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for 4:44

5/22/2015 c1 4lookingwest
Morning! I worked down your story line until I think I found the first thing I hadn't read before and wasn't removed, haha. Anyway, I remember this month's prompt! I like this St. Vincent song, haha, but I didn't participate, I think I was too busy. But I liked how you worked with it here...having the prompt makes me a little more hopeful that our narrator is going to leave this guy, you know? Which I find a very unique use of the prompt - because if you take the prompt away from this piece I think it has a completely different quality or ending to it where things feel much more doomed.

Technique-wise, I feel like there's this big jolt in the story once it goes from them sitting on the couch to the "He tells me" paragraph with the blow job. I liked how that happened - because things felt quite mundane and just kind of - oh stoner guy with his girlfriend or whatever - then bam, we get this really scary paragraph about a semi(is it really though?)i-abusive moment between them. Especially the line that follows it up style-wise with "He tells me" that then draws to mind how good he looks again. Not gonna lie, since I've had Mica on the brain lately, the narrator's disregard for herself is a bit frightening. Mmm though, I just realized - honestly I think this could also be a guy narrator as well. But anyway, so yeah, I liked the "He tells me" paragraph techniques!

Perhaps one thing I wanted more of in this scene overall was perhaps more setting. This is kinda horrible but I just started picturing my biggest stoner friend's couches and his living room, haha. Unless it's an every-stoner kind of thing you're going for, if you perk it up for publication ever, that might be one point to consider, though it does focus more on characterization, anyway. Sometimes you gotta take a hit when you write flash-like pieces on what you're going to focus on. I thought the characterization was phenomenal for such a short space, though, especially how you managed to work with the stoner guy's flaws - like slipping in the cutting thing. With an attitude like his at the end though, he doesn't seem to do much to keep her around anyway. 8 months indeed.

Thematically I enjoyed this "something big might happen any minute now" idea with using the time, too. And how that time switched from "in the afternoon" to "in the morning." The different possibilities were very intriguing to me - kind of like even in the story you're waiting for a big moment to happen, but nothing big does - we just get that technique switch into "he tells me" that really jolts. But also I think it comments on the idea of someone going out and seizing their own day (ugh that is so cliche of me to say, hahaha), on some level - because she feels on the verge of dumping this guy but then, she probably won't. And it's like she might be waiting for someone else to do it for her, but she's the one that's in control. So another exploration into some complex ideas!

Annnd I just finished this and realized I don't think I've ever reviewed Ch. 2 of WP... ugh, lol. BUT if I catch you in the Games again I promise I'll get to that, sorry! Just realized when I went back to refresh to make sure I wouldn't Rule 10 you knowingly or anything, lol. Annnyway! See ya round!
4/29/2015 c1 14Virtuella
Freebie Review!

I like that you have all these assorted pieced about the same family. It’s almost like looking through a photo album. Each piece is complete in itself, but it is the cumulative effect that makes the reader begin to feel that we know these people rather well, that we have an idea of their history.

So here, presumably, we have Mica’s parents in the earlier days of their relationship. Her voice, very grounded and matter-of-fact, is taking stock of him and really, really wanting to come to a positive conclusion. Nevertheless, as the text progresses, he comes off less and less “endearing.”

The structure of this piece works really well, each paragraph with its own one line conclusion. It is something that might be overdone, but in a short piece like this is it very effective. The way the ending links back to the beginning, but now expresses resignation rather than confidence, that was well done.

The details are well chosen, especially the eye lashes – isn’t it so unfair that men in general seem to have better eye lashes than women? He is making a good point that she might (might!) judge his character and behaviour differently if he was less physically attractive. Certainly the gloves are off in this text. If she can still like him, having seen his uglier side, then it bodes well for their future. So maybe something big has happened after all.

BTW, did you ever give them names? I can’t remember having come across names, but I would find that really helpful.
4/23/2015 c1 4m. b. whitlock
RG Depth #4,788

This is a compelling piece even though it’s just a small, brief glimpse of the lives of the characters. I like how small the increments of time are, 4:44 p.m. becomes 4:45, and then at the end the narrator waits for 4:43 in the morning to become 4:44. Just minutes in each case. It seems like the characters have such myopia and are so isolated, stuck inside the small bubble of their relationship, that thinking about a further future than a minute or two ahead is beyond them.

