A big thank you to Jadzia for her submission! Here is the first page of her manuscript. My comments will be in purple and I invite you to add your to help Jadzia make her first page shine.
Bourbon-spiked punch doesn’t relieve the pain that gnaws at my gut. Grandma’s kisses can’t still the shaking of my fingers as I raise another plastic cup to my lips. A sun the size of my pain, shining through the living room windows, fails to warm the numbness inside of me. The whispers creep in—family members talking behind their hands, eyes on me. Nice set up. I immediately want to know why they're talking behind their hands. Also like the active verbs :)
I slide trembling fingers over my tulip-pink skirt and tuck my hands into the pockets. My father’s timepiece is there, and I curl my fingers around it.
Someone named Marcus, or Malcolm, tells me how sorry he is for my loss. He says he’s my father’s cousin, but I’ve never seen him before.
Marcus-Malcolm shakes my hand. His wife gives me a soft hug,
but her arms are weak. (I don't think you need this because you've already said her hug is soft)When she pulls away, I notice the chain around her neck, the Clock ticking there. Interesting. Clock with a capital C. What does it mean?
“Eight days,” I say, reading the numbers counting down.
She looks startled—whether because I’ve finally spoken, or because I’ve mentioned her Clock, I’m not sure.
“I’m sorry?” She asks.
Her fingers rise and press the timepiece against her chest. Her eyes are shining with tears.
“Eight days,” I say again. Marcus-Malcolm pulls his wife away by the arm while she strains her neck to look at me.
People don’t usually mention other peoples’ Clocks. Death is a touchy subject, especially now that it can be predicted. (Creepy! I'm not sure I'd want to know, but I love the idea of it!) I shouldn’t have mentioned it—it’s rude. Regular Keller wouldn’t blurt stuff out like that. But it’s like I’m different now that my father is dead. Like I’m not me.
Wow. Not much to crit here. I'm intrigued. Very intrigued.