Peer Review by ALangford (United Kingdom)

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Deep Water

By: Nimota

The rain began as a light drizzle that didn't last 5 minutes before becoming a full-blown storm which brought howling winds and torents of rain crashing from above.

The lightning came later on. The rain stopped abruptly as the sky turned a brilliant shade of purple before releasing merciless strikes of lightning to the ground and smothering the world in a dark grey cloak. It hit the ground with such force, that sods of water-logged earth were sent flying in all directions, damaging everything in it's path. 

The building was only a few metres away, a few more metres and she would be safe again.

Until the lightning struck right at her foot, leaving her sprawled on the ground screaming in pain and crying for someone to help her, anyone at all.

Then a shadow erupted from the darkness...

Rachel awoke abruptly breathing heavily as she wiped the sweat off her face. Her hands shook as she tried to calm herself down, pushing the sticky hair out of her face and slowly sitting up until a thought struck her.

She whipped the covers off herself and ran to the door opening it with a bit too much force. Her head was pounding nearly as fast as her heart as she made her way to her father's room, praying he was there.

But it was still empty. 

Rachel flopped down on the bed. The dream had drained all the energy from her and she couldn't take it anymore. The pain and sadness from the last few days had finally won and were taking over all her thoughts and emotions. She felt like she was drowning and she couldn't make it stop.

I can't take this anymore...

Suddenly the sound of breaking glass jolted her from her thoughts. She immediately jumped off the bed and ran deftly to the top of the stairs. 

Standing in the middle of the living room was a man dressed in strange dark clothes. He was a strongly built man, his clothes fitting tightly enough to show some large muscles. His dark eyes scanned the room and he began to move around hurriedly, clearly searching for something.

Rachel's breath caught in her throat as she stood frozen at the top of the stairs, staring down at him.

Fear wouldn't allow her to move a muscle.

Not until the man walked towards the stairs and looked her staight in the eye. 

Rachel turned and sprinted into her bedroom, the man making it up the stairs in less than two seconds. Shutting the door tightly behind her, she tried to think of something, anything to help her out of this mess.

What did I do? She thought. 

She didn't have much time to herself before she felt someone pushing against the door.

"No!" She screamed, "Just go away!" 

The tears were blocking her view and she couldn't hold the door any longer. She heard another grunt from behind and then the door burst open, causing her to go stumbling into her bed.

She cried out as the man stepped forward and grabbed her neck. He slammed her against the wall knocking the air out of her.

"Where is the key?!" He spat, "Give me the bloody key or you die!"

Rachel screamed and cried, kicking the man in an attempt to get free.

"I don't know what you're talking about! Leave me alone! I don't know okay, go away!"

The man squeezed her neck tighter causing her breathing to stop. She couldn't make a sound and stopped moving. He looked deep into her eyes as they grew wider, begging for oxygen.

"Give me the key", he whispered quietly, "or there is going to be trouble. And we wouldn't like trouble now would we?" He loosened his grip on her neck and Rachel immediately started taking deep breaths.

"I asked you a question" he growled

Rachel answered immediately. 

"No sir. But I-" 

"Good. Now show me where the key is so we can all move on with our lives."

Before Rachel could open her mouth, a sharp knock sounded on the front door. The man swore and looked at her. In one swift motion, he threw her over his back and started running down the stairs towards the back.

"You better keep your mouth shut girl."

So she did. Rachel watched silently as the world flew by her upside down. The man opened the back door and locked it. Ignoring the rain pouring hard outside, he ran out stealthily, moving towards a black car parked quietly near the oak tree. 

He dropped her on the floor and had begun to open the door when a loud blast caused the back door to be blown off its hinges and knock Rachel's captor to the ground.

A young man stood there, his jacket flapping in the wind as he shouted something Rachel couldn't hear. He started walking towards her until a small knife was buried into his shoulder stopping him in his tracks.

Rachel could only watch in complete shock while his eyes opened wide in pain. Blood poured from his wound and his knees buckled leaving him sprawled on the floor.

That was when Rachel was gagged and pushed into the car. 

And so the car started and she was driven away.

Until something large crashed into her door. 

The last thing she heard was a stream of loud swear words before all her senses dulled and she was consumed by darkness. 

Need to fix the ending...

Oh my this whole thing needs work, what was I thinking

Message to Readers

I really need help fixing this...

Peer Review

The beginning is really nice - using the storm to foreshadow the later events is a lovely idea, especially when paired with such an effective description.

The use of description of physical aspects of Rachel's behaviour really brings her to life, especially with added comments like opening the door 'with a bit too much force' which really develops the sentence in a subtle way and is a less blatant way of revealing aspects of the character. I'd love to know more about the situation with her father, but keeping this mysterious works in this extract.

I think maybe it moves a little too fast towards the end - maybe this could be lengthened (the word limit is obviously restricted on this so it could be difficult but in the context of the whole novel this could do with moving a little less rapidly).

I think in the context of the extract as showing action, it wouldn't have worked for you to put more description of setting in, and you have kept it tasteful. It might work to describe the sensation of rain against Rachel's back as they're outside though - it makes her seem less passive and more human. Likewise, you could describe the sensation of being dropped on the ground.

Stop criticising yourself! The whole thing doesn't 'need fixing' - it's a lovely piece of writing. Have more confidence in yourself as a writer.

Reviewer Comments

I love the spacing out of this, the use of single sentences punctuating longer paragraphs, which especially works in this particularly thrilling scene.