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People in the Wind (unreviewed/working title)[]

The wind blew. And blew. It refused to stop for anyone. No mercy was shown against the people who dared to brave the outside anymore.

The wind had not stopped for a long time.

Haley couldn’t remember the last time the wind stopped. It hadn’t stopped for her mother when they ran out of food. It hadn't stopped for her father when he went out to look for her mother. It certainly hadn’t stopped for her brother when his ‘friend’ was outside and asked to play.

Haley was on her own. It was just her and the wind.

Just her, and the wind, and the people in the wind.

The people in the wind were those who had been taken, those who were finished with their lifetime, and at times, those who never had existed in the first place. They were the things that called, the things that went bump in the night. The things that are unknown until it is too late. Few knew what lay behind the wind. Few knew this because the few that survived going outside were afflicted with a mentality that gave them paranoia and severe anxiety.

Haley sighed. She was getting lonely here in her house. It was boring all by herself. No one to talk to, no one to ask her how she’s doing. So she relied on her books. She had no phone. She was almost out of food. The weight of this, plus her family being... gone... did not help her situation. Haley had to do something to keep her mind off the people banging around outside.

Haley desperately hoped all the windows were still locked. Afraid, she did her daily check around the house for the windows. She lived in a flat, so when she returned back to the living room and all the windows were closed and locked, she sighed in relief.

There was a thump outside. Haley jumped and dashed to the bathroom. This was her ‘safe room,’ the one room without windows. There was one more thump, and then silence. She unlocked the door and turned on the TV. The news station blared, and she clicked the volume down. Her family had always watched the nightly news together.

“Still unknown and still at large, the Wind Plague is still around. We have yet to find out what’s causing this phenomenon, and why it is so deadly.” The anchor taps her papers on the desk. “We hope you’re staying safe out there. I- We- know this is a hard time to be alone. And again--” A scream was heard from the background of the television set. Haley shrieked and covered her eyes. She assumed the wind had gotten in and destroyed the place.

The connection was lost.

Haley’s eyes widened, her heart pounding. Sweat dripped off her forehead, and she couldn’t catch her breath.

“...shirt, not again-” Haley was having another panic attack. They had gotten more frequent, more regular for her. She still refused to swear, even when she was in danger. Her breathing got quicker, and the banging outside started again. Haley stumbled to the bathroom, sitting on the bathtub’s edge and leaning over. She kept breathing fast, and the wind kept hitting the side of the house. Eventually her breathing slowed, and she looked at her hands. They were shaking a little. Haley closed her eyes and sighed. She opened the door.

The wind blew gently against her face.

Haley screamed. She screamed a scream that echoed throughout the neighborhood. She screamed a scream that shook the house. She screamed, and the wind crept in. Into her mouth, into her eyes, into her one safe space. Into the one place Haley thought was safe.

We’re so glad you’ve decided to let us in..!’ the wind whispered.

Haley inhaled one last time.

Finally, she would see what her family saw.

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Te (talk) 14:53, 18 February 2022 (UTC)[]

Howdy there! I'm here to provide some feedback on your story draft!

I actually read this a while back, but never got around to doing my Workshop clearance routine, so here I am!

The concept here is a cool one. It feels like a fresh twist on the "Don't go outside" story trope. You rely heavily on the unknown, and are stingy with the details, which both helps and hinders the story in its own way.

I have a few minor issues with some of the sentence structure. Occasionally the wording comes off as a little bit janky. In the line "Just her, and the wind, and the people in the wind." for example. When listing things, it's typical to use a comma in place of 'and' for every listing except the final one. "One, two, and three." for example. In some cases you would use 'and' to conjoin something that is intended to be together during a list such as a sentence like this: "I have three sandwiches, one cheese, one ham and egg, and a turkey." In rare occasions, you could stylistically use 'and' during your listing, but I find it to detract, more often than not, from the flow.

This is just a personal stylistic advisement, but I find sometimes using 'and' to conjoin clauses is unnecessary, or has a propensity to be overused. In the sentence "The news station blared, and she clicked the volume down" you could instead say something like "The news station blared, so she clicked the volume down". It's not necessary, but it helps diversify the sentences a bit. If every other sentence is "this and that", "I went and did this", or "and then that happened" it can get a bit heavy on the 'ands'.

There's a lot that this story has to offer. I really enjoy the premise, the mystery, and the overarching dread. I assume Haley is quite young. A child maybe? I'd like to see that a little further illustrated. The "growing up too fast" angle that is brought about by dreadful or serious situations involving young people has a lot of potential for evoking emotional reactions.

In terms of the plot itself, I didn't quite find myself terribly scared, but there's a definitely a potential for more terror to be had. I think in bringing out Haley's innocence and age, you can really twist up the reader.

You've definitely got a good story here, and I look forward to seeing the finished product!