Here are notes by topic:


I really like the enigmatic opening. I get the sense from the start that these are some messed up people. If you know something undefined is going to happen simply because someone else tells you (and the two of you are doing drugs) well that sounds like less than rational behavior. ;)

I love this image:
“He tells me this with smoke flowing from his nostrils like a marijuana breathing dragon,”

But I would cut this part that follows:
“his voice deep and affected in the manner of stoners everywhere.”
It’s just that the additional clause doesn’t really convey anything. I mean if you know what stoned people sound like you don’t need to read this section to get how he sounds. If you don’t hang with stoners much then “in the manner of stoners everywhere” doesn’t mean anything to you. Also, it’s just not as strong as the first part and lessens the impact a bit I think. :) No big though.


This tells me things are starting to sour for their relationship:
“Last night we got too drunk and he blamed me, because I was paying. I'm an enabler, he says, kissing my forehead. His lips are pink and perfectly shaped and I'll enable him all day any day.”
If one partner in a relationship is talking about enabling yet the other refuses to see the problem you have some major trouble ahead. Just a matter of time. Also the juxtaposition of kissing her (assuming the narrator is female) while he criticizes her (for her generosity even) really doesn’t bode well. He’s already being a d*ck.

This part reinforces the impression that these two have some pathologies they are not dealing with:
“He examines the rainbow of bruises he earned falling down and I kiss them as he marvels over their size and number.”
Wondering how you got a bunch of bruises is a sign you are out of control. I love how she finds them beautiful, like everything about him, even his cruelty I imagine.

Great line:
“He tells me he once punched himself in the face and I think quirky not crazy.”
She really is delusional. Though she seems intelligent so I believe that she’s aware to a degree how unhealthy things are getting. She’s still so high on this guy though and their tiny world that she won’t let herself face reality.

This is a very powerful and disturbing part:
“"Thanks for that," he snaps. "I was close.””
It reads very real to me though. I think it’s one of the strongest parts of this. He is beyond ‘d*ck’ now and racing towards ‘abuser’.


Very elegant ending. I like how neatly it ties back to the opening and also how it sets up another cycle, days after day it seems this couple drops further into pathology and delusion. Something will happen eventually to break the loop, and when it does it might be big, or it might be just a trickle of minutes:
“It's 4:43 in the morning and he leaves the bed to go jack off in the shower, and I think something big could happen, any minute now.”

I like how the prompt could apply to either of the characters. They both need to stop cheering on/tolerating/enabling the other.

Good stuff.


10/28/2014 c1 81Timbo Slice
Opening: the opening line is a great hook because it leaves the promise of "something" happening, though even the main character doesn't know what to expect. It almost reminds me of the book Fight Club, I know you heard of it, where the main character says "...I know this because Tyler knows this" and it made me stop and think when I was done reading if the main character and their lover were one in the same like Tyler Durden and the protagonist from Fight Club (spoiler!)

Writing: for such a short piece you managed to get your point across pretty well in telling the story. There was some quirky but vivid descriptions thrown around like the marijuana smoking dragon and the prose seems to creep along like the language of despair.

Characters: one thing I noticed about the characters is just how broken and damaged some of them are. Also I don't know if this was intentional but you left the gender of the main character kind of ambiguous, and given that you've dabbled in slash before it kind of gives the story an extra layer of meaning picturing a male or female as the lead.

Ending: I liked the end because to me it symbolizes not only their troubled relationship but also the vicious cycle they are trapped in. The impending doom like worry for some even happening at 4:44 is nothing but the wishful thinking of a wounded lover hoping for something better but will never happen, it really puts a stamp on the gloom surrounding this short piece.
10/11/2014 c1 31YasuRan
I think the harsh notes of the song are really brought out well here. The narrator comes off as young and naive, easily the cheerleader who could buy into a pretty face with an ugly stain. The title even gives off that ominous feel with the trifecta of unlucky numbers (I believe 4 is considered to be such in certain cultures.

I like how the ironic side to the build-up streams along as the day progresses. The narrator certainly expects something big to happen, but she's not disappointed (or even surprised) that things go the way they do. Despite what she perceives of him, she's still his loyal cheerleader though something about the last line suggests that this is only a matter of time.

