Thank you so much for giving me the chance to review your story. Had you not requested it, I may never have gotten the chance to read your words.
My default disclaimer paragraph
Keep in mind, I am but one opinion. I would like to point out parts I liked or felt worked well. I would also like to make suggestions I think may be helpful. Use what will be beneficial to you, but please, don't hesitate to discard what you don't agree with.
Pretty awesome stuff right here
Well, that was a cool unexpected ending. I’ve seen this sort of thing before, but I did not see it coming in your tale. A couple of times I’d wondered if everyone in the family was dead, but that is the closest I’d come to seeing the path I was being lead down. I’d dismissed the notion that everyone had parished a little over half way through. Kudos for shocking me, Derek.
There were sentences I’d read that made your story believable. For instance: …once in the web of the web of the hand and…. This was an insignificant detail that was important to making the story come alive for me. Not just in the hand but the web of it. Very nice.
I also liked …long legs hanging way past the end of the gurney. If you would have said Julian was lying on the gurney, it would have been dull. I don’t think I would have noticed it was, but by describing what he looked like lying there, not just the line I pointed out but the whole of it, I was sucked inside the ambulance.
Perhaps, just a bit of work
In two or three places, the story jumped from present to past tense. For instance: But Julian is still going to die, and I am holding the keys to his life. This sentence is in present tense with the usage of the word ‘is.’ The very next sentence is in past tense. He needed to be told and I was the only soul who knew what to say. ‘Knew’ is past tense. To keep from causing confusion, the story should stay in the same time period.
Another spot where the past and present are mixed is: He is all that I had and I am going to miss Julian very much. The word ‘had’ is past and ‘am going’ is present.
Now, for the nit pickies
I can even see them wheeling it onto the stage. In order for ‘even’ to make sense in this sentence you would have had to mention seeing something being brought out or have talked about the other activities the individuals were doing. Like: I watch them preparing the lectern and moving chairs. I can even see them wheeling ….
I ask what’s inside but he doesn’t answer. There should be a comma after ‘inside.’ You are connecting two independent sentences with the word ‘but.’ If you put a period after ‘inside’ and took out the word ‘but,’ the first part of the sentence and the second part could stand alone. I’ve seen this in a few places. If you take a look at your story, anywhere you see the conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so, see if they are connecting two sentences. If they are, use a comma before the conjunction.
He’s nervous, I can tell because his palms are…. These two sentences are complete; they could stand on their own, but they don’t need the huge pause a period makes. In this case, you would use a semi-colon as I have done in my first sentence.
I have to take you back to a few days ago, You don’t need ‘to’ and ‘ago’. When you tell us you are taking us back, we know it was ‘ago.’
It was a wonderful show, (comma) and we were still excited walking through the lobby (no comma) eating from our big bucket of popcorn when shots rang out. The second part of the sentence is unclear. Were the characters full of excitement from the show, or did they find walking through the lobby exciting?
I know it sounds childish, but when you’ve never heard… Perhaps you could reword this sentence. This indicates you are getting ready to tell us why it sounds childish, but you don’t explain.
…, but she hung them up there anyway. The sentence before tells us where she is hanging them.
Julian came to calm me down while mother thought it was rather funny. How do she know the mother thought it was funny?
There was blood on me too, but it was most likely his and I did not fancy being an orphan at thirteen years old. The second part of this sentence doesn’t really fit. The whole paragraph is talking about the father’s condition. This last part has nothing to do with his condition; it is her condition. In the beginning of the paragraph, the daughter is talking about how she is keeping the father’s soul from leaving; perhaps you could make this sentence its own, but tie it to the beginning of the paragraph. Reiterate that she is keeping him and not wanting to be an orphan is the reason. If you keep the sentence the way it is, you will need a comma before ‘and.’
His eyeballs roamed under his lids. I love these visuals. I could totally see what was happening.
I saw that look not two summer’s ago. ‘summers’ isn’t possessive, so there is no need for an apostrophe.
loads of people started to get…. The ‘l’ in ‘loads’ needs to be capitalized.
Although my father Julian is a…. The father’s name should be encased in commas. She has only one father. His name isn’t important for clarification.
The same as above holds true for the mother, Delores.
I had to teach myself how to cook using those same noisy pots, overtime. The sentence would sound better if ‘overtime’ was after ‘cook.’ As it is, 'overtime' is just kind of hanging there.
I've not heard of Princess Jewelers, but it seems to be a game. Because it is a name of something, it doesn't need to be in single quotation marks but does need to be capitalized.
I craned my neck and saw the upturned shoes of the fat tailor, (no comma) sticking out from under the closed curtain, laying on the floor. You could omit ‘laying on the floor.’ It sounds as if the closed curtain is laying on the floor. Aside from that, you told us the tailor is laying on the floor with his upturned shoes.
Being outside, (no comma) it was harder...
Everything I have pointed out, I myself do in my own stories. Often, I've read my own words so much I keep skipping over the very sore that blares at another. I hope I've given you something you could work with even if it's but one morsel.
I enjoyed your tale very much. Like I said above, there was a surprise that tickled my brain. I thank you for sharing.