Peer Review by ALangford (United Kingdom)

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The Slowly Corrupted Day

By: neo7v


    It wasn't as if today had been a bad day. It just didn't make my top ten. Or twenty. Or six thousand four hundred and seventy five days. Ok, so maybe it had been a bad day, but it didn't start out bad.
    On the contrary, it began quite well, if you didn't count waking up way too early for school anyways. Yeah, a six o'clock wake up time doesn't seem very logical to me and it was pure torture to leave my comfy, warm bed before the sun even showed up to the party.
    But got up I did, albeit with many grunts and sighs of annoyance and defeat. It probably helps a bit I don't really care what I wear in the mornings anyway, so shoving on a flannel and jeans really helped improve my morning. A quick brush through my already frizzy hair and I was ready to roll.
    A bus ride later and I was still in a pretty good mood, jamming it up to my music until the last second when first period began. First period might be the hardest class to stay awake for other people, but I just kinda ghosted through it and ignored the teacher, finishing more of the excel sheet in Digital Application than most people in the class had.
    And then second period arrived with a sub. Now this is the part where most people would think that something went wrong horribly here. That I got written up for something stupid or failed a test. Something along those lines. It was actually just a relaxing class of reading a chapter, where I watched other people get written up that weren't me. Pretty nice, in my opinion.
    Second period passed with relaxation. Then third with accounting buzzing through my brain. Fourth and fifth by a boring lecture about informative speeches. Sixth and seventh passed with the cramping of a left hand and four new pages of chemistry vocabulary turned in. Lunch time was what really started this downward spiral.
    I would like to note that I haven't thrown up in the past seven years or so, and while this may seem strange to point out at such a time as now in this story, it's a very essential detail to the downfall of my day.
    Now, lunchtime itself wasn't a bad time. It gave me a free thirty minute period to write and a break from the annoyance of classes and classmates. It was the food itself and the freshman sitting at the other table that really irked me.
    I always bring my own lunch to school, today being no exception, but food clearly wasn't on my side today. I mean, it wasn't on my side most days, which is why I always skip breakfast, but today it really hated me. My stomach clenched almost painfully after I had taken only a bite of my peanut butter and jelly uncrustable, but i decided to persevere through the meal, consuming the sandwich, a fruit snack packet, a container of applesauce, and half a mini bag of goldfish before I called it quits, my stomach in an uproar and attempting a coup in the middle of the lunchroom.
    The coup failed, but the feeling lingered of an upset stomach along with the need to get rid of the mutinous food. This continued on through ninth hour until I was almost to the point of passing out in math class. But here's the catch; you can't pass out in math class. Well, you could, but I'm not entirely sure the teacher would have cared. So I stayed huddled in the back, praying for when the bell would finally ring at two thirty and trying not to throw up over my math homework.
    Now brings in to play that little blurb from earlier that didn't really make sense at that part of the story, but I promised you it would. Yeah, I hadn't thrown up for the past seven years or so because I couldn't. Literally. I just get the queasy, it's time to die feeling without a way to get rid of it. Perfect.
    The bell did finally ring and I had only one more obstacle before I was able to crawl into my bed and die quietly away from the judgement of my peers. Getting home. I thought to myself, surely this can't get any worse than it is at the moment, so I boarded the bus with a confidence I'd get off in twenty minutes and my mom would pick me up at my stop and drive home.
    Yeah, none of that happened. My mom texted me that she had gone grocery shopping and wouldn't be back in time to pick me up, so I had a half-mile long hill to walk up. That wasn't bad on a good day, but that clearly wasn't one of those. And then the bus driver drove past my stop and dropped me off on top of different hill that fed into the hill of my neighborhood. I think it was at this moment I just gave up on the rest of the day and just started walking, a mantra of "I hate my bus driver" playing on a loop and mixing in a twisted rhythm with the music humming through my ears from my phone.
    I think it's also appropriate to point out I was wearing a flannel, a long-sleeves flannel, and the sun was full on flashing everyone at that point at seventy five degrees Fahrenheit of murder a second. I was beyond done with today.
    Getting home, I quickly stripped off my flannel, my tank top staying on underneath it. And that is where I currently am, huddled in a corner and bitterly typing my day of woe, whilst contemplating the best way to keel over and die from this pain I'm still in.
    At this point, I just hope your day was better than my slowly corrupted day.

Peer Review

I don't think any line stands out to me, which is not to say that none of them were good enough, but rather it was so consistently funny throughout that I can't choose! You craft every sentence with care, striking a deeply unique and individual tone, and I was laughing throughout at the perennial woe that made up your day. I was also, incidentally, astonished about how you managed to get through the whole piece without repeating yourself - it was like you were constantly generating new ways to express disbelief and astonishment in comical ways. With some tweaking in the suggested areas re wording, and the occasional correction of language that could be read as a tad too informal, this would be perfectly sustained.

As I've already said, this was deeply enjoyable for me to read. It reads almost like a comic monologue, intended to have an audience on the floor laughing. You struck the perfect balance in terms of wit, making it seem effortless and conversational but including also an element of similarity to stand-up comedy. However, I do think that the residual feeling after one finishes the piece could be improved by development on the final events. After all, this (the bus saga) is surely as significant on the timeline as the stomach ache - could it get as much screen time, so to speak? Could it be fleshed out a tad to add to the comedy, rather than just stated plainly as an event? It feels as though you became slightly rushed at the end, and it didn't balance that well with the start, when you were giving insignificant lessons full paragraphs.

Is this autobiographical? I love the idea of you crafting this work as you recover from a long day of stress. It made for a very effective ending, bringing us up to the present day.

Reviewer Comments

I would love to see this staged - it seems written to be spoken, not to be read. I can imagine how much more comic effect could be added with a few timely pauses, the odd sigh and, most importantly, facial expressions! I would love to see how you'd do this on the stage - perhaps with a narrator and people physically showing the action, or just a monologue. Although of course it reads well, you could add whole new dimensions if you were to have it physically read out and/or demonstrated to an audience.
Overall, really well done for this - I loved reading it (it improved my day, if that's any consolation) and it seems like you've had a lot of fun with it too. I look forward to reading more of your work in future (and I won't be able to miss your distinctive tone!).