Unavoidable Literary Devices

Unavoidable Literary Devices

A Story by karmapoilce

The transformation of a relationship over a year gives insight to the temporariness of feelings, and the harshness of irony and cliches.


Before we start let’s get one thing clear: there’s nothing I hate more than clichés. The romantic comedy you watch after your melodramatic break ups, the “Live Laugh Love” sign mounted on your sister’s wall, the old man across the street turned sour. I hate it all. Go ahead; call me bitter. I know you want to. Everyone wants to believe in clichés; they’re the morphine to dull all the bad, or just plain boring, moments in our mediocre lives. They give the hope of a happy ending, and who doesn’t want a happy ending? But I’ve learned in the past year that life isn’t a romantic comedy. The girl doesn’t always come running back in the pouring rain in an evening gown. Sometimes she walks away in the middle of a shopping mall on a sunny August afternoon and never comes back.

But let’s rewind, shall we?


What a suitable name, isn’t that? Fall. I know what you’re thinking, “fall” as in falling in love, but no. “Fall” as in falling on the cold hard concrete, in front of the new girl I was so desperately trying to know. A few minutes prior to the aforementioned embarrassment, I was walking home from school in that type of autumn air that bites at your cheeks and makes you shove your hands into your sweater pockets, (sweater because you refuse to wear a jacket because "it's only September".)

I was letting the crunch of the newly fallen leaves drown my mind, savouring the sound while it lasted. Moving my clumsy feet to make contact with each new leaf, I was focused on the ground in front of me when something �" someone �" came into my view that made me ignore the temporary leaves.  

After twelve years of school with the same five hundred kids, I knew the back of everyone's heads pretty well, but this was one I didn't recognize. Her copper hair swayed from side to side as she walked a few metres in front of me, and it sounds weird to say but it reminded me of the rust on the kitchen sink at home.

I was annoyed that she'd distracted me from my favourite weather, it disappears so quickly, so I did the half run-half walk thing to catch up to her. I needed to make sense of why the back of some girl's head could bring me away from one of my favourite things in the world.

"Hey, wait up!" I called out running dopily towards her. She turned around then, looking me right in the face. She looked at me with such confidence, like she wasn’t even fazed by some random guy running up to her. I couldn’t stop looking at her, but not for the reason you’d think. Everything about her was just so completely average. Average copper hair. Average brown eyes. Average nose. Average height. Average weight. So why was I so mesmerized by her?

Everything average about her stupid brown eyes was turned upside-down and was reflected right back at me as a million different shades of brown, and I couldn't focus anymore. And that was when I fell.

It happened in slow motion, the jump of your heart when you realize what’s happening and the slow descent of your torso to the ground. I met the uninviting sidewalk with an oomph, becoming even better friends with the autumn leaves.

I let myself lay there for a second, absorbing the embarrassment of what had just happened and decided it was easier to let it consume me, rather than to fight it. Then I heard it. The only sound better than the crunch of leaves - the laughter of an average girl. That was how it started.

I hate similes but that girl was like the sun that kills the leaves.


Her name was Madelyn. And it's safe to say that winter was the best season of my life, because it was spent with her.

The whole season can be summed up in one simple moment:

 It wasn’t snowing, it was pouring rain, and not the nice type of rain like it is in autumn. It was cold rain, hard and unforgiving, married to wind that slapped at your face. When it wasn’t raining, the ground was camouflaged in a layer of icy grey slush. But we were together and that was all that mattered, and that meant that we could do anything �" so we walked.

One day we went to our small town's museum, the type of place you can only go to once every ten years, in order to give your memory time to regrow over the images of all the farming exhibits. It was one of the first days in a long time that had kept the remnants of the autumn air and sun. It shone down on us as we walked to the museum and she held my hand on the way there so tightly. I wanted to ask her what she was afraid of, but I couldn't.

We opened the doors and the warmth of the huge building wrapped around us, dissolving the winter breath still on our skin. We walked through the voiceless dimly lit hallways, and Madelyn held my hand so delicately now. Comfortable. We walked around giggling and warm, pressing all the buttons that play the audio descriptions. As one of the narrators flat voices droned throughout our ears, she kissed me on the lips like she meant it.

I was new. I was alive. I was free. I was happy. I was cold. I was warm. And that's all that needs to be said about winter.


We were together. But it was different. We weren't the brand new kitchen sink we were in winter; we were left out in the dry sun from autumn and had water damage from the rain and slush of winter. We were rusted, we were dull, but still, some parts shone. And I guess that was enough to keep us together.

“So, do you want to do something tomorrow?” I would ask her, looking at the cloudless spring sky turned a mixture of pink and purple. I fiddled with the loose threads on my socks, nervous about her answer.

“I don’t know. I’m not feeling very good,” she’d say it with such a tone in her voice, flat and exhausted. “Maybe next week, okay?”

