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C.Gholy
April 26th, 2017, 12:25 PM
Emerald Oasis is the original title, but been thinking about changing it.


Emerald Oasis
Red roses gathered round in a pretty circle. The air was clean and therewas enough space to lounge at free will. Cleo Patrick smiled as he patted his mother's back.

"I think you will like it here, Mum."

Cleo's mum was Joyce Patrick, an eighty year old with the bounce and energyof a teenager. She had spent a miserable fortnight in hospital, andshe was sent to Emerald Oasis Nursing Home.

Joyce examined the large garden with beaming eyes. "I think I willlike it here as well. I never thought I would live in a place sobeautiful and with such magnificent garden."

Cleo chuckled. "I know you always said you wanted to live in a palace with a big garden. I'm not sure of this was what you had in mind, but we'll see."

"Thank you," Joyce said to her son in glee. "What would I dowithout you?"

"Well there is always Maxine and the kids." Cleo sighed and looked athis mother. "Mum... You're not mad at me are you?"

Joyce dropped her mouth in horror and quickly laughed. She cupped hischeeks and pinched his nose. "What? Me mad at you? Why, you've always been my favourite son."

"I'm your one and only son."

"Precisely."

"Well,"Cleo said. "I better get going. I need to pick the kids up from school."

"Very well my dear," Joyce said. Just as Cleo was about to leave the garden, Joyce chased him. "Oi you little bugger!" She puckered her lips together. "Where's my kiss?"

Cleo blushed. "I'm fifty!"

"I don't care," Joyce croaked, wrapping her arms aroundCleo."You'll always be my baby and you're never too old for a kiss from ya mam."

Shekissed her son's cheek and let her go. Even when Cleo didn't evenleave the room, she was missing him already. Everyday he was beginning to look more like his father, only a little bit slimmer and without the long beard.

Joyce's ears became attracted by the sound of rattling. She could see a young girl carrying a silver trolley filled with tea cups, saucers and steaming teapots. She was convinced the silver pot was winking at her. She thought her eyes were about to pop. How could teacups have eyes like that?

"Would you like a cup of tea Joyce?"

"Oh yes please," Joyce replied feeling the dryness in her voice. "I would love one."

"Great," the carer said. "Take a seat and I will make you one. "Joyce sat down on the nearest bench and crossed her legs. She watched the carer fill the teacup with tea and milk. "Do you take sugar?"

"No thanks. I'm sweet enough!"

"Here you go." The carer passed the cup over to Joyce.

"Thank you!"

The carer left and went inside. Before Joyce took a sip she had a look around and noticed that she was the only one in the garden. She wondered why such a big and beautiful garden was not being used. They could do so much with it. Joyce fancied the idea of having a picnicwith tiny sandwiches and cakes.

"This is a wonderful place," Joyce said to herself as she took herfirst sip of tea. "Ah! This is a lovely cup of tea."


Then she realized she wasn't alone when a white butterfly flew onto the tip ofthe saucer. Joyce jumped on her seat and leaned her face towards the butterfly. "Why hello there little one."

The butterfly turned around and she noticed that it wasn't a butterfly but a sweet pixie fairy. She was so sparkly with her bronze skin and her wavy hair contained all seven colours of the rainbow.

"A fairy!"

"Hello there," she spoke in a childish voice as she flew to the otherside of the saucer. "Welcome to Emerald Oasis, my name is Emily."

"I'm Patrick: Joyce Patrick. Wife of the late Oscar Patrick."

"Oscar Patrick?" Emily opened her mouth as she flickered her wings. "As in the bank manager?"

"How did you know?"

"The psychic fairy predicted your arrival."

"How many fairies are there?" Joyce asked. She felt as if she was reliving her childhood again.

"This garden is filled with fairies," Emily explained. "This garden is a wonderful place to live in. It seems that this is the first time you've seen a fairy."

Joyce nodded. "I've only seen fairies in the books that I loved as a child."

"Wow!" Emily fluttered around and sat on her knee. "Then you know about Thumbelina?"

"Yes," Joyce exclaimed with a smile. "Hans Christian Andersen wrotethat tale. I watched the film with my grandchildren as well."

"I bet he was a clever fairy."

"He was a human man actually."

