Peer Review by lina13 (Australia)()

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Christmas Away from Home

By: AbigailSauble


Rain is drizzling outside. 
   Snow is on the forecast for tonight. But strangely I'm not filled with the usual excitement for coming snow-forts and frozen men with brooms in their "hands". 
   Instead, I think of my brother.
It's December. Thanksgiving is the past, and now daily there are cars zooming by with all-sizes of Christmas trees strapped to the top, or tossed in the truck bed.
   And my brother isn't home.
Often, I think I see him sitting at the piano, running his hands over the white and black keys. Other times, I'll see him outside in the miserable weather, stringing up colorful lights on the eaves.
   But my brother isn't coming home this Christmas.
You'd be mistaken if you think he doesn't want to come home. He wants it more than anything. As he sits on some exotic beach somewhere in the Pacific ocean, the sand turns to snow as it sifts through his fingers. And then he's home. Back with his memories.
   At this time of year, his thoughts revolve around Christmas. The eggnog, the gift giving, the Christmas carols. But he would forfeit all of that if only he could be with his family for Christmas.
   Instead, he's on a military base, serving our country while the rest of us sit at home sipping hot chocolate and playing games that will have grown boring by tomorrow.
   As I watch people scurry around going Black Friday shopping and making gifts for each other, I wonder if they're thinking about those who won't get to be with their families this Christmas.
   Because I know I am.
"Merry Christmas, Seth." I whisper. My breath makes a circle of steam on the glass.
   And the rain continues to drizzle outside.

This is dedicated to my two brothers who won't get to come home for Christmas. 

Peer Review

What a touching piece that, I believe, was written from personal experience! The author was able to capture the complex array of emotions and thoughts around the holiday season spent away from a loved one, in a manner universal enough to be familiar to many, yet specific enough to have clarity.

As much as this story is about Seth, as a reader I'd love some more characterisation of the persona. That way, the piece would include two very three-dimensional, realistic characters that have a compelling dynamic for the reader.

Reviewer Comments

A wonderfully personal and well-written story with a steady, controlled tone. Some excellent ornamental pieces of writing throughout that support a moving story.