Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday Project - Treasure

This is my open end story of "Poppy and Her Mother" for participation of the Monday Project.

I have included elements from all April projects to write this "episode". They are Kate’s empty bed, Sophie’s box, Mr Sketchy’s chairs and the ladybug from lovegeek’s card. See if you could spot them in this episode.

For those who are new to this story, please find I here and II here.

My usual way to write a story is to follow ideas which normally come to me through my free writing practice. So to write according to a theme and using other contributors’ projects as pre-set elements for storytelling is new to me. I find this challenging as well as refreshing. Overall, I’m taking the project as a learning opportunity.

My questions to all readers for this episode are:

- Does the story read like a draft or a polished piece?
- If the writing is lively or dull?
- If the story engages you? When you lose interest?
- Plot turn – expected? Unexpected?
- Areas for improvement.
- Any other comments?
- Or if you want to ask me any questions about this story.

You could choose to leave your comments here in my blog or you could email me your comments. Thank you in advance for your time and generosity.

Let the story begins …

III – Treasure

It took Poppy awhile to stop crying. "Ma, I’m sorry!" Though the tears were gone, Poppy’s voice was breaking my heart. I bent over and opened my arms. Poppy hesitated. "Come, sweet pea." She fell into my arms and I could feel the relief in her small body. "Did you see anyone in the room?" I looked at the locket in her hands. "No." She was trying to open it. "Come let me do it." Now that I had a better look of the locket, I realized that it was slightly bigger than the usual locket. The chain was short and it had a ladybug shaped clasp. When I turned it round trying to knock it open, it made clicking sound. "Something was inside the locket," whispered Poppy. She always did that when she was excited. It reminded me of Julian. Like father like daughter. I tried every ways to open the locket but it refused to yield us its treasure. "Sorry dear, I can’t open it. Let’s ask uncle Marc to do it when he arrives tonight." The twinkles in her eyes were gone. "But, since you found this locket, it belongs to you." Poppy jumped up and down clapping her hand. "Come, stand till and let me put it on you." The locket sat nicely on Poppy’s chest. It looked like it belonged there. Poppy looked at me again with her sparkling green eyes. I knew what she wanted. "O.K."

I sat on the bed looking at Poppy swirling in front of the mirror admiring herself and wondering what Julian would said if he was here. "Look at our treasure. Isn’t she the most precious thing in the world?" My heart ached again for the thoughts of him and my hand wandered across the empty bed searching for his body. He’s gone. My mind was screaming but my hands kept searching. "Ma," Poppy pointed at me, "what was that?" I looked down and saw that a mud covered box sitting on my lap. "What the hell is this?" I threw the box down on the floor. It broke into several pieces. "Don’t touch it!" But Poppy was too quick and she picked up one of the broken piece to look at. "It had something on it, Ma." Poppy passed it to me. There was a crudely drawn picture on it. "It looked like two people sitting back to back?" Poppy tugged at my arm. "You’re right, sweet heart." I looked at the broken pieces on the floor again and saw that there were mud stained foot prints all over the room. "Poppy, are you sure that you didn’t see anyone in the house this morning?" Poppy nodded her head as she followed my gaze at the footprints. "Someone’s in the house, Ma!" whispered Poppy. But this time she wasn’t excited. There was fear in her voice.


Barbara/myth maker said...

I read your story last night, and have been going over it in my head.
I think the story reads like a draft, but only because some of the lines seem out of place. The beginning is the part that confused me. I'm not sure why the child says "I'm sorry" to her mom, and I don't understand the question as to whether she saw anybody in the room. (Later on the mom asks that again). Also, separate the dialogue from the body of the writing. Diaglogue is much easier to read that way. For example:

I sat on the bed, looking at Poppy swirling in front of the mirror admiring herself, and wondering (it should be wondered) what Julian would say if he was here.

"Look at our treasure. Isn't she the most precious thing in the world?"

My heart ached...

Once you start with the locket, it flows smoother, and builds up with good tension.
I would change the first line of the story. It's always good to start with an action.. Even if it's just "Poppy was crying hard, and it took her a while to stop."

The part with the mud box reads well, and is a good set up for what's to come.
Good luck with your story, I look forward to reading more! I hope my mini critique will help some. You're doing a great job.

Hybrid J said...

Hi Barbara,

Thank you for your mini critique. It's more than what I asked for. And it helped!

The confusion you had for the beginning part might due to the fact you started the story at Episode III. There has been development from Episode II which led to III. Just like the ending of III will lead to IV.

For those lines which are out of place, would you think by reading I & II will help to solve the problem. Or it is because of the quality of the prose?

How careless I was to miss the grammatical mistake? Thanks for pointing it out.

Yes, I did find the two paragraphes quite chunky but somehow didn't quite know how to break them apart. And by taking up your point of seperating the dialogue from the body of the story, it will help with this concern of mine. Thanks again.

Will think about the opening line as per your suggestion. But agree that my original is not a strong one. I could have written a better one.

Once again, thank you for your time and generoristy to offer the critique. I'll work harder next time! :D

Barbara/myth maker said...

I had a feeling the first part linked to another part.. sorry I didn't realize that! That would make it clearer, indeed.

Hybrid J said...

No worries, Barbara. And glad that it's now more clearer to you. :)