I notice and appreciate how strong the narrative voice is. From nearly the beginning, I get that this is a person talking before the narrator takes any action. Almost like a sadistic doctor presenting a specimen to a class.
If you thought about expanding this piece, I really wonder what you could do with another person making it more of a dialogue, adding another character, a student perhaps, who's able to ask questions and through which we can find out even more about the narrator. (Is she a man or a woman?)
Hey there, just read your piece and really enjoyed it. You've got a really good start of something here.
Of things I noticed:
There are a few places that read slightly awkward. For example, "Heather offered a swim but I declined because I've never done that before." I'm not sure how a swim can be offered. Also you hint at her phobia of the water which seems to predate the event with Cassie. Is the phobia the reason she doesn't like the beach or the event with Cassie?
I noticed, when describing Cassie's eyes, you used "very pale" and "pale pale." What other way can you use to describe her eyes other than "very"? Is there a metaphor or simile that would work? Were her eyes alive at all different then as a ghost?
If you were only allowed one "!", where would you use it?
I noticed you use a lot of dialogue tags saying how a person said something. A number of times I think your dialogue was strong enough where it was clear how the character said it without the need for the dialogue tags.
Really good work. I hope my feedback is helpful. I'd love to read a future revision.
I think this is a great intro. I really enjoy the tone of the first section. "I was naked with possessions and lost without nothing." This line struck me in a good way. Like the core of the first section's poetry that wanted to be considered for a moment before moving on.
In the short second paragraph, I find myself wondering if Dalton can give even a hint of something more specific about what the reader is in for.
In the third section, there were moments of rhymes and alliteration that popped out at me. The whole section, in fact seems to have a heightened tone that seems to clash with the action.
"Her ultimate goal now was to listen for the slightest movement or sound."
"She listened for the slightest sound."
Which is another way to say,I think, that when you make the character's action the predicate of the sentence instead of the verb, you put distance between the reader and the character.
"The parched flaky blood remnants still showed its place on her wrists and ankles."
"Blood still showed on her wrists and ankles."
Try going through the piece and removing all adjectives and adverbs and see which ones you absolutely can't live without, which may very well be all of them. My thought is adv and adj should provide information to the read he/she otherwise wouldn't get. Parched or flaky both tell us the blood is dried, so it might be redundant to use both.