Chapter 1

Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jemma Packman

The early morning sun illuminated the well furnished apartment, as the echo of a lock turning broke the calming silence. The whine of the hinges, as the door opened and closed, was followed by the soft patter of bare feet on the thick, terracotta carpet. There was a soft slap as the carpet ends and the cool, black and burnt orange tiles of the modern kitchen began. The soft thump of a small stack of envelopes hit the black, marbled breakfast bar that separated the kitchen and living room. The glowing LED clock on the cooker displayed 07:00 before it was blocked by the shapely bodied owner of the bare feet, as they began to prepare a cooked breakfast. The smell of sausage, bacon, eggs and mushrooms slowly filled the apartment. The sound of the bathroom door closing and the shower running did not distract the shapely body from their task, quickly and efficiently separating the prepared food on to two plates ready to be served. One plate was placed on to an already set up place setting on the bar, and the other next to a touch screen, chrome microwave. Multi-tasking, the cook started the microwave and pulled a glass and a mug from a cupboard above their head and placed them on the counter waiting to be filled. The wait was short for the mug, as the bubbling noise of the coffee maker signalled its readiness. The black liquid was poured into the mug, allowing the aroma to mix with the already present scent of the cooked breakfast it was set to accompany. The glass' wait was longer, patiently watching as the raw materials used for the morning meal were returned to the refrigerator before a carton of orange juice was taken out. The pulpy fluid filled the glass before the carton was returned to it's cold home. A small framed woman with shoulder length dark brown hair emerged from the bathroom. The skirt suit she wore clung to her body like a second skin but allowed enough movement for the woman to slide on to the bar stool in front of the awaiting breakfast. Her tired brown eyes took in the meal before her. Picking up her knife and fork, the woman greeted the cook, her voice bright and cheery. "Morning, Charlie."
 The microwave pinged and Charlie gave it her attention, swapping the plated breakfast for the hidden contents. She took the plate, of what appeared to be a simple evening meal, and sat at the bar opposite the slim, cheerful woman. She yawned out her delayed response. "Morning, Shannon."
 Both women began to eat in a comfortable silence until a thought crossed Shannon's mind. "There any mail this morning?" Charlie nodded, reached for the mail stack, passed a few envelopes to her companion and resumed eating. "I've got a meeting tonight that will probably run late so I'll get take out." Boredom laced Shannon's tone. She looked over at an unresponsive Charlie, who was holding her head up with her hand as she ate lazily. "Do you want me to pick you up something?"
 Charlie blinked rapidly as if to wake herself up, lifted her head off her hand as she shook her head and drank her juice. "No thanks." She finished her food, wiped her mouth with the sleeve of her black, long sleeved graphic T-shirt as she stood to make her way to the bathroom. The sound of the shower rang through the silent apartment once more. Seemingly unbothered, Shannon finished her breakfast and drank her coffee while reading through her mail. Fining nothing that required her immediate attention,  she cleared the bar and washed the dished, her way of repaying Charlie for her well prepared meal. Charlie exits the bathroom, her faded ripped jeans and graphic T-shirt replaced by sweatpants and a tank top, and leans her hip against the end of the bar. She flips through the remaining mail and sighs. "Water bill. Electric bill. Gas bill. Air bill."
 Shannon gave her a questioning look. "Air bill?"
 Charlie gave a sheepish smile. "Joke."
 Shannon playfully rolled her eyes as she put away the last of the now clean dished. "How much?" Charlie shrugged. "When you've worked it out, will you let me know?"
 Charlie nodded. "Sure. I'll leave you a note. You seen the time?"
 Shannon glanced at the clock on the cooker. Her perfectly drawn eyebrows raised in shock. "Oh s**t!" her voice raised in pitch as she frantically ran and searched the living room. "I'm going to be late. Where's my bag?"
 Charlie pointed to the rack next to the door. "Under your coat."
 "Live saver." Shannon rushed to her coat, put it on and rapidly checked her bag, making sure she had everything she needed for the day. "Thank you."
 "Have a good day."
 "I'll try, thanks, Charlie. Sleep well. See you later."
 Shannon gave Charlie a small wave as she left the apartment, the door slamming behind her. Charlie shook her in slight amusement and dropped the bills on the counter. She yawned as she ran a hand through her damp, dirty blond hair and sluggishly made her way to the back of the apartment and into her bedroom, closing the door behind her.



© 2016 Jemma Packman



My Review

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Featured Review

There is some very nice description in this chapter! I was drawn in right away. I do think the first paragraph is a bit long and maybe a bit too heavy on the description, though. Some of the things you spend a lot of time describing don’t seem that important (for instance, the exact specs of their clothing, the colors of the floor, the detailed steps of making breakfast – you can convey the same information, if it is important, in a more concise way and still set the scene). Or, having Shannon come out sooner would allow you to break this up with some dialogue and action.

There were a few places that felt a bit awkward. For instance:

“…it was blocked by the shapely bodied owner of the bare feet, as they began to prepare a cooked breakfast.”
>> Because you use a plural pronoun instead of a singular, it sounds like the bare feet are making breakfast. I would change the “they”/“their” references to “she”/“her”… unless there’s a specific reason why you’re being mysterious about her gender and name? Also, “owner of the bare feet” is kind of a strange phrase… though I do like that you’re exploring unique/creative ways to convey information.

“The sound of the bathroom door closing and the shower running did not distract the shapely body from their task…”
>> Again with the plural. It’s also sort of weird that the body wasn’t distracted… it’s her mind that wasn’t distracted by the sound, right?

You switch to present tense in a couple of places (“carpet ends…”), and there are a few typos (dished > dishes, live > life, it’s > its, on to > onto), but those are easy fixes! Also in the last paragraph, I think it should say “Charlie shook her *head* in slight amusement…” (“head” is missing).