Emily gasped. "Really? You're so smart. I always assumed the person who wrote it was a fairy."

Joyce shook her head. "Is there a fairy school around here?"

Emily nodded. "I'm too young to go. I have to wait for another year. I don't have many friends here."

"You don't?" Joyce was surprised. "Someone as beautiful and intelligent as you has no friends? Well if that's the case, I'll be your friend."

Emily started to fly around Joyce's silver curls. "Thank you so much Joyce. I promise that I will protect you."

"I don't think that will be necessary," Joyce insisted as she patted Emily's rainbow curls. "But thank you for the kind offer."

"You better drink your tea before it gets cold."

"Good idea."

When Joyce took her third sip of tea, a thought popped into her head. Emily the fairy was still there. "Emily, is there something that I need to be careful off?"

Emily nodded vigorously. "So many things to watch out for. Dragons,trolls, evil sorcerers and dark ninjas."

"Oh my!"

"They're not all bad though," Emily said as she sat on Joyce's shoulder. "But when they're angry, they can destroy things."

"What a shame." Joyce actually liked the sound of dragons and trolls loitering about. It made her think of the games that her grandchildren used to play.

"Oh they're coming," Emily whispered. "I have to go!"

Joyce turned her head and watched Emily puff away.

Another carer different to the one that served her tea approached her. "HelloJoyce, would you like to join us in the dining room for supper?"

"Sure!" Joyce stood up and followed the carer in to the dining room. She finishedher tea along the way. "I really like it here you know."

Joyce wasn't sure if the staff knew, but the home was enchanted. She couldn't wait to see what magic would reveal itself to her next.

C.Gholy
April 26th, 2017, 12:49 PM
Sorry about that. For some reason the gaps between words suddenly disapeared even when editing them into my word program they still came back. But I edited all the merged words I could find so it should be fixed now. People should be able to read it properly now.

Jack Semmes
April 26th, 2017, 04:49 PM
Not bad. i assume since you posted this, you are asking for critical reviews.

In that light I have one question; where is the conflict?

C.Gholy
April 26th, 2017, 06:19 PM
That would be cool. The conflict planned is that my character thinks that everything happening to her is real whilst others don't believe her.

bdcharles
April 27th, 2017, 11:00 AM
Hi,

As a grown man who is rather partial to stories of the fae, I quite like it. It seems that it written for the younger reader, but that's okay. No major spelling or punctuation issues. Dialogue is smooth enough.

I was a little thrown by the fact that "Cleo Patrick" (is that like Cleo Patra but a leprechaun or something? :) ) is male. Was this intentional?

Personally I would be inclined to drop in just a little more of the world as backdrop as well as having elements of the world simply described, or "being". I like your narration, but I think it could make it just that little smoother and less juddery if done that way; eg: Let's be Joyce and evoke some stuff through her eyes:

-------------
Red roses gathered round in a pretty circle. Wisps drifted through the clean air, and there was enough space to lounge at free will, as Cleo Patrick seemed to have found as he smiled and patted his mother's back.

"I think you will like it here, Mum."

Cleo's mum was Joyce Patrick, an eighty year old with the bounce and energyof a teenager. She had spent a miserable fortnight in hospital, and she was sent to Emerald Oasis Nursing Home.

Joyce examined the large garden, her beaming eyes tracing over clumps of lillies and nodding narcissi that bordered the a pretty pool. A small figure, a dragonfly perhaps, skimmed the surface with iridescent wings. "I think I will like it here as well. I never thought I would live in a place so beautiful and with such magnificent garden."
-------------

So there, in blue, I added some bits that show both movement in the world - to enliven it - and also the world in context with character, so that it's not a big info dump, but rather events, maybe revealing of character or story, happening against that world, thus depicting it while acting in it, invoking while narrating. It's like the difference between a ballet set against a beautifiul backdrop, or the backdrop itself being the show. Which would you rather spend an hour watching? It also gives you a little bit more room to express detail, and help us visualise, so it's not too choppy, as I found this bit below a bit abrupt:

"Cleo's mum was Joyce Patrick, an eighty year old with the bounce and energyof a teenager. She had spent a miserable fortnight in hospital, andshe was sent to Emerald Oasis Nursing Home."

