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from one moment to the next

by tronks

      Match trembling, he lit a cigarette and took a drag. Soon, a white, smokey cloud shrouded the balcony's edge. Rain splattered his suit and tie. Coughing, his cigarette almost slid from his fingers.

Tobacco stung my nostrils. My head throbbed. There was ruffling of popcorn bags, the gentle hum of the AC unit, an old man's wheezy cough. And tobacco. 'Don't think about it, don't think about it.'

I crossed my arms, gritting my teeth. The dim grey theater blackened at the edge of my peripheral vision. I thought, 'I, I need a cigarette.' The room sweltered like an August afternoon. Or was I just cold? I smelled buttered popcorn, body odor that musty cologne failed to conceal, and tobacco. My hands tingled. 'Don't think about it, don't think about it.'

My dutiful gaze tore away from the screen, stealing a glance beside me. Was an old film really his ideal date? He was glued to the screen. Tears swelled at his ducts. His thick brows furrowed in concentration, quivering as if fighting his tears from falling.

Focus returning to me, the protagonist exhaled the last of his cigarette with relief and flicked its filter aside. 'Don't think about it, don't—'

Warmth shot through my cold hand and to my fingertips. I jolted upright in my seat and turned. The faint glow of the screen caught the brown of his concerned eyes, reflecting them like wheat fields in the sun.

"Are you okay?" He whispered.

I sunk into my seat and interlocked fingers with his. What had I been thinking? I don't remember. Was it even important?

"I'm fine."

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46 Reviews

Points: 36
Reviews: 46

Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:18 am
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Joelsweet wrote a review...

Wow, this piece is so atmospheric! I love the image of that white smoke whisping out, the rain, the porch- all so interesting and tone-conveying. It seems like the main character was having some sort of over-stimulation, which is something that I can relate to a lot. I like the contrast between the black and white world on the screen and the realness, the rawness of the world around the protagonist, how it feels and looks and all of her senses colliding together.

tronks says...

I%u2019m glad you appreciate it, thank you for your feedback! Hopefully I can improve it even more after a good edit.

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11 Reviews

Points: 1110
Reviews: 11

Mon Feb 25, 2019 9:39 pm
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authorvibezz wrote a review...

Hi, here to leave a review on your already great piece of work!

So overall, this is a great start to this part and I really enjoyed reading this. I haven't picked up many mistakes but I do have a couple of suggestions which may help to improve your work.

There is some great language choices to describe the situation, which I LOVE. One suggestion is to try and find alternatives to thee connective 'and'. In some areas, it is impossible to use anything else but I think that parts of this could be benefited without it. For example,
"I crossed my arms and gritted my teeth" here the sentence could work better like "I crossed my arms, gritting my teeth" or even as two short sentences - "I crossed my arms. I gritted my teeth". This is more of a personal preference as they work just the same but could make it flow a bit better without the word 'and'.

I agree with the other review, I wasn't to sure what a 'matchbook striker' was. This may be better if you clarify what it is by changing the word choice. Again, this would work fine without changing so up to you!

I really enjoyed this and hope the review will help you a bit :)

tronks says...

That bothered me too, so thank you for helping me fix it! I was noticing it and thinking it was bugging me!

As for the term matchbook striker, I had been referring to a matchbook! But, I may have to find better wording now. ... chbook.jpg

tronks says...

Fixed the error pointed out with the first sentence. Thank you so much all.

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Points: 287
Reviews: 1

Mon Feb 25, 2019 7:07 pm
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presfor wrote a review...

Wow, I like this one. The prose is great, the story is interesting and good. I liked the repeating line of "Don't think about it" repeating those words really left an impression in me. I really liked the simile "faint glow of the screen caught the brown of his concerned eyes, reflecting them like wheat fields in the sun."

Things I would change is the sentence: "Suddenly I was aware of the ruffling of popcorn bags" I would get rid of the word suddenly. I also did not really know what a matchbook striker is. I assume it is something you can use to light a cigarette or a match, and perhaps it is just my ignorance showing, but I would change that to something simpler like this: "Match lighter trembling, he lit a cigarette and took a drag." Although the word "striker" has more of a punch than "lighter", so it is ultimately your choice.

tronks says...

Thanks for these edits, they really help. I was trying to indicate he was using a matchbook. Which is why I had not used the word lighter. ... chbook.jpg

I can work on it to smooth it out though!

tronks says...

Fixed the error pointed out with the first sentence. Thank you so much all.

Spend your days thinking about things that are good and true and beautiful and noble, and you will become good and true and beautiful and noble.
— Matthew Kelly