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Sons and Daughter ch. 1

by tgirly


The sunset cast fierce colors over the silent sky and fiery tones, outlining the low-lying clouds in bright lavenders and soft blues. The ocean’s waves reflected the beauty and majesty of the skies. A figure walked along the beach, hurrying across the shifting sands, barely aware of the painting-like scene surrounding her.

Her hands were buried in her pockets and she walked at a brisk pace with her head down. A little boy flitted at her side, stopping now and again to gaze out at the waters or pick up a piece of stray sea glass, then running to catch up.

The siblings reached a set of rocks on the beach only passable by climbing. The elder picked her way through the rocks with an air of disdain. The youth scrambled through, hopping along with the agility of a mountain goat.

“Don’t hurt yourself,” the girl said, though it was obvious she didn’t care if the boy fell and broke his arm.

“I won’t,” the child said, as if reassuring a caring, overprotective mother. He brushed a strand of overlong hair the same color as the sand out of his giant eyes and fingered the strap of the primary-colored backpack he wore.

The rocks ended and they walked a bit farther to a ring of rocks in the sand that had the potential for a grand bonfire. She sighed and sat down on a piece of driftwood and the boy sat down next to her. He had no memories of this place, but she did. She could barely stand being there at all.

They sat in silence as the sun slipped down, and as the last rays of sunlight clung to the horizon, a boy appeared walking toward them from the other side of the shore, flashlight in hand.

“About time you got here,” the girl complained, “I was getting worried you wouldn’t show up.” She stood and crossed her arms, then gave her long ponytail a tug to tighten it and gave the boy a smirk. It was a practiced smirk, one calculated to be as infuriating as possible without being accused of rudeness. Her smirk was lost here however; the child did not notice and the boy had seen the smirk so many times he’d become immune to it.

“I didn’t forget,” he said, then, with a quick glance down at his shoes, “I never forget.” The girl moved as if to bite her nails then, embarrassed by the recurrence of a hard-fought childhood habit, she blushed bright red and glared furiously at the boy.

“Of course you don’t forget,” she said, turning her nose up at him, “Archy never forgets. He just doesn’t remember when it’s of paramount importance.” Archy’s fists clenched for a moment at her scathing words, then relaxed, reminding himself not to let her under his skin.

“If you don’t mind,” the girl said; gaining steam, “I actually have responsibilities to return to, unlike you.”

“Well,” Archy said, “if you don’t mind, I actually have a life to return to, unlike you.” The girl turned, her blonde ponytail snapping like a whip behind her and she started off without a word.

“Goodbye, Sissy!” the child yelled.

“Bye, Eel!” Archy said.

“Call me when you can’t stand him anymore,” the sister called to Archy.

“Don’t hold your breath,” Archy responded, then started walking the other way with his brother at hisside.

“Does Amelia Anne take you here often?” Archy asked the little boy.

“No,” the child said, “I think this is my first time.” The boy tilted his head up at Archy. Archy was surprised by how much his little brother looked like him. Teardrop nose, electric green eyes, thin eyelashes, big ears.

"Wait!" a voice called frombehind. They turned to see Amelia Anne running back toward him.The childwas dumbstruck.He'd never see his older sister run before.

Shooting a glare at Archy, she knelt besidethe little child she'd been watching out for for years.

"You forgot this," she said, pulling a teddy bear from her purse. Smoothing backthe child's hair, she whispered,"Stay safe, Aristotle. Goodbye." Then, turning back to her normal rigidity, straightened up and walked off.Archy saw the tears hang on Aristotle's eyelashes for athick moment, before theboy blinked them away.

"Do kids still like McDonald's thesedays?" Archyasked hurriedly, thinking if ever someone needed a happy meal, it was now. Aristotle gave a nod and they headed to Archys pickup, hand in hand.

They reached the beat-up truck and Archy had to lift his brother into his seat, the gap between truck and ground being too far for him. Archy turned the keyand, after several attempts, got the engine started. They drove in silence for awhile.

“Do you have any nicknames,” Archy asked, “or do you go by Aristotle?”

“Most people call me Totle,” he replied, “but Amelia Anne calls me Ari. What about you? Do you go by Archimedes?”

“Go-osh, no,” Archy said, “call me Archy.”

“Okay.” Silence itched at Archy and he couldn’t help but glance at Totle every now and then. So this was his kid brother. For some reason, he’d expected him to still be a tiny baby, even though it had been years since he’d seen him in that form.

“How old are you now anyway?” Archy asked.

“Eight,” Totle said, “but my birthday’s next week.”

“Oh. Great. You’ll probably want some kind of party or celebration?”

“No.”

“No? I thought kids loved birthdays. I always got really excited about my birthday when I was a kid. Think I missed it this year. There must be something you want?” Totle turned away from the window and towards his older brother.

