What do you think of my narrative piece?
I wrote this a million years ago. Judge it.
It is 2:39. The bus shelter is cramped today. There are about ten people waiting for the bus. With everyone jammed in, the smells are overpowering. It reeks of sweat, wet hair, and cheap floral perfume. It’s raining. On my right there is a woman. She is quite small. She probably isn’t much taller than a 10 year old. She is old. The skin on her face is creased like a crumpled up piece of paper. It looks thin and delicate, and it is marred with brown age spots. Her eyes are closed, and she swings lightly, back and forth. She has pink plastic rosary beads in her hands. Her lips are moving, and although I cannot make out what she is saying, I do hear her voice rumbling and her deep intakes of breath. It sounds hoarse and gruff. To my left, there is a man of considerable size. If it weren’t for his glasses and formal clothing, he’d be easily compared to a pig. Even so, he looks ridiculous. Heaps of flesh struggle against the bondage of the tight shirt, and they are winning the battle. The lower section of his shirt is unfastened, and his ample gut peeks out. It is cold out, but this man is sweating profusely, his hair clinging to his red face. He has been here waiting longer than I have, but he is out of breath. His panting sounds like sobs and I look at his face. The sweat running down his face and the ruddy complexion of his skin almost makes it seem as though he is crying. He is looking down.
Bus shelters are like funerals, I think. They bring people together. People, standing uncomfortably close to one another, reveling in each other’s company, but never saying a word. It seems everyone is grieving here today. Everyone is looking down. What everyone grieves for, I don’t know. The bad weather? The loss of spoken language? No one seems to talk to anyone anymore. To the right of the old woman, stands a girl. She is texting on her phone. The soft taps of her fingers against the keys echo within the small space. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Send. That’s all it takes now. The rain keeps spattering against the pavement. Its consistent melody is soothing. It is accompanied by the sound of car engines purring in the distance, of car wheels disturbing puddles and showering the sidewalks with even more water.
It is 2:47. Everyone is quiet, and a melancholy atmosphere settles over everyone. Everyone looks down. No one moves, and no one makes a sound, except for that girl. She is texting still. I take a closer look. She is about fourteen. Her hair is dark and it curls crazily atop her head. With each slight inclination of her head, her curls glide and slither like snakes. She can feel my gaze on her face, so she turns her head. I turn my head quickly, my face like a stone, revealing nothing of my embarrassment at having been caught staring. The enormous man standing next to me sneezes loudly. It seems to wake everyone up. It is 2:50. I look down the road, and the bus is on its way. People start moving and fidgeting, reaching into their pockets for their boarding passes and checking for spare change. These past few minutes have been spent in virtual silence, but now it’s gone. The mourning process is over, and it’s time to move on.
- [♥]Lv 49 years agoFavorite Answer
your narrative is quite brilliant.
i really like how subtle your diction and tone are because they really emphasize the stillness of the bus ride. i think your syntax, in addition, reflects the little occurrences all simultaneously happening.
i think the only criticism i have is the lapses in some parts of your narrative. i think the second paragraph was a little awkward because after discussing the old woman and the round man, you mention that "bus shelters are like funerals" but then you mention the girl on her phone. the attention of the bus goes back and forth; i think you should switch the part about the girl and the beginning of the second paragraph. i feel like it would flow better and not seem as abrupt.
other than that, the narrative is very well written and shows a lot of potential.