|Ms Shamrock This is a tier 1 review.
Hey, these little forced assignments are hard. Good job with the dialogue engineering to fit in your phrases. Almost all of them were seamless in the relevant narrative with respect to the plot. Now I'm going to critique the essense of the story for some things I believe you can improve on;
“Meet me inside.”
Such a simple command, but it sent shivers and the theme song to Jaws. SENT SHIVERS IS A HACKNEYED PHRASE. EVERY ONE USES IT. TRY TO DISTINGUISH YOURSELF WITH SOMETHING NEW. ( IT FELT LIKE EACH VERTEBRAE HAD TURNED INTO A CUBE OF ICE.) WAS THE THEME SONG 'SENT' ALSO? THIS NEEDS TO BE TIGHTENED.
My face heated; DESCRIBE WHAT YOUR FACE FELT LIKE OR LOOKED INSTEAD OF SAYING THE VERB. ( I COULD TELL THE WARM FLUSH TO MY CHEEKS TURNED THEM A RUDDY SHADE OF LILAC) my heart sped. Was I getting fired?
The boss responded with, “Take a break from questions, Mattie,” when I asked what was up.
Gravel crunched beneath our feet as we trudged toward the steel building where the auto garage and Mr. G’s office lay. THIS IS A WEAK SENTENCE PERHAPS ( TRUDGED TOWARDS THE ENTRANCE OF THE STEEL BUILDING HOUSING THE GARAGE AND HIS OFFICE)
I peeked at his face. It wasn’t a pleasant sight. Mr. G was an ex-boxer with a broken nose, splayed lips and one eye, always askew. NICE.
One last time my eyes searched for the gentleness I’d thought might lie underneath, NICE but he was wearing dark glasses, the mafia enforcer kind.
“You want the short or long version?” Mr. G’s voice growled as we stepped underneath the building’s overhang.
The coolness of the garage, a metal building the size of a football field, did nothing to combat my worry. On the right, two mechanics were dismantling the tires of someone’s idea of an economy car, a VW bus with heavy metal bumpers and a super-charged engine. To my left sat the waiting area, empty as usual, except for my boss’ old green parrot. The bird wasn’t much of a talker, but it made up for it with high-pitched screeching. NICE ADDITION OF THE PARROT AND HIS SQUAWKING.
“Cahhhhrrrrew,” Bobbo squawked over the din of hydraulics, air conditioning, and tools clanking against metal.
“Listen, Mattie. This is my shot, Mr. G said, PUNCTUATION REVIEW FOR DIALOGUE TAGS ETC. removing his dark glasses so he could frown better. “And I’m not going to hear a word against it, you hear?”
“Cahhaarrrell,” Bobbo seconded. NICE
“Mr. G, I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about. I thought you were offering to give me the . . .”
He raised his hand like a cop demanding attention. The look he gave me narrowed his eyes into slits.“Wait for it,” he shot out in a menacing tone.
What had I done? Was it bad enough to get me fired? My knees buckled. I pictured myself swooning like some tightly corseted Victorian lady. “I gotta go to the john,” I cried out, then bolted.
Mr. G, gangster look-a-like or not, would never think to question a woman’s need to use the facilities. He stuttered a moment, “bbbbb . . . But you'll be back right? This isn’t resolved. I haven’t. . . “ He stopped, either figuring out that I couldn’t leave the garage without doubling back, or else, that I wouldn’t be able to hear him over the pneumatic whatever it was, blasting ear-piercingly.
A sudden silence followed. I wanted to grind to a halt and look, but I knew that Frankie and Joe were probably just google-eyed over the bit of drama they’d witnessed. It never took much to entertain them.
I kept my forward momentum, pushed in through the yellow door, the one with the big sunflower in the center. The men had to use the room with the black door, the one that smelled so bad, you didn’t want to pass by closely.
Inside the woman’s WC everything was neat and fresh-smelling. A vase of tulips sat on the azure-blue tiles of the counter. Mr. G got the flowers from a bag lady. She traded them each day for a glazed doughnut and an apple.
The bag lady – Honey. Oh, no! Was that what this was about? I’d complained to Mr. G that Honey wasn’t leaving after she got her food. I’d been worried she might be up to no good. It wasn’t like she was waiting to use the bathroom or chatting with the men. She was just hanging around -- for hours.
It was obvious that Mr. G had a soft spot for her. Why would he care if the lady’s restroom had flowers? Besides, Honey probably didn’t even buy them, probably dragged them out of a nearby dumpster. But Mr. G didn’t seem to care about that, or that Honey was hanging around. In fact, I once saw his lip curve upward when she appeared.
I used the facilities, washed my hands, sighed, and then pushed out through the yellow sunflower door. Once more the men stopped to stare, then TOO MANY 'THENS'. glancing over at Mr. G, made a pretense of working hard. But Mr. G didn’t notice. His eyes, still unsheathed by the mafia glasses, were watching me as I approached.
“Look,” he said, “I’ll make it short. I’m going to . . .”
“Fire me?” I gasped, feeling wobbly knees again.
“Fire?” he gasped, then shook his head. “Why would I do that? You’re a good addition. You make everything clean, bright, friendly. Nah, what I have to tell you is . . . well, it’s the story of tonight.”
Whatever Bobbo was trying to get across, it couldn’t have been any more puzzling than Mr. G’s frightening IS THIS THE RIGHT ADJECTIVE? utterances. But at least I wasn’t getting fired . . . Wait, what did he mean about TONIGHT? Was the boss asking me out? A tidal wave of nausea rolled over me. NICE. I GET WHAT YOURE TRYING TO SAY BUT BE ACCURATE. IS IT A TIDAL WAVE OR IS IT A TSUNAMI. THEY ARE NOT THE SAME THING. I barely heard his next words.
“I didn’t want you to . . . I mean you . . . well, uh, you see . . . I invited Honey out, just for a burger.”
“Honey . . . the bag lady?”
“No. I mean, don’t call her that. Uh, it’s why she’s been here a lot. We’ve been talking.”
Mr. G’s face reddened; his eyes shut; his hands began to shake. Was he afraid of me, of what I’d think? NICE.
“But that’s great,” I said. “I’m happy that . . .”
“Thought I’d better explain about . . . Uh, I know you got invoices to do, but I wanted to . . .” Mr. G didn’t finish the sentence, just turned and strode off.
I paused a moment before I headed off to do invoices. What I saw, I could hardly believe. My gruff old boss was not only smiling, but whistling an old Elvis Presley song -- the one about fools falling in love. NICE.