Checked Baggage

“Judging by the size of the bags under your eyes,” her mother said, “I suppose you’ll be staying with us for a while.”

She knew her mother was trying to make a joke. To make this easy. Easier. That this situation, whatever it had become, was uncomfortable for both of them. She didn’t want to come home like this, and had convinced herself that this was only a temporary solution. Not long term. A week, maybe two. Just long enough to rest up and see clear and then she’d head back to school, to the city, back to her life.

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3 thoughts on “Checked Baggage

  1. Hiya, I offer critique here on WordPress to combat the generalised comments people often get on their writing. I know this is a short story, so I’ll try and keep this critique specific and on topic.

    Your first line is spot-on, which is always reassuring for someone who is about to read your story. Your characterisation of the mother is great, and I can hear her saying it in a specific voice even if you haven’t mentioned how she says it. Good, good.

    “She knew her mother was trying to make a joke.”

    Hm. This bit seems a bit too…well, forced, if anything. Yes. We also know her mother was trying to make a joke. You don’t need to tell us this, instead give us a reason, immediately, as to why it’s so inappropriate (or not.)

    “She didn’t want to come home like this, and had convinced herself that this was only a temporary solution. Not long term. A week, maybe two. Just long enough to rest up and see clear and then she’d head back to school, to the city, back to her life.”

    Hm. I think I ask too much from a story so short. In a way, you have to tell us that this was an “uncomfortable situation” for the both of them, although I just wish there was a less “tell-y” way of showing me the situation. I think it works, and I’m being too nitpicky.

    I think you fall into the trap here of repeating and expanded on that does not need to be expanded on. A “temporary solution” is indeed not long term, and a week, maybe two weeks is not a long term period of time. Do you see what I mean? You say the same thing three times. In a story so short these seems like wasted space for something else, something else interesting, evocative. Something that tells me something else about your character. Something, something, something. Heh.

    I like your last line, good flow to it, and I think it’s grandiose enough to fit the tone of your story. It’s a good introduction to this character, although I still know nothing about her, or have any hint of what the situation is.

    If there was more, I’d read it.

    Anyway, keep it up.

    1. Hello Harry,
      This is nice. I appreciate the time you’ve taken, and agree that your points are valid. There’s some good stuff to chew on in here. I’m already thinking about a rewrite.
      Thanks a bunch.

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