Author Topic: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story  (Read 2597 times)

Offline Rho

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2015, 12:08:12 PM »
Great piece of writing.
It's a strange magic

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2015, 12:29:42 PM »
Thanks, Rho. It's a little OTT but I think the Green Man can carry it. ;D

Offline Emery

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2015, 01:41:46 PM »
Felt the need to jump in. I really enjoyed it, had great imagery like has been said and formed a wonderful mental image for me.

Since you put it out there to be critiqued, I feel like you want something more. 'Huge' as an adjective stood out to me. I find descriptions of size a bit unneeded and surrounded by much better modifiers it stood out as lazy. The only other thing I had, which is probably just me, but I wasn't a fan of 'Green Man'. The personification is there without hitting me over the head with it. Plus, again, when surrounded by a more mature use of language it stood out as a bit juvenile. And was used 6-7 times in 470 words? Once would get the point across, then I would just replace with pronouns to keep the focus on the imagery and not the labels.

Again, great piece.

All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #18 on: December 16, 2015, 02:45:00 PM »
Cheers, Emery, duly noted. ;) Changes Any improvement? :-\

The Forest

Thick, bumpy, age-cracked fungi protruded from his base, but the Green Man withstood the infestation, and year after year defied the parasites that fed off him, animals that made their home in him and beetles that bored into his heartwood.

Today he felt tired. A thousand years had passed since he had sprouted from acorn to sapling and grown to magnificent riverside sentinel who overlooked the bankside and provided shade for fishermen and passers-by. A glorious oak in his day, the ancient tree now stood hollow-trunked with a gallant lightning scar that deformed his canopy spread of russet gold laden branches. In winter, his silhouette scratched flinty skies. Bare limbs on the north side reached skeletal hands upward in supplication for the return of Spring.

People whispered wishes in the fairy ring beside him. They were bound to come true – this was a spirit tree after all.

A cold wind stirred the amber leaves and the Green Man bowed his crown in acceptance. The herald informed the oak a wild storm with heavy rain and gales would blow through this evening. With nodding boughs, the oak took a last look at his habitat. He’d miss the kingfishers and herons. Bats and squirrels sheltered within as if to say goodbye then fluttered or scampered away.

He knew he didn’t have long to make a final gesture. Soon he would be blown down, ready to join the nitrogen cycle, and the feeding frenzy of small bugs and spores.

The Green Man swayed. He couldn’t fall here; too many new plantings would be damaged. There were so few left.  He bowed deeply and strained his roots beneath the earth. If he could just manage to position himself right, the council, local kids and nature lovers would all be happy.

Throughout the afternoon, the wind gained strength and chased everyone from the forest. Resolute, he stood and waited. His yellow orange cloak trembled and shook. It blew apart like flames, fluttered and scattered over the woodland floor. Nearby beech trees tried to stand erect while he rocked and urged his anchor roots to rise and let him walk to his final destination.

Once the moon reached its highpoint, he searched the sky for his ancestral star, summoned up total core strength and wrenched the last strands of his heritage from the soil. He marched through the tempest, walked the twenty paces to the riverbank trailing severed remnants through grass behind him.

At last it was time to fall. ‘Remember me.’

The Green Man leant forward, lurched and crashed over the river he had so often caressed with leaf-dappled light. Branches snapped and whipped off. An almighty smash signalled his success.  Winds howled farewell. At peace now, he lay across the river connecting the banks in a magnificent solid bridge, a smile on the landscape.


Artemis Quark

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #19 on: December 16, 2015, 06:33:44 PM »
Still a gem, Sio. Reading this second version, however, brought attention to a few modifiers that could be deleted. I've crossed out the offenders (JMO). Use or lose.  ;D. AQ

Cheers, Emery, duly noted. ;) Changes Any improvement? :-\

The Forest

Thick, bumpy, age-cracked fungi protruded from his base, but the Green Man withstood the infestation, and year after year defied the parasites that fed off him, animals that made their home in him and beetles that bored into his heartwood.

Today he felt tired. A thousand years had passed since he had sprouted from acorn to sapling and grown to magnificent riverside sentinel who overlooked the bankside and provided shade for fishermen and passers-by. A glorious oak in his day, the ancient tree now stood hollow-trunked with a gallant lightning scar that deformed his canopy spread of russet gold laden branches. In winter, his silhouette scratched flinty skies. Bare limbs on the north side reached skeletal hands upward in supplication for the return of Spring.

People whispered wishes in the fairy ring beside him. They were bound to come true – this he [to enhance the personification?] was a spirit tree after all.

A cold wind stirred the amber leaves and the Green Man bowed his crown in acceptance. The herald informed the oak a wild storm with heavy rain and gales would blow through this evening. With nodding boughs, the oak took a last look at his habitat. He’d miss the kingfishers and herons. Bats and squirrels sheltered within as if to say goodbye then fluttered or scampered away, as if to say goodbye.

He knew he didn’t have long to make a final gesture. Soon he would be blown down, ready to join the nitrogen cycle, and the feeding frenzy of small bugs and spores. [the 'nitrogen cycle' jarred me from the poetic trance your description had created to this point. Perhaps use something like the 'cycle of life' or 'spiral of life?']

The Green Man swayed. He couldn’t fall here; too many new plantings would be damaged. There were so few left.  He bowed deeply and strained his roots beneath the earth. If he could just manage to position himself right, the council, local kids and nature lovers would all be happy.

Throughout the afternoon, the wind gained strength and chased everyone from the forest. Resolute, he stood and waited. His yellow orange cloak trembled and shook. It blew apart like flames, fluttered [fluttered is used earlier, not needed here IMO] and scattered over the woodland floor. Nearby beech trees tried to stand erect while he rocked and urged his anchor roots to rise and let him walk to his final destination.

Once the moon reached its highpoint, he searched the sky for his ancestral star, summoned up total core strength and wrenched the last strands of his heritage from the soil. He marched through the tempest, walked the twenty paces to the riverbank trailing severed remnants through grass behind him.

At last it was time to fall. ‘Remember me.’

The Green Man leant forward, lurched and crashed over the river he had so often caressed with leaf-dappled light. Branches snapped and whipped off. An almighty smashcrash signalled his success.  Winds howled farewell. At peace now, he lay across the river connecting the banks in a magnificent solid bridge, a smile on the landscape.



Offline 510bhan

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2015, 06:43:22 AM »
Super! ;D

Offline katarina66

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2015, 08:27:33 AM »
I loved it. Loved the imagery and the sentiment.  I couldn't see anything wrong with it at all.

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2015, 10:18:45 AM »
Thanks, Katarina. ;D

Offline johnnyh2

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #23 on: December 18, 2015, 02:04:33 PM »
Oh my goodness, Sio. This is award-winningly good.

It’s so pleasing when someone who critiques and helps so many people on here, can themselves write beautifully.

What struck me most was, I believe people of all ages would enjoy listening to this. Yeah, even young kids. Doesn’t matter about the big words. The sound of those words alone, in context, is good for them. And yes, I felt this should be read out loud to people. But I reckon kids would be enthralled.

My only tiny snark . . . well, I was expecting a few words about when the tree actually hit the water. The impact bit.

Yeah, love it.

J

Offline 510bhan

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Re: Perhaps the Last of his Kind 472 words short story
« Reply #24 on: December 18, 2015, 02:53:30 PM »
Thanks, johnny ;D ;D ;D ;D Something else to consider. ;)