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    #1

    The Last Lesson, part one

    Would you please correct my grammar and punctuation in the first part of my short story?

    I didn’t want to write this story. When it appeared for the first time in my thoughts, I pushed it back into the dark parts of my mind. I wished it to stay there forever, but it kept pestering me time and again. I rode a bus, queued at a checkout in a supermarket, walked in the street, and the story would creep inside my thoughts, and did not want to leave me alone. I would lie in my bed fatigued and sleepy, waiting to drift off to sleep, when the story somehow would find its way into my consciousness, and would keep me awake for hours. I was unable to read books or watch my favourite TV program without it disturbing my peace. I drank myself into a stupor, and forgot my tormentor for a few hours, but as soon as I sobered up, the story was after me again. After months of struggle, I had to admit the defeat and let it come out, even if I knew it would cause me extreme pain.

    I had to go back in time. The year was 1992, a seemingly ordinary year like any other. The world was looking forward to the new Olympic Games. The new Man Booker, Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes would be given to the distinguished writers, scientists and other eminent people. New discoveries and inventions would see the light, and old barriers in knowledge and technology would be overcome. The earth would be a better place to live for billions of people whose standard of living would increase considerably. But that year, I smelled death.

    There were no gas chambers in my hometown, but the smell I felt at the beginning of that year was a sensation I had never experienced before. Human language lacks the proper words to describe something that you feel for the first time in your life. You can use the adjectives or other words you have acquired through your education and books you have read, but still, you will be unable to convey a right impression. But the smell of death I felt was definitely in the air. And it made me panic.
    One day I ran to my mother on the other side of the town, and knocked at the door of her flat in which she had lived for more than two decades, since the divorce from my father. She opened the door and let me in.
    “What happened?” she asked. “Why are you out of breath?
    “Help me Mother,” I said, fighting for breath. “The war is coming. I feel it. I don’t want to die. Could you please ask your brother in Germany to let me stay with him for a while? I just need a place to sleep for a short time until I find something better.”

    She towered above me with her flared nostrils, her knotted eyebrows, and her arms crossed over her chest, and glared at me as if I were a stranger. “Who do you think you are?” She snorted. “My brother has to take care of his own family. He has no time to look after you.”
    Anger rose inside me. I wanted to demolish her flat right away and make her pay for her arrogance. When I was a child, she had never given me pocket money and seldom showed affection. And now, when I just for once asked her for help, she brushed me aside, as if I were a fly. I returned home a broken man. I felt a severe pain in my stomach, as if an ulcer were forming. I promised never to forgive her for snubbing me. She probably could not have forgiven me for staying with my father after their divorce, but she was not hurting him, but me - her son whom she carried inside her womb for nine months. I could not comprehend such cruelty. She slammed the door shut in front of me, leaving me in the town that would soon be transforming into a large slaughterhouse.
    TO BE CONTINUED
    Last edited by Bassim; 29-Dec-2015 at 10:15.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Last Lesson, part

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I didn’t want to write this story when it appeared I thought of it for the first time. in my thoughts, I pushed it back into the dark parts recesses of my mind. I wished it to stay there forever, but it kept pestering me time and again. I rode a bus, queued at a checkout in a supermarket, walked in the street, and the story would creep inside my thoughts; and it did not want to leave me alone. I would lie in (my) bed fatigued and sleepy, waiting to drift off to sleep, when the story somehow would find its way into my consciousness and (would) keep me awake for hours. I was unable to read books or watch my favourite TV program without it disturbing my peace. I drank myself into a stupor, and forgot my tormentor for a few hours, but as soon as I sobered up, the story was after me again. After months of struggle, I had to admit the defeat and let it come out, even if I knew it would cause me extreme pain.

    I had to go back in time. The year was 1992, a seemingly ordinary year like any other. The world was looking forward to the new Olympic Games. The new Man Booker, Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes would be given to the yet-to-announced distinguished writers, scientists and other eminent people. New discoveries and inventions would see the light, and old barriers in to knowledge and technology would be overcome. The earth world would be a better place to live in for billions of people whose standards of living would increase considerably. But that year, I smelled death.

    There were no gas chambers in my hometown, but the smell what I felt at the beginning of that year was a sensation I had never experienced before. Human language lacks the proper words to describe something that you feel for the first time in your life. You can use all the adjectives or other words you have acquired through your education learnt at school or from the and books you have read, but still, you will be unable to describe it. convey a right impression. But the smell of death I felt was definitely in the air. And it made me panic.

    One day I ran to my mother on the other side of the town, and knocked at the door of her flat in which she had lived for more than two decades, since the divorce from my father. She opened the door and let me in.
    “What happened?” she asked. “Why are you out of breath?
    “Help me Mother,” I said, fighting for breath. “The war is coming. I feel it. I don’t want to die. Could you please ask your brother in Germany to let me stay with him for a while? I just need a place to sleep stay for a short time until I find something better.”

    She towered above me with her flared nostrils, her knotted eyebrows, and her arms crossed over her chest, and glared at me as if I were a stranger. “Who do you think you are?” She snorted. “My brother has to take care of his own family. He has no time to look after you.”
    Anger/resentment rose inside me. I wanted to demolish her flat right away and make her pay for her arrogance. When I was a child, she had never given me pocket money and seldom shown ed affection. And now, when I just for once asked her was in desperate need of for help, she brushed me aside, as if I were a fly. I returned home a broken man. I felt a severe pain in my stomach, as if an ulcer were forming. I promised never to forgive her for snubbing me. She probably could not have forgiven me for staying with my father after their divorce, but she was not hurting him, but me - her son whom she carried inside her womb for nine months. I could not comprehend such cruelty. She slammed the door shut in my face, front of me, leaving me in the town that would soon be transforming into a large slaughterhouse.
    TO BE CONTINUED
    .

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The Last Lesson, part 1

    Perhaps:

    I didn't want to write this story. When it first barged into my thoughts I pushed it into the dark recesses of my mind.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The Last Lesson, part

    Say:

    The Man Booker, Pulitzer, and Nobel Prizes would be awarded to yet-to-be-announced distinguished writers, scientists, and other eminent people.

  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The Last Lesson, part 1

    Say:

    She towered over me with her flared nostrils, her knitted eyebrows...

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The Last Lesson, part 1

    Try:

    She probably had not forgiven me for staying with my father after the divorce, but she was not hurting him. Instead, she was hurting me--her son who she had carried inside her womb for nine months.

    ---------------------------------

    Try:

    She towered over me with her flared nostrils, her knitted eyebrows....

    ---------------

    "Anger rose inside me" is perfect.

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    #7

    Re: The Last Lesson, part 1

    Thank you, Tarheel, for your correction. I have forgotten the "old" editors' advice that one should avoid "could", "started" and similar verbs when one could simply use a direct verb instead.

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The Last Lesson, part 1

    Thank you for your stories.

    I had to look up "Man Booker Prize" as I had not heard of that one before. The 2015 winner was rejected 78 times before he got published. Wow! Can you imagine that?

    Check out my latest poem. (It's short.) It's based on a true story, and there are pictures to go with it. I'm not sure how you find them, but after you have read the poem you'll know what to expect to see. (I don't think I had ever seen the inside of a python before.)

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