Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Echo and Shadow (1 Viewer)


WF Veterans

The circle of light above the boy blinded him as he groped. He shifted his gaze
from the light, down to the darkness around him. As the transitions became more painful,
the boy simply stopped looking up.

He spun slowly, trying to sense what was around him. The boy cautiously lifted a
hand and reached to his side. The blackness swallowed his hand as it extended outward.
His heart raced in the moments it took for his hand to make contact.

His fingers slid across a smooth, yet uneven surface. It gave no sense of what it
was, other than being cold and damp. The boy turned quickly, leaning in the direction
that his hand had made contact. As he pivoted, he found no deviation in the surface.
It was uniform in its irregularity, unyielding. As he finished pivoting, the boy also
discovered that it surrounded him.

It was then that the boy heard the sloshing below his knees. He could not feel his
feet. The boy slowly crouched and dipped a finger down below his thigh. What he
touched was like ice, yet it yielded to the finger’s penetration. As he lifted the numb
finger, drips echoed loudly around him.

He began to pivot quickly in place. He spun, and spun, and spun. The water
below him formed a whirlpool, which tugged at the boy’s calves. His foot snagged an
uneven stone on the surface below, tipping the boy to the side. He instinctively reached
out and braced himself as he fell.

As he came to rest against the hard surface, the boy inhaled deeply. A smell
permeated his nose, then his pallet. He gagged reflexively as he pushed himself away
from the wall. His hands grasped his knees as he crouched in the darkness, the water still
sloshing beneath him. By now, the smell was deep within him. He wretched dryly,
staggering as he attempted to stand.
The boy did not recognize the smell as poo or pee. It was more foul. It was
fouler than the breeze that sometimes blew over the bog. It was almost the opposite of a
smell. The odor of no life, stillness. It was smell of nothingness.

Something welled-up within the boy. As his body stiffened, he felt pain in parts
of his body. He could not remember why he hurt, and the pain was somewhat deadened
by his cold and dank surroundings. Yet, the pain was there. And it became more
pronounced as that Something continued to build-up within him.

When the Something erupted, it seemed to flow through the boy; from his numb
toes to his aching head. As it erupted, the boy lifted his face to the light circle above him.
His eyes opened wide first, then his jaw unhinged like a garden snake…


The scream rose upward, like a shot from a cannon. It climbed like a bird riding
an updraft on a summer day. It rolled like a storm up the stone walls. It rose, and rose,
and rose.

When it reached The Light, it continued to rise.

Then, it began to fade.

High above, as the scream dissipated like shadow eaten by light. A raven flew
above the hole where the scream erupted. The sun felt good on his dark feathers as he
drifted care-free above the earth. Yet, the sound irritated the raven. He felt obliged to
vocalize his discontent.

"Caaaaaw! Caaaaaaw!"

The raven’s cries drifted slowly down, echoing dully along the stone walls in the
ground. The boy’s unhinged jaw creaked back into position as he lowered his head. His
eyes were still wide open as he contemplated the darkness around him. He was
momentarily startled by the sound of a drip below him. He lifted a dirty hand to his face,
and realized that the drip came from one of his wide-eyes.

His eyes remained wide as he lowered himself into the murky, cold water at his
feet. The icy bite was temporary, but the numbing chill that followed was comforting.
As he settled into place, the water stopped moving around him. A din of silence
enveloped the boy. He breathed-in deep of the lifelessness around him.

High above, the raven angled off toward a berry patch on a nearby hill. A cloud
meandered carelessly infront of the sun, casting the countryside in a gray pall.

Far below, the lighted dimmed as the boy remained still. He did not notice. He
no longer looked upward.


Senior Member
Is this a continuation of another writing where the homestead was attacked and the kid was wacked with a...shovel? This is good stuff. I can visualize the well and the despair of the boy. The only thing that jarred was the thoughts of the raven. I felt that was a rather odd thing and that it could have been written differently to show in the birds actions and not in its mind.
I was looking for the first part, but haven't found it yet, maybe it was my imagination. Anyway, keep writting I enjoy your work. Penny


WF Veterans
Thanks for your kind comments.

This was a simple metaphorical piece.
The well was featureless, dark and inescapable. The raven represented freedom, which indifferently flies off to feed it's own hunger.
The description of the boy's condition in the well alluded to pain, numbness and being alone.

No, Penny, there is no more to it. All there is is the light above, that is hopelessly out of reach; and the cold comfort of isolation and acceptance of fate.


Senior Member
For me, I never like seeing "arrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh", "caaaaaaaaaaw!" or other such approaches to tell the reader what is happening. Indeed, I do not recall this approach to vocalization occurring much in the books I read. So personally I would use a different method to describe vocalizations. However, this may be just me. Do you think you could say why you choose to use this approach?


Senior Member
I think using "the boy" is distracting, I would have preferred a name as it makes him more relateable, even if it's something like "Nemo" in keeping with an allegorical story.


Senior Member
Okay I really like this. There are some technical things that could be addressed but it keeps me interested and I'm a simple kinda reader that way. Nice work.


Senior Member
Initially liked the simplicity and punchy layout of sentences- most having around 6, 7 8 words. But read speedily they become like a machine gun effect and lose impact and credibility. Would be nice to "sew" together a few longer sentences to break up this repetitive regularity.
As above, dont like sound being written- far better to leave that to the readers imagination by describing it not trying to vocalise it. Apart from that, I enjoyed the story and hoped you also enjoyed writing it, well done.


Senior Member
I really liked this. I don't think there's a problem using the "caww!" In a story. It kinda pulled me out of the story for a second and to the bird, almost like a movie. I like the word choice, I found it read smoothly and was almost poetic. Well done.


Senior Member
I go with both the viewpoints, I like the 'cawww' but not the 'aaargh!' It would read better as:

"His eyes opened wide first, then his jaw unhinged like a garden snake…

His scream rose upward, like a shot from a cannon"

The 'cawww' makes the raven all the more horrific, so I think it serves a purpose. And instead of using 'the boy' again and again, you could use 'he', as there is no other character in the tale. It gives a feeling of closeness to the character I feel.

Anyway, otherwise I think it's pretty well-written otherwise. I enjoyed reading it.

Users who are viewing this thread