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Hello! I found this in the Literature Critique Thread. Please ignore the star rating. :)

I think this a vignette that accurately captures how the mind works when it's in shock. How do you respond to a tragedy that isn't yours, or even one that is yours? It seemed very realistic to me that the narrator would have this rushing series of thoughts, and also be trying to suppress hysterical laughter.

I actually did understand the literal situation here -- that a friend of the protagonist lost her brother in a driving accident, which you allude to in the beginning and bring home at the end. I do think, though, that the whole thing can be pared down and focused a bit. I think the place where it veers off for me is when the narrator starts talking about the dreams with the spiders and the paragraph following that one, because you go into great detail about all that when the point isn't spiders, it's death, and how the narrator isn't close enough to death to understand what the friend is going through. I think if you keep that central idea in mind, then you can make this work a bit more narrow, and therefore more devastating in its impact.

Anyway, I hope this helps! :)
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