar
13 Reviews

Points: 83
Reviews: 13

Wed May 24, 2017 3:34 pm
Amethyst101 wrote a review...

Amethyst101 swooping in for a quick review! First some positives: A lot of times when writing about our deeper emotions they tend to follow a negative trend which is okay, but it's difficult to find pieces that also capture the upside to bad situations (yes-- there really is an upside to everything). This short story takes me full circle through the emotions that come with it and leaves me with a tone of hope. Your story was engaging from start to end, and carried a valuable meaning.

I don't have many negative critiques other than structure. Try to make sure that it flows properly and don't jump from idea to idea.

User avatar
84 Reviews

Points: 350
Reviews: 84

Tue May 16, 2017 5:44 pm
DragonNoir wrote a review...

Hello! DragonNoir here for a review!

Well, what can I say? This is quite a unique and great piece of writing. It is quite deep and touching. However, the writing itself could use some polishing, especially with capital letters. If you simply rushed the piece, you made two mistakes: the first one being the fact you left the mistakes there and the fact you actually rushed yourself. Writing cannot be rushed if you want something amazing out of it. Either way, a capital letter should come at the beginning of each sentence and paragraph.
Personally, I think that making that girl leave the letter behind is for plot convenience. You should have either made the girl the narrator or have her give it to the narrator. Why would the girl leave it there if it was supposed to be a diary entry. A diary is supposed to be secret and for no one else's eyes apart from the eyes of the person who wrote it. You made the entry seem like a letter by making it as if addressed to the narrator, so what is it? A diary entry or a letter?

On a more positive note, your vocabulary is well-chosen and the theme is incorporated effectively. As I said before, the subject you picked is deep and heart-touching and your piece mirrors this, which I like as well.

Overall, a great short story, but your capital letters could be improved on and a good idea of what you're writing would also be useful.
I hope my review helped! :)

User avatar
223 Reviews

Points: 3566
Reviews: 223

Tue May 16, 2017 4:36 pm
ZeldaIsSheik wrote a review...

Wow. I didn't expect to be reading something so deep today... It's changed my perspective on the world so much that I forgot to do my intro...

ZeldaIsShiek here for another review on an incredible short story that dares to define life and the world we live in. I have a lot to say today, so let's hop right in!

After reading this story, I felt that my whole perspective of life had changed. I think this is a really good story and that you do a very good job of introducing the characters to the reader. I think something like this would belong in a short story collection, since it's just that good. I've agreed with this short story since the very beginning. I appreciate your message and I completely understand how this is important to remember, as some of the things you addressed I'd been thinking about for a while.

The only negative thing I can say about it is that you once put "you" when you meant to put "your" and it interrupted the flow of the work. Other than that, I really have no complaints or constructive criticism for you today. It's just a marvelous piece! Its author deserves a like and a follow.

ZeldaIsShiek, out!

Random avatar
sofiscarlat says...

Hii! I'm surprised that I've recieved such positive feedback on my first article. Not that I was expecting anything negative, but I am only 14 and there are definitely a lot of things I need to improve. Thank you for pointing out the grammar mistakes- English is not my first language but I do consider myself to be quite good at it so I can let you know that they are purely accidental. I will read the article again and try to fix the ones which I can find. Do let me know if there are any others. Thank you so much for your review!

ZeldaIsSheik says...

No problem! I'm fourteen, too.

The snow leopard is absolutely magnificent. It represents really what endangered species are all about.
— Jack Hanna