Hot Chips and Sand
Copyright © 2013 Mary Hughes
All rights reserved
The back a loaf of spicy‑smelling bread in front of each of them.
Cliff ate all of his, then sat, eyes wistfully following Vickie’s second slice on its way to her mouth.
After a few minutes of puppy‑dog
eyes, Vickie swallowed carefully. “Would you like some of mine , Cliff?” She wasn’t really surprised to see the rest
of her loaf disappear. “How do you
survive on l’haute cuisine?”
He looked up then, eyes clear and intent.
strings attached, of course.”
Cliff smiled ruefully.
“I don’t blame you, after the way
I behaved the last time.”
giving me another chance
“What has my brother got to do with it?”
She didn’t even bother asking how
he knew she had a brother.
do that on purpose ?”
were done eating,
so Cliff put the tab on the company card and they walked together
out of the restaurant, hunger, for food at any rate, sated.
about the loss of his father or the attitude of his mother.
Cliff looked up from his own thoughts, saw her indecision, and smiled.
moved here after that . Straight.”
at the end of the drive stood the most beautiful home she had ever seen.
[M1]"Vickky was incredulous" tells. Her exclamation "You're eating after this?" tells. Only one is needed.
[M2]This is a small POV problem. At Vickie's sharp breath is very close to Cliff's POV. Changed to keep it in Vickie's.
[M4]Another effect-before-cause moment. The original was him figuring it out, then asking the what the problem is, then announcing the solution. He needs to ask what the problem is, figure it out (eyes narrow in concentration), then announce the solution.
[M7]On reread, this seems a little sudden, both in the declaration of love and them being done eating so soon. I backed off, started thm on an innocuous topic, and wrapped the scene with a more reasonable open-time "When they were done eating."
[M8]Wonder: filter word. Starting: delaying word. Preconceptions: distancing word. All to be avoided unless there's a good reason for them. A darned good reason.