I'm working on the introduction to a short story and I'm interested in some feedback/constructive critisism. Please feel free to tell me what you think....here it is....
Father is a geologist. He finds rocks, polishes them, looks at them, and puts them on a shelf in his den down the hall from my room. He has a lot of shelves. When one gets crowded, he builds another. He clunks down to the basement where his tool bench is and begins the process. And it’s a long process. I can’t decide what he enjoys more…polishing rocks or building shelves? Years ago, when I was far too small to be paid attention to, I used to follow him and peer through the open staircase; hoping for a glimpse of the table saw that amazed me. And yet, once that awful noise began, the fear of seeing fingers soar through the air, never failed to send me into a dead sprint up the basement stairs.
Mother tended to ignore the whole routine; the relentless polishing, and building seemed rather silly to her. He’d show off a new “specimen” and she’d oo and ahh like he wanted, but when his back was turned, she’d wink at me. Our little secret…“we don’t want to make Daddy feel bad!” As Father played with his rocks and built an excessive amount of shelves, my mother put on pretty dresses, checked her hair in the hall mirror and slipped out the back door, on her way to see the clients. I didn’t care about clients. They were simply voices on the telephone, mysterious callers taking up too much of mother’s attention. Now the polishing, that I was enthralled by. I couldn’t get enough of those rocks…what began as boring, gray, chunks of who-knows-what, transformed into shiny and exciting treasures. Petoskey stones emerged from beneath his diligent hands and Geodes were cracked open to reveal dazzling masterpieces. For hours on end, Father would sit in his den, books covering his desk, cascading over his legs onto the floor, and I would watch; waiting, hoping for that discreet invitation…the heavy groan and stretch, a slight tilt of the head, or even better an acknowledgment. Whenever it came, no matter what appearance it took, I was always ready. I’d peak in, delighted with the chance to explore his private chamber. On tip-toes I’d slowly allow my fingers to roam the shelves, tenderly holding and touching the precious stones.
Some days the signal never came. On those long and dreary afternoons I would sit cross-legged just outside the den door and imagine I was one of his rocks. Dull, gray, uninteresting…just waiting for my moment. Waiting for that instant when I would get picked up, when I would be examined. And then, under the attentive eyes and gentle hands of my father, be transformed into a shiny treasure…an exciting masterpiece.
It was during one of those long, dreary afternoons, that it happened.