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Michael's Writing > "The Girl" - Short Story

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message 1: by Michael (new)

Michael (madseventwo) Just the first 600 words or so. All feedback would be great, and feel free to be super critical--I need honesty in order to get better! :)

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Somewhere beyond the horizon line, a little girl, forbidden to use her imagination, does so anyway, and she is not ashamed of it. She sees herself as a princess. She sees herself as a traveler. She sees herself as a handmaiden. She sees herself as a magician. All this because of a plain silver mirror, which she received as a present for her last birthday. The girl carries her mirror everywhere and looks at herself often, but she never sees anything ordinary.

She lives with the trolls now, where she belongs, and she is happy there. Sometimes she stares out the window, looking out toward the way she came and thinking about the miles she never thought she would travel. Far, far away from where she used to call home, she smiles, happy to be free.

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Her parents beamed as she opened it, proud of the magnificent gift they had chosen for their only daughter, one that would help her see the reality of life instead of the oceans of nauseating dreams that crashed forth from her naive mind. “If it’s not real, you can’t enjoy it,” they would say, “else how do you know what you’re enjoying?” Then they would let out an empty laugh, one that doesn’t know freedom.

“Besides. Dreams leave you unhappy and dissatisfied with the world in which you must live and grow old. Who would want to make themselves so unhappy?”

But the girl isn’t like her parents.

Happiness isn’t keeping the floor swept and the fire burning. Happiness is the hope of something better. They live the same routine day after day. They bring up the same topics and argue about the same things today as they did 10 years ago. They are the same, so they say the world is the same, and it always must be that way.

But the girl isn’t like her parents.

She always thinks about adventures and magic. Not for mindless distraction but because hope is her reality. In her mirror’s reflection, her other toys come to life. They dance, they move, they talk one with another. She watches her small room transform into a big dining hall fit for hundreds of guests. Nothing is impossible to the girl, who sees everything that could be, and nothing that simply is.

But she thought she was alone, until one day.

She used to tell her parents about the stories in her head, but they told her to forget such nonsense and worry only about what she could see was real with her own two eyes. That was the key to happiness, they said.

Her parents were pleased, but they didn’t know why the girl liked it so much, truly.

Soon, she started using the mirror to look at other things.
The girl didn’t know what it was because she had never seen any creature such as that around their farm before. It moved slowly and hunched over. One of its arms dragged on the ground. The girl picked up her mirror and positioned herself so that she could see what the beast might look like in it. She turned and lifted the mirror, and when the creature was visible, it stopped, it’s head turned toward her, and even though it was so far away, she could have sworn that she saw it smile at her. She blinked once, and suddenly it stood just behind her, monstrously tall.

She jumped at the sight of it and dropped the mirror. She whipped around to look on the beast with her own eyes, silently frightened, but when she turned, it was gone. Her eyes dashed from right to left, searching for the monster, but it was nowhere to be found.


message 2: by emma (new)

emma | 72 comments I really enjoyed this. It's well-written and it reads almost like a fairy tale.

Just a couple of suggestions:

I like where the first sentence is going, but it needs to be more concise. Try rewording it so that it flows more naturally, and taking out a comma or two. I'd also recommend making "she is not ashamed of it" a separate sentence.

The last two paragraphs feel like a separate section, since they've transitioned from the information about the mirror and the girl's family to more of a narrative form. I'm not sure where you're headed with this (whether it's a novel or short story, the audience you have in mind), but I think it could be the start of a new chapter.

I'm looking forward to reading more, good luck with this!


message 3: by Michael (new)

Michael (madseventwo) Excellent suggestions, Emma. Thank you. :) I was actually going for a fairy tale-type feeling, so I'm glad you got that impression. I'll work on your suggestions.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert (goodreadscomroregan2911) | 18 comments This definitely has that fairy tale feel to it. Like Emma said, the beginning seems a little disjointed. I like where this going though :)


message 5: by Karli (new)

Karli (karli831) I like the story, but it get's too repetitive when you have to keep reading "the girl". I'd introduce a name early on before we learn more about her so there could be a visual in as we're reading.


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