Peer Review by bride124 (United States)

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The Land of Lost Things

By: weirdo

    Do you ever wonder where lost things disappear to? Like the hundreds of pens and pencils you leave lying around, just to find them gone the next day? Or that one homework assignment you couldn't find no matter how hard you looked? Well, surprisingly enough, they all end up in the same place. Every lost pencil, pen, button, hair tie, and bobby pin. They end up here. In the Land of Lost Things.
    It always amazed me how things just pop up here. Every single day, I wandered around aimlessly, looking for something new. Of course, I hadn't seen everything that arrived here. There was far too much. Besides, there are certain things that people don't lose often. Like houses. Or trees. Oh, how I wish I could see a tree. I'd seen pictures and paintings of them, but, considering it is very hard to lose a tree, I had never seen one in real life. I remember this one time, I found a beautiful portrait of a tree. It was decorated in sparkling lights and colorful, circular bulbs of all shapes and sizes. And there was a star, all the way on the top. I took the portrait, tucking it away in the pocket of my old, tattered jacket.
    I designed my own tree house. Of course, it wasn't a real tree house because I hadn't had the pleasure of seeing a real tree. No, it was a makeshift tree house. I gathered about a hundred wooden planks and stacked them on top of each other, eventually forming a structure that I believed was the same heights as a real-life tree. Then, I proceeded to grab even more wooden planks, building a tree house. I based the structure on a doll house I had found. I even decorated the place. My bed, an air mattress I had found, was stacked with loads of decorative blankets. And I had my ever-growing collection of lost things I had found and wanted to keep. Colorful buttons, light bulbs, my favorite book, Peter Pan. Anything that caught my eyes, I would take to my tree house and put alongside my many other treasures.
    Every night, after I had finished finding new lost things to add to my vast collection, I slept in the tree house. And I had the same dream repeatedly. Or was it a nightmare? Maybe a mixture of both. You see, every night I dreamed of the day I got lost. Except, I thought of diverse ways it could have happened each time. In one version, I was kidnapped. I was slowing my captor down in his escape from the cops, so he threw me in the trash. In another, I had accidentally wandered off while my parents and I were enjoying a lovely stroll in the park. But, no matter how many possible situations I thought of, it never satisfied my thirst to know. Even though it was stupid. I had been in the Land of Lost Things since before I could remember. Chances were that no one in the normal world remembered me. And, even if someone did, I could never go to find them.
    A strange thing happened on what seemed like a day just like any other. I was out looking for lost things in the empty desert that I called home. I had found many trinkets to keep. I was ready to go when I noticed something unusual appear. It was in the shape and size of a human. Perhaps it's a large doll, I thought as I walked towards it, eager to find out what the unusual item was. Then it started to cry. I thought, It must be one of those electrical dolls that cries. It wasn't. It was a girl. An actual girl. I gasped, I had never seen another human before. Although, I was sure there were some in the Land of Lost Things that I hadn't found. After all, the size of the place is inconceivable. But, I never thought I would ever meet another human. I felt a mixture of excitement and fear as I approached her.
    She was sobbing, curled up into a little ball, when I walked up to her. When I got near her, she uncurled from the ball.
    "Veronica?" she called out in a shrill voice.
    I smiled.
    "I'm not Veronica."
    She took her sleeve and wiped her snot-filled nose with it. I noticed that she wore a magenta dress on her small, frail body. I looked down at my own outfit made of old rags.
    "Then," she said, "What's your name?"
    "I..." I started, "I don't know."
    It had never occurred to me whether I had a name. Although, it should have. How could I be alive for so long and not know my name?
    "Oh," she said, "You just look like my older sister, Veronica. I wonder where she is."
    "You won't find her here."
    "Oh...Oh well. She's been mean to me lately anyway."
    I sighed deeply. How could I explain to a little girl that she would never be able to see her family again? That she was lost, never to be found? Well, the answer was quite simple. I couldn't.
    "I'll be your sister, if you want," I proposed.
    I'd never had a sister before. At least, I didn't think I did.
    "Sure," she said, "I'm Ann, by the way."
    I took her hand. I felt a sudden chill go throughout my body. I shivered. Is this what human interaction is supposed to feel like? I thought as I pulled her up. She stumbled over her feet a bit, but I made sure to hold her hand tight.
    "I got you," I said, reassuringly.
    She looked up at me and smiled. A smile full of innocence and kindness, and missing two teeth.
    "What's this place called?" she asked.
    "The Land of Lost Things."
    "That's weird," she said, looking up at me, "because I just got found."

Peer Review

The geography of it really amazed me. The thought that every lost item, arrives at this unknown location. I never honestly thought of actual humans would reside here. But orphanages do contain children who don't have any parents or are lost, so it makes sense with your eloquent writing that a human can dwell on the Land of Lost Things.

I would love to know more about both characters. I know this is only one installment of the rest of the story, but considering it as the one and only piece (with no continuation, since it is for a writing competition), it was just too much of a cliffhanger for both characters (more of a cliffhanger for the speaker than Ann, which is weird since she is more present in the text and she still had a minimal amount revealed about her). Anyway, for Ann, she just appears, believes that the speaker was her sister and that was all talked about her in the text. I was just waiting for at least ONE characteristic/character trait for her and for the narrator, she seems like a key and intriguing person, she is the main focus of the chapter,and yet she is with no attention grabbing details. She has just too much historical context (with much of it just speculative), not focusing on the present, with historical context is helpful but, honestly, I just wanted more. I mean, setting and characters are TRULY induced in this piece, but think about other elements that make up a story.

There were no rules mentioned or seemed-to-be established in the text. It seemed like it was mostly about the speaker and Ann, with a bit of wishy-washy transitions. Rules define a state, country, let alone a whole world! Without them, they would be total anarchy (It IS the Land for Lost Things). This fantastic idea you have spun up just need some boundaries.

I would just personally analyze your text with brutal honesty. That is what great authors do.

Reviewer Comments

Your writing is INCREDIBLE! I think that you truly have a gift, but I am honestly just explaining some flaws in this piece. I hope you don't hate me!