Emma Adventures

Hopefully this isn’t complete crap. :confused: This is mostly a ‘cutesy’ story, without a huge plot. I actually do some writing elsewhere, so I don’t think I could keep up with another story that requires a lot of brain power. It’s my hope that I’ll get some honest critique so that I can become a better writer.

Chapter 1: Today’s the Day

Emma:

Today’s the day! Sitting up in bed, my stomach filled with butterflies as I rubbed it, hoping they’d flutter away. Quickly grabbing the clothes I’d laid out the night before, I hopped into the shower. Once I was clean, I hurried to dry off and get dressed. My pink t-shirt got stuck to my damp skin, and I huffed in frustration. My jeans got stuck a few times as I pulled them over my damp legs, feeling relief when I could finally button them.

Glancing at my phone, there was a text from Rook on the screen. “On my way.” Seeing the message had been sent fifteen minutes ago, I squeaked with excitement. He’d be here in another five minutes and I still needed to grab something to eat. Mom and Ari were probably still in the kitchen. As much I’d love to avoid them, I knew Rook would check to make sure I’d eaten breakfast.

The large clock on the wall ticked loudly when I entered the kitchen, reminding me that Rook would be here soon. Mom smiled at me. “Hey, Sweetie. All ready for your move?”

I nodded. “Rook will be here in a couple of minutes to help me load my stuff.”

“Ari and I are headed to the mall later. Would you like us to pick you up on the way?” Wrinkling my nose, I shook my head at mom’s question.

Ari chuckled. “Mom, we both know she isn’t a fan of shopping.”

Mom shrugged a dainty shoulder. “I can always hope that one day she’ll love it as much as we do.”

Ari rolled her eyes, “Besides, she’s going to hang out with her boyfriends.”

My face flushed red, “They aren’t – I mean-” Pausing to see the humor lighting up her gray eyes, I scowled. Sometimes I was amazed that we were twins.

I stood on my tip toes to get a bowl down from the middle shelf of a cupboard. Mom’s gaze followed me to the pantry as I grabbed the sealed box of Lucky Charms. After opening the box, I poured the cereal into my bowl and put just enough milk in it to make the cereal float. “Would you like us to help you move your things?” mom finally inquired.

“No. I don’t have much. I could probably easily move most of it, but Rook wanted to help,” was my response.

Her shoulders sagged with clear relief. What would she have done if I had accepted her offer? I shoved a spoonful of sugary cereal in my mouth.

“What about school? And…” her voice trailed off. Luckily, the guys already knew about my problem, so I just answered my her other question.

“All of my classes are online this term.” It would just as easy to take my online classes at their house as it was here.

She nodded once as she moved to leave the room. She stopped in front of me and lightly squeezed my cheeks between her thumb and forefinger, giving me a fish face. “You be good. Call me if you need me and make sure those boys treat you well.” She dropped a small kiss on my cheek, walking out of the room before I had a chance to respond. Ari smirked as she followed.

The doorbell rang, chiming loudly through the house. I shoved the last bite of cereal into my mouth and put my dishes into the dishwasher, dashing for the front door. My stomach dropped. Ari stood at the door, twirling a strand of her blonde hair around a finger. She was talking with Rook, who was still standing on the porch.

Ari giggled. A knot formed in the pit of my stomach, and I quickly realized I was jealous. I couldn’t really blame Ari. She was naturally charismatic and sweet, while I was just… me. As much as I didn’t really want to, I took advantage of Ari keeping him busy. Racing up the stairs, I quickly brushed my teeth and grabbed my sandals.

Not wanting to leave Ari alone with Rook longer than I had to, I hurried back down the stairs. I stumbled on the last stair, nearly falling into Ari. She raised a brow at me, but stayed silent as she opened the front door a little wider.

All of my furniture had already been taken to Rook’s house, and my boxes were all stacked neatly just inside the family room doorway. There wasn’t much, just my clothes and the things from my desk. I slung my laptop bag over my shoulder, glancing up to see Rook watching me with dark eyes. A small smile played across his lips. “Ready to go, Em?” He wore a black beanie over his short, dark hair. I blinked to keep myself from staring at the way his jeans molded to his thighs. He wore a black hoodie, hiding his muscular chest. “Is all your stuff still in your room?”

I shook my head, feeling shy. “It’s right there.” I pointed out the boxes that were in the living room entry way.

“That’s it?” At my nod, he stepped inside, easily grabbing two of the boxes to carry them out to his truck. Picking up a box, I followed him out the door silently.

I was nearly to Rook’s shiny red pick-up when I tripped, barely managing to save myself before crashing into him. He caught me, gently prying the box from my fingers. “Sorry,” I mumbled, feeling my face turn bright red.

He chuckled. “I’ve got the rest, Em. You go get in.”

“But-” I started to protest.

“There are only two boxes left. I’m pretty sure I can handle it,” he replied.

