Here are my comments, such as they are. Some may be helpful, others not (though I hope the majority of them are constructive).
- I'll use an asterisk where critical personal preference issues are mentioned (and I promise to only mention what I consider to be critical matters of PP...not mundane stuff that does you no good).
- As far as the aforementioned first sentence goes, *I'm not sure if 'mushroomed' is the right descriptive word for suns (unless you're talking about actual mushroom clouds, and 'suns' is the true descriptive word).
- The way your second sentence is organized bothered me more than the first (which didn't really bother me at all during the initial reading). As it stands, it sounds like the whispers were tapping on the bus windows, not other passengers. I understood what you meant after reading it again, but was thrown off-course the first time through.
- Again, the use of 'afterimages' makes me think of thermonuclear detonations...'mushroomed' got me going on that track. That, coupled with Kevin's surprise at the suns' appearance. However, I tend to jump to martial conclusions more often than not and could be completely wrong.
- If the bus riders are indeed witnessing some kind of massive explosion, you should probably take brilliance into account. Simply put, if I were to look directly at a nuclear-scale explosion from even a 'safe' distance, I would be blinded (and permanently, if I were close enough to see the area or city where the bomb went off). If the 'suns' are not weapon detonations, this whole point is moot, and should be thoroughly ignored.
- The last sentence of the first paragraph is in present tense, I think, while the rest of it is in past tense.
- The first sentence *sounds a little too abrupt to me. Perhaps a simple 'and' after the second comma would help the flow a bit. This is just personal preference again, but I thought I'd mention it anyway (jus' tryin' to be helpful).
- I really liked the rest of the second paragraph. Very visceral...very emotional. Not too complicated, or too simple. I don't think this piece starts out on a 'negative note,' per se. It's not happy, to be sure, but I don't think that was what you were after, anyway.
-As far as hinting at pending speculative elements...if the mushrooming suns are detonations not of a nuclear nature, that is *certainly on the speculating side of things. Advanced energy weapons perhaps? Don't answer that.
In conclusion, I think this piece (and the main character) has definite potential. Only a small amount of polishing would enhance it immensely.
"The difference between a writer and someone who says they want to write is merely the width of a postage stamp."
[This message has been edited by Inkwell (edited November 02, 2005).]