Results 1 to 5 of 5
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,588
    #1

    The Last Lesson, part nine

    Would you please correct my mistakes in the ninth part of my short story?

    Zoran sat on a plastic chair with his legs outstretched, watching us in silence with his blank face, a few meters from us. He must have felt like God, the master of life and death, the judge and the executioner. He was the star of the new state. The Serb government needed people like him, ruthless murderers who would do the dirty work, eliminate as much people as possible and then be discarded when their services were not needed anymore.
    When the courtyard was clean, Zoran ordered the guard to give us a bottle of beer each. The sun was rising over the hills as I sipped the golden liquid and felt it filling my empty stomach. Unbeknown to him, our torturer had become a surrealist - a film director and a producer of his own film, which was going to be shot for years, and which would leave indelible marks on the minds of his victims. I stole glances at him. His eyes were heavy and his head cocked to the side. He would need plenty of good sleep to build up the energy he had spent during this night. I imagined him sitting in court one day and defending himself. “I’ve never been there. I don’t know what you’re talking about. People mistook me for someone else. I am just an ordinary taxi driver...”

    They told us our families would bring us food. My heart skipped when I saw Father arriving with his old blue bicycle, the white ribbon on his arm blowing in the wind. He gave me a plastic bag with a beef sausage, a hunk of breed, and a wedge of cheese. He apologised for not being able to bring more. My father was a man who seldom showed emotions, but I could only have imagined what he had been going through. He asked me how I felt, and I shook my head and told him I felt terrible. I wished I could tell him what I had seen and heard, but the guards around us were listening to every word. After about ten minutes, I watched him cycling back, pressing his pedals, the brown fedora pulled low over his forehead, the white ribbon fluttering in the wind.

    In the afternoon, the guard called my name and took me to the interrogation. He left me alone with an army officer who was in his thirties. He seemed to be a kind and intelligent man. I looked at his blue eyes, and I believed he was an honest person who was only doing his job and following the orders of his superiors. He asked me what I had been doing before the war broke out and if I was a member of any political party. Did I know anyone who had bought a weapon? I told him I was never interested in politics and mostly kept myself to myself. I did not believe that any of my neighbours were interested in fighting the Serbs and spending money on weapons, which would be of no use to them anyway. He nodded and seemed to be satisfied with my answers. I wanted to talk to him about Zoran and his behaviour, but I was afraid of the consequences. I could have ended on the courtyard, tortured and beaten to death. I fought with myself for a few moments, but then I looked at his eyes again and I knew I could trust this officer. I described for him what had happened the previous night, and he took notes in his notebook. “How the army can allow such things to happen?” I asked. He gave me a crooked smile and answered, “The army has bungled from the very beginning.” As the guard led me back into the hall, I sensed my interrogator did not give a damn about his job, and he wanted to leave this horrible place just as I did.

    Some days later, busses arrived and took us back to our suburb. Our guards were friendly and chatted with us. They promised us everything would be as before. We would play football together again, have drinks in the pubs, and go to parties. My neighbours smiled at them and nodded in agreement, but when we got off and the buses turned away, they swore and cursed the soldiers. “How could we pretend nothing had happened? We are innocent, and they treated us worse than animals,” my neighbours said.
    When I came home, I hugged my father, and then I immediately took off my dirty clothes and tossed them in a washing machine. The electricity supply was erratic, and I was eager to get rid of the foul stench which made me gag, and which had embedded in every thread of my clothes, as soon as possible. I rushed into the shower and turned on the tap at full. The stream of warm water made me feel relaxed. I could not believe I was in my home, washing the dirt and stench from my body. Later, I lay in bed, on a clean, white sheet and breathed in the scent of jasmine, which the breeze blew into my room. The birds in the fruit trees chirped and sung as if they also wanted to greet my return. When I woke up many hours later, I felt like newborn, but the world I was born in was a scare place with twisted reality, governed by people full of hatred.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  1. teechar's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 6,180
    #2

    Re: The Last Lesson, part nine

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    A few meters from us, Zoran sat on a plastic chair with his legs outstretched, watching us in silence with a blank look on his blank face. , a few meters from us. He must have felt like God, the master of life and death, the judge and the executioner. He was the star of the new state. The Serb government needed people like him - ruthless murderers who would do the dirty work, eliminate as much many people as possible and then be discarded when their services were not needed anymore.

