This was written as an assignment for a fiction writing course on Character and Voice from the University of Iowa. I've gotten some feedback from other participants already and know I have a bit of reworking to do - development, and oy, so many adjectives here! Would love some feedback, especially with regards to cutting back on descriptions where they come off as too heavy, and identifying holes/questions/inconsistencies in the character/voice. Thanks, guys!
As a younger girl, Arana would sit atop the roof of her father's tool shed, following the curves of the bulbous island with her eyes, as if she were tracing the thin, hopeful lines of a treasure map. She could sit this way and dream of what might be hiding beyond the pregnant horizon for hours, or until her mother returned from the hospital, intent on bathing and brushing the girl - an intention that on most days led to an argument and a licking, followed by streams of silent tears drip-dropping into the murky, gray water of the warm bath. On the evening her mother failed to return, Arana sat on the shed until the moon had traversed the entirety of the sky and fell back out of sight again. She had been so enthralled by the glistening of the cosmos, unremitting and seemingly hers, that she hadn't taken note of the passage of time or the unexpected bought of solitude, until the cry of a baby pierced the foggy air and interrupted Arana's blissful encounter with the night.
A "Children's Story" using the words: flabbergasted, color, paper, broken, eloquent, rancid, lily, frothy, pink, jittery
Lily walked along the curve of a jungle path dreaming in color. The trees stood guard all around her, as far as she could see. They whispered stories of animals who, like monsters, waited in the shadows for an opportunity to eat--their favorite meal, a little girl, just like her. The thought made her jittery, but she feigned confidence as her father had taught her to, skipping along in a defiant act of courage. She was eloquent, for a 10-year-old, in a long, pink dress that snagged on the brush with every other step.
She carried on this way in the direction of home for half an hour, until her legs tired and she sat down on the broken limb of a tree that seemed to have fallen for this very purpose. She held back a yawn with a sly smile, which she inherited from her mother. She sat thinking about the woman until she heard the cracking of footsteps on fallen sticks.
Chicago-born citizen of the globe, rich in the things that really matter. Let's get weird.