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Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-16-2007
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Critics Wanted

Would anyone be willing to read this and give me your opinion? Feel free to be completely and brutally honest. Thanks!

Maggie slowly rolled over onto her left side and clutched her aching forehead, swinging one long, tan leg over the edge of her twin bed. Light poured through the windows of the room like two twin waterfalls, and Maggie had to feel her way along just to stay afloat, grasping at anything she could get her hands on for support: her nightstand, her desk, once even a floor lamp that clattered to the ground when she put too much of her weight on it. Maggie just lumbered over the lamp, stepping on the lemon yellow beads hot-glued to the base of the lampshade as she inched towards the other side of the room.
Maggie then swung the closet doors open with her toes, flipping on the light switch in the same way and blinking as her eyes adjusted to the brightness. She scanned the levels of wrinkled shirts, too-short pants and flowy skirts, hunting for something that she actually still wore.
After five minutes of fruitless search, she sprawled on her stomach and scooted forward, shoving her head into the back of the closet. There was a reasonable sized pile of fresh laundry next to her dusty tennis racket, and Maggie began to dig through it vigorously, flipping over backwards and standing up to reveal her discoveries.
In one hand was a pair of army green shorts, with antique brass zippers sewn across the two back pockets. In the other was her favorite T-shirt, bright yellow with the Rolling Stones’ tongue and lip design logo emblazoned on the front and the band’s name right above it. She held each above her head, like prized bass caught in a fishing contest.
Once she had changed, Maggie slipped on two worn leather flip-flops, then slid a pair of aviator sunglasses onto the top of her wavy dark hair as she turned to face the silver-leafed mirror on the wall.
Glazed blue eyes stared back dismally, the dreary results of an all-night party. Those little crusties rested in the corners of her eyelids, and Maggie scraped away at them, lethargic and suffering from extreme coffee withdrawal. She sighed, turning away from the mirror with her eyes shut tight, gliding over to the window near her closet and sliding it open, breathing deeply in and out, in and out.
“And this is…?”
Maggie choked loudly as she stared at a guy leaning casually outside her window. He seemed somewhat familiar, like a hazy memory long forgotten. His dark gray T-shirt was soaked through and hung loosely around his torso, one wet corner of which was absently tucked into his jeans. His hair was arranged haphazardly, pieces of brown sticking out in wild directions. Maggie, studying him thoroughly, suddenly noticed he was holding something up with his left hand. Something stringy and turquoise, with skinny straps falling down and around his wrist, dripping small puddles onto the white windowsill.
“…humiliating on so many levels,” Maggie groaned, grasping for her bikini top from the guy’s outstretched arm. She wrung the excess water onto the ground, watching as the moisture soaked the dry grass, turning it a mushy brown.
“You have to go,” she stated dryly. She had come to the window for a breath of fresh air, but instead, all around her was the odor of stale alcohol and chlorine. It reeked from her bikini, from the guy’s T-shirt, from her sleepy breath and the puddle on the ground.
Vague images were fading in and out: a swimming pool, laden with dozens of drunken teenagers; cool, gray concrete littered with beach towels and red plastic cups; a heavy hand on the small of her back, keeping her steady as she was falling to the ground.
Maggie rarely drank; her total alcohol consumption consisted of only a few sips of beer and a really watered down pina colada. She’d never been drunk before last night. Something inside her had just snapped, a parched twig in the midst of a long, dry spell.
“You have to go,” she repeated. This guy had already seen more of her than she ever wanted him to. She slowly backed away from the window, smiling reassuringly at him. Leave, she repeated over and over in her head, tentatively waving good-bye.
“Why don’t you just come back over here and we can pick up where we left off?” the guy asked smugly, leaning his head over her windowsill like a pompous rooster.
Maggie stormed back to the window, beginning to slam it down onto the center of his head.
“Whoah, whoah!” Rooster-Boy exclaimed. He held his hands up, slowly, like a convict. Maggie could see two dry spots on his T-shirt where his arms had rested. “I was only joking.”
“Oh yeah?” Maggie dropped the grin and glared, dangling her bikini top in front of his nose. “How do you explain this?”
