Our first critique is from proverbs31teen who blogs over at The World of the Writer. She is looking for what we like and dislike about the piece, along with any improvement suggestions.
If you happen upon this page, I know that Bri would love for you to give your opinion on her work. Your critique doesn’t have to be long, but I know it would be appreciated 😉
Thanks for letting us read your work, Bri, and I hope that you find these critiques helpful!
I hear the whir of the hospital’s automatic door opening and feel my way out with the cane. A cold breeze bites into my skin when I step onto the sidewalk outside, and I inhale deeply. It smells cold, and there’s a heaviness in the air I recognize easily. Rain. It’s still faint, but it’ll be here in an hour, judging by the speed of the wind. I’m never wrong when predicting the weather. Hopefully I’ll be home before it starts.
My cane bumps steadily over the cracks in the sidewalk. Cars whoosh past on my left, making the air swirl around me. It feels weird to be walking by myself, but it’s great. Hardly anybody walks anymore. I hear a familiar whizzing – a bike – and move to the side. The bike whips past without slowing. I keep moving, pausing to push strands of hair off my face.
I hear a slow, steady sound of rolling wheels behind me with a beat I don’t recognize. It stays the same distance behind me, not getting closer or farther away. I try to ignore it, but it’s getting on my nerves. Is someone following me?
I head more cars straight ahead of me, and my cane bumps down suddenly. This is where the sidewalk ends. I back up a step, unsure of what to do. I’ve never crossed an intersection on my own before. On the way here, a pushy lady gripped my arm and practically dragged me across, trying to “help”. But now there’s no one around, not that I can hear. Except for the rolling sound coming steadily closer. It stops next to me.
“Do you need help?” a female voice asks, hesitating.
“No,” I snap automatically, then regret it.
“Fine.” I hear the rolling sound again and stretch out my hand.
“Wait,” I say. “I’m sorry. Yes, I could use some help.”
I wait. Then I hear a sigh, and a hand carefully touches my hand and moves it. I feel something like thick canvas, and my toe bumps against something rubbery, a wheel. My breath catches as I realize what it is. A wheelchair.
“Light’s green, let’s go,” the girl says brusquely. The wheelchair lurches forward, and it’s all I can do to keep up. We make it to the other side of the street in no time at all.
The wheelchair slows as we move up the incline onto the sidewalk on the other side of the intersection. “Well, nice helping ya,” the girl says. She starts to roll away, but I tighten my grip on the back of the wheelchair.
“No, don’t leave yet,” I say. “Listen, I’m sorry for being so rude. I’m Chloe.”
Silence. “Melissa,” she finally says. “Now could you please let go?”
I pause. Let go of a chance to make a friend, and one who sounds like she needs it just as much as I do? Not a chance.