Hi! magnolia_magic here with your requested review, finally!
Okay, truth time. Is this really your first time writing angst? Because if so, you're a natural at it. The emotional intensity of it really got across well, and even though Myrtle is portrayed as one of the sillier characters in the HP series, I found myself fully convinced by your more intense take on her. So in response to your concern about whether this is believable, I would have to say yes!
Let's start at the beginning. I really liked what you did with the italicized words when I first read this, because they really set up a dark feel that carried throughout the story. But they seem almost separate form the rest of the narrative. By the end of the story, I didn't understand how the beginning tied into Myrtle's experience, and I think that's an essential connection for readers to make. The four words that seem (to me, anyway) to relate most to Myrtle are "Broken," "Empty," "Sorrow," and "Lifeless." If it were me, I'd use those four words and take out the rest, just to streamline and clarify.
As for the narrative, I was completely pulled in by your writing! Like I said, I've never really thought of Myrtle as a serious character before, but you've done a great job of exploring the darker side of this "immortality" that she has.
"Come and take my empire of dust, and I'll take your breaking heart and your tears. I will take your pain and your misery, because it is all a part of life. But, I will also take your joys, your firsts and your lasts. I will take your life, if you would wish death over it."
^This paragraph is a killer. I think this is the point when I was totally convinced that yep, this is Myrtle speaking. She loves life; she craves it, even. And it must be torture for her to watch all the students grow and change and live, while she's forced to stay the same forever. You really did an incredible job of getting that across, and I was just so terribly sad for Myrtle. I mean, in the books she always did seem very lonely, but I never really thought about it until I read this. You've really made me think about Myrtle in a new way here, and I was very touched by her story.
One other thing I feel like I should mention: there are some instances when you start to use "you" in the narrative, as if Myrtle is addressing someone specific. In the paragraph above I understood that she was thinking of the girls in the bathroom, but the line that begins, "Alas, your cries won't pierce my ears..." isn't as clear. Who is the "you" in this instance? The writing is beautiful, but a little clarification there might not go amiss; it would make for a smoother read in that spot.
I always like to comment on endings, since that's what stays with me the longest. Yours is brilliant, I think :) Those three single lines are perfectly sparse, and they add to the loneliness and hopelessness that Myrtle feels. Wonderful job there!
I'm so glad I read this, and I can see why Dee chose you as one of her top 3 in this challenge! Awesome job!
Author's Response: Maggie! :) Your reviews do make me smile a LOT.
Thanks a lot :) I know how we all tend to look her over, but when I got the quote, this was all I could think of! It is my first time. I'm glad you liked it!
You have a great point there. I've been meaning to cut down the number of words and establish some sort of link, and you've pointed out exactly how I can go about this.
I'm glad my writing pulled you in. it makes me happy when i'm told that my writing is engaging. I'm glad I left you feeling touched and got you thinking about this!
Well, thanks again. To clarify, the you is said in a very general manner. To nobody in particular, but it could be used to address anybody, because it applies to most people :)
Wow. Thank you! I think endings have that impact. They are lasting and powerful. I'm glad you liked how I chose to end this.
Haha, well thanks :)
This is a lovely review.