Nixie here to drop off a review for the activity above. I'm cooking up a Lebanese dish now. That means you're an ingredient.
You tricked me. I should have been able to suss out the mystery, but I was too engrossed in the story. Like TV. One can enjoy the show or try to follow along and figure out what was going to happen. You gave me no choice. Your words captured me.
One word titles are loud. No other words distracting from it, the one isolated word draws the attention. I wondered if you wanted to change the brief description to further entice a reader. Oops. Contest entry. No touching before judging. I'm waiting, as well.
You showed me all around Hank's lively neighborhood full of characters, sounds, smell, loud voices. Yet not one bit of it was tedious. Each character received brief mention, enough to paint the picture.
Oddly, I thought about my dad's heart attack a million years ago. He was pushing the snow blower and stopped to come inside for some water. My youngest brother was there, and he watched our dad go down on one knee. My brother saved my dad's life using CPR. When the paramedics finally arrived, my dad had no heartbeat, no blood pressure. But my brother had kept him alive. If I'd thought about that memory, I may have guessed the conclusion.
My favorite phrase: [Using the shovel as a walking stick]
That phrase told me everything I needed to know about Hank. The vivid image in my mind, 'seeing' Hank up close, his vulnerability showed.
sounding as only a whisper in a storm.
Such a keen statement of the sound of silence.
OK, for what it's worth, no big deal, just things I noticed.
Time seemed to be at a standstill.
Seemed to is a distancing word. The sentence could be shortened by writing it this way. [Time stood still.]
Hank's voice seemed to seep into the nothingness around him,
Hank's voice seeped into the nothingness
straining for the slightest of anything,
I wonder if you needed another word in there. [slightest sight?] [sign of life?]
There was a car in front of his house, it wasn't there before. Looking closer, he realized it was his son's car.
Lot's of [was] in this sentence. [realized] is another distancing word.
[His son's car was parked in the driveway.] We know it's wasn't there before. But I see the tension you're trying to mount.
The Hank on the couch did not breath [e], his eyes were open and empty.
I think you have to keep the verb tense the same here.
He has found that extra part of him that has been missing
[had found] [that had been missing]
Promise, my last two cents. It's a good idea to keep as many sentences as possible active. Watch out for that tricky [was]
I tear myself down for weeks if someone reviews my story right after the deadline and there's an error. So frustrating. For this work, I doubt any of the edits I suggested will make a difference when it comes to judging time. Good luck!
Good plot for the picture prompt. Now I feel cold.
Thanks for the read!