The Beta Club: Lights Out (Fantasy) - Come Critique!




It's that time of the week again!  On today's agenda, a fantasy story.  Please take the time to read through the passage and offer the author feedback.  My detailed critique is below.

Title: Lights Out
Genre: Fantasy
Author: Kristina Fugate (check out her blog: KayKay's Corner)



   Winter made itself known last night—hitting us hard in the form ofa heavy snowstorm. The city had been covered in nearly a foot of snow overnightand there was no one feeling it quite like Bolton Falls and the surroundingcommunities. My whole neighborhood has been transformed into a huge, fluffypillow.

    Sadly, snow makes toddlers go insane and my brother is no exception tothe rule. And, as his main caregiver, it is my job to watch over him and makesure no harm comes to that precious head of his.
I stand solemnlyon the porch adjacent to my wheelchair-bound grandfather, tapping my footslowly as we stared out at the frozen wasteland before us. Ashton, the four-year-oldI’m in charge of, is bounding around the yard, dazzled by the heaps of icygoodness covering ground.

    “Ashton!” I call, glancing around for him. He’s managed to disappearfrom sight—probably buried under a pile of snow. His head pops out of a moundof ice, his brown curls littered with snowflakes. “Get away from the road.You’ll get hit!” I command, waving him over.

    I take a quick peek at my watch, realizing it’s nearly time for Granddadto take his medication. Issuing a heavy sigh, I put my hand on his shoulder andsqueeze, trying to get his attention. “Grandpa,” I say loudly, hoping mynearly-deaf grandfather would hear me, “it’s time for your medicine.”

    “Whaa…?” he hums, glancing up at me, “You say something, Skye?” I narrowmy eyes and clench my jaw tightly, trying to keep my cool.

    “Your medicine!” I repeat, almost shouting, “It’s time for yourmedicine.” His expression changes, as if he’d just realized it himself, and hegoes to nodding—like he always does.

    “Ash!” I snap, “Stay close to the house! I’m going inside to giveGranddad his meds!” With that said, I wheel my senile guardian inside. We’vegot one of the smallest, drabbest places in Falcon Ridge, the rather high-classneighborhood we live in, decorated with black and white pictures of relativesthat have been dead for decades and furniture that was probably manufactured inthe 1930s. Our place even has a different smell compared to the other houses inthe area—a very distinctive musky odor.

    I park Grandpa at the kitchen table and go to the cabinet, shiftingthrough dozens upon dozens of pill bottles. I’d had to move them up on theshelf because Grandpa likes to feel independent and take his meds by himself;two stomach pumps later, I figured out they needed to be out of his reach.

    I grab the needed bottles and splay them out on the table, leaningforward on my elbows. “Gramps,” I say sternly, catching his attention, “yourmeds.” He nods for a few moments and stares at me expectantly. “Two of these,”I say, pointing to the appropriate bottle, “One of those kidney pills. And twoof these red ones with a full glass of water. Yeah?”

    “Yes,” he hums, waving me away, “go watch Ashton. I’m sure I can take itfrom here, child.” I quirk a single thin eyebrow, momentarily wondering whetheror not he could really handle it, but decide to let him haveat it and walk away.

     “I’m so underappreciated,” I grumble, gritting my teeth angrily asI head towards the door, “The most unrewarded person on the face of this—”

     My heated comment is cut short by the sound of Ashton screamingbloody murder. The front door flies open and my brother rushes inside, wrappinghimself around my leg. “Si-sissy!” he stammers. He’s trembling and crying hislittle eyes out.

    “What’s the matter, mutt?” I ask, rolling my eyes, “Didja fall in theroad? I told you not to—!”

    “A boy!” he wails, “There’s a boy!”

    I bring my eyebrows together to form a stern, confused line. “A…boy?” Iask, “Whuddya mean a boy? Did someone push you?”

    “No! No! There’s a boy in the snow!” he screams, shaking my leg roughly,“He’s in the snow!”

    My heart almost stops. I can’t be hearing him right. “In…in the snow?”



Below is my crit.  Click FULL SCREEN to view, then once in the document RIGHT CLICK to zoom in to see comments.



Because I referenced buried dialogue and wordiness in my critique, I figured I'd link to the posts that described those things:


Alright, so what did you think of the passage?  Did it hook you?  What did the author do well?  What areas need some work?  Thanks ahead of time for taking the time to give feedback!

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