Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Visitor

“What was that?” said Kyla jumping out of the cat-snagged, indigo recliner. “Sh, Zeeb,” she whispered picking up her puffy, zebra-striped feline, “something’s up.”  Twelve-year old toes, painstakingly polished with red and white polka dots, tip-toed into the moonlit kitchen on worn out, green flip flops. “Hello…” Kyla uttered shoving her long, honey curls away from her face. “Who’s…who’s there?”

Feet slid as a scream filtered throughout humid, summer air, “Whoa!” Landing hard on her bottom, Kyla saw smashed, rotten eggs, orange Jell-O, and various colored liquids splattered on the icy-cold tile floor. “Gross, nasty stuff and it smells like Nathan’s wet socks.” No longer pristinely white, her shorts now looked dipped into a kaleidoscope of mischief. “Oh, just my luck,” she said standing to see her light pink, Degrassi tank top had splotches of muck on it too. Great; my first night home alone and this happens. Clutching onto the Nike golf umbrella hanging from a rickety hook in the walk-in pantry, her heart raced.

Zeeb licked Kyla’s dirty heel as she slashed the air with confidence appearing like a Ninja ready for battle. “Look, Zeeb, the window is shattered too.” Her greenish-blue eyes darted in all directions while a chill consumed her flesh. We’re in big trouble, she thought as an ethereal whisper called her name.


  1. Interesting! I'm wondering who could have made that mess, and so quickly! I think you could have done a little better at showing and not telling though...maybe you could have used sound effects to let us know she was wearing flip flops, etc. I do like that you used "shoving her long honey curls away from her face" though. That let us know you were talking about her hair without actually using the word hair.
    ...and just because I'm picky, I'd probably swap out the word ninja for samurai since ninjas aren't really sword users. I love the imagery it portrays though. I could totally see her standing there doing that!

  2. I really like the cat-snagged indigo recliner. That got my attention right away. I see a couple of spots where you could show us a little better. The shattered window scene, for instance. Maybe something like, "Her greenish-blue eyes rounded in fear as she noticed the shattered window" or something like that. And when she fell in the mess, maybe "Her scream pierced the air as her feet slid, and she landed with a hard crash in the midst of a disgusting mess of whatever.

    You used some very fun descriptions. Nice job overall, I think.

  3. Good description, getting us caught right away as to what or who could have made the mess. A few nits re: the window scene, and not sure about the flip flops - it's hard to tip toe in them.
    I do love the hair "show" - it's excellent.

  4. You've created an interesting scene that uses multiple senses. Good job. You've also used unique names for your characters.

    Some suggestions:

    I think this would sound better if you used some beats instead of tags. That means instead of saying, "said Kayla," go straight into the action.

    You have a lot of great descriptive words, but be careful not to overdo the adjectives. You want your words to be invisible, and I think some of the description gets in the way of the story.

    Your meaning is not totally clear. She sees these things on the floor. Later You mention the broken window, but my first thoughts were: did someone throw items on the floor or did she have her arms full of food when she tripped?

    Who is Nathan? Be careful about new names that might confuse the reader.

  5. Just a couple of things. I love this sentence...

    Twelve-year old toes, painstakingly polished with red and white polka dots, tip-toed into the moonlit kitchen on worn out, green flip flops.

    Good attack on another sense with this sentence...

    Gross, nasty stuff and it smells like Nathan’s wet socks.

    I'm not sure I like her talking to the cat about the window being shattered. Would she do that? Just wondering.

  6. Lots of good advice here. I, too, loved the cat-snagged line and the toe description. I might revise the last line to have the whisper happen first, so it's more dramatic, then show her thoughts. Fun writing!

  7. This is a fun scene, and I think you've shown Kyla as a l2 year old well. I think your best showing was when she pushed back her hair. That's an excellent way of getting in description while keeping the story active.

    The kitchen scene was a bit confusing. Showing is based in action (which is why the hair thing works so well), so I think you could liven up the view of the kitchen. If someone had thrown a 'food bomb' through the window, things would still be rolling around. Kyla might even hear footsteps running away through the broken window.

    Take it a step further and give us the 'how,' and the scene will come alive. :)


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