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    #1

    Appendicitis, part one

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

    In the state-owned construction company, where Father had been working for decades as a warehouse foreman, he had made some good friends with his colleagues. One of them was Ahmed. He was a tall, blond man who worked as a lathe operator. When I was a little boy, my father took me with him to his job one morning. A uniformed doorkeeper smiled at us and opened the grilled door. I was impressed with the size of the company, which in my child’s eyes was enormous. Hundreds of people walked towards the wooden barracks, warehouses, and the large machines and trucks. We met a few workers in blue overalls carrying tools and planks, and they all greeted Father with “Good morning, boss!” They winked and flashed a smile at me. I held Father’s hand and felt immensely proud of him. I knew how much he was dedicated to his job. I had seen him many times sitting late in the night, hunched over the thick notebooks, checking the figures.

    We went into one of the barracks, and immediately I was surrounded by women and men who smiled at me and patted me on my head. “What a nice boy you have!” they told Father. They asked me how old I was and what I wanted to be in the future. Someone gave me a piece of candy and a glass of lemonade. Father took me to a workshop, where I for the first time met Ahmed, surrounded by different machines, which rotated, ground, bored and made other strange sounds, which made my head spin. Ahmed towered like a giant above me. He crouched, stretched out his large hand and we shook hands.

    “Do you want me to make you something with my machines?” he asked.
    I thought for a moment and was overwhelmed with the impressions. I looked at Father, but he was silent and gave me an encouraging look. Suddenly, I remembered one of my playmates playing with a metallic marble, which was almost indestructible.
    “Could you make me a metallic marble?”
    His ruddy face broke into smile. “Of course. Your father will show you around in our company, and when you come back, you’ll see what I have made.”
    We returned about an hour or two later, and Ahmed told me to close my eyes and cup my hands. When I opened them, my body shook with excitement. Six marbles were shining at me like jewels. Three were silvery and other three yellow. I could hardly utter a word from joy and spluttered, “Thank you uncle Ahmed.” He looked at me with his blue eyes and ruffled my hair. “You’re always welcome. Whenever you need anything made of metal, just tell me.”

    Ahmed and Father did not only work in the same company, but they also drove the same model of car, a Citroen Ami 8, which was popular because of its fuel-efficiency and comfort. Father bought it second hand, and the car gave him a lot of trouble. It was his first car, and he did not know much about mechanics, but thankfully Ahmed came up to us whenever Father needed his help. They would stay for a long time in the garage fiddling with the engine, and once they even managed to replace the rusted floor. Ahmed worked with diligence as if the car was his own, spending hours in our cold garage when he could have been with his family instead. I heard Father once asking him if he wanted some money for his help. Ahmed gazed down at him with his eyebrows knitted, his cheeks burning, and said, “Don’t you ever ask me such question. You’re my colleague and friend. I can’t take money from my friends.” Occasionally after prompting from Father, he would accept a bag of fruit from our orchard or a bottle of slivovitz, which my father used to distil every autumn.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    First sentence. Say:

    In the state-owned construction company where Father had been working for decades as a warehouse foreman, he had become friends with several of his colleagues.

    And:

    I was impressed with the size of the BUILDING....

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Say:

    I had seen him many times sitting up late into the night....

  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    I am not sure what you mean by "barracks" here. Is it what Americans would call a locker room?

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    #5

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Paragraph three. Perhaps:

    I thought for a moment, and I was overwhelmed by all the strange new sights and sounds.

  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Say:

    His ruddy face broke into a smile.

    And:

    Your father will show you around the place....

  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Paragraph four. Say:

    Ahmed and Father not only worked for the same company, but they also drove the same model of car....

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    #8

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Say:

    Father had bought it second hand, and the car gave him a lot of trouble. It was his first car, and he did not know much about car repair, but Ahmed came over whenever Father needed his help.

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    #9

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    Tarheel,
    I was impressed with the size of the company, which extended over a large area. It was not the size of the building.
    Maybe I should write

    I was impressed with the expanse of the company.

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    #10

    Re: Appendicitis, part one

    I understand I had used the word "barracks" wrongly. I was trying to describe a large, rectangular hut, but I did not know the proper English word. Could I say:

    "I went into one of the of huts..."
    and
    "Hundreds of people walked towards the large huts, warehouses....

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