The guy chuckled. “You don’t remember?” When Maggie shook her head, he continued on. “You ran into some jerk and he sprayed beer all over you. I was standing behind you. Then you grabbed my jacket from me and put it on, then handed me this,” he said, flicking the bikini.
Maggie squinted her eyes and concentrated. A fuzzy image popped into her mind. She remembered the cold liquid soaking her entire body, sticking everywhere. All she could think about was getting out, out of the stickiness and hot sweat of the night.
“…and then we proceeded to make out.”
Maggie felt the air begin to escape out of her lungs, though she wasn’t entirely surprised by his slightly detached comment. It was just something she came to expect from herself; when she wasn’t fully aware and in-tune to what was going on, there was no telling what would happen.
She walked away from the window and over to the disheveled bed, digging underneath until she came up with a dark jean jacket, worn on the collar and the edges of the sleeves. Maggie threw it to the right of the guy’s head, and he caught it just before it fell to the ground.
“Thanks,” he said, holding it up to inspect, turning it over and over. An unidentifiable brownish substance had stained the end of the left sleeve and parts of the collar. “A little gross smelling, but I guess that’s understandable.” He cracked a crooked grin.
Maggie smiled back for a moment, trying and failing to catch herself before he could see. “No, seriously, I have to go,” she said. “I’m late. Which isn’t what you want to be on your first day of work, so…” It was sort of a lie, but enough of the truth to compensate for it. She waited for him to say okay and leave. It didn’t come.
“So, uh, do you like pancakes?”
Maggie sighed. This was like shopping for a bathing suit in December: frustrating, fruitless and a complete waste of time. Mostly. “What?” she questioned.
“You heard me.”
“Fine, yes, I like pancakes. But only with syrup, sometimes with peanut butter.”
The guy scratched his chin in interest. “Peanut butter? How’d you come up with that?”
“Oh, from my mom,” Maggie began. “She’s a chef, and every weekend when I was little –” She stopped. “You know what, we don’t have to do the thing.”
“Oh,” he said, trying to smooth down a defiant lock on the top of his head. “We can do anything you want.”
Maggie twirled her finger around a damp piece of hair, rubbing it next to her ear. “No, the thing,” she said. “Exchange the details, pretend we care….”
He just looked at her and grinned, taken aback by this infrequent aspect of the female persona.
“So I’m going to go into the bathroom, okay? And when I get back…” Maggie continued, pointing over her shoulder at the pocket-door next to her mirror, “…you won’t be here.” She laughed a little, finding his expression somewhat amusing. “So goodbye,” she said finally, feeling a bit like Scarlett O’Hara. She felt the sudden urge to shout ‘Great balls of fire!’ at the top of her lungs. “Good-bye…um…”
His name came as a complete blank. It wasn’t four hours ago that she had her tongue down his throat, yet she didn’t even know his name. Maggie smiled coyly, waiting for his liberating response.
Feigning a hurt expression, he laughed. “Milo.”
Milo reached over the windowsill for her hand, and after a moment’s hesitation, Maggie let him grab it, pumping it slowly up and down.
“Milo. Right,” she said, feeling her shoulders relax. “Maggie.”
“Maggie,” he said, like he was swishing the word around in his mouth, feeling its texture and weight.
“Yeah. Mm-hmm.” Maggie noticed their hands were still moving, up smoothly and then back down again.
“Nice meeting you,” Milo said. Maggie began to pull away slowly, but Milo’s hand stuck. She kept going until his arm was out of reach.
“Bye Milo,” she laughed, waving, then stepped behind the pocket-door and slid it shut.
Frequent Contributor
Posts: 94
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
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Re: Critics Wanted

Have you ever read Walden Pond? The book is void of dialogue. He wrote whole chapters on the color of the lake... It's purple, no turqoise... Believe youme it was the dryist work
I have ever had the privledge to suffer through.
Your work is NOT Walden Pond but you could use more dialogue. Your gifted in painting a picture. We all know the exact lay out of her room and closet. Some people really go for that soert of thing.
I would of said
What woke her up?

Her head was pounding with a mixture of bad tequilla and bad rock. I mean hasnt anyone heard of X anymore.
She groggily made it to the bathroom only tripping over the floor lamp once.

Dudde, your a guy right? The whole comparing her clothes to bass is a great metaphor for a guy character. Think chick!
â It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.â Said by Mrs. Bennet in Jane Austens Pride and Prejudice