I just thought I’d get some feedback on this. It recently won a local contest, with the interesting prize of the winner getting an on-stage reading by a professional actor. It was…sort of surreal. 😀
Because of that success, I was thinking about tossing it over to some literary journals to see if I can get it published. However, I want to make it as perfect as possible before I do that, so…
Thanks in advance!
THE TRASH COLLECTOR
It started when I was only seven years old.
I was riding the subway with my mother. It was a cold, rainy day and everyone was either already dripping or looking at those who dripped with apprehensive eyes. My mother’s umbrella was dry but I was soaked; rain meant puddles and satisfying splashes. It meant rainbows in the puddles when street lights shone at just the right angle, and it meant sheets of rain obscuring skyscrapers to the point where the already impressive buildings became vertically endless. Umbrellas made everything finite.
So my feet were wet and my mother was annoyed. It felt right. Then I felt something else— for the very first time, I felt the intense, scrutinizing stare; it begged and pleaded with a heartbreakingly silent wail; I felt it rush headlong into my bloodstream, seeking the fastest route to the heart. I had gotten the wind knocked out of me in Little League; it felt similar. I turned and saw a tall, rail-thin, middle-aged woman with curly auburn hair, standing at the rear of the car, staring at me with mouth slightly open, gripping her soggy umbrella with a shaking hand.
I stared back. Being seven, I was curious; at ten, I wouldn’ve (sic) been apprehensive, at thirteen, I would’ve been uncomfortable, at eighteen, I would’ve been disgusted. But I was seven. (Change of paragraph’s focus.) It was raining and I had encountered a record number of puddles, and one of those skyscrapers had grown to astronomical height amidst the deluge. Mom called the growth of the buildings a mirage. I said she said rain made everything grow.