Sighing heavily, I moved to the passenger side of his truck. He came back outside with my last two boxes and saw me staring at the inside of his truck. “Need help up, Em?” He slid the last of the boxes into the bed with the other three.

“Nope.” I shook my head for emphasis. His truck got taller every time I rode in it. I put my leg up and hopped on my other leg a few times, trying to get enough leverage to lift myself into the vehicle. When that didn’t work, Rook wrapped his large hands around my waist, hoisting me into the truck.

He went around to his own side and hopped in, asking, “Did you already eat something?” At my nod, he narrowed his eyes suspiciously. “What did you eat?” He turned his keys in the ignition, bringing the engine to life.

“Lucky Charms,” I replied.

He glanced at me as he pulled away from the house. “Emma, that’s not breakfast. That’s…” he trailed off for a moment, and then sighed. “At least you ate something.”

We made small talk as he drove to his house. We turned onto a quiet caul-de-sac, pulling up to a tan house. I sat forward in my seat. Where were Kacen and Nix? They said they’d be waiting for me. Rook must have noticed my interest, because he chuckled softly and commented, “When I left, they were both in the family room, playing a game.” Rook pulled into the oversized three car garage, parking next to Kacen’s black SUV. Nix’s silver Honda Accord took up the third spot in the garage.

I hopped out of the truck, barely waiting for Rook to turn it off. “Em, your room will be right next to mine.” I thanked him and waited for him to get out. How would I get the boxes out of his truck? A slow look around the garage helped me spot a step ladder not too far away. Maybe I could use that. “I’ll take your stuff to your room. Go find the guys, and kick Nix off the T.V. if he’s still playing a game.” I nodded, quickly heading for the door into the house. The tight feeling in my chest eased slightly, knowing that Rook wouldn’t have any trouble reaching my boxes.

A loud crash sounded from the kitchen, followed by some colorful curse words. I paused in the entry way as a loud crash, followed by a stuttered curse sounded from the kitchen. Rook paused on his way past me, brows raised. “Sounds like Kacen’s in the kitchen,” he observed.

Rook moved down the short hallway, turning left into my new room. I walked past the living room and through the double doors that led to the kitchen. Moving through the large kitchen and around the island, I stopped short at the sight of Kacen’s pajama clad rear sticking out of a cupboard. He backed out of the cupboard, revealing narrow hips. The lightly tanned skin of his back was next. “Kacen?” I hesitantly stepped further into the kitchen.

He jumped, making me cringe at the sound of his head slamming into the underside of the shelf. “Mother-” he caught himself. “Trucker.” He released a breath. “Emma.” His voice echoed slightly as he quickly backed up until he was completely out of the cupboard and able to stand up.

I glanced down at the cupboard he’d come from. “Hi, Kacen.” My voice was soft. My cheeks heated slightly, making me wish I weren’t so shy.
“Don’t I get a hug?” He leaned against the counter, holding his arms out.

I nodded once, stepping closer to him. If I stood on my very tippy toes, I could wrap my arms around his neck. He easily scooped me up, and I clung to him, wrapping my legs around his waist to keep from falling. “You need to get a haircut,” I giggled, running my fingers through his sandy hair. He usually wore it so short that you couldn’t tell that it was naturally curly.

He chuckled, nodding in agreement. “Yeah. I’ve been a bit busy lately.” He sat me on the counter, standing between my legs so that we were nearly eye level with each other.

“What were you doing down there?” I glanced down at the open cupboard for emphasis.

“Looking for something to cook with.” He sighed with exasperation. My eyes widened. Had someone else cooked in his kitchen? Did the others even know how to cook? Kacen set me back on the floor. “Have you gone to see Nix, yet?” His gaze wandered around the kitchen before settling on me again. I shook my head and he gently pushed me towards the doorway that led to the family room. “Go find him, Babe.” As I started to head down the hallway, he added, “Let him know that if I can’t find my skillet, I’m going to wring his neck.”

“Um…” I paused with huge eyes. I couldn’t tell him that. Kacen had already turned his attention back to another cupboard, saving me from answering him.

Rook stepped into the kitchen empty handed. “All your stuff is in your room.”

“Thank you!” I wrapped my arms around his waist, squeezing tightly.

He grunted. “No problem, Em.”

Hurrying through the doorway, I could see Nix’s bare foot on the arm of the couch. The sound was off on the T.V., but Nix seemed to be watching the T.V. anways. I doubted that Nix would hear it if I snuck up on him. As I tip toed towards the couch, I ducked down so that he wouldn’t see me coming.

“Boo!” I jumped up, leaning over the back of the couch. Nix jumped, his dark hair falling into his eyes.

He grabbed me, pulling me over the back of the couch and into his arms. I squealed in surprise, making him flinch slightly. His grip on me didn’t loosen, though. “Hey, Em.”

“Did you miss me?” My eyes searched his face, waiting for his answer.

“Always.” His dark eyes were sincere, and he kissed my nose, surprising another giggle out of me. Heavy footsteps approached from the kitchen. Nix rolled over, hiding me between him and the back of the couch. “You can’t have her! She’s mine!”

