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gerkintrigg
April 14th, 2012, 02:39 PM
By way of an introduction, I need to make this guy's life unbelievably tragic. I want all the children to seem so similar-looking that one can be replaced without Miss Spite noticing.

Orphan was an orphan. It was a very sad tale. He was given up as a baby, barely wiped clean of blood and afterbirth and left in a gauze bush in the derelict park, opposite Wincetown Orphanage. Miss Spite (the governess) was so understaffed and over full that she neglected to give the baby a name. When the balding man came to register the birth and asked Miss Spite what the boy was called, she simply barked at him 'He's an orphan!', before casually kicking one of the toddlers who was sticking a spit-dribbling finger in a live electricity wire that poked through a hole in the plaster. The balding man was afraid of Miss Spite's anger and so simply registered the boys name as 'Orphan'. For want of a better surname, Orphan had none and Miss Spite never had cause to fill in the paperwork to change it, so Orphan grew up, unloved and bitter.

When orphan was one year old, he was given a gift for his birthday. At least, it was probably his birthday (give or take a day or two), and it was likely that the package was for him.

When Orphan awoke on his birthday, each year and found a new, brown paper parcel tied roughly with an ivy vine at the foot of his side of the grey bed sheets.

Orphan knew that at some point in the next few days, it would be the anniversary of his birth and he would be receiving some kind of odd artefact. It had happened for at least four years, but beyond that, things were a bit hazy.

When he was old enough to ask, Miss Spite (who was still unmarried and now very old) reluctantly told him that it was probably a gift, but everyone was curious as to who would be sending them.

The first year, the parcel arrived in the cot, next to Orphan's head. When Miss Spite tore off the paper and ivy vine, she saw a small bundle of soft, white feathers. She used this to fluff her own, limp pillow. What use would a baby have for feathers?

The second year, the parcel was filled with seeds. Miss Spite baked the ground seeds into bread, which she toasted and dunked in her soup while the children had gruel. What use has a toddler for seeds?

The third year, Orphan received a shiny gold coin, though it was from a country that Miss Spite had never heard of. Nevertheless, she was quick to trade it with the antique dealer on Perch Road. What use has a young boy for a coin he cannot spend? And so it was until his eleventh birthday. Orphan always received a mysterious gift, always in the same brown paper and always tied delicately, in an ivy vine.

On the day that our story begins, Orphan blinked his eyes and found the dormitory still black. The ankle in his face and the knee in his ribs were twitching and it seems likely that Jimmy was still asleep. Jimmy often slept like that; diagonal and unyeildingly stiff. It provided a nightly annoyance for Orphan who simply wanted to sleep, but at least Jimmy was nice when he was awake. Jimmy was the only nice thing about the orphanage, but even then, his pleasant nature only lasted during daylight hours.

Jimmy Bones was a good name for someone whose joints were as pointy as Jimmy's. His thin frame suggested a skeleton had taken up residence under a blanket of skin, and nobody had been good enough to tell it that it was dead. All the boys in the large, grey room had long hair to match their long limbs and this included Jimmy. A few months ago, Orphan had convinced Jimmy to sleep the other way around so that his hair would not tickle his nose. Te dust made him sneeze without inhaling Jimmy's hair. Each was as gangly and thin as the next and it was hard to pick any feature that allowed Miss Spite any means by which to recognise one child from another. Often, Miss Spite considered how easy it would be to swap one of these horrible children for another. She would not even notice. Why should she care? As long as she kept getting paid to house the brats, they could stay, but heaven help them if they caused any problems!

hkirsch
April 15th, 2012, 06:40 PM
Hello gerkintrigg, I think you have an interesting concept going on here. It is easy to picture a callous governess running this orphanage where she could care less about their true well-being, only giving them enough to stay alive. One thing I could give by the way of advice: What time period is this? Is this some time in the future, past, or current? It helps at the beginning to specify some clue as to which one it is to give the reader a broader image of the setting.
Besides that, there are some small grammatical corrections to be made- for example, in Paragraph 2 you do not capitalize Orphan's name. Also, in the past paragraph, you say "te" instead of "the".
I also noticed that you switched tense at least once- in general, you are using past tense, but toward the end when you are speaking about Jimmy, you switch to present tense.
But besides those minor things, I think you have a sound concept! Good job.

gerkintrigg
April 15th, 2012, 06:55 PM
Thanks for the feedback and great advice. I have changed these things on the final version. Thanks again.

lowprofile300
April 15th, 2012, 09:48 PM
By way of an introduction, I need to make this guy's life unbelievably tragic. I want all the children to seem so similar-looking that one can be replaced without Miss Spite noticing.

