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    #1

    The House, Part two

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

    At the weekend, Paul threw a small house-warming party. A few of his friends and colleagues arrived with the presents, and they had a few drinks and some food, which Paul had cooked himself. They praised the house, its thick walls and spacious rooms and its seclusion. They joked about sex parties that Paul should organise, which would certainly become popular because you wouldn't run the risk of having nosy, prurient neighbours prowling under your windows. Someone said that this large house needed a woman and Paul should marry, which prompted others to raise their glasses and toast to the future bride.

    Of course, they didn't like the surrounding, derelict buildings, but they told him he was going to get used to them, and if not, he could engage a demolition company, whose machine would raze them to the ground as easy as a pie. Paul didn't dare to mention the nightmares that tormented him the previous nights for fear of being laughed at. His fiends would probably stare at him as if he had a drink too much and tell him not to be silly. Now when he had finally fulfilled his dream, he couldn't let nightmares spoil his luck.

    Paul enjoyed the evening and all the talk and jokes his friends cracked without a break. He was relaxed and proud of being able to host them in his own house. This was a considerable feat for the 35-year-old with the job of stacking shelves in a supermarket. Being an owner of a house, gives you the freedom you can never experience while living in a flat. You can listen to your favourite bands as loud as you want and choose your indoor temperature as pleasant as you wish. And above all, you don't have a landlord to pester you for the unpaid rent and other bills or fear eviction.

    The last guests left his home just before dawn. Paul was tired and dizzy with alcohol to clean up and went to bed straight away. He slept peacefully, and when he woke up, the sun was high in the sky. He looked out the window and saw two birds, as black as coal, chasing one another out of the broken windows of the derelict stables. Everything is dark here, even birds, Paul thought. As soon as the spring comes, I'm going to plant some flowers. I need some colours around to kill this darkness.

    The day passed as usual, but as soon as the evening came and he went to sleep, his anxiety returned. His thoughts didn't let him relax. An inner voice was telling him that someone must be upstairs. Another voice was assuring him that nobody was there -- it was just his imagination. He tried to calm himself and go to sleep but was unable to control the anxiety which crept up over him. He went to the kitchen, picked up the largest knife he could find and went upstairs. His heart was thumping with excitement, his legs was wobbly.

    He went from room to room, searched every nook and cranny, and found nothing. He opened the window, and the sound of the motorway traffic filled the room. In the distance, a huge digital billboard on the facade of the mall was enticing shoppers to come in and spend more of their money. He closed the window and went downstairs, feeling somewhat assured that he was alone in the house. He went to sleep, but in a dream, an angry-looking ten-year-old girl came up to him and said, "You're an intruder. This is my home. Go away!" Before Paul could say anything, she had her hands around his neck, squeezing it. He screamed with all his might and woke up bathed in sweat. He was shaking. Who was that little girl? he wondered. He was maybe murdered in this same house. Probably tortured. She had never gone over to the other side. She don't want me here.

    He switched on the lights in the whole house, but the fear didn't go away. On the contrary, his whole body was covered in goose pimples, his hair stood on end. He caught himself in the mirror and jolted in shock. A face with the bulging eyes and dark rings was staring at him, pleading with him to do something. The pressure in his chest was growing, and he knew that if he stayed inside, he was going to die.
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The House, Part two

    First paragraph. Sentence two. Say:

    A few of his friends and colleagues arrived with presents, and they had a few drinks and food which Paul had cooked himself.
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  3. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: The House, Part two

    The expression is as easy as pie.

    Say:

    His friends would probably stare at him as if he had drunk too much. (Or had too much to drink.)
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  4. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: The House, Part two

    Third paragraph. I suggest:

    It was a considerable feat for a 35-year-old with the job of stocking shelves in a supermarket.

    And:

    Being the owner of a house gives you freedom you never experience while living in a flat.
    Last edited by Tarheel; 20-Jan-2020 at 04:29.
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  5. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The House, Part two

    Fourth paragraph. Perhaps:

    Paul was too tired and too woozy to clean up, so he went straight to bed.

    two birds as black as coal
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  6. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The House, Part two

    Next. Perhaps:

    As soon as spring comes, I'm going to plant some flowers. I need to brighten this place up.
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  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: The House, Part two

    Fifth paragraph. Perhaps:

    The day passed as usual, but as soon as evening came and he went to sleep, his anxiety returned.

    And:

    He tried to calm himself and go to sleep, but he was unable to control the anxiety which crept over him.

    And:

    His heart was thumping with excitement; his legs were wobbly, his knees were shaking.

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  8. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: The House, Part two

    Sixth paragraph. Say:

    He went from room to room, searched every nook and cranny and found nothing. He opened a window, and the sound of the motorway traffic filled the room.

    If you say the window the typical reader (if that person is like me) will say "What window?" I think changing it to a window solves that problem.
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  9. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The House, Part two

    Last paragraph. I suggest:

    He switched on the lights in the whole house (or: all over the house), but the fear didn't go away. On the contrary, his body was covered in goose pimples, and his hair stood on end. He caught himself in the mirror and jolted in shock. A face with dark eyes and dark rings was staring at him, pleading with him to do something. The pressure in his chest was growing, and he knew that if he didn't get out of there he was going to die.

    Finished!
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