“Will you tell me about Mother?” he asked. Archy almost gagged. His calm assurance vanished and he seriously considered calling Amelia Ann and saying he couldn’t stand Totle for another moment.

“Why would you want me to tell you about that?” Archy asked, “hasn’t Eel already told you all about her already.”

“No,” Totle said sulkily, “she won’t tell me anything.”

“Maybe there’s some reasoning behind that,” Archy said. Totle looked down at his dirty white shoes and mumbled something.

“What?” Archy asked.

“It isn’t fair,” Totle whined, “I’m the only one who didn’t know her. I don’t even know what she looks like.”

“How about we talk about this later?” Archy asked.

“On my birthday?”

“Why would you want to talk about something like that on your birthday?”

“Because it isn’t just my birthday.” Archy fought the urge to slam on the breaks and kick his kid brother out in the middle of nowhere.

“Why don’t you take a nap?” Archy suggested. Totle glared at Archy, then squirmed a bit and was soon asleep.

Speeding towards the city, Archy wondered if the rest of his brother’s stay would be this infuriating.



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Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:08 am
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zohali93 wrote a review...



Wow, cpm. :)


I loved this!
But there were just a few things I'd like to point out.

So first of all your title "Sons and daughter" isn't so much an eyecatching title. I wasn't even sure what to expcet. Some people will judge a book by it's title so I was a bit unsure about this, but it turned out to be good.

I liked how you paced introductions but I found it just a bit strange as the titles changed from 'the girl', 'the eldest'...and all the rest. And calling the little boy 'youth' also kind of lost the mood.

So there was this part:

The rocks ended and they walked a bit farther to a ring of rocks in the sand that had the potential for a grand bonfire.

You probably meant that they were in a rocky part, I didn't picture that much of a rock path( I saw just patches of grass and a few rocks here and there) and moved off the pile of rocks and hen it was just the ground vut then far up there was a ring of rocks. The way I pictured it(as I mentioned) didn't make much sense.It was like you said they moved off the rocky parts but then you really didn't...I don;t know if this is making sense. Well that part was just a bit confusing. You may want to explain the terrain a bit more.But you don't have to.It may be just me.


I like how you kept readers wanting to know more. I really am curouos. It's weird that the older boy doesn't know his little brothers age or birthday, but maybe thats how you intended it to be.

I don't think you need to use the bold, Ordinary font would be just fine and look better. Also space between paragraph to make it easier to read. You don't have to do it but it makes it easier to follow.Just a small gap.

I hope this review helped. Ask me questions if I didn't make enough sense.

-Zo :)




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Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:27 am
alliyah wrote a review...



Greetings and salutations Lady Tally-wa, it is I, Alliyah here to review your chapter, so here it goes:

The description in this piece was absoloutely lovelly! One of my favorite sections: "The siblings reached a set of rocks on the beach only passable by climbing. The elder picked her way through the rocks with an air of disdain. The youth scrambled through, hopping along with the agility of a mountain goat." you did a great job at introducing the characters without just saying "The two were sibblings, the sister was overprotective, the younger brother was a little wild".. You showed these in a much more creative enjoyable way to read it.

In this section it gets a bit jumbled about who you're talking about: "They reached the beat-up truck and Archy climbed into the passenger seat, his little legs almost but not quite reaching the floor. Archy started the truck and, after several attempts, got the engine started." And I just really wish Archy had had to lift Totle up into the truck, that would have been cute.

*Waaah!!* why is Archy so mean??? I hope you have some really good character reasoning behind this later, about the siblings being so mean and un caring to Totle. It just seems almost strange that Archy got so mad at Totle, even considering kicking him out. The last sentence almost leaves a bad taste in your mouth "Speeding towards the city, Archy wondered if the rest of his brother’s stay would be this long and infuriating." Maybe you should take out the word long, because it's only been a short car ride thus far in the story.

I didn't see any other spelling mistakes. I enjoyed reading this, and look forward to reading the next chapter. Keep writing! :)

~alli-wa~




tgirly says...


Oh, Allywa, what a wondrous review! You make me, not only a better writer, but a better person! Amazing suggestions, I shall apply a few and think deeply about a few others. Wondrous.



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Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:56 am
Paracosm wrote a review...



I'm with Blue, your pacing is great, and you fleshed out some great characters in just a short amount of time. You're grammar is great, I just caught one typo, and some odd wording, but nothing drastic. You did a great job keeping my eyes floating along the page! My attention didn't wander as it tends to do.

Now then! On with the rest!

The sunset cast fierce colors over the silent sky and fiery tones, outlining the low-lying clouds in bright lavenders and soft blues.

Nice description! Very beautiful. To me, “and fiery tones” caused some confusion. I think it was the auditory description, “silent sky”, sandwiched between two visual descriptions.

The ocean’s waves reflected the beauty and majesty of the skies. A figure walked along the beach, hurrying across the shifting sands, barely aware *of the* painting-like scene surrounding her.

