Peer Review by squirrelwriter (United States)

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Numb to the Shadows

By: Verena

PROMPT: Setting as Mood

A mysterious young woman stood at the entrance of a dark alley, her sharp and calculating eyes burning holes into the backs of passerby's. The frigid wind whips her hair around her face, the pale moonlight shining over the darkened street. Laughter and the sound of harsh footsteps can easily be heard from the shadowed corner of the alley, the people drunken on the idea of getting home to their warm house's. Moss grows on the side of the old brick buildings, their tall frames slowly falling apart after years of abandonment. The air is brisk and filled with the painful reminder that winter shall soon be upon the now broken city. The mysterious young woman takes a deep breath and feels the chilled air catch in her throat, it was time to go home, home to her bed that swept her into the sweet allure of slumber. 

Peer Review

"The air is brisk and filled with the painful reminder that winter shall soon be upon the now broken city." This line, especially paired with the one before it, gives the reader a sense of the unwelcome and damaged state of the city at night. The use of "broken", while not an uncommon description, seems extremely well-placed here. (And this is where I'll step to the side and admit that I don't know why I like it there, but it seems perfect for some reason.)

This description evokes a lonely and tired mood, especially with the night setting, the abandoned buildings, and the cold wind. However, small details such as laughter and the woman thinking of home give the sense that there are areas of welcome and comfort in this otherwise unfriendly-seeming environment. I especially like how the writer included this contrast, instead of just focusing on the unwelcome aspects of the city, because this makes the scene feel more full and realistic.

Reviewer Comments

I really like this piece. Despite its brevity, it is very effective at creating a setting and causing me to ask questions about how the city has ended up so dilapidated. The author also uses some unique descriptions and comparisons, which I enjoy reading. There are a few main points, namely grammatical, which I would consider revising. However, all in all, this is a very good piece!