Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #28

TITLE: Bits & Pieces
GENRE: YA Contemporary

The narrator, 17 year-old Chase, wakes the morning after a fight to find his 14-year old sister Brooke hovering over him. Both are still grieving the loss of their older brother to alcohol poisoning nine months prior.

Consciousness creeps behind my eyelids, and I find a blurry Brooke curled in my desk chair next to the bed. She remains still as I struggle to sit. Nothing doing. I sink to the mattress in pain.

“Don’t ever do that again.”

“I have to get up sometime, Pixie.” I squint at her through the eye not swollen shut.

She frowns, her eyes the saddest I’ve seen since …

“Don’t be so sad. I’m okay.” I grit my teeth and force myself upright. “See?”

Brooke stalks from the room.

Damn. My room starts to spin and I drop to my pillow. “Ow.”

“Look.” Brooke forces a handheld mirror in my face.

The guy in the mirror is a mess. Swollen, bruised, stitched. A real Frankenstein.

“Okay. You made your point.” I lift an arm to swipe at the mirror, but my hand weighs a ton.

“You promised.” She places the mirror on my desk. “You promised not to … be like him.”

“I’ve kept my promise. I wasn’t dr —”

“Do you think I’m stupid?”

“C’mon, Brooke.” God, my chest hurts.

“Trevor could have killed you.”

“But he didn’t. Sit down. Please. Let me explain.”

She perches on the edge of the chair, arms crossed.

“Trevor went after Kelsey. She's barely bigger than you, and he’s bigger than me.”

“I can take you down.” The lines in Brooke’s forehead harden.

The muscles in my face protest a smile. “I know. You’ve had practice, and you’re fearless.”

6 comments:

  1. For starters, I think this has great voice. It definitely felt teenage boy, like, "The guy in the mirror is a mess. Swollen, bruised, stitched. A real Frankenstein." but then there were places where it felt a tad bit overwritten like here, "Consciousness creeps behind my eyelids." I also thought the first line was Brooke speaking, so you could use a few more tags to denote who is talking. And my last little nitpick, since it is in first person, I think your MC should always refer to Brooke as Pixie since that is what he calls her. But this is a great start. I absolutely was able to read what was happening in this scene, and I have a good idea of what happened in the scene before, all from this small piece.

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  2. I like the naturalness of "You promised not to....be like him." and "I wasn't dr-"

    It has an authenticity to it. Overall, I like the back and forth between siblings.

    What does seem a little stilted is the same thing another commentor mentioned. "Consciousness creeps" just doesn't quite fit.

    Overall, I would keep reading. Good job!

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  3. I like the naturalness of "You promised not to....be like him." and "I wasn't dr-"

    It has an authenticity to it. Overall, I like the back and forth between siblings.

    What does seem a little stilted is the same thing another commentor mentioned. "Consciousness creeps" just doesn't quite fit.

    Overall, I would keep reading. Good job!

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    Replies
    1. The dialog works great. When she stalks out of the room, I think her brother might call her, or she might huff or something--that part feels a bit rushed.

      And the 'swollen eye' and 'sad eyes' make me too conscious of the word 'eye' -- as crazy as that might make me :)

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  5. Nice piece, good natural dialog. I agree with the comments above. I also think the first dialog line needs a tag. I didn't know who was talking until the second line. At first, I thought Brooke hurt her brother.

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