Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Scared Pink

I was lying across my bed, sweltering in the heat and wishing it would snow, just once, in July, when my cell phone chimed. I flipped it open, accidentally knocking my copy of Wuthering Heights to the floor. “Jenny, why aren’t you here yet?”
Jenny’s infectious laugh tickled my ears. “Sorry, Mom had to work late. I’ll be there in twenty minutes. Do I need to bring anything besides the hair dye?”
“Yeah, old clothes. That hair dye gets on everything. I’m wearing my oldest tank top and some ratty white shorts I found in Mom’s throw-away pile.”
We said our good-byes and I made my way to the bathroom, my flip flops making sucking sounds on the hardwood floor. I grabbed my hairbrush and ran it through my long brown hair one final time. Pink was going to be so hot, especially for a twelve-year-old.
I was replacing the brush when a soft thump startled me. I caught my reflection in the bathroom mirror, and told it not to read any more spooky books when Mom and Dad were out for the evening. Then I went in search of Freckles, our obnoxious cat, to see what kind of mess he’d made this time.
Freckles was crouched at the top of the stairs, his yellow eyes round as saucers. He hissed when he saw me, then slunk off toward my parents’ room. Guilty! I started down the stairs when the unmistakable creak of the attic door stopped me in my tracks.


  1. The attic always freaks everyone out!

    I think this was a good attempt, but I also think you could have shown us more. Maybe rather than saying she ran the brush through her long hair you could have wrote that she brushed the hair that came to her waist or past her shoulders. Something to prove it was long without saying so.

    The only other issue I had is, is Wuthering Heights a scary story? (I admit I haven't read it!). If not, you might consider changing that to something creepier so it works better with the in the mirror line (which I love!).

  2. I liked the first paragraph and the last three but the couple in the middle felt a little forced to me. The dialogue about the shorts and tank tip sounded really unnatural. Also, the insertion of the girl's age kind of irked me. Maybe a total number of days until she was thirteen. It's so close to being a pivotal teenager that I feel she'd want to get as close to that as possible.

    I'm also wondering how flip flops sucked against a hardwood floor. I'm having a really hard time with that imagery and sound. Were they really worn and the arch so defined that it created a sort of suction cup? Even then I'm having difficulties imagining it.

    I think tightening up those three paragraphs would greatly improve an already great beginning to a story.

  3. Story is quite typical of the almost teen. Dyeing hair seems to be the rite of passage. However, I found the clothing "show" to be an issue.

    It's definitely a hard exercise, to "show" and not "tell". I love the cat, attic lines.

  4. Scared Pink...nice title.

    I like how you have the two girls talking on cell phones, and how they are discussing hair color. My girls do that a lot.

    Rather than having her brush her long hair, you could have her unbraid it while speaking about her new look. For example...

    Unraveling my lengthy, chocolate tresses, I decided I'd show off my new pink hair tonight at Jimmy John's. Everyone will be there for Lisa's party."

  5. You have a lot of great description in your story and have included wonderful details, but some things really jarred me and made me re-read.

    “Jenny, why aren’t you here yet?”Jenny’s infectious laugh tickled my ears. - This line stopped me. If Mom's calling her Jenny, why would Jenny's laugh tickle my ears. I'm assuming this is a typo.

    I was also jarred by the line about working late, and I'll be there. This sounds like a person who is much older than 12. Oh wait. Re-read. I originally took this as saying sorry to Mom. Something doesn't mesh right if I had to read it multiple times to get the drift. Maybe I'm just slow after a long day. ;)

  6. First, thanks to all for the great comments. I really appreciate the feedback.

    Joyce - I'm sorry that was confusing. The POV character is talking, her friend on the other end of the line is Jenny. I guess I should have made that clearer.

  7. I think you did a good job here getting everything in without too mush telling. Maybe you could have said: As I brushed my brown hair one last time, I wondered if there was enough pink dye to cover my long hair.

    Funny, I also used dye in my post. Scissors too. She ended up a blackhead.


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