Peer Review by dream02 (Canada)

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The Calm Before The Storm

By: BizzleWrites


FREE WRITING

The heat of the Australian sun beats down on my back, though the clouds are dark and stormy. It's that summer-storm kind of whether, where the sky looks like the underworld, and the heat is almost unbearable. It's my favorite kind of whether. 
    "Taylor!" Mary's voice is swept to me on the wind, from her perch on the hay-bale on the other side of Oreo's paddock. "C'mere, Tays." 
     I turn to face her. Her curly black hair is a tangled mess from the strong wind, as I imagine mine must be. "What are you doing?" she asks me, jumping off the hay. 
    I smile, rubbing dust from my eyes. "I'm going to see if it's still there." Mary nods, understanding my meaning. 
    "Okay, can I come with you?"
    I take a deep breath, breathing in the heat and smell of an impending storm. "Yeah, okay."
    Running across the vast field with Mary is freeing. It's the feeling that you could fly, like nothing else in the lonely world matters. It's just the two of us in a field with Oreo on the other side, under the dark sky.
    Mary stumbles on a mound of dirt, falling into the grass. She screams, startling the horse in the next paddock. 
    "Aren't you glad Margrett isn't here?" I say, my mouth twisting into a smile despite Mary's situation. 
    She laughs, taking the hand I offer her. "Yeah, she'd be giving me a stern word about not spooking the horses."
    I pull Mary up, the two of us continuing across the field, hand in hand. 
    "You know," I laugh, "I feel so much older than fifteen out here, like we're old and wise, with the weight of years behind us. But I also feel young and free. It's funny, isn't it?" 
    Mary looks at me, our hands still intertwined. "No. It's not funny at all, I agree with you." 
    Oh, how strange. She doesn't think it's funny. "Well, yeah but . . ." I trail off. What am I even trying to say? "It's still funny."
    She smiles again, relief flooding through me. We stop running and walk slower towards the dam. "Yeah, a bit," she says, squeezing my hand.     
    We are so alive right now, the wind blowing our hair around our faces, the heat almost unbearable, and the eucalyptus trees surrounding the field shaking and shimmying like dancers in the wind. 
    I suddenly become very aware that Mary is so close that as well as the smell of the storm that will arrive soon, the sweet sent of lavender is also there. I glance at her, realizing she's wearing a string with a small piece of the flower tied around her neck. 
    I let go of Mary's hand, running further on to the dam. I look back to her, Mary is looking at me with a strange expression. Her mouth is slightly open, in an amused sought of smile. 
    "Come on!" I call back. "The last one in the dam's a rotten egg." 
    And just like that, the two of us are sprinting to towards the dam. Without hesitation, I wade into the water, enjoying the coolness on my legs. 
    I am just up to my knees, when a muddy missile hits my back. Since we met a few years ago, Mary and I have had many mud-fights at her family friend Margret's ranch. 
    I turn around, laughing. Mary is bending down to get another handful of mud from the bottom of the dam. I do the same, feeling the mud mingle with the water around my feet. Disturbed properly for the first time in days. 
    We throw mud-ball after mud-ball, laughing and joking around. Something suddenly occurs to me, the reason I decided to go to the dam in the first place. "Mary?"
    She looks up at me, surprised by my more serious tone. "Yeah, what?" 
    I bite my lip, washing my hands off in the dam. "You remember why we came here today?"
    Mary clicks her tongue. "Oh, yeah. We should go do that." She wades over to me, grabbing my hand again. "Come on, lets go then."
    The secret Mary and I have is one that requires our attention every day, making sure no-one finds it so it doesn't fall into the wrong hands. 
    We wade to the edge of the dam, out of the water and back into the heat that the dam was such a cherished break from. 
    "You know," Mary says, plucking a piece of grass from her shorts. "I really hope no-one ever find out about the secret, not even Margret." 
    I nod somberly. "Yeah, I can't bear the thought of what would happen to this property and all the horses if anyone finds out."
    Mary and I continue along the bank of the dam, the water that cooled us down so much gradually evaporating and our cloths drying. The heat begins to get to us again. 
    Finally, after a few minutes of walking, we reach the shady spot where we left it. I bend down and Mary does too. 
    "Taylor," Mary begins, seriously. "If either of us ever tells anyone about this, everything will be ruined. You understand that, right?"
    Of course I understand, I was the one who found it in the first place. "I understand."
    "Then let us make a pact. From this moment on, we are never going to tell another living soul about this." Mary places her left hand on the ground and I put one of mine on top of it. "Deal," she says, glancing at me with her dark brown eyes. 
    "Deal."
    We take our hand away. I take away the hollow log with a whole in the bottom of it. There, nestled in the leaves by the dam, is a chunk of rock. In the chunk of rock, causing Mary and I to breath a sigh of relief that it's still there, is a glistening piece of gold the around the size of a golf ball. 


Peer Review

This is absolutely amazing. I love how you don't give even an inkling as to what it could be. Way to keep the suspense.


Who exactly is Margret? Are Mary and Taylor best friends? Or something more?


Reviewer Comments

There was a few spelling mistakes, like whether instead of weather, happens to me all the time lol, nothing big though. This piece was really well written and it captured and held my attention throughout the whole piece. Great job!