Arturo crouched in the dark sewer tunnel, wet to the skin and wondering, for the hundredth time, whether he was doing the right thing. The smell was overpowering, an unrelenting combination of sewage and decomposing fish, (I agree with the comment that asked why the sewer would smell like fish? I’ve never been in a sewer, so maybe I’m missing something…?) which literally brought tears to his eyes. In one hand he held a picture of his wife and two young daughters, taken last Christmas. His other hand drifted to his side, unconsciously feeling for the tumor that he knew was there. (New paragraph) Grimacing in pain, he (Arturo) readjusted (adujsted) the backpack on his shoulders and gathered himself. He knew what he was doing was wrong. This was insane. The five cellophane-wrapped bundles of marijuana on his back could not save him and his family. But he didn’t know what else to do. He thought about turning back. On one side of the tunnel was Mexico, his home. The other side of the tunnel was the United States, jail and free surgery. (New paragraph) “It won’t be too bad”, he tried to convince himself. “I’ll be home in a year.” (You only get one year for drug smuggling and illegal immigration? And how does he know he’ll go to jail, and not simply be deported?) He sat motionless, poised between two futures. With his heart hammering in his chest, he said a final silent prayer, not expecting an answer.
Critique: Now that’s interesting–I knew people immigrated to the US for health care, but I didn’t realize they’d try to get arrested so they could have surgery. Good sense of place. Strong sensory cues. I’m curious as to where it goes from here.
Would I ask for more? Depends on the genre. If it was suspense, maybe. If it was a conversion story, no.