if you’re here for the A – Z blogfest I apologize. I AM doing it. Just not starting ‘til tomorrow due to a prior engagement but I hope you’ll come back. Or, since you’re here, why not check out this interesting submission for first impressions (see sidebar), a fun thing Dianne and I are doing.
This is the first page of Absorption, by David. My comments are in purple and they are, as always, subjective. The author is free to take what works and discard the rest and you, dear reader, are welcome to agree with me – or not. Either way, I’ll hope you’ll let David know what you think.
"At first (comma here?) the young girl's eyes looked identical, but when she glanced around the room the left didn’t keep up with the right. She had freckles and red hair tangled in a mop. (I might leave this description out for the moment; I think it reads better without – unless it’s important)
Second Lieutenant Brett Johnson said, “Keep practicing. Your eyes will move together by the time school starts.”
“Okay,” Lydia replied tonelessly. The flat expression on her face reminded Brett of the horrors she had been through. (This is good. What horrors? I want to know.)
He considered the lack of enthusiasm. Her immune system had accepted the new eye – but if her mind rejected it there would be trouble. (Now we know it's a 'new' eye and can guess that the loss of the original might have something to do with whatever horrors Lydia has been through.)
In a deliberately casual voice he asked, “How do you like your new eye?”
She brightened just a bit. “It’s wayout. I can see in the dark.” (I really like this expression: ‘wayout,’ and the idea of being able to see in the dark – reminds me of Pitch Black)
A moment later she explained seriously, “Infer red vision.”
“Most people call it infravision,” he told her with a smile, but his mind was elsewhere. So the eye wasn’t the problem.
Brett had no training in pediatric emotional therapy, and no authorization to perform it, but Lydia’s flat affect bothered him more than a natural display of grief could have. The tired looking grey haired woman waiting outside was now responsible for the girl. How deep did her bond with Lydia go?
“Do you talk with your grandmother a lot?”
The child replied, “Sometimes. I’ve heard her crying when she didn’t know I was around, so I don’t want to bother her.”
Brett asked, “Maybe your school could find you someone else to talk to.”
She shook her head. “I don’t like either of the counselors, so I said I didn’t want to talk to anyone.”
Yet Brett felt strongly that she did.
“Talk to me,” he suggested.
She looked at him. Brett wondered how he looked through her eyes – new and old.
She declared, “You have too many muscles to be a doctor.” (lol)
“That’s exactly what they told be (typo: me instead of be) in medical school. At first I was supposed to enroll in goon school.”
Brett let his face go slack, hunched over, and let his arms dangle, a parody of an over muscled and under brained goon.
This first page makes me instantly curious. I don’t know how old the girl is (maybe ten? Eleven?) but she’s got a new eye she thinks is ‘wayout.’ Loved this. What’s not cool is whatever happened to her. We don’t know what, only that it was horrific, which immediately creates sympathy for her character. We’ve also got a military guy who is also a doctor (hers?) who’s interested in her, too. This makes us like him, puts us in his corner. I wonder when and where this is taking place and I want to know more about this eye Lydia got and what its capabilities are. I want to know more about Brett and what his interest in Lydia is (purely professional?). And I definitely want to know how Lydia lost her eye and whether whatever happened is still happening. I think the only thing I might like is a tiny bit more description of the surroundings. Is there any equipment that might hint at a when? How is the room illuminated? Any pictures or prints on the walls? Are there windows? If so can anything be seen through them? A few details here might flesh out this scene nicely, make it pop.