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jeannie d sanders

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the fall of man
By jeannie d sanders
Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Rated "G" by the Author.

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Recent stories by jeannie d sanders
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flash fiction - please read the revised story also...see what you think!?

photograph taken by the author

        Johnson began to build speed as soon as he noticed Sharyl in her front yard a block away.  The late October morning was cold and gusty.  Johnson was hung over and pissed-off at life.  His four young children and wife, Kat, were all crabby with colds and fevers.  He had only recently escaped the stench and clutter of his family home to catch his breath by cruising the country roads outside their small town.  He generally adored driving in his classic 1984 black Pontiac Firebird; it made him feel important.  But for some reason, Johnson found himself prowling slowly around the curbless, puddle-lined streets of his neighborhood listening to a scratchy cassette of AC/DC on his tape deck instead.  The hard driving beat of “Dirty Deeds” matched the pounding in his head from last night’s whiskey binge.  His torso slumped wearily into the bucket seat, Johnson was largely disinterested in driving today.  However, once he spotted Sharyl raking leaves to the street, Johnson snickered out loud and stiffened his pose as he punched the accelerator.  By the time he flew by Sharyl, Johnson was laughing with his head thrown back  and traveling 47MPH in a 25MPH zone.  Half of the leaves Sharyl had raked to the edge of the street were blown by the draft he created to swirl around before landing behind her, back in the middle of the yard, needing to be raked again.
          Sharyl was impervious to Johnson’s juvenile prank.  In fact, the event barely registered in her body language and the pace of her sweeping rake, save for a small ironic smile on her already work-flushed face.  Without even knowing Johnson as an individual, Sharyl correctly assumed him as a man, without the motivation to rake his own abundance of fallen leaves, who was reduced to projecting his frustration onto others.  The thought of the whole event left Sharyl’s awareness as quickly as Johnson had sped past her and she continued to revel in the complex earthy scent of the leaves, grass, and soil as she scratched the ground with her rake.


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Reviewed by jeannie sanders 11/8/2006
thank you soooo much for the constructive criticism. although i have been a poet since elementary school (a couple light years ago...)i am new to writing fiction and really need to hear feedback such as what you have offered. revisions are in the works! and i will remember this advice in my future fiction endeavors.
again, many thanks.
Reviewed by Patricia Hilliard 11/8/2006
I liked the short story--any woman could relate to that scene!--but the story was a bit too analytical. Statements like, "Sharyl was impervious to Johnson’s juvenile prank." It would have been better to avoid this direct explanation and show Sharyl's body language and her thoughts. I have recently discovered that expressing emotion in a story is more interesting to readers than turning emotions into psycho-analylistical assessments or political commentary--which is my weakness!!! People feel emotions and writers put those emotions into words which validate the emotions we feel. If we take the emotion away with analysis, we dry up the emotions. --Just some thoughts on the matter.....Pat H.

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