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Friday, December 21, 2012

Last crit of the week

The writer says: Just some back story, MC has been sent to a new foster home after some trouble and is fleeing an abusive boyfriend, Luke.  The man she sees in the store has been showing up in her dreams along with her ex.

Four hours of high school monotony before lunch and I was free, well free to go grocery shopping. Armed with the list I’d ripped from the door I headed for the store.  The parking lot at the Red Apple Grocery was busier than I’d expected this early in the day. A chilly drizzle left a mist on the windshield.  I pulled my hood over my head and made a run for the door.

Basket in hand, I made my way through the store collecting the items from the list plus a few of my own.   My stomach growled, I was starving, and craved the Diet Pop sitting in my basket.  I was dying for a shot of caffeine.  As I dreamed of downing a cold cola a warm tingle traveled through my core.

The soft words of a hushed whisper tickled my mind, You are here.

The words were warm, a welcome feeling from the coldness of the kids at school. Standing on my toes I searched over the magazine rack and scoured the aisles.  It had been so clear, so precise.  It had to be him.

I think you mean contrast, or something like that?

 The guy from my dream.

When I found the source I almost didn’t recognize him. He wasn’t dressed as a Native American warrior and more importantly he wasn’t in my dreams.  He was standing in front of me—at the Red Apple Market dressed in jeans and a t-shirt just like every other high school guy.  His proximity made it nearly impossible to function. If I could have created a coherent thought I may have asked myself how he could go from my dream straight into the aisle of a grocery store but my brain waves had come to a complete stop.  His jet black hair, pulled back in a sleek ponytail, his skin—pale and smooth, his high cheek bones making his face sharp with angles, had me completely paralyzed.

I was afraid to speak, to move, fearing he would disappear.  His caramel eyes entranced me, sparkling as he locked them to mine.

A warmth ignited in my stomach, the heat of a blush started up my neck.

You are here.  The words vibrated inside my head.  The assurance from my dream flowed through me.

Holy crap!  was the only thought I had.  Not very eloquent.

Maybe it got lost in the copy/pasting, but you might want to use italics (or something) to set apart the thoughts from the narrative.

RRRRRRRR!...The vibration in my pocket jerked me out of the trance I’d fallen into. Flustered, I dropped my gaze. Removing my phone from my pocket, the glowing screen announced the name that haunted me.

Luke: WHAT IS FOR DINNER?

Heh. Nice grammar in a text? On second thought -- she's still feeding him, though she's in a foster home?

“Dammit.”  I jammed the phone back into my pocket. This was not happening. I wouldn’t let it.  “Not now!” I cringed.

The hair on my arms stood on end as the dread of Luke’s possible appearance cursed through me.  Regaining some composure I raised my eyes to look at Dream Guy again.  But he was gone.  I whipped my head around wondering if was I searching for Luke, or Dream Guy. Maybe I hadn’t really seen him.  Maybe I was hallucinating, dreaming while I stood in the check-out line at the local grocery.

I capitalized Dream Guy because you're using it as a name. Otherwise, I'd expect a my in front of it, or something. Also: interesting use of cursed -- I see what you mean, I think. She had a feeling of unpleasant inevitability? It might trip some readers up.

The cashier repeated her familiar script, “How are you today, paper or plastic?”

Ah, so we are, in fact, dreaming in the checkout line? 

“Uhh, good, thanks…plastic?” I hurried my words in the hope of hurrying her actions.

Nice observation. I do that, too.

I restrained myself from frantically grabbing my items and stuffing them into the bags.  I had to get out of the store.  Prove to myself he was real.  To prove I was not CRAZY!

How will getting out prove that?

Could she be any slower?

Her thoughts sliced through me causing me to cringe.  Looks like she used a lawn mower to cut her hair.

...? Maybe you've already established that our narrator's psychic. But how is the haircut relevant?

“Your hair isn’t so great either.”  I left her with her mouth hanging open.

With an echoing crack I smacked straight into a pole.

A little more, here, to be sure I know she's walking/leaving.

“Crap,” came out before I could suppress the jolt.

I dropped my bags, grabbed my head, and staggered back. Muffins broke free and rolled into the parking lot like misshapen balls. The Diet Soda careening behind.

We're out in the parking lot already? And there are poles out there? Needs some more specifics.

“Are you okay?” a woman asked, although her thoughts weren’t quite as considerate.

“Yeah.”  Was all I could muster as I rubbed my head with the butt of my hand. I was an idiot, there was no denying it.  At least I wasn’t bleeding.

“I think these are yours.”  A gravelly voice broke through my self-deprecation.

“Oh God,” I whispered.  I couldn’t look up.  I couldn’t know he saw me run into a pole. But I also couldn’t stand there.  If it was him he’d think I was mental.  I could only pray it wasn’t him.  Even through my watering eyes it was clear. He stood before me, holding my muffins and a stray can of soda.  He was even more beautiful close-up, like a super model but better.  Not a blemish of any kind on his face.  It was like looking at a statue, without the dull look of stone.   It was as if he glowed from the inside.  I stood in a daze, at a loss to find words needed to answer such a simple question as,Were those my muffins?”  He probably thought I couldn’t speak English.  Feeling the blood rushing to my cheeks again, all I could do was stand and stare like an idiot.

A hard shove from behind followed by a half-hearted, “Excuse me,” pushed me a step closer, breaking my daze.

“Uh,” I stammered. “Yeah, thanks.”  I grabbed the muffins.

“No problem.” He cocked his head before he turned and walked away.

He had an unfamiliar accent, the cadence of which drew me in.  Almost as if his simple words were poetry.  I felt my heart melting.  As much as I knew I shouldn’t, there was something about him, a connection.  A cosmic pull?  Wasn’t that what they called it in trashy romance novels?

“Come back!” I wanted to scream.  “Who are you?”

Might want to leave the quotes off and italicize these, since she didn't actually scream them.

My pocket vibrated as another call came through.

“Stop.” Frustration filled my voice as I realized I’d said the words out loud?

Frustration can only fill her voice if she keeps talking, though...

He stopped, turned, and looked back at me.

“Uh, I was just…I …oh, I wasn’t talking to you.  Sorry.”  I dropped my head and prayed the earth would swallow me.

He shrugged, then continued into the parking lot.

I stood frozen, watching while he climbed into a big black truck.

A few moments of confusion, but overall: good job! 

2 comments:

mshatch said...

pretty much agree with everything L said.

D.G. Hudson said...

It's a good premise. I had a 'real' similar experience like that when I met hubs.