Her hands were buried in her pockets and she walked at a brisk pace with her head down. A child flitted at her side, stopping now and again to gaze out at the see *sea* or pick up a piece of stray sea glass, then running to catch up.

Spoiler! :
“Don’t hurt yourself,” the girl said in a voice that obviously showed she didn’t care a bit if the child fell and hurt himself.


*Okay, just thought I’d throw this in. I read this tip in a writing book, I think “Now Write!: Mysteries”, but I could be wrong. This sentence gives you a chance to set the bar for how derisive this character is. If you want it to seem a bit more intense, you could say, “the girl said in a voice that obviously showed she didn’t care a bit if the child dashed her brains out,” or if you wanted it to seem a little less so, “the girl said in a voice that obviously showed she didn’t care a bit if the child bloodied her knees.”

I stumbled on “obviously showed” for a little bit. It didn’t feel write to me for some reason. (Could just be my OCDishness…) It took me a second, but this is correct, I’m just bringing it up because it felt unwieldy.*



They sat in silence as the sun slipped down, and as the last rays of sunlight clung to the horizon, a boy appeared walking toward them from the other side of the shore, flashlight in hand.

*Nice hook! Expertly placed, now I want to know why she can’t stand this place.*

Spoiler! :
“About time you got here,” the girl complained, “I was getting worried you wouldn’t show up.” She stood and crossed her arms, then gave her long ponytail a tug to tighten it and gave the boy a smirk. It was a practiced smirk, one calculated to be as infuriating as possible without being accused of rudeness. Her smirk was lost here however; the child did not notice and the boy had seen the smirk so many times he’d become immune to it.
“I didn’t forget,” he said, then, with a quick glance down at his shoes, “I never forget.” The girl moved as if to bite her nails then, embarrassed by the recurrence of a hard-fought childhood habit, she blushed bright red and glared furiously at the boy.
“Of course you don’t forget,” she said, turning her nose up at him, “Archy never forgets. He just doesn’t remember when it’s of paramount importance.” Archy’s fists clenched for a moment at her scathing words, then relaxed, reminding himself not to let her under his skin.
“If you don’t mind,” the girl said; gaining steam, “I actually have responsibilities to return to, unlike you.”
“Well,” Archy said, “if you don’t mind, I actually have a life to return to, unlike you.” The girl turned, her ponytail snapping like a whip behind her and she started off without a word.


*Hehehe! Nice, I’m already starting to like these guys!*

Teardrop nose, electric green eyes, thin eyelashes, big ears.

*This is a fragment. It’s acceptable though, they were in the Hunger Games all the time. It bothered the nonsense out of me, but they were there. It’s a sensation, so I guess fragments aren’t as evil as I believe.*

I'm with Blue on switching POV's, and some of the discrepancies he noticed. I didn't notice them until he pointed them out, I was too interested in the rest! :D Great job, you read like a pro, keep up the good work! Keep writing!




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Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:43 am
Paracosm says...



Spoiler! :
Test




Shino says...


I apologize, I thought these could be deleted. Please ignore this.



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Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:23 am
BluesClues wrote a review...



Hey there!

I would like to start off by saying that you did a good job with description and pacing. I got a good image of where they were, the beach and the rocks and the sunset, and the way you interspersed dialogue with description/action kept the scene moving without going too quickly. I'm also definitely curious about what happened to their mother, so good job building some suspense and intrigue.

But I'm not positive on who the main character is at this point. I would take a guess at Archy, but I can't be sure, partly because you change POVs - the scene starts off in Amelia Ann's POV (more or less) and ends up in Archy's. It's okay to use different character's POVs in your story, but you need to stick with the same character for each scene or chapter so that the reader can be clear on whose head they're in. (I have that problem myself, but I've been watching for it a lot lately and I'm getting better. Mostly.)

Question: Why is Archy "surprised by the amount of family resemblance" he sees in Totle if he, Totle, and Amelia Ann are brothers and sister? Which, by the way, was also slightly confusing - you made it clear that Archy is Totle's older brother, but the only way we know Amelia Ann is their sister is by Totle calling her "Sissy" when he says goodbye, which I had to go back and catch because I missed it in my first read-through. I would also make Totle's gender clear from the beginning - when you first mention him, you just say "a child flitted at her side," and, maybe this is just me, but I assumed it was a girl child until you finally said "hurt himself." And because the figure at first sounded quite a bit older than the child, I assumed you meant the child when you said "the girl."

Basically, you just have to be a little clearer about who you're talking about in any given moment.

I also don't understand why Archy and Amelia Ann are so mean to each other, but I assume that will be revealed later in the story, right? Before you actually mentioned that they're all brothers and sister, I figured they must be divorcees switching the child for the weekend or something.

But like I said, I am definitely intrigued. Post more and I may just have to come back...

Keep up the good work!
BlueAfrica





I'll show my defiance through ironic obedience!
— AstralHunter