I really like how you have set up the scene and narrated the character’s actions, so the reader knows exactly where they are and what’s going on. Unless there’s a specific reason why you’re not referring to them by their names right away, I think I’d throw that in sooner. It was a little confusing when Shannon arrived who was doing what. Also, I think hearing the names earlier would help the reader “bond” with the characters, and you’d also be able to get rid of the awkward parts where inanimate objects are given actions (such as the feet example above).

You’ve set this up nicely to encourage the reader to keep going. Several questions popped up in my mind that I want to know the answers to (like: Why is Charlie eating dinner while Shannon eats breakfast? Why is she so tired? Why is her hair damp when she gets home? etc.). Looking forward to finding out more!

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

6 Months Ago

Thank you, Krysten. I'm working on not mixing tenses, that's definitely an issue for me.
I ho.. read more



Reviews

There is some very nice description in this chapter! I was drawn in right away. I do think the first paragraph is a bit long and maybe a bit too heavy on the description, though. Some of the things you spend a lot of time describing don’t seem that important (for instance, the exact specs of their clothing, the colors of the floor, the detailed steps of making breakfast – you can convey the same information, if it is important, in a more concise way and still set the scene). Or, having Shannon come out sooner would allow you to break this up with some dialogue and action.

There were a few places that felt a bit awkward. For instance:

“…it was blocked by the shapely bodied owner of the bare feet, as they began to prepare a cooked breakfast.”
>> Because you use a plural pronoun instead of a singular, it sounds like the bare feet are making breakfast. I would change the “they”/“their” references to “she”/“her”… unless there’s a specific reason why you’re being mysterious about her gender and name? Also, “owner of the bare feet” is kind of a strange phrase… though I do like that you’re exploring unique/creative ways to convey information.

“The sound of the bathroom door closing and the shower running did not distract the shapely body from their task…”
>> Again with the plural. It’s also sort of weird that the body wasn’t distracted… it’s her mind that wasn’t distracted by the sound, right?

You switch to present tense in a couple of places (“carpet ends…”), and there are a few typos (dished > dishes, live > life, it’s > its, on to > onto), but those are easy fixes! Also in the last paragraph, I think it should say “Charlie shook her *head* in slight amusement…” (“head” is missing).

I really like how you have set up the scene and narrated the character’s actions, so the reader knows exactly where they are and what’s going on. Unless there’s a specific reason why you’re not referring to them by their names right away, I think I’d throw that in sooner. It was a little confusing when Shannon arrived who was doing what. Also, I think hearing the names earlier would help the reader “bond” with the characters, and you’d also be able to get rid of the awkward parts where inanimate objects are given actions (such as the feet example above).

You’ve set this up nicely to encourage the reader to keep going. Several questions popped up in my mind that I want to know the answers to (like: Why is Charlie eating dinner while Shannon eats breakfast? Why is she so tired? Why is her hair damp when she gets home? etc.). Looking forward to finding out more!

Posted 6 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

6 Months Ago

Thank you, Krysten. I'm working on not mixing tenses, that's definitely an issue for me.
I ho.. read more
This is a really nice story as I see it so far! The description was nice, and flowed perfectly. There were of course a few typos, but I only really noticed them because of my insane ability to pick them out like a hawk. Other people have said this, but there are a few things you can change to make it flow a bit more. Other than that, I enjoy it very much myself! Beautiful work!

Posted 11 Months Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

8 Months Ago

Thank you.
Seems really interesting and the starting awesome^-^

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

1 Year Ago

Thank you.
Pink Pastel

1 Year Ago

Your welcome;)
Much better! I love the description you have added to your story. I felt connected to read on. I would change one issue that popped out immediately on the first read - "Live saver." I think "Life saver" works best.

Again, impressed with the details.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

1 Year Ago

Glad you like the changes. Thanks for pointing out my typo :-P
I see it's been 9 months since I read this, so I'm not sure what you've changed. I think this chapter flows smoothly, and your pace of revealing information is great. You still have one or two inconsistencies in verb tense. You've hooked me to read on, though.

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

1 Year Ago

Thank you. I'll check through it again for the verb tense errors.
Hi Jemma, I agree with what Shawna said. One of the rules of writing is to be consistent with verb tense. Also, when you state, "It is seen that Charlie is a woman," it's something of a jarring shift in point of view to that of some unknown observer. In fact, I would simply call Charlie by her name throughout, unless you have an important literary reason for not revealing her gender at first. Other than that, the story is great and I'm intrigued to read on and see what happens!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

2 Years Ago

Thank you. I was originally writing this as a screenplay and haven't quite changed it accordingly. A.. read more
Hi Jemma, I think your characters have potential, there's a lot unsaid that makes the reader wonder who these two women are, what their stories are, and hence a desire to read further. I think there are some things to maybe polish up. I was always told that the narration of books is usually past tense, so instead of Charlie shakes her head - it would be Charlie shook her head... etc. I'd also be careful of using Charlies or Shannon says quite so often, especially on the one liners. But nice start. :)

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

2 Years Ago

Thank you Shawna. The says thing is a bad habit of mine unfortunately and, as all habits are, is har.. read more
Quite curious to see where this headed. You've got me on the hook thus far... hope to see more, and soon!

Posted 2 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Jemma Packman

2 Years Ago

Thank you. I hope you're still enjoying this.

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Added on December 29, 2014
Last Updated on July 6, 2016

Charlie's Girls


Author

Jemma Packman
Jemma Packman

Hull, East Yorkshire, United Kingdom



Writing
Prologue Prologue

A Chapter by Jemma Packman


Chapter 1 Chapter 1

A Chapter by Jemma Packman