A first draft of the Young Writer of the Year ‘Silver’ story. Initial comments from teacher. Please add your feedback below to help Yuta develop his story further.
Rain continued to drizzle down, drumming itself against the concrete and iron slabs to applaud the arrival of the new season. With each drop, the familiar scent of moist, winter air exploded into the atmosphere; its remnants glowing a dull silver under what little light penetrated through the sea of clouds above. The city’s residents found themselves fearing the crisp, bitter air which scratched your bare skin red, hiding themselves [U1] beneath layer upon layer of clothing the way children hide beneath their blankets. For them[U2] , the cries their numb skin screamed was nothing a sheet of wool couldn’t muffle. Nothing their money couldn’t fix.[U3]
Just like any other morning, the man took his place under what little shelter the windowsills above him would provide, watching those above him pass by. As he wriggled his body as if to mould his figure into the concrete,[U4] he screwed off the remainder of his charcoal-black hat to cautiously place it before him, as if too much rough handling would result in his possession to collapse into dust. [U5] But regardless of his gesture, he expected nothing from the haunting world above him – nothing besides their silhouettes against the sky distancing themselves, piercing him with unseen eyes.
“I’m not gonna bite you o’ nothin’,” he would grumble coarsely at those who ran before him to avoid being infected breathing the same air, [U6] but then reconsider his statement when the fluid, glass reflection across the road tell him otherwise[U7] . Every inch of exposed skin burned red beneath his filthy, olive skin. [U8] His hair clung close to his crackling, shivering skin like intertwining tree roots clutching onto droplets of water underneath a drought stricken land. The little obstruction the water caused hid the gaping holes and tears in his second-hand clothes; and his facial features were all erased, as if nature was insinuating his insignificance. [U9] Reassuring it. [U10]
“It ain’t gonna matter whether I’m ‘ere one minute, an’ gone the next …,” he would find himself whispering endlessly, hoping that someone would appear, simply to prove his suspicions wrong. “Anyone? Anyone?” he could sense his subconscious[U11] murmur beneath it all.
With each hour, the nameless man could feel the violent tug of the winter air shaking his skeletal body. He could feel hidden hooks heaving down bags below his eyes; thunder-like throbbing begging for attention concealed underneath his scalp and the faintest, mechanical pulse emanating from the depths of his chest reminding him of the state he was in. But above all, he couldn’t ignore the emptiness of his stomach. Screaming. Grieving in despair. Waiting for fulfilment.
“Time to check the usual…” he thought, ignoring the percussive thuds resonating and ricocheting inside his skull as the streetlights hummed softly in unison as it lit up[U12] .
He wrenched his bare hands from under his armpits, stretching it [U13] before him to listen to the mechanical clicks his body synthesised. [U14] With much effort, he clenched his scrawny knees and thrust himself upwards. By doing so, he could feel the little amount of muscle left inside attempt at tearing itself away from the bone; the blood trickling down into his toes, as if something was nibbling at it, evoking him to wonder, “Di’n’t know I still had those”. [U15] The mere endeavour of getting up over, [U16] he initiated wobbling his way down like a drunk, towards the nearest bin.
He peered into the endless depths of the bin beneath the luminous glow of the streetlight and the subtle patting of the rain, awaiting, desiring for a meal to simply emerge. Sighing tufts of opaque air, he sealed his eyes shut, and prepared himself as he propelled his arm into the unknown contents inside. He could feel pieces of indistinguishable materials soar in endless directions like shrapnel only to collide with his torso and face. Surrounding his arm, he could feel the density and moisture of the contents swirling around, squirming into every tangible crevasse – smothering, lubricating it with its fifty odd meals and its sauces to match.
The man stopped in his tracks. His arm remaining in the depths of the bin like a trapped animal, he searched into the distance, as far as the light could penetrate into the night air. Nothing. Feeling slightly sheepish, he twisted his body free. “Whats ‘at?” he mumbled.
Something beside his semi-exposed feet gleamed gently under the scrutiny of the yellow streetlight.
A silver coin.
[U1]The use of pronouns here is confusing – is this referring to the rain or the residents?
[U2]Same issue here. It’s a little too non-specific.
[U3]This kind of goes no where – why have you included this? The start is really strong, but this is too amibiguous.
[U4]Don’t think you need this simile here – it’s too much.
[U5]Same with this one. Don’t over-do it with the figurative language. Bad practice to use two similes using the ‘as’ comparison in one sentence also.
[U6]Fix up your expression here.
[U7]Problem here with tense ‘do you mean ‘tells’?
[U8]How is this even possible? I’m not sure what kind of image you are trying to create here? Are you referring to his blood?
[U9]Once again – what do you want me to think/imagine/feel here?
[U11]Why is it subconscious?
[U12]Fix this – it doesn’t work. Perhaps it needs to be a new sentence?
[U13]Do you mean ‘them’?
[U14]Is this the right word here?
[U15]Had what? Not sure what you’re talking about here.