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  1. #1
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Please, would you proofread my short story

    This is the fourth part of my short story WAR. Please, would you proofread it.

    I stepped into the dark warehouse, and the scene before my eyes threw me into the past, as if by a time machine. This could be the Second World War, because I saw hundreds of men packed like animals. Some of them were lying on the bare concrete floor, or on the pieces of cardboard, some sitting, and some pacing around nervously. The room was in semi-darkness, and there were no electric lights. Light from the outside came through the entrance door and the thick windowpanes close to the ceiling.

    My eyes swept over hundreds of faces, but I could not recognize anyone, and even if I could, my mind was still dazed from the previous incidents.
    Someone asked me if I had a cigarette, and when I answered that I did not smoke, he moved like a shadow to the man behind me asking him the same question. I sat down on the vacant spot between two men, who both moved aside to make room. They both sat silently, staring at the dirty floor. I did not dare break their silence. After all, the words had become meaningless, overcome by powerlessness. We were just ordinary human beings a few hours ago, and now we had lost our primal characteristic - freedom.
    We had transformed into creatures who had started to envy wild animals in the woods. These days they could roam freely; nobody was interested in them now when humans hunted their own race. I looked through the open door and saw a heavy machine gun among the sand bags, its barrel pointing at us. Two guards sat behind it, chatting and laughing. For them all this must have looked like an exceptional playground where everything was permitted and there were no boundaries between reality and imagination. A pressure of the crooked finger on the trigger and within seconds it would be bloody carnage.

    A teenage guard could simply say in his defence that he was nervous, his hands were shaky, and he simply did not feel anything. However, instead of sending him to the court martial, they would promote him. It was not killing, but cleansing the territory of the elements, seen as the enemies of the new state - a term known as the ethnic cleansing. We were already doomed, and our fate sealed. The only question was if they were going to kill us all, or torture us before sending us into the exile. Even if we survived, who would like to return to the people who had caused them so much pain and destroyed their lives. This was the only purpose of this and dozens of others prison camps.
    Sitting in this dark warehouse, which was not more than three kilometres from my house I was thinking of all those books, which I had read though my life, and all the knowledge I had accumulated, of which I had no use in this place. I could recall what Plato wrote about ignorant human beings, or Freud about the struggle between the instinct of life and the instinct of destruction, or Fromm about a sick society, but that would not help me in this environment in which sanity retreated to make room for hatred and perversity. I had prepared myself all my life for spiritual achievements, nourished my soul with poetry, literature, philosophy and arts, but now my frame of reference had become this dirty, cold concrete floor and the anxious, downcast eyes of hundreds of people.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. #2
    februar's Avatar
    februar is offline Member
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    Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    Even if we survived, who would like to return to the people who had caused them so much pain and destroyed their lives?

    februar, German speaker

  3. #3
    Gretchenplay is offline Newbie
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    Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    A couple of suggestions...


    I stepped into the dark warehouse, and the scene before my eyes threw me into the past, as if by a time machine. This could be the Second World War. because I saw hundreds of men packed like animals. Some of them were lying on the bare concrete floor, or on the pieces of cardboard, some sitting, and some pacing around nervously. The room was in semi-darkness. and there were no electric lights. The only light came through the entrance door and thick windowpanes (maybe double glazed windows?) close to the ceiling.

    My eyes swept over hundreds of faces, but I could not recognize anyone, and even if I could, my mind was still dazed from the previous incidents.
    Someone asked me if I had a cigarette, and when I answered that I did not smoke, he moved like a shadow to the man behind me asking him the same question. I sat down in a vacant spot between two men. They moved aside to make room. Both sat silently, staring at the dirty floor. I did not dare break their silence, after all, the words had become meaningless, overcome by powerlessness. We were just ordinary human beings a few hours ago, and now we had lost our primal characteristic - freedom.
    We had transformed into creatures who had started to envy the wild animals in the woods. These days they could roam freely; nobody was interested in them now that humans hunted their own race. I looked through the open door and saw a heavy machine gun among the sand bags, its barrel pointing at us. Two guards sat behind it, chatting and laughing. For them all this must have looked like an exceptional (not sure about this word) playground, where everything was permitted and there were no boundaries between reality and imagination. A tiny bit of pressure from a crooked finger on the trigger and within seconds it would be bloody carnage.

    A teenage guard could simply say in his defence that he was nervous, his hands were shaky, and he simply did not feel anything. However, instead of sending him to the court martial, they would promote him. It was not killing, but cleansing the territory of the elements (what are the elements?), seen as the enemies of the new state - a term known as the ethnic cleansing. We were already doomed, and our fate sealed. The only question was if they were going to kill us all, or torture us before sending us into the exile. Even if we survived, who could return to the people who had caused them so much pain and destroyed their lives? This was the only purpose of this and dozens of other prison camps.(I don't like the repetition of this, doesn't flow well)
    Sitting in this dark warehouse, which was not more than three kilometres from my house, I was thinking of all those books which I had read thoughout my life, and all the knowledge I had accumulated, of which I had no use for in this place. I could recall what Plato wrote about ignorant human beings, or Freud about the struggle between the instinct of life and the instinct of destruction, or Fromm about a sick society, but that would not help me in this environment in which sanity retreated to make room for hatred and perversity. I had prepared myself all my life for spiritual achievements, nourished my soul with poetry, literature, philosophy and arts, but now my frame of reference had become this dirty, cold concrete floor and the anxious, downcast eyes of hundreds of people.


    Nice. You paint a grim picture Bassim. Keep it up!
    Last edited by Gretchenplay; 25-Jan-2012 at 12:54.

  4. #4
    Bassim is offline Senior Member
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    Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    Gretchenplay,
    Thank you for correcting my mistakes. I really appreciate your help.

    I am wondering if instead of the word "exceptional" playground, could I write"For them all this must have looked like a tremendously exciting playground, where everything was permitted..."?
    In another sentence could I instead of the word elements, simply use the world "human beings" and write "It was not killing, but cleansing the territory of the human beings seen as the enemies of the state."?
    And to avoid word "this" in the sentence "This was the only purpose of this...", would it be correct to write, "Spreading fear was the only purpose of this and dozens of others prison camps."

  5. #5
    Gretchenplay is offline Newbie
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    Re: Please, would you proofread my short story

    All you corrections are excellent! Just make sure you delete the s off others in the following.
    "Spreading fear was the only purpose of this and dozens of other prison camps."

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