Her I think the last line is the best possible last line for the story.
Me A ?
Her The psychological profile of the woman, mostly the introduction, is really well done. Believable, definitely conjures the sort, but still particular enough to make her an individual character rather than a boring, faceless representative of "women that age". What I thought didn't work as well was the transition among the women: Anna goes and gets her purse from the garbage and returns confident and unabashed by her nakedness, that works, but why is the girl suddenly sheepish and obedient? It's almost as if the credit card has some power over her, which would totally work, and I get, and you could even say it carries over into her remarks about the sandals. But it goes by so fast, and without any discussion, it kinda seems like I'm searching for that explanation, clutching at straws.
Me I thought it's more the unexpected part. She thought she's doing something wrong and the woman returning was, for her, the avenger.
Her But we have no background of the girl. We don't know anything about her save what we can glean from her half of the dialogue (which is a little odd, have you ever in your life heard a teenage girl tell an older woman who wasn't outright sobbing "there, there"?! I haven't).
Me We know she's young.
Her We do. Nevertheless, this 180 turn...yes, it's unexpected, but it feels very sketched, whereas the rest is fleshed out.
Me Do you know what "the avenger" is ?
Her Dunno the avenger trope (I assume it's a tv trope thing.)
Me It's not a tv trope per se, but it is a trope - I think mostly from Russian literature. People that figure they ought to be punished will randomly identify some person/thing/situation as that which will punish them. The girl acts as if "if the woman comes back we're fucked" was part of her operating system.
Her Okay, I can see that. But if that's what the girl is doing, it seems far more likely that she's identified the credit card, and not the woman, as this thing which will punish her.
Me The credit card stands pretty well as a symbol of the sort of authority which prevents her from bossing older women around. She... has no credit, so to speak.
Her Yeah. And that'd be great. But it could use at least a smidgeon of flesh, the girl's eyes traveled across the gold surface of the card, and she visibly swallowed her heart.
Me I think that fucks things over. I think there's too much card in there as it is.
Her Something. It's like she's one of those people hypnotised on stage, someone snaps a finger and she's totallly different.
Me But girlies do this all the time ?
Her I've never in my life seen someone pull such a fast and complete 180 as is described there.
Me She is being X and then the script in her head runs out and now she's 13.
Her Okay...but that's for actresses and the mentally insane. The girl could be either, sure. But why don't we get even a hint of knowing?
Me A, seriously ? Never seen it irl ?
Her Srsly have not!
Me Hm, let's see. Ok : girl takes her car to be fixed at garage. Bill comes out as 1850 bucks. She decides to tell the workers off! So she goes in there, throws a hissy fit, they point out to her that it's the wrong garage. Now what ? She continues cussing at them to fucking move the garages around already ?
Her Not at all. But we see her register what they're saying. We can see her humiliation.
Me Ok, different one. Girl works as a barista. On the street corner is old blind guy. Shop owner sends him a cup of coffee every morning. The girl resents having to go deliver it to him, so she secretly spits in it. Every time. One day she forgets, and the blind man tells her it's nice to have spitless coffee for once. Is she like, "fuck you old man" ?
Her Not at all. But we see her register what he says, we can see her shame. Moreover, the man tells her! He doesn't just take a sip and smile and the girl instantly starts crawling on all fours back to the coffee shop to get him a slice of coffee cake.
Me And if he did, and she did ?
Her It'd be a dubious story lol. Not a bad one necessarily, but dubious!
Me I happen to think it'd be pretty good. It's not an affidavit after all. Story is meant to be read by people who use their head.
Her Well now. If you're going to go down that route we'll have to ask you why you then began the story with a very nice stockpile of psychological characterization.
Me Hehe I guess so. Story of Anna : "My name is Anna, I screamed. Fin."
Her And another thing! "The device peeped" - to peep is generally to look, beeped works much better (techncially people describe the noises of baby birds as "peeping" but it's pretty limited to that specific usage, and it only just now even occurred to me it could be possible that's what you meant).
Me I meant to suggest looking. Her thing is see through.
Her Can you "peep" at something that is plainly visible and right in front of your face? Generally a peep is a sneaky, unnoticed, fast look. If your head is stuck between two tits you can stare, glare, look, gaze, etc. You can't really peep. Unless! you're holding your eyes tight shut the whole time and you only open them for a splitsecond. So I dunno in the end. ;p
Me But listen. The idea is that the thing beeps.
Me I write it as peeps, which is a suggestive stylistical license.
Her Yeah. it doesn't work for me, what can I tell you.
Me *Maybe it's not for you*
Her (Well actually I'll tell you what I can tell you: what I told you. Lol.)
Me What do you figure she does, professionally ?
Her Lessee. She runs an unsuccessful little business of bs, like....a dog treat bakery, or window dressing designs, something like that.
Me O not in a thousand years. Such a woman wouldn't be either smart or abstract enough. She's an heiress, an ex cinema star, she's like Cesaria Evora in 1980.
Me Haha fails to convince ?
Me Why ?
Her She has not the entitlement of the heiress nor the love of attention of the actress.
Me Walking naked in public ? Are you kidding me ? And the heiress is typically self loathing, not entitled.
Her Aha. Well, my impressions then, based on whatever I've cobbled together after not actually knowing any heirs.