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Old 08-09-2015, 03:01 AM View Post #1 (Link) To The People Who Stare
monthlymuser (Offline)
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August 24th, 1876

The man next to me does not know that it is my birthday. Or he does not care.

He ignores the candies in my hand and the little box at my feet tied with green ribbon. The cabin is not so dark that he should miss them. Our windows let in plenty of sunlight, so much so that we have burned no lamp oil. Moreover, he is squarely next to me. But he shows no appreciation for my candies or box.

His closed eyes, his slumped position - everything about him tells me he wishes to be left alone. I oblige him, though I wish we could have small talk like other passengers. But it takes two talkers to make small talk, and we are the only two left in the cabin. Therefore, we sit in silence.

When the train pulls into Bright Cove, I stand to leave. Suddenly the cart jolts to an abrupt stop. I fall backwards into the man’s leg and lightly brace my hand on his shoulder.

His eyelids flick open, revealing cloudy blue pupils. He only looks at my arm, strangely avoiding my eyes.

“Sorry,” I mutter, straightening myself up. The man closes his eyes and remains still. Silent. I cannot tell whether he did not hear me or simply does not want to hear me. Hopefully the former.

I gather my festive possessions and exit the train.
• • •
The moment I am home, I find Mother in the kitchen preparing dough. Immediately, I tell her the story of the stoic, cloudy-eyed man with great passion. She bursts into a giggling fit.

"Eli! ELI!" she shrieks. "He was blind! Do you not know the eyes of a blind man? Or do you secretly crave the attention of blind men?!"

Mother continues to laugh as I leave for my room.

I decide I am not speaking to her until supper.
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						Last edited by monthlymuser; 09-02-2015 at 07:24 PM.
					
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Old 08-28-2015, 07:38 AM View Post #2 (Link)
WalkingOnWater (Offline)
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Originally Posted by monthlymuser View Post
August 24th, 1876

The man next to me does not know that it is my birthday. Or he does not care.

He ignores the candies in my hand and the little box at my feet tied with green ribbon. The cabin is not so dark that he should miss them. Our windows let in plenty of sunlight, so much so that we have burned no lamp oil. Moreover, he is squarely next to me. But he shows no appreciation for my candies or box.

His closed eyes, his slumped position - everything about him tells me he wishes to be left alone. I oblige him, though I wish we could have small talk like other passengers. But it takes two talkers to make small talk, and we are the only two left in the cabin. Therefore, we sit in silence.

When the train pulls into Bright Cove, I stand to leave. Suddenly the cart jolts to an abrupt stop. I fall backwards into the man’s leg and lightly brace my hand on his shoulder.

His eyelids flick open, revealing cloudy blue pupils. He only looks at my arm, strangely avoiding my eyes.

“Sorry,” I mutter, straightening myself up. The man closes his eyes and remains still. Silent. I cannot whether he did not hear me or simply does not want to hear me. Hopefully the former.

I gather my festive possessions and exit the train.
• • •
The moment I am home, I find Mother in the kitchen preparing dough. Immediately, I tell her the story of the stoic, cloudy-eyed man with great passion. She bursts into a giggling fit.

"Eli! ELI!" sShe shrieks. "He was blind! Do you not know the eyes of a blind man? Or do you secretly crave the attention of blind men?!"

Mother continues to laugh as I leave for my room.

I decide I am not speaking to her until supper. Love this last line!
I loved this! The naivety of the main character was so brilliantly spoken through the dialogue at the end. I will suggest one thing! Do explain the mans eyes more. How maybe they're clouded over, wandering, not focusing on any specific thing. More characteristics for a blind man, that way when the reader gets to the end of the story there may only be a hint of confusion rather than an abundance thereof.

Great work, stay brilliant my dear
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Old 08-28-2015, 05:16 PM View Post #3 (Link) Perfect!
kidzrulz101 (Offline)
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This perfect! I loved the last line, and how Eli did what any girl would do, pledge to not talk to her mother until supper time.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:33 PM View Post #4 (Link) Great Flash Fiction!
Taliesin (Offline)
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I really enjoyed this! You cannot help but be curious after the first few sentences. I feel like the length of the piece is just right for flash fiction. I don't really see why it should be set in 1876, because the story would be essentially the same in the present. It doesn't really make a difference though. To me the writing is slightly too formal and a more emotive tone could only help the story (barely noticed this really, it might just be personal taste.). For example, Eli tells the story "with great passion," but I don't really feel the passion.
Oh, and you missed out on a word between "cannot" and "whether" in the sixth paragraph.
All in all, it's very close to perfect and it's very difficult to find any real weak points
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Old 10-19-2015, 09:47 PM View Post #5 (Link)
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The story is really good! I liked the build up, the obvious details about the possible birthday, the main character's reading of the man's body language as being guarded or disinterested. In my opinion, the information provided at the beginning funnels well for the payoff at the end. I also liked that, until the end of the story, I couldn't tell what age the MC was, but the interaction between them and their parent gives me an idea. Although it may not be the age you intended, it's a good touch. I think the formal tone of the writing lends to the sort of irony of the situation. Eli cares that this person acknowledge her(?) and engage with her, but it turns out it was a misunderstanding. Good job.
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