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Solus
November 10th, 2018, 07:13 PM
Light filtered through the cracks in the roof, casting an almost divine hue over the small log cabin. I found myself wondering where Alina was though. She wasn’t in here at least, unless she was very quiet.
“Alina?” I shouted.
No answer. Well, then she is probably out doing something. I went over to the fireplace and my stomach started to rumble. Rabbit stew. I smiled and stroked my beard; my favourite. It was a good day today. I had caught three pigeons in snares, and they were all of good quality. Finding stripped carcasses was not uncommon, especially now that I had not trapped foxes for the past summers. They were clever those pesky critters, so the deadfalls rarely caught them. I got up and walked out of the cabin. Something felt amiss.
“Alina!?” Still no answer.
The forest, lit by the setting sun, was like an emerald canvas before my eyes as I stood atop the hillside that I called my home. It was a sight I never got tired of, wild and beautiful. I reluctantly drew my attention away from it; perhaps she was in the root cellar? I walked to the back of our house, glancing at the smokery as I made my way, but it was closed. The root cellar was open, but it was really quite dark down there. Almost too dark.
“Hello?” I asked into the darkness. When the response was absent I gripped my axe; this darkness was off, and Alina was not one to play games like this.

Darkness fell on me.

I found myself by the river flowing down the hill from the mountains above. The contents of my stomach flowed with it. I did not know what I was doing here. I tried to remember, but it was like there was something in the way, like something was blocking me from seeing my own memories. I got up.
“The root cellar, that was where I was going,” I thought to myself. I walked towards it, but when I got closer I stopped. My entire being screamed that I didn’t want to know what was down there. I stood still, torn in an inner conflict I didn’t even know. One side won, and I walked back into the cabin to eat supper.

Three days later
I couldn’t ignore it anymore. The stench was worse than anything I had ever smelled before. It beckoned me to face what I could not, to face a reality which was far too painful. In my ever-raging obscured inner struggle, the other side gained an advantage. I stood up so violently that the chair I sat on fell over and cracked, and I ran towards the cellar, flinging the door open as I made my way. How could I have left her there for so long! Not even giving her a proper burial. I ran down into the cellar and looked at my wife. Tears streamed down my face, blurring my vision, but not enough to turn the image before me to something less painful. I tried to lift her corpse carefully, but my shaking hands made that everything but possible. I almost dropped her. In a blurry haze, I walked out of the cellar. The sudden sunlight burned my eyes, but I pressed on; now I had nothing but disregard for myself. I carried the body outside, and as I laid it down the pain, it became too much. I needed to release it, somehow, or I was going to explode from the inside. So I did what I always did when I didn’t know what to do; I set to work. My hands became the conduit through which my pain was channelled, and the soil beneath me became the well which I poured it into. For several hours it took what I couldn’t, the pain that for me was too much. But, the more exhausted my body became, the more space was left for my mind. So with bloody fingers, I came to my senses, grabbed a shovel, and did what had to be done.

A poorly crafted cross atop a dirt heap under the shade of willows was the best thing that I could muster. The willows were weeping with me, although my sadness was probably of a different kind than the trees around me. However sad it was that this was the best I could make for someone I would’ve given my life for, I had to concede, for there was no strength left within me. As I laid beside this monument of my sorrow I made a decision born out of despair; here, I would die.

The sky flew its morning colours, golden light on a bright blue canvas, and I felt my end was near. It wasn’t a bad feeling though; numbness was a welcome change from soul-crushing sorrow. I welcomed the darkness creeping at the edge of my vision, invited it to provide solace for my broken soul. If my soul was to be damned, then so be it. I was finished.

To be continued

Solus
November 10th, 2018, 07:15 PM
I accidentally posted this reply. how do I delete this?

Smoppet
November 13th, 2018, 10:30 AM
I have many questions about this story, but not in a bad way! Is it explained at any time why the MC seems to not remember their wife dying?

Otherwise, I liked your use of language! One thing I would maybe avoid are sentences like this, "I found myself wondering where Alina was though." Instead I would make this sentence a question.

Keep up the good work!!

Harper J. Cole
November 17th, 2018, 12:25 AM
I accidentally posted this reply. how do I delete this?

You can ask an Admin to remove it, but I shouldn't let it bother you.

I enjoyed the story, and would like to see it expanded. The idea of the memory loss creates a creepy ambience - I was half expecting his wife to be undead! Expanding the story would give greater emotional punch to the MC's loss - as it is, we never meet his wife before he loses her.


shaking hands made that everything but possible

This phrase is usually "all but impossible". Not sure if that's deliberate?

HJC

Solus
November 19th, 2018, 01:05 PM
One thing I would maybe avoid are sentences like this, "I found myself wondering where Alina was though." Instead, I would make this sentence a question.

Thank you for the suggestion. Even as I wrote it I felt it was off, but I did not know why. I think you put your finger on it. Also, this story will be expanded at a later date, although I'm uncertain how long it will take. School is taking all my energy at the moment, but I am certain I will finish it someday. Thank you for your feedback!



I enjoyed the story, and would like to see it expanded. The idea of the memory loss creates a creepy ambience - I was half expecting his wife to be undead! Expanding the story would give greater emotional punch to the MC's loss - as it is, we never meet his wife before he loses her.



