Drowning Sirens: Prologue
I know I promised you a critique on your one piece, but that was before I noticed it was poetry. I'm horrible at critiquing poetry since I don't know much about how to exactly "edit" it, and I feel that it is a genre that is more open to its own formatting, voice, etc. So, instead, I took a look through your gallery and decided to leave something over here instead!
As always, you have a beautiful writing style that flows well and keeps the reader interested and engaged in the story. There's hardly ever anywhere where I have to stop and re-read a sentence or paragraph because it didn't make sense and I believe that overall, you really get the reader into the story right away, and keep their interest throughout the entirety of the piece. For that, very well done!
I think the first thing I'm going to be nitpicky about is adverbs. There were quite a few of them throughout this Prologue that can easily be taken out with another edit through. (Needless words pop up all the time in our early drafts, anyway!) If you give your work a read aloud, you'll be more apt to catch these words and be able to eliminate them. I think the ones that I'm stressing the most in this piece, however, are those pesky adverbs. They're alright every once in a while, but too many can start to bog the writing down and overburden the reader.
Here's just an example of some of them (trust me, when they're made aware of, they stand out and eventually, you'll want to strike them all):
"She inhaled deeply and strolled into the living room, wiping her hands on a damp rag. Mrs. Waverly stopped just in front of the bay window facing the ocean basin. Off in the distance she could see the docks and a few fishing boats barely returning from their day's work. She pressed her fingertips against the glass and smiled warmly as the small heads of her children bobbed across a hill of murky white sand.
Mrs. Waverly waved to them generously as they held up their toy buckets in triumph. The face of her eight year-old son was smug and confident while her four-year old daughter's was flushed and giddy. They lifted their bare feat heavily until they reached the soft earth just in front of their house. Mrs. Waverly unlocked the front door and held it open while her children skipped inside. The sand from their feet scattered across the wooden floors as they haphazardly tossed their buckets of loot onto a large coffee table in the center of the living room..."
Try reading these sentences with and without the adverbs. You may find that in some places, the meaning remains the same and the writing is smoother without them. (Personally, if any, I'd suggest leaving the "boats barely..." one to keep the alliteration, but the others very well may be able to go).
There were a few small things with punctuation here and there (and "format" things), but again, very small that could be cleaned up with another run through. Just as an example here's one that I came across: "However; Max was assuredly there to shatter it." The ";" should just be a "," in this instance, since the however isn't attached to the sentence before it. For the "formatting" things, the only suggestion I would make is that the words that are bold just be switch to italics for emphasis. There were some places where this was done and others it wasn't, so just be sure to keep it consistent!
Now, on to plot stuff!
It sounds and looks like you have a seriously interesting story unfolding. The reader is left with so many questions at the end of this chapter that they want answered. It's definitely a great way to open a story, though I may say that it works well as a first chapter instead of a "prologue" (but I've yet to see the first chapter to see if that's truly the case or not).
If anything, my critique here would be that this starts off as a typical day for the family and suddenly becomes this strange and frightening experience. This can work, but I feel like in this situation, it needs to slow down a little. Really build up Mrs. Waverly's emotions when she realizes that her children may have been in danger. It just felt a little quick and rushed more towards the end when these issues were being brought up, and I feel like if they were slowed down a tad, it would help tie the peace of the beginning with this unsettled feeling at the end.
Also, I feel that personally, the last paragraph can be cut. I like where this piece ends with Max saying "H-he was dead." It's a much harder note for the reader to end on and invokes a feeling that we lose when the next paragraph comes, ending more on that "peaceful" note in the way it was written again. I'd say to cut the last paragraph and end it with Max's response-- but that's just my opinion!
Aside from those small issues, I think that this is a good start. If the pace slows down a little and the adverbs are cleaned up, I think you'll have a stronger piece to work with here. Characterization at this point seems to work, so no complaints there. You also do a great job with showing the area instead of telling, so that's another plus! We are quickly grounded in this environment.
I wish you luck with this project and you revisions! I love the title, by the way, and I'll definitely be reading on when I get some free time. Good job and best of luck!