Cool stuff, overall. Best of luck in the WCC!
10/9/2014 c1 Hedonistic Opportunist
Opening: You have a really eye-grabbing and catchy opening there - the first line hooks you in, and makes you want to read, because you're in grand expectation of something happening :D. I also like how it has an obvious relationship with the title, which helps make the opening more enticing. What I also like about the opening is that it has a specific tone and just really introduces the story well: you give us an idea of how tense this piece will be, and that the boyfriend/boytoy of the narrator here is a bit screwed-up. I also like how it opposes the ending, showing how the narrator is all expectation, but then ends up getting 'lucky' this time (that nothing did happen after all). I think it's a really great opening, because of these reasons, and it's also just reads well as a standalone line. Also, it shows how the piece takes place in the present, which helps establish the tone further :)

Writing: I like how the you have some lovely lines here, with the most obvious one being a 'marijuana-smoking dragon'. That's just an extremely beautiful line that really stands out in such a short piece. I also like how the tone is very sharp and littered with words like 'creep' and 'gag on his dick'. It's an interesting sort of oxymoron to how the narrator is describing the boy as beautiful, even though his actions and language don't really make him seem to be so. The writing is pretty much subdued, but there is emotion here in lines like 'but for him I could work' and 'I try not let it sting'. Even the ending hints at bitterness. I like that; it keeps the piece powerful but also vague, because you are left guessing at what the narrator's motivations are. I like how things like 'I see the cuts on him, self-inflicted obviously...' showcase a huge awareness on the part of the narrator, but also show how they are obviously obsessed with the boy for being beautiful/so self-destructive. It is quite fascinating: I think I could spend hours trying to read what you are trying to say in between the lines. Overall, I like the simpleness of the writing style, but also how it flows so well. I also like the repetitions like 'eyes so blue, the bluest blue' or 'it hurts, it all hurts too much'. It creates a rhythmic quality - cool stuff.

Relationship: You are very obviously describing a very destructive relationship here. I get the feeling that the narrator is with this guy, because they are attracted to their looks and darkness. I get the feeling that they are, too, full of expectation that something bad will happen (it's like a trainwreck). I get the feeling too that the guy is with the narrator for sexual pleasure and maybe comfort. So, you could describe this as a relationship of benefit that is probably going nowhere because of how messed up the guy is. I get the feeling that the narrator is expecting the relationship to end, but also is still clinging to them (because of how beautiful he is). I don't know - it's vague and there is a lot left open to interpretation, but I still find that the relationship comes across as more of one that is about reliance and codependency than actual love. I also find that lust plays a huge role in it, since the sexual aspect is strongly written out this fic. There is no mention anywhere of either of them being interested in each other for their personality XD. Again, it's open to interpretation, I guess :D

Plot: My, my, it's hard to describe plot for such a vignette, but for me, this piece really touches upon themes of obsession/fascination with self-destruction. I get the feeling that the narrator is a bit of an observer, a bit into the kick of being with someone who is obviously in need of great help. There are reference littered to this everywhere, and I like how honest the piece is about this. Of course, this being such a short piece - I think the plot is left open to interpretation, because we never do find out what the background story to this. But I don't mind, as for such a short piece, the suggestiveness and implications are far more interesting. So, to me, this piece depicts the hopelessness of being with someone who is destructive and the inability, maybe, to do anything about it. It also shows, perhaps, a perverseness in enjoying to be with someone like this. There's a bit of sadism here too - towards one self maybe? The narrator, after all, doesn't seem to gain anything from this relationship but pain and not much respect. I think it could also very much be about the unfulfilling nature of a bad relationship. There are so many ways to read this piece.
10/8/2014 c1 13alltheeagles
It definitely fits the prompt to a T. You have a knack for writing self-destructive characters. Sometimes it feels like you're describing me. Which is scary.
10/7/2014 c1 2Midnight Hashiri
Greetings from the Review Game - Easy Fix! :)

Interesting that you'd use song lyrics, since I usually use quotes from the story or from an actual person. I see that 4:44 is pretty significant, now I'll always notice 4:44 on my watch now, ha ha.

Your description is really nice, I could really read your works more often. My description, well, kinda has issues. So this is probably written from a love-struck woman. Or a man. I don't know, but I'm okay with both :) the fact that the persona was never addressed intrigues me, a lot. The persona's boyfriend seems like a the tortured prince, or something.

Unbearably beautiful, and unbearable charming. I kinda like that, but not my cup of tea. Are you going to explain the significance of the time 4:44 to us in the future chapters?

Cheers! Have a nice day!

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