Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It Was Like Something Out of a Movie



East for Green Eyes has issued a challenge to write a 750 - 1,000 word story and then help critique other people involved in the blogfest by saying a) two things that work and b) two things to tighten and improve. As usual, I will do a critique for anyone who does a critique for me.

The story I wrote sounds outrageous, but I promise it's 100% true. No exaggerations. My frequent readers can probably picture something like this happening to me.





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            Life is ironic… in a sick, twisted, perverse way. I’ve been thrown for loops to the point that I could swear angels were interfering with my life and laughing at the results. Of all the weird situations I’ve been in, however, none quite compare to the ridiculous one I fell into my sophomore year of high school.
            Every day after my first period class, I passed by the same handsome guy in the same hallway. He and I looked at each other in the same way, he gave me the same smile, and I blushed and smiled back, exactly the same way, every single day. Some days, for a little variety, he would say “hi” and I’d respond with a deeper blush than usual. When this happened, it was such a large event that I told all my friends about it. Eventually the verbal greetings became more frequent until we fell into a new routine where he said the exact same “hi” and I blushed the same deeper blush than I did the routine before. My friends were extremely annoyed with me the first time he said a full “hello”.
            Things continued to progress when I got a job working at the school cafeteria. He came every day to get the exact same kind of pizza and cookie everyday. Eventually we started having conversations. I vividly remember the one where he said, “Hey, how are you?” and I responded with, “I’m fine, and you?” and he answered, “I’m good.” By this time, I was truly smitten with him.
            But then things started to change. Sometimes he would come to the ale carte and buy a different kind of pizza, and he wouldn’t say anything to me at all. One day I discovered a new hall way that he walked in after every third period class, so I rearranged my hall-walking schedule so that I could conveniently pass by him again (and inconveniently be late to my fourth period class), but he often looked right past me like I wasn’t even there. Once I decided to take the initiative and smile at him first, even though that had always been his job, but to my utter dismay, he didn’t smile back.
            I was heart-broken. My hallway admirer lost interest, or he was dating a different girl. Or maybe all the greetings we spent together meant nothing to him and he had forgotten all about me. Well, I certainly wasn’t going to chase after him. From then on when we passed each other, instead of looking at him I turned my nose up in the air and pretended like he didn’t even exist. (I did not, however, rearrange my schedule back to the way it was.)
            A few weeks of this went by before I noticed that when I passed him with my nose upturned, he was looked at me and tried to catch my eye so he could say hello like he always did. My head lowered and I looked back at him, surprised, and he quickly greeted me as usual and I blushed as deeply as usual.
            Man can be so fickle. They want one thing one minute and another the next.  I firmly decided that I would have nothing more to do with him. Who wanted to be said hello to one day and then shunned the next? If he couldn’t make up his mind, I’d make it up for him.
            The next day I worked in the cafeteria as I always did, and, even though I wasn’t going to have anything to do with my indecisive crush, I looked around for him to come and buy his favorite pizza and his favorite cookie. When he came, true to form, I gave him the cold shoulder. He looked a little disappointed and confused, then took his food and left. I felt victorious.
            A few moments later he returned. I jumpstarted with surprise, then rapidly thought of all the reasons he might have for coming back. Maybe he would apologize for being cold, or maybe he had finally realized what it was like to lose me and he would try and get me back. I was full to the brim with excitement, but I kept my composure and waited for him to speak first.
            It was then that I noticed he was wearing different clothes. He said nothing to me; he just ordered a different kind of pizza and a different kind of cookie. As I stood there with my mouth wide open, he casually took his food and left again.
            If I could have told my friends the name my fickle affair, they all would have told me he had an identical twin. “Everyone knows that,” they said. “How could you not have known?”
I still wonder the exact same thing.

12 comments:

  1. Teralyn, this is great! LOL, thanks for participating and sharing such a fun story. I loved how you built the suspense and confused us all with the ups and downs. What was he thinking? Oh, and the two hallways is hysterical now that I know it was a twin on the second one.

    My favorite part is your first line--maybe the first two. It rocks! You should use that to start a novel. ;)

    Things to help tighten:
    This is hard because the story flowed well for me. There were a lot of "every day"s in there, and after a point I just wanted her to talk to him or something. So maybe there is a way to cut out a few of the day to day steps and get to the "punchline" so to speak?

    Also, watch the passive voice. :) Great job!

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  2. Hi Teralyn. This is just a note for now to tell you that I'll be reading your story in the car on my way out of town. I'll post my comments later tonight. Thanks for participating! :)

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  3. OMG, finding out at the end there were twins involved is mad funny, lol. I loved this, the way you wound your words and the suspense.

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  4. Ardis, do you remember the Firpos names? I tried to find a picture of them to put in this post, but I forgot their first names.

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  5. Love this! I never saw it coming either. :) The fact that it really happened makes me love it a bit more.

    Okay, so the goods are that you capture 'smitten teen' perfectly for me. Your MC (you) are highest in your highs and lowest in your lows. Perfect, though you could probably exaggerate it even more and get away with it.

    You're a bit wordy, and I don't mean the 'same' device. I love that. I'm talking about the 'sick, twisted, perverse' and 'EVERY DAY to get the exact same kind of pizza and cookie EVERYDAY' way. I admit, this is the pot calling the kettle black, because I'm the wordiest word maker of them all. Also, consider ending with the identical twin thing instead of another line.

    Great, great short! Thanks for sharing!

    Marie at the Cheetah

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  6. I loved it. I liked your voice. I thought the pacing was good. If you wanted to change it up a bit you could try injecting some humor tecniques. A little exaggeration...a lite repition... Did I mention that every day we....
    You could also list...All that may change your voice but it might be fun to play with. Great surprise ending. Never even occurred to me.

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  7. Haha. This is great. I love the twist at the end.Nicely played.

    This felt so HS to me. You captured the moment, the thoughts, and the voice of it perfectly. Kudos!

    The repetition of "same" and "every day" for me got to be a little too much, especially in the second paragraph.

    I also agree that this could be tighter, and there were several grammatical errors here (e.g., "he would come to the ale carte"--if "ale carte" is the cafe in the cafeteria, it should be capitalized as a proper name; "he was looked at me").

    I love all the little hints that they're twins. The buying of a different pizza. The walking in a different hall. You do a great job of setting us up well enough for the punch at the end without it being predictable. Excellent job.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  8. I knew it! I love it when I guess right. ^^ So, one thing got me thinking. If you changed your route to the second twin but then you noticed the first twin trying to say hi again while you never changed your schedule back, Did the first twin change his schedule to match yours?

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  9. Maybe he did! Wow, that makes me feel warm and bubbly inside. I can't believe I never worked up the nerve to talk to him. I very much regret that. Seize the day, people.

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  10. Ethan and Andrew. I think Ethan was your guy!

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  11. Thanks Ardis! I think it was Andrew, though. He was the classy-looking one who took Greco-Roman literature.

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