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Thank you Faith for this amazing critique! 

Letter from…Who?

Lanx’s eyes opened as she felt the sun’s warm rays glow across her face. She turned her head to the window.  Rubbing her tired eyes, she slowly crawled out of her warm bed and stretched.

Monday: the worst day of the week had come again.

Kicking away the clothes and magazines that littered the floor, she quickly found a green T-shirt and a pair of blue jeans, and threw them on. After running a comb through her dirty-blonde hair, she turned to leave. But as she did, she heard soft whine coming from the end of her bed.

“Oops. Sorry, Samson. I forgot about you didn’t I?” Samson, a three year old black lab, wagged his tail hard against the bottom of his crate, waiting patiently to be let out.

As Lanx walked over to Samson’s crate, she suddenly spied a piece of paper lying on the floor. “Where’d this come from?” Reaching down, she noticed that the piece of paper was actually an old envelope.

As if in a trance, Lanx walked over to Samson and unbolted the metal cage.

Why is Lanx in a trance?  I get that it’s supposed to be because of the letter, but it doesn’t seem realistic for the discovery of one letter on her floor to immediately put her into a trance.

Samson bounded out with glee as Lanx continued to stare at the small frail envelope she held in her hands.

It was old, very old. That was easy to tell from the many creases and water spots on it -like it had been in someone’s pocket for years.

Does Lanx have some amount of experience in telling this?  Because especially if it is old, it seems a bit unbelievable for her to know that the creases and water are from being in someone’s pocket, instead of just being from whatever else it may have gone through over long periods of time.

Lanx ran her finger over the thin discolored envelope, but stopped as she noticed strange, faded, markings, written on it. Squinting hard, she tried recognizing the symbols. She wasn’t sure what type of language this was, but it was definitely not English. Her fingers brushed over the seal and began to open it.
“Lanx, time for school! We’ll be late again!” someone yelled from the kitchen. Ugh, Seth! He always has the worst timing.

“One minute!” Lanx yelled back. She walked over to her nightstand. Opening the drawer, she reluctantly placed the old envelope inside.

Why is Lanx immediately assuming that this random letter that’s on her floor is important enough to hide?  As a reader familiar with fantasy tropes, I know it’s important, but she wouldn’t, so I’m not sure why she doesn’t just open it as she walks downstairs, since she wouldn’t automatically assume it to be incredibly important.

“I guess I’ll deal with this later,” she sighed. With Samson trotting close at her heels, Lanx walked to the kitchen.

“About time you got up.”

“Yeah, sorry, I got…distracted,” Lanx said as she opened the old screen door. Samson raced out to the back yard.

“What’s for breakfast?” Lanx asked, opening the fridge.

“Whatever you can find. Just hurry before we miss our bus. Oh, and here; this one’s yours,” Seth shoved a bologna sandwich at her, and then raced off to find his backpack and shoes.

“Thanks.” Lanx said.

After prowling around the kitchen, she found a banana. Eagerly peeling it, she took a bite.

Letting Samson back in, she noticed a bill lying on the counter from the electric company.

Not again. That’s just what we need right now; another bill to deal with. Money had been tight the last couple months, and with her mom and dad both working multiple jobs, Lanx barely got to see them more than a few times a week.

“Hey Lanx, have you seen my Algebra book?” asked Seth as he hurried back into the kitchen.

“Your book is in the bathroom, I think.” Lanx said with a grin.

“Wait. The bathroom? What’s my Algebra book doing in the bathroom?”

“Samson was learning about Pi.” Lanx said, as she carelessly threw her banana peel in the trash.

“Oh, no! Mr. Gates is gonna kill me!” Seth turned pale as he raced down the hall.

Lanx laughed. “He sure fell for that one, huh Samson?”

The characters here have some good chemistry in their interactions, and the premise is a fairly-effective use of a common fantasy trope.  My attention is piqued, and so I’m curious about what happens next.  There are a couple parts where it could probably be a bit more realistic, but overall this is a fine start to your story.

-Josiah DeGraaf