    When the courtyard was clean, After we finished cleaning the courtyard, Zoran ordered the guard to give us a bottle of beer each. The sun was rising over the hills as I sipped the golden liquid and felt it filling my empty stomach. Unbeknown to him, our torturer had become a surrealist - a film director and a producer of his own film, which would take was going to be shot for years to shoot, and which would leave indelible marks on the minds of his victims. I stole glances at him. His eyes were heavy and his head cocked to the side. He would need plenty of good sleep to build up recover the energy he had spent during this night. I imagined him sitting in court one day, and defending himself. “I’ve never been there. I don’t know what you’re talking about. People mistook me for someone else. I am just an ordinary taxi driver...”

    They told us our families would bring us food. My heart skipped when I saw Father arriving with his old blue bicycle, the white ribbon on his arm blowing in the wind. He gave me a plastic bag with a beef sausage, a hunk of breed, and a wedge of cheese. He apologised for not being able to bring more. My father was a man who seldom showed emotions, but I could only have imagined what he had been going through. He asked me how I felt, and I shook my head and told him I felt terrible. I wished I could tell him what I had seen and heard, but the guards around us were listening to every word. After about ten minutes, I watched him leaving, cycling back, pressing his pedals, the brown fedora pulled low over his forehead, the white ribbon fluttering in the wind.

    In the afternoon, the guard called my name and took me to the interrogation room. He left me alone there with an army officer who was in his thirties, He and who seemed to be a kind and intelligent man. I looked at his blue eyes, and I believed he was an honest person who was only doing his job and following the orders of his superiors. He asked me what I had been doing did before the war broke out and if I was a member of any political party. Did I know anyone who had bought a weapon? I told him I was never interested in politics and mostly kept myself to myself. I did not believe that any of my neighbours were interested in fighting the Serbs and spending money on weapons, which would be of no use to them anyway. He nodded and seemed to be satisfied with my answers. I wanted to talk to him about Zoran and his behaviour, but I was afraid of the consequences. I could have ended up in on the courtyard,tortured and beaten to death. I fought with myself for a few moments, but then I looked at his eyes again and I knew I could trust this officer. I described for him what had happened the previous night, and he took notes in his notebook. “How can the army can allow such things to happen?” I asked. He gave me a crooked smile and answered, “The army has bungled this, right from the very beginning.” As the guard led me back into the hall, I sensed my interrogator did not give a damn about his job, and that he wanted to leave this horrible place just as I did.

    Some days later, busses arrived and took us back to our suburb. Our guards were friendly and chatted with us. They promised us everything would be as before. We would play football together again, have drinks in the pubs, and go to parties. My neighbours smiled at them and nodded in agreement, but when we got off and the buses turned away, they swore at and cursed the soldiers. “How could we pretend nothing had happened? We are innocent, and they treated us worse than animals,” my neighbours said.

    When I came home, I hugged my father, and then I immediately took off my dirty clothes and tossed them in the washing machine. The electricity supply was erratic, and I was eager to get rid of the foul stench which made me gag, and which had embedded in every thread of my clothes, as soon as possible. I rushed into the shower and turned on the tap at full. The stream of warm water made me feel relaxed. I could not believe I was in my home, washing the dirt and stench from my body. Later, I lay in bed, on a clean, white sheet and breathed in the scent of jasmine, which the breeze blew into my room. The birds in the fruit trees chirped and sang as if they also wanted to greet my return. When I woke up many hours later, I felt like newborn, but the world I was reborn into was a scary place with a twisted reality, governed by people full of hatred.
    TO BE CONTINUED
    .

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,061
    #3

    Re: The Last Lesson, part nine

    Perhaps:

    He would need plenty of sleep to replenish the energy he had used up.

    I was a little surprised at some of the errors, especially using "scare" as an adjective. But I guess nobody's perfect.

    Bassim, do you plan to publish these stories once you get all the kinks out of them?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,588
    #4

    Re: The Last Lesson, part nine

    Tarheel,
    My English is still not good, because I do not have everyday contact with English speaking people. If I had lived in an English speaking country, I would be fluent in English within a few years. You learn fast if you just listen to people speaking, and if someone directly correct your mistakes. Regarding my stories, I do not know if they are good enough to be published. They would need heavy editing and probably more corrections. But now I am not preoccupied with publishing these stories. I write them to improve my English and my writing. My goal is to publish novels. But I have a long way to go if I want to do that because my English must be better. No literary agent would even look at your text with so many grammatical mistakes.

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,061
    #5

    Re: The Last Lesson, part nine

    Well, I am sure you have made considerable progress. And the stories are compelling.

Similar Threads

  1. The Last Lesson, part five
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 07-Jan-2016, 06:37
  2. The Last Lesson, part six
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 06-Jan-2016, 22:16
  3. The Last Lesson, part four
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-Jan-2016, 17:56
  4. The Last Lesson, part three
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 01-Jan-2016, 11:28
  5. The Last Lesson, part
    By Bassim in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 29-Dec-2015, 02:29

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •