We are so delighted to be presenting you with our twenty-sixth installment of KP Critiques!! All of you amazing subscribers who have submitted your work for us to critique, THANK YOU!!! Through your courage you have provided us with substantial material, as well as aided in sharing wisdom to fellow writers. Receiving constructive criticism is never easy, but it’s necessary to grow as a writer!
So please continue flooding us with your wonderful critiques!
Today’s submission is an excerpt from Sarah Lim’s short story, Digitally Blind
The incredible submission!
The package was addressed to a Miss Lunaeira Evans who lived somewhere on the outskirts of the city. Job Holt, thirty-seven years old and still of no considerable mark in life, fingered absently at the wrapping twine and set the package down on the seat next to him.
“fingered absently at the wrapping twine” A little awkward to read.
Postman. Archaic term for a now highly advanced technological role in society. Every day Job filtered through the endless influx of mind-messages. Instant intrigue here! Statistically speaking, one in every thousand mind-messages was reportable. But reporting the treason never gave him any extra income—it was all part of the job. What earned extra revenue would be those once-in-a-blue-moon physical packages, such as the one addressed to Miss Lunaeira Evans. Even then, not every physical delivery was as lucrative as what could be dug out of the trip.
Job parked the lorry over to the side of the kerb, mentally cursing at the rickety old vehicle. Love the descriptions! Taking the package up underneath his arm, no need for two prepositions he started to cross the field of uncut grass. Already he could see the house, a fragile dusty thing with paint peeling off the sides, even though it was several metres away.
“Coming!” A girlish cry, had he known to attach femininity to the voice. All that struck him was the sheer oddity of the sound, and what it meant for his income.
The door swung outwards on its creaking hinges and showed a girl standing in the doorway. She had no goggles. Only curling brown hair and laughing eyes dancing in her expression as she looked up at him.
She had no goggles. Great usage of repetitiveness.
“Good morning, sir,” said the girl, smiling wide-eyed at him. It was uncanny, such a smile with such eyes. Usually the only eyes he saw were eyes filled with sudden shock and fear at having forgotten to wear the goggles. But perhaps this child was just extremely stupid.
Morning, he thought, and then realised that she couldn’t receive the message without the goggles. So he forced out an unnatural voice, dry from bare use. “Morning. Your mail.”
He handed the sleek white package over to her, staring stolidly at her hands. Her eyes were too large, too roving, too alive. They unnerved him.
“Thank you so much, sir,” she said, inspecting the package. For a split second he looked up, saw the eyes—then snapped his head back down.
“Goggles,” he uttered at last. “Where are they?”
For the first time in the exchange her eyes fell, and a perturbed expression crossed her face. Good. Maybe now you’ll know what you’re in for. He was just about to commence the three-second blink when he remembered again that she wouldn’t receive his thoughts anyway. But he blinked anyway just to clear the message off his screen.
“I don’t wear them,” she said, and looked up at him. “You would call me treasonous, I suppose?”
I don’t care what I’ll call you. Truth is, I’d call you an idiot. Yes, you’re just an idiot with freakish eyes. No wonder the government wants those things hidden. Three-second blink to clear the scathing words she would never receive anyway.
“I’ll report you,” he spat, words thick on his tongue. Again he ducked his head. But why was he scared of her eyes? She couldn’t see his. So he stared awhile at hers, brown translucent radiating discs with black pearls in the centre, so unlike the sheathing black lenses on his own face, and everyone else’s for that matter.
“Why?” she asked, and it was the first time any offender had questioned his wanting to bring them in.
Don’t you know the law, girl? How old must you be to not know it? You wear your goggles at all times. At all times. How do you even speak without them? Two-second blink, this time to send the message. It fled from his screen but hung in the air, not received.
All he said was, “Law.” Then it struck him that THE LIGHT would intercept their conversation, and he managed a tight little smile, wondering how he hadn’t remembered that before.
“THE LIGHT,” he said. “You’ll have to come anyway. If you come with me I’ll get a reward. THE LIGHT will take you anyway. Come.”
She shook her head, not in refusal but in laughter. The nut-brown curls flapped out in the wind and her eyes shone unmistakable merriment. Why? Why would anyone have joy in such a dire circumstance?
“You haven’t spoken so much for years, am I right?” She laid the package down on the floor and pushed her hair back. “I don’t get it. Why don’t people speak?”
He ignored her, unwilling to say anymore lest she mock him again. Grasping her by the wrist, he pulled her forward. At last she showed signs of resistance, and a certain wildness broke into her eyes as she jerked herself backwards.
Fine. You’ll rob me of my revenue, will you? Very well. THE LIGHT will take you soon, then.
Releasing the girl’s arm, Job turned and walked back through the tall grass to his lorry, at the same time confused at why he was letting her go.
I have to read the rest of this!
I don’t really have anything to comment on or critique because…it’s amazing! I was so wrapped up in the story. That is incredibly awesome! You pulled me into the world, and I experienced it all. This is fabulous! One thing I happened to notice was a few of the words could be switched around to make the sentence easier to read. For example, the first critiquing comment I placed about the sentence. Try playing with the order of the words and see which rolls easier off the tongue. : )
Keep this up! I hope to read the rest of this!