I mean, why is she in this home? Because of a stay in hospital? In summary, don't be afraid of sketching out more of the world, as long as some of it is done in context of character some opther thing as opposed to just "was'ing" :) If, as Jack Semmes pointed out, you want to introduce some conflict - and for there be be a story worth telling, you probably need some and you seem to have some cued up - maybe drop that in there too; eg have the staff lightly mock Joyce's fairy delusions or something.

Anyway, hope this all helps. Good luck - seems like a decent start. :)


PS I don't know why some words are smooshed together. That happens sometimes.

Bard_Daniel
May 2nd, 2017, 03:35 AM
Interesting story with an intriguing concept and nice ending. I think that if you let the language flow a little more descriptively and combed back the dialogue a little you could really have a good story here.

Just my two cents! Thanks for sharing!!

C.Gholy
May 2nd, 2017, 12:48 PM
Thank you both.

plawrence
May 3rd, 2017, 01:04 AM
I see that you have the same problem that I had, so allow me to edit this to demonstrate.


Emerald Oasis
Red roses gathered round in a pretty circle. The air was clean and there was enough space to lounge at free will. Cleo Patrick smiled as he patted his mother's back.

"I think you will like it here, Mum.

His mum was Joyce Patrick, an eighty-year-old with the bounce and energy of a teenager. She had spent a miserable fortnight in hospital, and she was sent to Emerald Oasis Nursing Home.

She examined the large garden with beaming eyes. "I think I will like it here as well. I never thought I would live in a place so beautiful and with such magnificent garden."

He chuckled. "I know you always said you wanted to live in a palace with a big garden. I'm not sure of this was what you had in mind, but we'll see."

"Thank you," she said to her son in glee. "What would I do without you?"

"Well there is always Maxine and the kids." He sighed and looked at his mother. "Mum... You're not mad at me are you?"

She dropped her mouth in horror and quickly laughed. She cupped his cheeks and pinched his nose. "What? Me mad at you? Why, you've always been my favourite son."

"I'm your one and only son."

"Precisely."

"Well," he said. "I better get going. I need to pick the kids up from school."

I'm sure you get the idea.

When you have two people in dialogue, as soon as you've established their identities in the reader's mind, you no longer need to keep using their names.

You can also interject their names in dialogue instead. For example, "Cleo, you know you're my favourite son."

This sentence: Red roses gathered round in a pretty circle. had me wondering how the roses would go about gathering themselves round. Perhaps it would be better to make them passive? Red roses were arrayed in a pretty circle.

bdcharles
May 3rd, 2017, 10:21 AM
This sentence: Red roses gathered round in a pretty circle. had me wondering how the roses would go about gathering themselves round. Perhaps it would be better to make them passive? Red roses were arrayed in a pretty circle.

Of you could use the edit as a chance to worldbuild / foreshadow / set mood:

"Mad Bob, the centre's secretive gardener with a penchant for sharp things, had arrayed the roses in a pretty circle around a cracked stone toadstool the previous day. She wondered why he wasn't in today to enjoy them."

Or something :)

Phil Istine
May 11th, 2017, 07:06 PM
A gentle story which had me guessing for a bit. I thought the MC had gone to the afterlife but it wasn't the case.
A few SPAG issues that need to be tidied. I'm not including the joined-up words though; I remove those particular gremlins with the "go advanced" button followed by "preview" mode.
Thanks for posting.

John 3
May 23rd, 2017, 05:58 PM
The structure in writing a short story is simple, introduction, the middle and the end, Iím sure everyone knows that so itís surprising that too many fall at the first hurdle.Normally you have to set the setting and introduce the main characters but keep it short; you can always develop both later.Now to your introduction. I associate the name Cleo for a male from an upper class family and I donít get the impression by the dialogue that these characters are. A small point but I think a simpler name would ring more true.There is a touch of over writing that could easily be corrected, for example, does the reader need to know that the tea was Ďa lovely cup of teaí?The plot of the story begins with the introduction of the fairy, Joyce seems to accept the fact readily and proceeds to indulge in a conversation with her. Iím not convinced, surely she would be shocked out of her skin, I know I would.The story line is an interesting one but you leave the reader hanging in the air. Is there more to come?Regards John.