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The Umbrella



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Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:02 pm
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beckiw says...



This is more of a moment rather than a completed story. Something I wrote over 3 days. I'm sure there are plenty of grammar mistakes for you to sink your teeth into.

Let me know what you think :)


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He sat there, chestnut hair slicked with rain, shivering from the cold of his sodden clothes. The stonewall dug painfully into his back, the scrapes and cuts covering his body stinging as water seeped into them but he did not move.

Tendrils of cold threaded throughout his body and he could almost feel parts of himself shutting down, desperately trying to preserve the very core of him.

He was so tired. Tired of running. Tired of the ache inside him that didn’t dissipate, no matter what he did.

Closing his eyes, he invited in the dark and the nothingness, waiting for it to wash over him. He welcomed it, wanting it to end his torment.

Soon they would come for him or the darkness would. He wouldn’t fight either.

The rhythmic splatter of rain against his head ceased. Had the time come already?

No…he could feel something beside him. Something warm.

Slowly his eyes fluttered open and moved to see the lively green irises of a small girl looking back.

She looked him over, a red umbrella clutched in her hand now serving as protection from the relentless rain.

“What are you doing?” she inquired.

He didn’t respond. Something about her struck him, her eyes, and her warmth. It felt so familiar and comforting.

“You’ll catch cold you know. That’s what Mummy always says to me when I get wet.”

Again he remained silent.

“But I never do…catch cold.”

She searched his dark eyes for something. He’d seen that look before. The look where someone could see right through you. Her eyes flicked to the cuts adorning his arms and she reached her hand out to touch them.

He didn’t stop her.

“You’re in pain.”

He gazed at her.

She sighed, wanting some sort of response from him.

A pause hung between them as they sat staring at each other.

“You’re…you’re getting wet,” he barely whispered.

The girl touched her sodden back and dark hair. She looked up at the umbrella that barely covered her, reluctant to move it from above him.

She shifted closer to him, her small frame able to fit beneath the canopy and protect him.

“I can help you.”

He looked at her innocent eyes. “Help me?”

“I can take your pain away.”

“I don’t deserve it.”

She shifted onto her knees and placed a hand over his bare forearm. He wasn’t sure what the girl was about to do, nor did he know why he was prepared to let her do anything. He didn’t deserve anyone’s help and yet something had shifted inside him with her presence and now the black didn’t seem so endless.

The girl had not said anything for a while and looking down at her he could see she had an expression of determination.

“What is it?” he asked.

“I’m not supposed to do this but…I don’t care if Mummy says bad things will happen. I’ve decided.”

He felt a pressure when her hand touched his skin and after a moment light erupted from her palm, spreading up his arm and throughout his body. The girl’s black hair wavered in a wind that should not exist, her eyes turning a snowy white.

For a moment he wanted to yank his arm from her grasp, terrified by the surge of energy but that soon disappeared. He felt no intent of ill will from the light or from her. Just warmth.

Then it was all over. The rain returned and she smiled at him. Where once were deep gashes and grazes there was now only perfectly healed skin.

He removed his arm from her hand and gazed at it disbelievingly.

“You’re…you’re one of them…” he whispered.

Before she could respond, shouts erupted along the street.

“Over there! A light!”

“He must be over there!”

“Quick! Get the guard!”

He looked around desperately. “No…no not now!” He cursed to himself.

He glanced up to see the girl looking at him confused.

“You have to go! Leave! Get out of here! It’s not safe.”

He tried to stand on shaky legs but she stopped him.

“No,” she said simply.

He paused, slumping to the ground again.

“You’re still in pain.”

“We don’t have time for this,” he tried to impress upon her.

“I wanted to heal you.”

“You did.” He raised his unharmed arm in evidence.

“No!” she shouted, grabbing hold of his wrist. The umbrella falling to the ground, forgotten.

Footsteps pounded the cobbled street beyond the alley. He could hear armour clanking and shouted orders.

“Please! You have to go, it’s not safe. I’m not safe to be around and...and if they realise what you are…Your Mum is right, bad things will happen.”

At that moment soldiers burst into the other end of the alley and the small girl slammed her palm against his chest.

Once again a light blasted outward from her hand but this time it engulfed the two of them. It seemed to reach down into his very soul, touching the darkest parts of him, trying to banish them. He cried in anguish as the darkness burrowed deeper into him, trying to escape.

He attempted to resist but her hand seemed to hold them together in some sort of terrible embrace. She should not be doing this, not in front of the imperial guard. They would take her and he would not be responsible for killing someone else.

“Stop it! I don’t want this!” he shouted.

The light snuffed out immediately and he was thrown hard against the wall. The girl lay on the floor further down the alley, barely moving.

The guards, still at the furthest end of the alley, stood stunned.

“She’s a healer. He has a healer?” one of them muttered.

“Forget him! Grab the girl!” their commander called out.

The man scrambled to where she lay as the shouts of the guards came to him.

“You there! Stop! In the name of the King!”

He ignored them, finally reaching the girl and picking up her delicate body in his arms.

“Are you ok? Can you walk?” he whispered urgently to her.

She nodded and he stood once again, hurrying to the open end of the alley where it emerged into the bustling street.

He set her down on the cobbles. “I want you to run. Run as far and as fast as you can.”

Her lip began to wobble. “But…but I wanted to heal you. I want to take your pain away. I wanted to help you.”

He smiled and pulled her into a hug. “You did. You gave me a reason to live. To fight.”

The guards came charging out of the alley and their eyes met his.

“Run!” he shouted, turning away to face the threat.

She did as she was told. Running as fast as her feet would take her.

“Stop the girl!” the commander yelled.

“Like I’d let you.”

