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    #1

    The Last Lesson, part four

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

    Later, I understood what had happened. A group of about 150 Bosniak and Croat men, who had escaped from the villages attacked by the Serb forces, gathered in the woods on the periphery, and attacked the town. Their plan was to capture all important objects like the radio station, the hotel, and the police station, and call the Bosniaks and Croats to uprising. They managed to fight their way to the town centre, but their rifles were no match to the tanks and other heavy weaponry of the Serb forces. The majority of attackers were killed, and those few who had survived were transported to the prison camp, where they were tortured for days before being murdered. The local authorities had also used this opportunity to get rid of the unwanted citizens. As the Serb forces were repelling the attackers, at the same time, they were destroying homes, restaurants and shops belonging to the Bosniaks and Croats. They pulled men out of their homes and shot them on the spot. Hundreds of them had lost their lives on that day. My father’s good friend, Asim, was also murdered in his house. He was in our kitchen laughing and joking a few days before, and now it was unthinkable that I would never see him again. My former classmate, Damir, went outside to see what had happened to his father, who did not return from his job. He was stopped by a Serb soldier and killed. He lost his life not knowing that his father was shot dead an hour or two before. Some of the killings had been at random, but in other cases, the victims were carefully chosen. Judges, lawyers, professors, doctors and other intellectuals and distinguished citizens had been among the first to be executed. If they had been fortunate, they would have ended up in a prison camp, where they had at least a chance to survive.

    The psychiatrists with his luxurious hair and his generals had until now executed their plans perfectly. I was furious at them, but even more, I was furious at all those leaders of European countries who remained silent, and seemed not to be bothered at all that just a few hundred kilometres from their capitals thousands of innocent people were murdered and kept in prison camps. Their silence and indifference were more hurtful than any amount of physical and mental abuse I could receive from the Serb soldiers.
    Immediately after the attack, the local authorities had issued a decree on local radio for all non-Serbs to mark their homes with white sheets or flags, and to wear a white band if they were leaving their homes. I went on my balcony and turned around 360 degrees, like a panoramic camera, and my eyes caught a macabre scene. From the fences, porches, doors, windows, balconies, and roofs hung pieces of white cloth in all shapes in sizes. One neighbour had even hanged a large white sheet on a long wooden pole and fastened it to the chimney of his two-story house. It fluttered high in the wind like a large sail. A few women strode on the nearby street with the white bands on their arms. People probably believed this piece of cloth was going to save them, but it only marked them for shooting. Now soldiers did not need to ask them for their names. They could kill them on the spot or throw the grenades on their homes on a whim or for the heck of it.

    The next day, I heard the rumours that we would be rounded up. Although I had expected that news for weeks, my stomach churned. The thought of being imprisoned by the people who enjoyed torturing their victims and cutting their throats, made me shiver with fear. As I pondered over what to do, I heard shots from the neighbouring suburbs. I rushed onto my balcony and saw in the distance tanks rolling and trailing thick clouds of dust. I panicked and ran into the empty street. I had lost control over myself. I was a hunting animal sensing the end was near. I had to escape this nightmare or I would become mad. But where could I run away when all the roads had been blocked. To reach Croatia, I would have to walk about 30 km through the Serb controlled territory, and I would certainly lose my bearings. If the military would not catch me, the civilians certainly would. And they would hack me to death. Then I thought of my father, and I was stung with shame. How could I leave him alone? I went back into the house and changed my clothes. I put on a thick winter jacket hoping that at least it would give me some protection against the beating, although I knew if someone had decided to take out his frustration on me, nothing would protect me from his blows.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The Last Lesson, part four

