Hello Coffeebean! I found your story on the Fantasy short story page. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and hope you find this review helpful. The following critique is merely my opinion of your writing, so please make use only of what you feel is relevant to your vision and ignore the rest. Plot Summary ~
Jim Stone aquires a calliope as an addition to his carnival. He is warned that it is cursed, but he still makes it work, but it claims his granddaughter, Annie, turning her into a decoration. General Comments ~
A great steam-punk story! Flash fiction is pretty hard to pull off well. More often than not, what is described as flash fiction is really just a vignette instead of a recognisable story with a beginning, middle and end. I think you've done it really well. Characters ~
I don't think that it is possible to give characters much, or indeed, any real depth in such a short piece. However, I think you have succeeded in making Annie into a realistic lively ten-year-old girl - The aromatic bouquet of cotton candy and caramel corn lingered in the midway’s hidden passageways, all the places Annie knew so well; better than any member of her grandfather’s carnival troupe.
I think that this encaspulates beautifully the priorities of a child! Scene/Setting/Worldbuilding ~
Again, in such a short story, there is no space to explore the world or the setting of the story in any depth. However, I liked a lot your description of the calliope - The calliope’s prominent metal whistles, standing upright like shiny copper towers gleamed in the morning sun, reflecting the images of circus scenes, animals and human faces carved in the polished wooden surfaces. The embellishments glistened lifelike, giving the calliope the appearance of movement and breath.
It nicely foreshadows what is to come. Grammar/Mechanics/Dialogue ~
I could not detect any grammar or dialogue issues, but there were a couple of word usages which I would question - Jim smiled, Marko frowned, and the calliope’s intrusive crescendo echoed across the carnival grounds and beyond.
is a musical term which means increasing in loudness
. It doesn't mean simply, loud. I think what you could, or maybe should put is something like - the calliope's intrusive music echoed across the carnival grounds and beyond
Also, this phrase puzzled me - A gray ambiguous fog appeared at Annie’s feet,
Why is the fog ambiguous? Ambiguous does means unclear, uncertain or confusing, and fog does render things unclear and fuzzy, however, to put ambiguous fog
suggests that the fog may or may not be there. Thank you for sharing your story. Keep writing and have fun!
I hope my thoughts are useful to you Amanda
My review has been submitted for consideration in "Good Deeds Go Noticed" .