Orphan was an orphan. It was a very sad tale (the reader doesn't know about the tale yet, so it can't be sad. Find another place in the story to put that statement). He was given up as a baby, barely wiped clean of blood and afterbirth and left in a gauze bush in the derelict park, opposite Wincetown Orphanage. Miss Spite (the governess) was so understaffed and over full that she neglected to give the baby a name. When the balding man came to register the birth and asked Miss Spite what the boy was called, she simply barked at him 'He's an orphan!', before casually kicking one of the toddlers who was sticking a spit-dribbling finger in a live electricity wire that poked through a hole in the plaster. The balding man was afraid of Miss Spite's anger and so simply registered the boys name as 'Orphan'. For want of a better surname, Orphan had none and Miss Spite never had cause to fill in the paperwork to change it, so Orphan grew up, unloved and bitter.

When orphan was one year old, he was given a gift for his birthday. At least, it was probably his birthday (give or take a day or two), and it was likely that the package was for him.

When Orphan awoke on the morning of each one of his birthdays, each year andhe found a new, brown paper parcel tied roughly with an ivy vine at the foot of his side of the grey bed sheets.

Orphan knew that at some point in the next few days, it would be the anniversary of his birth and he would be receiving some kind of odd artefact artifact. It had happened for at least four years, but beyond that, things were a bit hazy.

When he was old enough to ask, Miss Spite (who was still unmarried and now very old) reluctantly told him that it was probably a gift, but everyone was curious as to who would be sending them.

The first year, the parcel arrived in the cot, next to Orphan's head. When Miss Spite tore off the paper and ivy vine, she saw a small bundle of soft, white feathers. She used this to fluff her own, limp pillow. What use would a baby have for feathers?

The second year, the parcel was filled with seeds. Miss Spite baked the ground seeds into bread, which she toasted and dunked in her soup while the children had gruel. What use has a toddler for seeds?

The third year, Orphan received a shiny gold coin, though it was from a country that Miss Spite had never heard of. Nevertheless, she was quick to trade it with the antique dealer on Perch Road. What use has a young boy for a coin he cannot spend? And so it was until his eleventh birthday. Orphan always received a mysterious gift, always in the same brown paper and always tied delicately, in an ivy vine.

On the day that our story begins, Orphan blinked his eyes and found the dormitory still black. The ankle in his face and the knee in his ribs were twitching and it seems likely that Jimmy was still asleep. Jimmy often slept like that; diagonal and unyeildingly stiff. It provided a nightly annoyance for Orphan who simply wanted to sleep, but at least Jimmy was nice when he was awake. Jimmy was the only nice thing about the orphanage, but even then, his pleasant nature only lasted during daylight hours.

Jimmy Bones was a good name for someone whose joints were as pointy as Jimmy's. His thin frame suggested a skeleton had taken up residence under a blanket of skin, and nobody had been good enough to tell it that it was dead. All the boys in the large, grey room had long hair to match their long limbs and this included Jimmy. A few months ago, Orphan had convinced Jimmy to sleep the other way around so that his hair would not tickle his nose. Te The dust made him sneeze without inhaling Jimmy's hair. Each was as gangly and thin as the next and it was hard to pick any feature that allowed Miss Spite any means by which to recognise one child from another. Often, Miss Spite considered how easy it would be to swap one of these horrible children for another. She would not even notice. Why should she care? As long as she kept getting paid to house the brats, they could stay, but heaven help them if they caused any problems!

I liked the story, but the ending left me hanging. It was rather abrupt. Do you plan to continue the story in the future?

jakebarrington
April 17th, 2012, 11:52 PM
I agree with low profile, it makes me want to read more. That's a good thing, but it would be nice to give us more. :-D

abuistrago
April 18th, 2012, 12:37 AM
I liked it!! Definitely left me wanting to read more since the concept of replacing a boy with another and their caregiver not even noticing it is interesting. Now, I'm a little confused. In the beggining of your story you say that you want to make the boys so similar that one can be replaced without Miss Spite noticing. Why is she often thinking about this in the last paragraph? Maybe, instead of her thinking about it you could describe a little more how the kinds coloring, or personalities are so similar that Miss Spite often confused the boys.

I also agree with lowprofile300 about the "It was a very sad tale" part. You don't have to tell the reader this at this point. I think by reading how he was abandoned and not even given a name they will get that it's a sad story.

:)

grimreaper
April 18th, 2012, 02:59 PM
I like the concept of the story. And yes, the end was rather abrupt. I do hope you will continue the story.
I agree with lowprofile300 that you shouldn't write the "sad tale" part . Infact, I do not think it would be a good idea to tell the readers , anywhere in the story, what they are supposed to feel. You should write it so that the readers will automatically feel what you want them to feel , instead of being told. Just a personal opinion though.:sunny:

Mick Bray
April 18th, 2012, 03:47 PM
This story is right up my street, as i like this kind of bleak storytelling. i would have personally liked to have a little more descriptive narration of the setting for the story to really draw me in to the locations, and although some other posters don't seem as keen on the abrupt ending, i actually like it. i think it closes off the story that you set out to tell nicely.

RedSky
April 18th, 2012, 07:31 PM
Very good, It is very pulling besides the few grammar, but also depressing at parts... I advise you add some more action or color if you know what I mean