I smothered a giggle with my hand. Kacen’s voice came from the doorway. “I was just coming to see if you guys were hungry.”

I quickly shook my head no. Nix propped himself up with an elbow so that he could see Kacen. “I am. Emma says no.”

Kacen was suddenly standing over the back of the couch when I looked up. “What did you eat for breakfast?”

I flushed, knowing he wouldn’t approve. “Um…” My forefingers tapped together as I looked up at him sheepishly.

“Emma…” His stern tone made my eyes fly up to meet his crystal blue ones.

“Lucky Charms…” I finally admitted.

He shook his head, “I’ll fix you something as well.”

“But-” I started to protest.

“No buts, Em.” Kacen stalked out of the room, muttering to himself about inadequate nutrition.

I glanced up at Nix, biting my lip uncertainly. “Is he upset with me?”

Nix snorted as he sat up, “No. You know how he gets about food, though.” I nodded. We’d been friends long enough to know how Kace had grown up. He’d had to learn how to cook for himself, or he would have starved. He’d taken an interest in cooking, and did most of the cooking for the guys now.

Nix helped me sit up as Rook stepped into the room. “Em, why don’t you go unpack.” His tone told me that it was more of a command than a suggestion. I scrambled off the couch, giving him a salute before heading down the long hallway to my room.

I smiled to myself as he chuckled. I liked making them laugh.

My gaze slowly moved about the room. My bed was surprisingly already made, with the headboard shoved up against the wall. The walk-in closet had a small shelving system at the back, which I put all of my jeans and shorts on. I had a small bin that I put on one of the shelves to hold my bras and underwear. All my shirts, sweatshirts, and dresses got hung up with hangers that I’d brought from home. I lined my shoes up like little soldiers along the floor of the closet, smiling when I had all but the last box unpacked. I had definitely saved the best for last.

I opened the flaps of the final box, cringing at the sound of the cardboard rubbing together. I set the box on my computer chair to empty the contents. A variety of pens, pencils, and notebooks were laid on the desk. Setting my pink laptop on my desk, I smiled with delight. My room was now perfect.

Re: Emma Adventures

I like it, I can’t really think of anything else to say.

Re: Emma Adventures

If there were any one criticism I’d offer, it’s that you have too many “I” action sentences. From a literary perspective, this is wearying. “I did this. I did that. I thought this. I thought that.” Consider rephrasing a bit, offering up catalysts at the front end of your sentences like, “When so-and-so did this, I thought…”, for example. A steady stream of “I did/thought/wished/etc…” reads more like a news report from first person.

Re: Emma Adventures

Thank you. I went back and fixed the first chapter. hopefully I’ll be able to write another chapter soon, but it was definitely good to get that feedback after only the first chapter.

Re: Emma Adventures

Homophones (or spellcheck?) played their trick on you: “Let him know that if I can’t find my skillet, I’m going to ring his neck.” Should be wring, not ring.

It seems like Em is moving into a shared house with close friends. My biggest confusion so far has been due to Nix and Rook. They both seem to have similar personalities and act similarly as well. Could you perhaps use their name a little more often rather than “he”, or find a way to make them seem more distinct?

I think I can see where this story is going. I’m not yet sure what the conflict will be though, and look forward to seeing the direction you take.

Re: Emma Adventures

Thank you. For some reason, wring didn’t look like an actual word to me. :confused:

Yes, I do hope to make their personalities stand out more, but I’ll make sure to use names more often until they do.

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure where this story is going. It’s just a fun story that’s been playing around in my mind. The original story using these characters deals pretty heavily with bullying, but that won’t be the theme for this story.

Re: Emma Adventures

Adding to my post and others I did notice that I found this hard to read. I first thought it was because I was tired but I now agree with the others. The narration doesn’t flow right. I can’t think of anything to add that hasn’t been said so far.

It’s too early in the story for me to really say anything about that. The characters seem likable if a little flat but we’ve only just met them.

I like it and I think I might continue to like it as it goes on.

Re: Emma Adventures

I actually love the tone you’re setting here more than I thought. I’d never expected to feel so at ease reading this.

Re: Emma Adventures

A couple of side notes:
I suck with titles. This isn’t the actual title of the story, but I don’t want people to be able to google the title and find this story along with the real version… admittedly, there’s a very tiny chance of that actually happening, but there is still a chance.

My goal is to get one update a week out. It might not sound like a lot, but I’m actively working on three other stories.

I appreciate all the feedback I’ve received so far. I’m hoping that it’ll help me become a better writer, and hopefully it’ll become more natural to fix these things as I go.

Thank you. Hopefully I can make this better. I read a story on here a few days ago that made me think, “This is really well written! I wish I could write like this!”… but then I sit down to write and mentally I know how they did it, but I can’t seem to make it happen.

Each character does have their own personality, and I hope I can make them shine as the story progresses. If they continue to seem flat, hopefully someone will call me out on it.