Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “Follow Me,” YA Suspense

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Follow Me

YA Suspense

Please note: The excerpt is taken from the beginning of the work. 

When Great-aunt Aida started trying to feed me cat food and began having complete conversations with my Uncle Jimmy, who died before I was born, I started to worry. A few days later, I caught her trying to build a fire in the middle of the living room floor for her little brother, who died of pneumonia over eighty years ago. I knew then it was time to get help.

She’d been talking to herself as long as I could remember, and calling me Sarah, which was my mother’s name, for a few months now. But she seemed fine enough. I mean, we all get confused a little every now and then, and Great-aunt Aida, being ninety-eight years old, was entitled to put the clean dishes in the refrigerator if that’s where she wanted them. Who was I to correct her? Although, it did make living with her very interesting at times.

A few days before the fire incident I found her holding an old doll and crying. It was one of those old porcelain dolls, the yellow hair stiff and matted. The green silk dress was beautiful once, probably. Now it was dirty and full of moth holes. It even looked singed in a few places. But there was Great-aunt Aida, sitting at the kitchen table, clutching the doll to her chest and sobbing to fill a river. She insisted on holding a prayer vigil over the doll all night in the front living room. The next day, we buried the doll in the back yard. Only then did Great-aunt Aida finally rest.

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