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    Later, I understood what had happened. A group of about 150 Bosniak and Croat men, who had escaped from the villages attacked by the Serb forces, had gathered in the woods on the periphery, and attacked the town. Their plan was to capture all the important objects places in town like the radio station, the hotel, and the police station, and call the Bosniaks and Croats to rise up. uprising. They managed to fight their way to the town centre, but their rifles were no match to for the tanks and other heavy weaponry of the Serb forces. The majority of the attackers were killed, and those few who had survived were transported to the prison camp, where they were tortured for days before being murdered. The local authorities had also used this opportunity to get rid of the unwanted citizens. As the Serb forces were repelling the attackers, at the same time, they were destroying homes, restaurants and shops belonging to the Bosniaks and Croats. They pulled men out of their homes and shot them on the spot. Hundreds of them had lost their lives on that day. My father’s good friend, Asim, was also murdered in his house. He was in our kitchen laughing and joking a few days before, and now it was unthinkable that I would never see him again. My former classmate, Damir, went outside to see what had happened to his father, who did not return from his job. He was stopped by a Serb soldier and killed. He lost his life not knowing that his father was shot dead an hour or two before. Some of the killings had been at random, but in other cases, the victims were carefully chosen. Judges, lawyers, professors, doctors and other intellectuals and distinguished citizens had been among the first to be executed. If they had been They weren't fortunate enough , they would to have ended up, like others, in a prison camp, where they could at least have had at least a chance to survive.

    The psychiatrist with his luxurious luxuriant hair and his generals had until now executed their plans perfectly. I was furious at them, but even more, I was even more furious at all those leaders of European countries who remained silent, and seemed not to be bothered at all that just a few hundred kilometres from their capitals, thousands of innocent people were being murdered and kept or incarcerated in prison camps. Their silence and indifference were more hurtful than any amount of physical and mental abuse I could receive from the Serb soldiers.

    Immediately after the attack, the local authorities had issued a decree on local radio for all non-Serbs to mark their homes with white sheets or flags, and to wear a white band on their arms if they were leaving their homes. I went on my balcony and turned around 360 degrees, like a panoramic camera, and my eyes caught looked all around, but I just saw a macabre scene. From the fences, porches, doors, windows, balconies, and roofs hung pieces of white cloth in all shapes in and sizes. One neighbour had even hanged hung a large white sheet on a long wooden pole and fastened it to the chimney of his two-story house. It fluttered high in the wind like a large sail. A few women strode on the nearby street with the white bands on their arms. People probably believed this piece of cloth was going to save them, but it only marked them for shooting. Now soldiers did not need to ask them for their names. They could kill them on the spot or throw the grenades on their homes on a whim or for the heck of it.

    The next day, I heard the rumours that we would be rounded up. Although I had been expecting that news for weeks, my stomach churned. The thought of being imprisoned by the people who enjoyed torturing their victims and cutting their throats, made me shiver with fear. As I pondered over what to do, I heard shots from the neighbouring suburbs. I rushed onto my balcony and saw in the distance tanks rolling and trailing thick clouds of dust. I panicked and ran into the empty street. I had lost control over myself. I was like a hunting hunted animal sensing the end was near. I had to escape this nightmare or I would become go mad. But where could I run away when all the roads had been blocked? To reach Croatia, I would have to walk about 30 km through the Serb-controlled territory, and I would certainly lose my bearings. If the military would did not catch me, the civilians certainly would. And they would hack me to death. Then I thought of my father, and I was stung with shame. How could I leave him alone? I went back into the house and changed my clothes. I put on a thick winter jacket, hoping that at least it would give me some protection against the beating, although I knew if someone had decided to take out his frustration on me, nothing would protect me from his blows.
    TO BE CONTINUED
    .

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    #3

    Re: The Last Lesson, part four

    teechar,
    Thank you again,
    There is one sentence that in your correction has got another meaning of what I had meant originally.
    My version:"If they had been fortunate, they would have ended up in a prison camp, where they had at least a chance to survive."
    I am wondering if I could it rephrase it like this: " Those few fortunate had ended up in a prison camp, where at least they had a chance to survive.
    Your version:T
    hey weren't fortunate enough to have ended up, like others, in a prison camp, where they could at least have had a chance to survive.


  2. teechar's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The Last Lesson, part four

    Your new sentence and the one I suggested carry the same meaning; use either (but not the original). Consider adding "enough" after "fortunate" to show that they were just/sufficiently fortunate to be able to survive.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The Last Lesson, part four

    Perhaps:

    Those lucky enough to end up in a prison camp at least had a chance to survive.

    Or maybe you should give up the idea of luck or good fortune entirely and just say:

    Those who ended up in a prison camp at least had a chance to survive.

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