Critique Archive 0017:
The Education of Darny Switch
It was getting late. The shadows were deepening in the corners of his room and an oppressive heat hung in the air of the little attic of Darny Switch. He'd just finished his day of cleaning up other people's messes, and had come home to be yelled at by Mrs. Whippet for forgetting to pick up her laundry.
It had not been a good day. He plopped down on his bed and started reading the latest Harry Potter book. It had just come out and he had been waiting forever for his turn to check it out of the local library.
He opened the new cover and got a whiff of that lovely new book smell. It was still there. The pages crackled as he turned the first one. He loved the Harry Potter stories. He felt alive when he read them and lost in a world that was so entertaining and seemed so real. He had dreamed of living in such a world. Of walking down the halls of Hogworts. But the thing he most liked about the stories was that it was his story too. He had no parents, and had been left with people who didn't want him. But stories of high adventure don't happen to real boys. Stories like that are made up by great minds.
Real life was what Darny was living. He looked up at his closet door. Sometimes it would creak as he lay in bed. He would shut the door and still he swore he could hear it open as he lay there in the dark. He would close his eyes and will himself to fall asleep. He thought if he opened them, he would see something standing there and he had no magic spells to make it disappear. He was terrified of being alone up in his hot room, but he had no choice and no one felt sorry for him.