Peer Review by Silver Pen (United States)

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4 AM

By: tressell


It is 4 AM, the air is crisp and the sky has been drenched in an odd, almost lavender shade of purple. Clouds sweep the horizon, tinted slightly yellow, the sun nowhere to be seen but nonetheless illuminating the scenery around us.
"The sky is bruised", I say. My friend only nodding in response, too tired to say anything. At first glance the streets seem empty and to some extent they are, at least of human presence. On a small patch of grass next to us a group of wild rabbits stop to look at us, sniffing the air. I also stop, to inspect them. They quickly render us as uninteresting creatures, or so it seems as they indifferently continue their journey towards unknown destinations. I too start moving, trying to catch up with my friend who is now way ahead of me. A shrunken figure with their back against me, in motion but radiating no energy. Motionless - is all I can think. A great contrast to the lives I had just witnessed. My friend is following a road paved specifically for humans, located on the left hand side of the one ment for manmade vehicles. I smirk, a strange thought occurring to me - am I not a manmade vehicle? I sprint out into the middle of the street, crossing the white lines that separates me from them. Just as I catch up with my friend they stop and turn to look at me. I slow down, my gaze fixated on them, my body still moving forward. It's almost as if they're hidden in the background of a painting. Our eyes meet, I smile shyly. For the first time in a while I see something alive in them. It makes me happy. "Stop! There's a sea-", a winged beast swoops down right above my head, trying to grab at me. I dodge and run to the side, seeking shelter between the trees outlining the pavement. "-gull with babies", my friend says, almost in a sigh. It takes some time to process what had just happened. I spot the feathery balls curled up next to a house only a few meters away from where I was standing. Above, I see the brave mother circling us, her threatening cries filling the otherwise silent world around us. We look at each other, and then we laugh. By the time we have evaded the danger of the protective seagull, we are still laughing. It is now 4:30 AM, the air is still crisp and reality has never seemed more surreal.


Peer Review

The beginning was a great hook. Then you mention the weariness and the empty streets, and I really start paying attention!


This main character thinks. And we get to see those thoughts. That's what makes him alive. (I use the masculine pronoun because the character seems masculine to me. Like a young man in his late teens, 17-19.) He also seems alive because he goofs up with the seagull. He makes mistakes, just like any other human.


You could insert a flashback to give some background information, because I keep wondering who you're talking about. Why are the main character and his friend tired? Do they have any names? Names are important. A character is so much more real when he has a name.


I feel like it takes place in an abandoned city somewhere in the north, like Sweden, in spring or summer. I would certainly consider mentioning hills, trees, what kind of buildings there are, or any other points of interest.


They should keep at it because this is a good story, that's why! I like the mystery, it certainly adds interest to the story. You did a good job of showing the character's thoughts, and I like the humor you added as well, keeps the story from being too serious.


Reviewer Comments

I really liked reading this, but I was left with some pesky questions that detracted from my reading experience. Also, you need to add paragraphs! It makes the story run together and get confusing when you don't have paragraphs to separate main ideas and different speakers. Other than that, this was enjoyable to read! Thank you for writing this! Any chance of a sequel?