I can’t tell you how many times that situation played out during that spring. I’d ask to make plans in a voice that I hoped didn’t sound too desperate. She’d say no, making an excuse that I couldn’t argue with and couldn’t feel mad about. And then, the interesting part, is she’d always say something after in a cheerful voice, just enough to keep me hopeful but stay away.

But then there were times she’d smile at me from across the room, or hold my hand in the backseat of a car, or hum my favourite song in my ear. I let myself believe that the few good moments justified us staying together, that it ruled out the times she was crying and I said "oh well", the times where she'd be talking and I would zone out and she'd have to snap me out of it. Maybe it's what I forced myself to believe.

I hate metaphors but if plot lines are roller coasters I think this story's would go something like this: Flat. Flat. Flat. Flat. Straight up. Flat flat flat. Down. Who would pay money to go on that?


If it was the good times that kept us going, I guess it was only fair for the bad times to catch up as well.

We were sitting on hard bench in the middle of the hallway, with screaming kids and their mothers running around us, and tween girls acting grown up shopping together with their parent's money. The day had been spent in awkward silence, as if there was some deep annoyance between us the whole time. She was silent because of my seeming lack of interest in her, and I was silent because of her silent passive aggressiveness. There was some unknown sticky substance dried up on the bench, and I accidentally placed my hand in it when Madelyn stood up.

I was about to make some joke about the sticky bench when she started walking away. I got up to follow, and she turned around and told me that she was tired. Her million-shade brown eyes were just one shade then, and she left.

I breathed in the good times, I let them into my lungs and allowed them to make homes inside of my ribcage, and when she left that August afternoon those homes were empty and all the bad times inhabited them.

Oh, here I go again with the metaphors, why is it so hard to escape literary devices?

I think I've changed my mind about hating nothing more than clichés. I think I may hate irony even more. The cliché of boy meets girl, the irony of boy hating clichés yet is a cliché himself, changing with the seasons of the year. As much as I do hate clichés, maybe they're not so bad, seeing as how perfect a romantic comedy ending would be, compared to this paragraph.

© 2014 karmapoilce

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Featured Review

Beautiful. Also inspiring. You write like a true author, your words are captivating and entertaining. Seeing as I'm a young writer, you have definitely inspired me to keep writing, and have also gave me a better perspective of my writing. Thank you for sharing this story.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Wow! You're different. And I guess different is not bad...

Posted 1 Year Ago

Beautiful. Also inspiring. You write like a true author, your words are captivating and entertaining. Seeing as I'm a young writer, you have definitely inspired me to keep writing, and have also gave me a better perspective of my writing. Thank you for sharing this story.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Very touching to the heart

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This was great! Loved the descriptiveness and how easy it is to relate to the story.
I'm not in agreement with the comments that there needs to be a climactic moment - some stories are meant to be just that: stories. I think that it takes a common subject matter and gives a window into an interesting and compelling viewpoint.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I love it! I absolutely love it! I love how you didn't worry about every little thing, and just captured the details (definitely not the same thing). I understand how love fades, and for me it was a scary feeling. I found it harder and harder to communicate how much he was to me. I love winters the most. It was chilling and new, much like you described in your piece.
I'm can't decide if you stopped liking her, or if she stopped liking you or if it was mutual, or if you both still liked each other. Well, IDK! (Is this story even fiction? Or non-fiction? If it's fiction, sorry I took it so seriously). Anywayyyy, thank you so much for writing this, it is amazing.

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


2 Years Ago

Thank you so much!! Your review means a lot to me, that's exactly the thing I was trying to get at w.. read more
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I have no words to describe how much I'm amazed by this story! Amazing work!!!

Posted 2 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I enjoyed reading this. The story had a nice pace and flowed well. From my perspective a stronger ending (that which eludes so many of us) would have enhanced this story and given a stronger sense of completeness. Perhaps something with a twist?

Posted 3 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I agree with Persona's review (both the god and the critique)

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

I like the tone of your story and the layout. I like the separation of seasons. You sound intelligent and you have potential. The only thing is that the story itself isn't very original. I lost interest quickly because there was nothing particularly special about it. I understand that that was the whole point of the story, but maybe you could add a climactic moment. That's what's missing. The last paragraph comes across as self consciousness of your writing ability. Don't worry about that. Just focus on the story.

Posted 4 Years Ago

2 of 3 people found this review constructive.

I think that everything you put into this story was really well done. There was a good vocabulary and fantastic choice of timing as well as plot development. Well done!

Posted 4 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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11 Reviews
Shelved in 1 Library
Added on April 30, 2014
Last Updated on April 30, 2014
Tags: fiction, young adult, teen



BC, Canada

I'm just a 20 year old girl from a little town in Canada who likes to make up stories and put words together to make them sound nice. more..

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