Introducing our Monday Mania submission. One of our readers submitted the first page of her novel. Feel free to make comments, but please keep them constructive.
Critique Archive 0003:
Anita and I had made a plan on the phone: Think sophomore. Dad picked her up on the way to school and dropped us off where the buses unloaded. We slipped into the crowd, heading for our lockers like we knew where we were going.
“Think we’ll make it through the whole day, Joannie?” she asked as we turned left into the main hallway.
“Shhh,” I whispered. “You’ll give us away.” I chewed on my lower lip.
Kids roamed the hallway in search of lockers and friends, calling out names—Sally, Deb, Carol. Aurora was a small town so lots of people knew me. I kept my gaze low, not wanting to make eye contact with anyone who would give me away as a freshman.
Since seventh grade I had heard stories about hazing, so I dreaded the first day at Aurora High. Innocent freshman girls, chased down by upperclassmen, then pinned to the floor and fire engine red lipstick smeared all over their faces. Since we were forced by school rules to wear dresses instead of jeans, so that none of us stood a chance to outrun the senior boys. Our bad luck as children of the late 1960s that the micro-mini was in fashion. If I got wrestled to the ground, there would be more panty showing than worn by the entire group of Laugh-In dancers.
The two of us stopped at the bank of lockers directly across the hall from the girl’s restroom. I tried the combination on my locker. What was wrong with the stupid thing? On the third round I realized the locker number didn’t match the tag number I had pulled at early morning draw a few days ago. I moved a door to the right and spun the dial again. The final tumbler clicked as it fell into place. I sighed in relief, looking around furtively. No one had seen my mistake.