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"Marshmallows" (1 Viewer)

smahan

Member
First draft of a short story I just wrote. Feedback so appreciated. Thanks!

Sarah

Marshmallows
He tasted like fall. Some days a combination of sensual cinnamon warmth and her father’s mashed potatoes. Those were the days her breathing swayed with reassurance. Other days he tasted like lukewarm coffee, extra Splenda. Those were the days she bit her bottom lip and glanced down at untrimmed, chipped toenails as she hurried to class.
A marshmallow a minute, she promised herself eyes fixed on the impersonal, plastic black and white common room clock. In her hot chocolate bobbed twenty mallows, the size of (bitten) pinky nails, for the minutes ago he was supposed to meet her to walk to the dining hall. She ran her tongue around the rim of the mug, embarrassingly practicing, envisioning, their kiss like she had on pillows at middle school sleepovers. Ceramic was much smoother, like his autumn lips, the steam from the beverage the warm breeze he had entered her realm in. Four marshmallows prolongingly savored now sat in her rumbling tummy. She wasn’t hungry. A bitten piece of fingernail sank to the concentrated powder bottom of the cocoa. She didn’t notice. Only nine marshmallows left. She pretended she felt her cell phone vibrate in her pocket ; it hadn’t. Seven marshmallows swirled around as she made a whirlpool with the red swivel stick. Calculus. She quickly nodded her head—Calculus! He must be talking to his professor, he’d been struggling with the application of the quadratic formula. The cocoa had began to cool to the temperature she preferred at age six—just barely warm so not to burn her tongue. Tepid, if you will. Four mallows lamely clumped together by a mocha froth sat in a corner of the mug.
“Jill!” she heard, startled by the abruptness of volume in the formerly silent dorm. He bustled in, a crisp fall breeze following him, almost precisely the temperature of her drink.
“I’m sorry!” he threw at her as he leaned in for a lascivious kiss.
He tasted like burgundy lipstick on winter chapped lips. She was still embracing shades of coral.
 

garza

Senior Member
There are just a few minor nits that need tending to, but that aside this is a delightful piece of writing built around a unique, so far as I know, concept; the marshmallow countdown. You call into play all of our senses and build the tension that could lead to disappointment but which at last is released in a final appeal to our senses.

Well done. Very well done.

Put this aside for a day or two, then go back over it and make some small adjustments. Do Not make any major changes. You will ruin it if you do.
 

Olly Buckle

Mentor
Patron
In her hot chocolate bobbed twenty mallows, the size of (bitten) pinky nails, for the minutes ago he was supposed to meet her to walk to the dining hall.
That made me think he was twenty mins. late and she was adding one each minute. The detail, like the sunken cocoa powder, is good as well as the sensual variation.
 

The Backward OX

WF Veterans
I checked with Cook first, to make sure. Neither of us can imagine a marshmallow as small as a fingernail. Maybe you guys have recipes we don’t know of.

I think you may have meant swizzle stick when you said swivel stick. Or is that another regional variation?
 

garza

Senior Member
Ox - There are mini-marshmallows sold especially for use in hot cocoa. At least, they are sold in Upoverland.
 

Gumby

Staff member
Co-Owner
Yes, and they melt very quickly. :) Especially if you use this kind, which come already mixed into the cocoa mix in the envelope.

Nestle-Hot-Cocoa-Mini-Marsh-30-ct.jpg
 

Ilasir Maroa

Senior Member
Seems more like flash than a short. ;)

Loved the taste sensations, but I'm not quite sure you meant "lascivious" in the last one...
 

smahan

Member
thank you!

Thank you so much for you imput! I think I'll be adding it to my chapbook for college admissions :)
 

vintageboombox

Senior Member
I loved the description within the piece. It played off of the senses nicely.

And I can relate to that whole bitten pinkie nail thing. I do that when I'm nervous or worried or upset. It makes the piece relatable.
 

GoatBrain

Senior Member
He tasted like burgundy lipstick on winter chapped lips. She was still embracing shades of coral.

Is it just me, did I miss something, or what? When I first read this line I thought he was cheating on her.
 

Krzyh

Senior Member
Calculus. She quickly nodded her head—Calculus! He must be talking to his professor, he’d been struggling with the application of the quadratic formula.
I would go read a little about Calculus because by the time you study Calc you have the quadratic formula engraved on your forehead from repeated use. I would use "implicit derivatives" instead so that no nerd calls you out on it
 

Sebastian Darkwood

Senior Member
too much flavor and its a good thing, fine detail although sometimes my mind sway itself to 50 shades when i read this, but yes do continue, the fine details are alluring~
 

Gyarachu

WF Veterans
Wow, you did a wonderful job of depicting that feeling of anxious anticipation! You made it very clear just how much this boy meant to your character.

One thing though, and this is just me, it seems like you tried a little too hard to be descriptive. I'm the kind of reader who doesn't like when a writer tries to be too smart and uses too many excessively over-the-top words, and while you definitely don't fall into that category, there were times when it was a little much. If this was what you were going for though, and I have a feeling it might have been, then by all means don't change a thing! It's just a personal thing.

Also, the last line made me think he was cheating on her. I'm not sure if it was meant to be that way, but that's what I got out of it.

All in all though, this was a great story, and I enjoyed reading it very much, keep up the good work!
 

Seckroth24

Senior Member
Other then a couple of little tweaks previously mentioned in other replies I found this quite good. I enjoyed the use of the senses a lot. Those kinds of details are really what made this story for me.
 

Jo Tampoco

Senior Member
Yes - she expects fall and gets winter. She's using coral and gets burgundy - it has to be infidelity, doesn't it? And it's there at the end like that - it must mean something?
Anyhow - a nice device - the marshmallow count-down, and smoothly delivered.
 

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