This phrase is usually "all but impossible". Not sure if that's deliberate?

HJC

Ah, I knew I had messed that up. To answer your question, no, it was not deliberate. Since English is not my mother tongue I tend to mess up the phrases I use from time to time.

Thank you for your suggestions as well, I will be sure to remember them whenever I continue this story


My thanks to the both of you for leaving your thoughts

Jakov
November 26th, 2018, 11:27 PM
I must say I was surprised when I saw "To be continued". I would very much like to see where you go from here, although you've given yourself quite a challenge. Maybe that's the point but what happened when he entered the cellar. If the point is to discover that as we go on through the story than I'm sorry to have mentioned it. The second thing I didn't understand was this: "The contents of my stomach flowed with it." Did he shit himself or what:lol:? And I would personally love to experience all the feeling he had during those three days of ignoring the situation. For example, you could maybe put a symbolic dream he had the night he returned to the cabin without checking the cellar. Or maybe he almost ran away into the forest, trying to escape the inevitable. The point is I would like to see more content. These are a few suggestions, but from one non-native English speaker to another, you write GREAT.

Solus
November 27th, 2018, 03:17 PM
Now, since school is destroying me at the moment and I probably won't continue this for some time (I will continue this, but free time is getting harder and harder to find, and I don't want to rush it), I am going to outline the plot as I envision it:

He is going to be disturbed by a magical creature, showing that this story has some fantastical elements, and once awake, survival instincts will make sure he goes on. He will then embark on a journey to find whatever killed his wife so that he may rip it to pieces with his bare hands. His revenge quest will be broken up by stories of his past as a humble trapper, to provide a bit of backstory and humanity for the MC.

This is the basics of how I want it to continue, though it will sadly take me a while to get to it.

Thoughts on this are appreciated, and I will do my best to consider them

PS. The MC vomited due to shock, although I understand that the wording made it liable to be misinterpreted.
Also, the reason why the MC does not remember what happened (as I envisioned it when I wrote it, something I can and will change should I be given a good reason to do so, so write your ideas. I will consider them) is because he mentally blocked it due to the emotional pain.

Jakov
November 27th, 2018, 11:03 PM
Seems quite interesting, I'm looking forward to reading future material. I would suggest adding maybe flashes of his past as he unravels the mystery of the murder.

Leke A
November 30th, 2018, 01:58 AM
Oh, I liked this. Admittedly, I was a little confused and I don't know if this is the first chapter although if it is then I feel it needs a stronger hook. Also, since your writing in first person do you need to use speech marks when your character is thinking something. For example, you do it here: “The root cellar, that was where I was going,” should this be italicised instead of using speech marks? I also think you need to provide a bit more context. It's definitely mysterious but this section is a bit too sparse. Give a few more nuggets so we, as readers, have a better understanding of where we are. I look forward to reading more.

Fatclub
December 7th, 2018, 11:46 PM
Light filtered through the cracks in the roof, casting an almost divine hue over the small log cabin. With the first half of the sentence you give me a POV from inside the cabin and then you jump to the outside for the second half of the sentence. Also, this seems to be written in third person when what follows is in first person.
I found myself wondering where Alina was though. That was first person and the 'though' (as in - despite) doesn't tie in with anything.
She wasn’t in here at least, unless she was very quiet. Now, because of those opening problems I'm starting to see faults where perhaps normally I wouldn't. I would like the MC to make his mind up - is she or isn't she there?

Rabbit stew. I smiled and stroked my beard; my favourite. This makes it sound like your favourite beard, especially with the incorrect semi-colon (if you're not good with sc's drop them).
I had caught three pigeons in snares, and they were all of good quality. Finding stripped carcasses
was not uncommon, Again, the latter half of the sentence seems at odds with the first half. As a reader I can make it work, just. But I have to think about it. Perhaps the word 'stripped' belongs in the first half of the sentence.
They were clever those pesky critters, This jumped out at me as not belonging here.
I got up and walked out of the cabin. This sounds pedestrian, no pun intended.

The forest, lit by the setting sun, was like an emerald canvas before my eyes as I stood atop the hillside that I called my home. Here you jump back to the same person who wrote the opening sentence - it doesn't fit with the writer's voice of what's written around it.
but it was really quite dark down there. Almost too dark.

“Hello?” I asked into the darkness. When the response was absent I gripped my axe; this darkness was off, and Alina was not one to play games like this.

Darkness fell on me. I get it - it's dark!
Seriously, there are certain rules you are breaking here and I think you need your butt kicked a little bit. As a reader I need to escape and you're kicking me out with these little mistakes to the extent where I can't concentrate on the story.
My opinion is that if one is writing a page a day then one is doing well. This looks to me like you could write ten pages in a day. It appears rushed. In the nicest possible way, I think your english needs to improve and that slowing down would help a lot.

4nirvana
December 17th, 2018, 07:20 AM
This is an interesting story. I enjoy your voice - the narrative is quite cool I felt the passion of the narrator of the story. It has a forlorn, lost, first player video game like feeling in the prospective...I would like to see the spaces explored more though more details- what kind of paintings if any are in the cabin, how are the walls? are there any windows- what does the sky look like at that point? and the focus on the "hands as a conduit" is a great image. I get the sense this main character questions reality and fate deeply. Thanks. best wishes. hope this helps.