Peer Review by Lovegood_24 (United States)

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The Land of Lost Things--Part Three

By: weirdo


       Some may think that after spending most of your life in a place, it'd be impossible to get lost. And, if you think that about me, you are wrong. I have never been able to navigate my way through the Land of Lost Things. It is far too big, and the spaces are far too homogenous. Usually, I stay in a closed space, which is marked by multiple exotic and easy to remember objects that I formed a large circle with. I try my best to stay within that circle. However, there was a time when these boundaries I made for myself were nonexistent. A time when I was stupid enough to seek adventure beyond what I could see. What can I say? Peter Pan had gotten to my head. It was during one of these so-called adventures that I encountered the cave.
       Magical places are only in fairy tales. Yet, everyone has encountered a place that they feel is magical. A place that is magical to them. A place that would be magical if we were all placed in a fairy tale land. And, as soon I laid my eyes on that cave, I knew it was a magical place. I knew it was my magical place.
       The walls were made of crystals. Crystals that sparkled as if the stars were trapped within them. Crystals that showed me my own reflection. But, it wasn’t the beauty of the walls that made it a magical place. It was the voices. Those voices that bounced around the space, creating what sounded like a chaotic song. 
       I stayed there for a while, listening to the voices. Some told stories. Others told secrets. And a couple said prayers. 
       After a while, I got tired. I left for my treehouse. But, I vowed to come back to the magical cave. For some reason, I forgot about it. Maybe I didn't want to remember. Maybe I was scared. Scared that if I went back, the place wouldn't seem as magical as it was before. 
       When Ann and I left towards the cave, she seemed so excited. It was strange because, moments before, she seemed almost depressed. She began to skip ahead of me, her strawberry blonde bouncing almost rhythmically. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten her hopes up, I thought as I watched. But, at that point, it didn't matter. I had to show her.
       Walking. Endless walking. That's what it seemed like. It hadn't occurred to me how far away the cave when we started the journey. My legs had begun to shake. Ann had went from walking by my side to trailing behind me. I turned around to see that she was dragging her feet and sweating intensely. The life looked drained out of her. I sighed.
       "Hop on my back," I told her.
       And, all of a sudden, life returned to her. She jumped onto me, nearly making me tumble to the ground. Oh, now you're lively?! 
       From there, the walk became even more treacherous with the extra weight on my back. I considered turning around. But, if I did, it would have all been worthless. So, against my own laziness, I continued.
       I didn't have a watch on me, even though there are multiple in my tree house. However, I estimate that we traveled for at least two hours before the cave came into view. 
       "There it is," I smiled.
       Ann perked up, hopped off my back, and started sprinting like crazy. I couldn't help but notice the weird way that she ran. Her legs nearly kicked her butt. 
       Nothing had changed about it. It was still beautiful and sent off a magical vibe. I guess, if something is actually magic, it will never ceases to amaze
       Ann had disappeared into the cave. Fear struck me. It was a foreign feeling. Before I didn't have a reason to experience fear. Before, I hadn't truly cared about anything enough to fear. But, I guess Ann forced me to care.
       "Ann!" I shouted as I ran toward the cave, "Don't go to far in! It's not-"
       My head hit the top of the entrance. I closed my eyes, even though it did nothing for the pain. I had grown at least an inch or two from the first time I entered the cave. Note to self: growth is a thing, you dummy. 
       Awkwardly, I crouched down and entered the cave. I grinned. 
       Already, I could hear the voices. They were somewhat overwhelming, but that didn't bother me. I imagined that's what it must be like in a crowded city. Voices overlapping, yet somehow soothing.
       I looked at myself in the crystal walls. My tattered jeans, gigantic shirt and worn-out brown jacket made me look like a homeless woman. My tangled, ash brown hair reached my hip. My extremely pale skin seemed almost unhealthy. And, maybe it was the reflection from the light of the crystals, but my gray blue eyes seemed to sparkle. I tilted my head. I didn't often look at myself. And, somehow, I pictured myself as a different person than what my reflection showed. It gave me this uneasy feeling. But, I shook off.
       "Where are you, Ann?!" I shouted as I ventured through the cave.
       I heard multiple voices, of course. But I couldn't identity any of them as belonging to Ann. I walked farther. And, at first, I didn't see her. I saw her reflection. 
       She looked almost angelic. She sat on the ground, hugging her knees to her chest. Her warm beige skin seemed to glow. Her dress, which once looked torn ugly, seemed to be the most beautiful dress in the world. Her eyes were the color of emeralds. She seemed so beautiful and peaceful that I almost backed away, hesitant to disturb her.
       Even so, I walked toward her and sat down. Gently, she leaned her head against my shoulder. And, we just sat there and listened. I heard a baby crying, a little girl laughing, a little boy singing, a man praying, and a woman chanting.
       One voice in particular stood out to me. It was one that sounded like it belonged to a young woman. The worry in her voice was louder than her yelling. Although, the qualities of the voice isn't what caught my attention. It's what the voice said: "Ann! Ann, where are you?! Oh my God! Ann? Where-"
       I looked at Ann, ready to ask her if she heard what I did. But, she was sound asleep. She slept so peacefully. Her breaths were soothing. Her mouth was slightly open.
       It's fine, I told myself, There are plenty of people named Ann. It wasn't my Ann that person was talking about. Besides, Ann's here. She's safe. Whatever trouble she was in, it's gone now.
       With that in mind, I drifted to sleep. And the voices around me suddenly seemed like a lullaby. 

Message to Readers

I'm gonna be honest. This turned out A LOT longer than I wanted it too. Anyway, enjoy! Any feedback is appreciated!

Peer Review

First off, THIS WAS SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! okay, now that I have taken several deep breathes, I am in love with this world. It's so simple yet so so intricate. Something that moved me was the way that although the main character has seemed to accept her life, it isn't happy go lucky but very much so the realistic feelings she goes through in her adventures with Ann that make her relatable to the reader in a way not all characters are. Two sections that struck me in particular were "Maybe I didn't want to remember. Maybe I was scared. Scared that if I went back, the place wouldn't seem as magical as it was before." for it's realness to wanting something so bad you almost don't want it because you want to believe it was real but you're almost unsure and "I didn't often look at myself. And, somehow, I pictured myself as a different person than what my reflection showed. It gave me this uneasy feeling." because as I mentioned in the highlighted note, it evokes the fact that you an feel uncertain of yourself in so many ways and while I certainly don't love feeling uncertain about myself, it gives the character a very relatable feeling and not very larger than life which i think happens far to often without that intention in literature these days. You have a very good understanding of your characters which is really awesome.

I made a note for the sentence "I stay in a closed space, which is marked by multiple exotic and easy to remember objects that I formed a large circle with." which is an area I think you could deepen a little.

Reviewer Comments

I can't wait for Part 4. Also, the sentences about Ann have got me wondering about the main characters name and whether or not she'll find it in the cave or something. This is me just thinking aloud as well so you don't have to answer (I don't want spoilers) but I also wonder if Ann is ever going to find her way back home and what the main character would do... I have so many questions that I can't wait to get answered!!!!!
You are a brilliant writer by the way. I'm glad I've gotten to follow this story and am excited to continue following it!