#amwriting: Scene Sketch

Obscure Changes
image by Josh McGinn @ https://www.flickr.com/photos/svenstorm/

Obscure Changes

The day had just started. The sun shined so brightly in the east much of the sky was a pure dazzling white. Birds, mostly robins and finches, were pecking into the new grass of the lawns looking for seeds. Yet, the air was silent, as if waiting for something monumental to happen.

What really threw me off guard was I saw neighbors out and about in all this noiselessness. They did not seem the least disturb by the eerie calmness. Getting into their cars and starting up the engines, the sound was almost deafening in the once common surroundings that had become so illusorily strange overnight. However, none of them noticed the changes.

I ducked back inside and grabbed my bag. On the front porch again, I studied my street again before turning and locking the door. The birds were gone, probably to their respective nests. That part was definitely normal but the air still hit me as being dead somehow. It was down right creepy.

All along the way to the first major intersection at the edge of my neighborhood, I did not see a single soul. The neighbors who had driven away from my street must have already reached the main thoroughfare and were long gone. The lawns reminded me of the plastic grass used in exhibits. The paint on the houses looked more as if they had been drawn on paper.

On most days, I enjoyed my walk to the bus stop. It was good exercise, of course, but it, also, cleaned out the cobwebs in my head. Today was not one of those days, though. The entire world seemed out of whack. It felt as if I was in another dimension, an altered reality.

Peering up the street towards the intersection, I noticed it was empty, not one car whizzing by. I stood at the bus stop pulling out my monthly card for the driver to push. Still, there was not a car or truck to be seen.

Should I even be out here? My curiosity insisted I stay put even though my common sense was telling me to get out of there and go back home inside where everything was normal.


I am not too sure about this work. Any advice is welcomed.

“When one finds oneself in the kind of strange, unsettling circumstances as I presently find myself, it is only natural, after all, to have a few, unusual, vivid dreams.” ― M.D. Elster, Four Kings

10 thoughts on “#amwriting: Scene Sketch

  1. This has a strange, creepy, other-worldly feeling, which is what I think you’re going for. I get the sense that the narrator is dead but unaware of her demise. Certainly well rendered.

    Glynis, do you read your work out loud? I always suggest this to writers. Your ear will catch errors and repetitions that your eye misses. One thing I’ll point out is the word “was” used often in the first two paragraphs. You would hear this reading it aloud.

    Best to you with your new endeavor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am atrocious at using the word, was. I should have read it aloud. You are right on that account; that is for sure.

      When I wrote it, I was not really thinking of the notion of her being dead but now that you have mentioned it, it gives me another angle to work with. Thanks. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, definitely.
        Now delete filter words: Getting into their cars and starting up the engines, the sound was almost deafening in the once common surroundings that had become so illusorily strange overnight. Remove “almost” and “so illusorily.” Filters and most adverbs blunt power.
        Alter this sentence: Birds, mostly robins and finches, were pecking to read as “Robins and finches pecked.” It is now immediate instead of removed from the reader.
        Alter this sentence: Peering up the street towards the intersection, I noticed it was empty, not one car whizzing by. Try this: “Not one car whizzed by as I peered up the street toward the intersection.” Eliminated three words, shortened two others, but it’s still your sentence. Always choose the most active verbs; gerunds weaken sentences.
        You write tentatively as if you’re unsure about how to proceed or what to say. We writers are all unsure but don’t let your reader sense this. I understand you wanted to create a character who senses a shift in the universe, but it shouldn’t come across as unsure writing.
        Of course it’s very easy to offer a critique of someone else’s work and much harder to edit our own. I did this because you asked for help and I hope I was helpful. Other readers critique my work and I shake my head, wondering how I missed such obvious errors.


  2. I get an eerie feel from reading this. It is like you don’t like the silence, yet you ventured out into it (or at least your character did). Walking to the bus stop sounds like an out of body experience in this piece of work… It could be a piece out of a science fiction novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I at first wondered if your character had lost her hearing overnight. Then, I began to feel it was something more sinister.

    A thought about the birds: We have bird noises all around my house, so loud, people on the phone hear them. I remember one day my daughter commented on it because, in her DC neighborhood, she had no birds. I can’t imagine life without chirps and songs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I always seem to live where the birds are only visible and/or singing in the early morning and late afternoon or evening. I do wait for them to do their thing though whatever the time is.


  4. You immediately set a mood that did not waver throughout the piece. You also caused your readers to feel a variety of emotions as reflected in the above comments. So, yes, the piece worked for me; in fact, I wanted to read more, so I hope you’ll continue the story.

    Liked by 1 person

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