Student or Learner
This is the first part of my short story "A Flat". Please would you proofreat it.
When Ivan was a young boy his father used to tell him that if one is honest and work hard one would never be hungry or needy. They lived in a little village in the mountains where winters were long and summers hot and short. His family had a good piece of land on which they grew rye and oat. (It was too cold to grow wheat). They had two oxen which his father would harness to a plough and work on the land. Every Friday they would harness them to a cart and drive them to the market where he sold his farm products. They had some sheep also which Ivan took care of until he started the elementary school and that job went over to his younger brother.
They had electricity but no running water. However, there was a well with always cold and clean water just outside the house. There was a macadam road which passed through the village and which connected it with the nearby town, but in the winter when the snow covered the ground and the low temperature made the road slippery and dangerous, almost all traffic stopped.
Thus, Ivan and his peers had to walk all the way to the school, which was about four kilometres in one direction and then the same route back home. On those occasions, he envied children who lived in the town and had a short way to the school. They lived in homes with both warm and cold water running from the taps and some of the homes had central heating, while his whole family slept in one room, heated by the wooden stove.
In the long winter afternoons and evenings, Ivan’s family would watch TV on a black and white TV set. The national TV had only one channel and they usually showed the great achievements of the country: newly opened factories, recently constructed broad motorways, new high bridges, hospitals with the modern laboratories, new stadium which arose like mushrooms after rain. Not a single day passed without TV showing pictures of the great leader. Ivan’s father would always become more attentive, as bewitched, and if someone of his four children was restless and began talking, the father would always silent them and order them to remain silent because the Marshal was speaking.
While in his homeland it was still winter, the great leader could be seen walking with his wife in the sunny Africa, Asia or South America. He liked to dress in the white uniform covered with at least three dozen medals, ribbon bars, gold and diamonds and he walked proudly or sat in a large cabriolet and waved his hand at the crowds which lined up the streets and cheered at him.
“You see what he had achieved!” Ivan’s father often said to his children. “He was a simple worker and now everyone in the world treats him with respect. My dear children, follow his example and get some education, if you don’t want to get stuck forever in this godforsaken village.”
When Ivan had become a draftee and then was sent to a big city to do the compulsory military service, he saw how life in the city was much easier and more interesting than in his little village. Especially women made a strong impression on him and he promised himself that one day he will return to live and work there.
He went to college and after three years he came out as a centre lathe machinist. At that time there was the shortage of manpower and soon he found a job in a factory in the same town where he had done his military service.
He rented a small room from an old widow in her house, who treated him as if he were her own son. In the morning before he went to his job, she would brew coffee, light a cigarette and talk to him about her life and her deceased husband whom death took away after more than 40 years of marriage. In the evenings they would sit in the living room in front of the black and white TV, on top of which was a piece of white embroidery and watch again the great leader demanding more sacrifices and promising better future until the final communism’s victory
TO BE CONTINUED
Thank you again. You have really helped me so much. Now I can see where I make my mistakes and what I must improve in my writing.