And he smiled, running into the mass of men, fists ready to fight, now he had something to fight for.
'The creation of a single world comes from a huge number of fragments and chaos.' - Hayao Miyazaki
  





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Sun Jan 22, 2012 8:30 pm
Lauren2010 says...



Becki posted a story! *sinks teeth* :D

Let's get right to it, shall we?
The stonewall dug painfully into his back, the scrapes and cuts covering his body stinging as water seeped into them but he did not move.

This is probably just me being weird about how things sound, but this sentence feels sort of run-on-y to me. I'd cut it like this:
The stonewall dug painfully into his back. The scrapes and cuts covering his body stung as water seeped into them, but he did not move.

Soon they would come for him or the darkness would. He wouldn’t fight either.

The rhythmic splatter of rain against his head ceased. Had the time come already?

This feels like too sudden a changeover. Like there should be a better transition to not fighting and the rain suddenly stopping.

For a moment he wanted to yank his arm from her grasp, terrified by the surge of energy but that soon disappeared.

The bolded part is really sudden and disjointed with the rest of the sentence. It probably ought to be it's own sentence, with more of a transition.

“Are you ok? Can you walk?” he whispered urgently to her.

It seems like, considering the situation, he would just pick her up and run with her. Even if she was okay to run, she's a child while he's an adult and when in need of a quick escape it would be easier to carry her than wait for a child to try to run as fast as an adult. If that makes sense xD

He smiled and pulled her into a hug. “You did. You gave me a reason to live. To fight.”

Did she? I think this could use more elaborating on. First, I'd like to know more about why this guy is running from the soldiers in the first place. It would give a lot of context to the piece, and make this incident with the girl carry more resonance in re-inspiring his desire to fight. Plus, it's just interesting xD

Secondly, even with context it seems that this interaction between the girl and the man ought to be a lot more significant to be this game-changing for him. At the beginning of the story, he didn't want to fight. Something seriously huge has to change in his body and his mind/philosophy/desires to cause him to want to fight again.

Also,
And he smiled, running into the mass of men, fists ready to fight, now he had something to fight for.

He seems massively outnumbered. Does he have some magical advantage we don't know about that would allow him to even stand a chance against a crowd of soldiers with only his fists?

Overall, I really enjoyed this! I love the magical girl and her healing powers, and her innocent insistence to help him. You're writing, too, is just lovely and enjoyable to read. I really like the length of this piece, even if it is a "moment", it feels like it could be a complete story to me. Flash fiction, eh? ;) The arc of the guys not wanting to fight changing to wanting to fight again can be a complete enough plot for me!

Keep writing!

-Lauren-
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Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:24 pm
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PotterGeek101 says...



I absolutely loved this so discriptive and full of power and emotion it's really good! It kept me going right until then end but just need to work on a few things though. let me help :)

He sat there, chestnut hair slicked with rain, shivering from the cold of his sodden clothes. The stonewall dug painfully into his back,here i think you should at least up a . or maybe a ; would fit in here the scrapes and cuts covering his body stinging as water seeped into them but he did not move.

I liked this as it gave the reader an insight to what might of happened to this boy. It makes the reader think and want to know more leading them to read on.


Closing his eyes, he invited in the dark and the nothingness, waiting for it to wash over him. He welcomed it, wanting it to end his torment.

I believe that there could be more added to these lines. Enlighten the reader to more of his feelings.

Soon they would come for him or the darkness would. He wouldn’t fight either. i don't think this really fits in well, maybe if you rephrase it.
Just work on that little line, but love how the character seems to be giving up.

Slowly his eyes fluttered open and moved to see the lively green irises of a small girl looking back.
Maybe we could add a bit more description into here.

She looked him over, a red umbrella clutched in her hand now serving as protection from the relentless rain.
I love this line, it make me feel like these two belong together and fate has some ideas for them. i love the words such as protection from the relentless rain. it makes the boy seem almost to weak to protect himself from harmless rain.

“But I never do…catch cold.”
now this sounds very interesting would like to know what this line could lead too.

“I’m not supposed to do this Maybe a . here would help this sentence flow more easily but…I don’t care if Mummy says bad things will happen. i would put a ! here to show how determined this little girl is I’ve decided.”




“Over there! A light!”

“He must be over there!”

“Quick! Get the guard!”

Maybe if we could tell what the voice are, for example, one could shout, scream, whisper, yell, or grunt just to put a bit more imagination into this.

And he smiled, running into the mass of men, fists ready to fight, now he had something to fight for.
This line was a perfect ending though 'and' is to add something on to a sentence not to start a new one so i would get rid of that bit.

Overall this is amazing i loved the description and the language used. it all grabbed the reader and showed them so insight to the story line. i loved it keep it up!!
Life is full of Mysteries, but you can never solve them if you go looking for them. You can only solve them once they escape your mind and are right under your nose!
  





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Thu Jan 26, 2012 2:42 pm
sunny2704 says...



Nice work but I feel it was incomplete. I wanted a little more action. There are a few point that I want to stress upon:

1. The character is not clear. you have left us wondering how he got wounded and why did he feel an unexplained closeness to the girl.

2. Initially it took a little long to make me understand that there was a fantasy element involved. I was searching for interesting parts and was a little bored( i am a very impatient reader. Sorry for that. )

3. The end cannot be the way you ended it. It feels that the story has been clipped or abruptly ended.

4. The initial description as a simple story is good but as a fantasy short story, its take the meat of the write-up. You could have exchanged it to aggravate the end.

5. when the protagonist feels a fondness for the girl, it made me felt that he was somehow related to her.


All in all good work but please try to give it a more complete end. It would add on to the reader value :)
  








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