Counting the MinutesSix months, four days, eight hours and nine minutes.
A really thoughtful piece of art. I like that you use repetition throughout, and repetition is indeed a very good way to often make readers know what is going on, as humans learn from repetition. It makes us remember.
I also like how you managed to add such a short story in there, and how you change between italics and normal text. By starting on a new line also gives this feeling of fragmentation, that helps to increase the sense of despair of the unnamed narrator is describing.
The topic that you choose is also good. Death and loss are very powerful themes to work with but it might hard to always create an impact on the reader but I think you managed to do that well here by giving us bits and pieces of the narrator's past.
The way you chose to present the story is original. Brief and to the point, but yet gives us all the vital information we need to understand what is going on.
My only real complaint here is that the technique could sometimes be a bit better. The counting on the clock is disconnected from the mentioning of time that passed by that far exceeds the time of a clock. I initially thought it were months the narrator was thinking of, so that is something you could perhaps clarifying somehow without losing the essentials of your piece. It is also unclear what caused the separation between this man and woman and it is only from reading the comments that I understand it was death. Unless it was a deliberate choice to make it unclear I suggest it is also something might want to clarify somehow.
Overall a very thoughtful piece with great impact on the reader but could use some polishing in terms of technique to make the reader a bit less confused.
Thanks for the critique, I love hearing what I have to improve on!
I was trying to be a tad confusing in parts, just to make the reader think a little, but with a little re-editing perhaps it'll read easier...
Yes, I understand that the confusion was perhaps meant to be deliberate, but then one should ask oneself whether the confusion adds or detracts to the overall impression and understanding of the piece. I recently wrote a flash fiction focused on writing in the negative as I was interested to deliberately withholding information from the reader as to create a sense of mystery, while writing in the negative is generally speaking a no no because it's usually a sign of lack of creativity.
Similarly, it can work out to be deliberately confusing to reflect a certain mood or setting, but being too confusing can also make your reader lose interest since they don't know what's going on. It's a fine lead to tread and it's just something I think can be learnt from practice, when it works and when it doesn't and when enough is enough.