Lingonberries, part six

Bassim

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

I lost count of time and drifted in and out of sleep, squinting at the fluorescent tube above me and willing it to burn out just to give me a chance to experience darkness for a while. The round-the-clock light was the symbol of the power my captors had over my life. They could switch it off and end my misery any time, just as they could finish me off and made me disappear without a trace.
I didn’t know how long I had spent in such a confuse state until the door opened and the guards blindfolded me. I felt again the neck of a plastic bottle on my lips and the voice ordered me to drink. I swallowed the liquid, hoping this would lead me either to freedom or to death, which at least would end this subtle torture.

The next thing I remembered was waking up in a deep ditch surrounded by frogs leaping and creaking around me. They glared at me with their large dark eyes as if I was an intruder encroaching on their territory. I thought I must have been dreaming a nightmare, but the cold water under me and a pain shooting through my body brought me into reality. I crawled out of the ditch onto the soft shoulder. The road was empty and glistening with dew, and the pale light of dawn creeping over the horizon. I started to walk along the road hoping a car would come by and give me a ride, but the traffic in this part of the country was always sparse. You could drive for an hour and not see a car on the road.

I looked down at my wrist to see what time it was, but my Raketa, which I had bought in Russia, was not there. I searched through my pockets, but they were empty, expect for my wallet in the inner pocket of my jacket. I opened it and saw that my documents were there, but they had taken all my money. I didn’t care about a few hundred crowns missing, but the loss of my Raketa made me angry. That watch was not only accurate and robust, but was also a reminder of happy times. The anger made me forget my pain, and I quickened my pace. I came across a sign telling me I had more than 60 kilometres to my home.

I heard the sound of the engine and stuck out my thumb, but the woman driver scowled at me and sped up. Another car passed by and it didn’t stop either. I walked on thinking I could not blame the drivers. I must have looked frightening with my dishevelled hair, unshaven face and dirty clothes. Then I heard an engine chugging behind me. I turned my head round and saw a truck full of timber. I stuck out my thumb, and the driver pulled over and let me climb into the cabin. He told me he could not drive me straight to my hometown because later he had to turn in another direction, but he could give me a ride for about 45 kilometres. He gave me water and sandwich, which I gobbled up. I related my story to him, not mentioning my encounter with the military, and the man shook his bald head and said, “I drive timber almost every day in this area, but I don’t like these woods. There is something ominous about them. I’d die of scare if I got lost in them.” I nodded in agreement wishing to tell him the truth.

He let me get off at the bus stop, where I waited for the local bus to arrive. I told the bus driver I got lost in the woods and had no money, but he smiled at me and said, “Welcome, get in. I know who you are. The whole town is looking for you.”
When I finally arrived home, my wife and daughters broke down in tears. We gave each other a long hug. My wife told me that a search party had been looking for me for three days, and she immediately grabbed the telephone to call the police and inform them of the happy end. I was embarrassed when I narrated my half-truth: how I lost my bearings while trying to find Oscar; how I started to panic and lost consciousness, and how I roamed through the woods until I finally managed to find a way out. I could not tell if they believed me, but I had a picture of my interrogator at the back of my mind, and I didn’t want to put my family in danger.

I believed I would be able to live a normal life again, but that turned out to be an illusion. I would wake up screaming as if I had been attacked. My wife was sympathetic at first and comforted me, but I knew she would not put up with that for long. One day we dressed ourselves and wanted to take a stroll into the woods. I didn’t feel well the moment I put on the pair of wellingtons, but I didn’t dare to tell my wife I could not follow her. We walked towards the woods chatting as usual, but as we came nearer and the tall trees loomed in front of us, my legs became weak as if had wandered days and nights without a stop. My limbs started shaking and I was unable to move. My wife stared at me without knowing what to do, and I felt embarrassed. I was not a softie. We men from the north are tough guys, but now I felt ashamed of myself. For us, woods and forests are like the sea for people who live on the coast. You can’t imagine life without them. They give you food, building material, log, timber, protection from wind and blizzards, and they are heaven for hunters and hikers. And now I was scared of them, like a child who had once been lost in a city and then didn’t dare to come into the street, even to play.
TO BE CONTINUED
 

teechar

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

I lost [STRIKE]count[/STRIKE] track of time and drifted in and out of sleep, squinting at the constantly lit fluorescent tube above me and willing it to burn out just to give me a chance to experience darkness for a while. [STRIKE]The round-the-clock[/STRIKE] That light was the symbol of the power my captors had over my life. They could switch it off and end my misery any time, just as they could finish me off and [STRIKE]made[/STRIKE] make me disappear without a trace.

I didn’t know how long I had spent in such a confused state, until the door opened and the guards came in and blindfolded me. I felt again the neck of a plastic bottle on my lips and the voice ordered me to drink. I swallowed the liquid, hoping this would lead me either to freedom or to death, which at least would end this subtle torture.

The next thing I remembered was waking up in a deep ditch surrounded by frogs leaping and creaking around me. They glared at me with their large dark eyes as if I was an intruder encroaching on their territory. I thought I must have been [STRIKE]dreaming[/STRIKE] having a nightmare, but the cold water under me and a pain shooting through my body told me it was no dream. [STRIKE]brought me into reality.[/STRIKE] I crawled out of the ditch onto the soft shoulder. The road was empty and glistening with dew, and the pale light of dawn creeping over the horizon. I started to walk along the road hoping a car would come by and give me a ride, but the traffic in this part of the country was always sparse. You could drive for an hour and not see a car on the road.

I looked [STRIKE]down[/STRIKE] at my wrist to see what time it was, but my Raketa, which I had bought in Russia, was not there. I searched through my pockets, but they were empty, expect for my wallet in the inner pocket of my jacket. I opened it and saw that my documents were there, but they had taken all my money. I didn’t care about a few hundred [STRIKE]crowns[/STRIKE]missing kronor, but the loss of my Raketa made me angry. That watch was not only accurate and robust, but was also a reminder of happy times. The anger made me forget my pain, and I quickened my pace. I came across a sign telling me I had more than 60 kilometres to my home.

I heard the sound of [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a car engine and stuck out my thumb, but the woman driver scowled at me and sped up. Another car passed by and it didn’t stop either. I walked on thinking I could not blame the drivers. I must have looked frightening with my dishevelled hair, unshaven face and dirty clothes. Then I heard an engine chugging behind me. I turned my head round and saw a truck full of timber. I stuck out my thumb, and the driver pulled over and let me climb into the cabin. He told me he could not drive me [STRIKE]straight[/STRIKE] all the way to my hometown as he was going elsewhere, [STRIKE]because later he had to turn in another direction,[/STRIKE] but he could give me a ride for about 45 kilometres in the right direction. He gave me water and a sandwich, which I gobbled up. I related my story to him [What does that mean?], not mentioning my encounter with the military, and the man shook his bald head and said, “I drive [STRIKE]timber[/STRIKE] almost every day in this area, but I don’t like these woods. There is something ominous about them. I’d die of [STRIKE]scare[/STRIKE] fright if I got lost in them.” I nodded in agreement wishing [STRIKE]to[/STRIKE] I could tell him all about what happened to me. [STRIKE]the truth.[/STRIKE]

He let me get off at [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] a bus stop, where I waited for the local bus to arrive. I told the bus driver I got lost in the woods and had no money, [STRIKE]but[/STRIKE] and he smiled at me and said, [STRIKE]“Welcome[/STRIKE] "No probs! Get in. I know who you are. The whole town is looking for you.”
When I finally arrived home, my wife and daughters broke down in tears. We gave each other a long hug. My wife told me that a search party had been looking for me for three days, and she immediately grabbed the telephone to call the police and let them know I'd come back. [STRIKE]inform them of the happy end.[/STRIKE] I was embarrassed when I narrated my half-truth: how I lost my bearings while trying to find Oscar; how I started to panic and lost consciousness, and how I roamed through the woods until I finally managed to find a way out. I could not tell if they believed me, but I had a picture of my interrogator at the back of my mind, and I didn’t want to put my family in danger.

I believed I would be able to live a normal life again, but that turned out to be an illusion. I would wake up screaming as if I had been attacked. My wife was sympathetic at first and comforted me, but I knew she would not put up with that for long. One day, we [STRIKE]dressed ourselves and wanted[/STRIKE] decided to take a stroll into the woods. I didn’t [STRIKE]feel well[/STRIKE] savour the moment I put on [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] my pair of wellingtons, but I didn’t dare (to) tell my wife I could not follow her. We walked towards the woods chatting as usual, but as we came nearer and the tall trees loomed in front of us, my legs became weak as if I had been wandering [STRIKE]ed[/STRIKE] days and nights without a stop. My limbs started shaking and I was unable to move. My wife stared at me without knowing what to do, and I felt embarrassed. I was not a softie. We men from the north are tough guys, but now I felt ashamed of myself. For us, woods and forests are like the sea for people who live on the coast. You can’t imagine life without them. They give you food, building material, logs, timber, protection from wind and blizzards, and they are heaven for hunters and hikers. And now I was scared of them, like a child who had once been lost in a city and [STRIKE]then[/STRIKE] subsequently didn’t dare (to) [STRIKE]come into[/STRIKE] go out on the street, even to play.
TO BE CONTINUED
.
 

Bassim

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teechar,

Thank you again for your corrections.

I used "I related my story to him", meaning "I told him my story." I used "relate" instead of "tell" just to vary my vocabulary. Does "relate" sound wrong in my sentence?
 

teechar

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No, I just meant that most of what happened is about the encounter with the military. I think say something like "I told him I'd got lost in the woods and became disoriented" instead.
 

Tarheel

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Try:

The next thing I knew I was waking up in a ditch, and I was surrounded by frogs.

And:

I crawled out of the ditch onto the shoulder of the road.
 

Tarheel

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Perhaps:

I got a queasy feeling when I put on my wellingtons, but I didn't dare tell my w ife I couldn't follow her.
 

Tarheel

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Say:

We men from the North are tough guys, but now I felt ashamed of myself.
 

Tarheel

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Could you flesh this out some? Add more details?
 
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