Young Writers Society

Home » Read / Write » Short Stories » General Fiction Short Stories

Winterland.



User avatar
336 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 805
Reviews: 336
Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:53 pm
Jas says...



Pain was hidden in the palms of his hands. It seeped out, dripping onto her skin every time she said something wrong. Novas exploded in her head whenever he started, but she took herself to another place where his hands could not curl into fists and his words weren't jagged. She allowed herself to disassociate, to become someone else for a while, until the novas burned themselves out and nothing but embers were left. When the volcano finished erupting, she would clean herself of the vivid red lava it left behind. She would pick up the table that was knocked over, limp to the kitchen and get the broom to clean the shattered glass on the floor. Sometimes, afterwards, she would trace flowers with her fingertips onto her stained skin, letting the roses bloom after the bruises did.

He raised his hand and she flinched back, already bowing her head, already taking the blame. His fist knocked out a porcelain tooth and she tasted metal in her mouth. She didn't even remember what she had done; maybe he hadn't liked the way dinner was arranged on the table or the coffee was too sweet. It didn't matter though, those were just excuses.

She had her excuses too, pulled them out of a magician's hat whenever that little rational voice in her head opened her big mouth. Why are you with him? Why don't you leave? Fear seizes up in her at the thought of leaving and she spits back lies, He doesn't mean it. He promised it wouldn't happen again. He loves me. She is Alice in Winterland, tumbling down the rabbit hole, losing bits and pieces of herself on the way.

She knew when to worry, when to go to the bedroom and put on a large, thick sweater to soften the blows. Either he'd come in late, smelling of liquor, his eyes ugly, blood-shot red or he'd come too early, his face blank as he held either the credit card bill or the crumpled "Does he hit you?" pamphlet her doctor gave her after seeing all the art he painted on her body. He would look at her with those eyes and wait a couple of seconds, only a couple of seconds, tick-tock-tick, before his face twisted into a grimace and his hands became claws.

She wasn't always so fragile, so delicate. At one point, maybe when it first started, she would yell back, hit back, push him against the wall and let her bunny-rabbit paws thump against his chest. He would get angrier and the house would shake with their screams. Once, he slapped her hard on the face and she fell to the floor, her cool fingers pressed against her cheek, warm with pain. She stood and watched stars burst in her eyes, stumbled like a drunk, before she grabbed her favorite porcelain vase and threw it at his head. A crash, then a thud and shattered glass sang from the floor. Blood dyed his hair a dark red and his eyes closed, once, twice, before staying shut. She screamed, the loudest of that night, and ran to the kitchen, filling a bowl of water, before rushing back and pouring it on his face. Her heart was electrically fast, thumping in her chest, a pulse beat that he might not have. Slowly though, he woke and the look on his face, like he was a child, like he needed her, was enough to make her stay.

He stopped seeing her after a while and began seeing all his mistakes and fears and dreams that were tied down too loosely and slipped out of his fingers like fog. He stopped seeing the girl that he was in love with, let that memory break like a favorite vase; you could glue it back together, but it was hard not to notice the cracks.

He was a fire-breathing dragon, blind with rage and she, a peasant girl lost in the forest. She hid in the briar bush, waiting for him to hibernate for Summer. It's a shame that in his world, Winter never ends.

~*~

I know it's short but let's pretend it's a prologue or something. I'm not sure whether to expand on this or just let it die. Comments are appreciated. :D Also: Let's all pretend that dragons hibernate in summer, alright? Also, if anyone could think of something better than Winterland, that might involve domestic abuse or the cold, I'd appreciate it. :)
Last edited by Jas on Fri May 27, 2011 1:14 am, edited 10 times in total.
I am nothing
but a mouthful of 'sorry's, half-hearted
apologies that roll of my tongue, smoothquick, like 'r's
or maybe like pocket candy
that's just a bit too sweet.

~*~
  





User avatar
378 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 2276
Reviews: 378
Sun May 01, 2011 12:14 am
Soulkana says...



Pain was hidden, shallowly in the palms of his Should this not be her? Since the next sentence says her skin? That means its a girl feeling the pain in her hands right? hands. It seeped out, dripping onto her skin everytime she said something wrong. Novas exploded in her head whenever he started, but she took herself to another place where his hands could not curl into fists and his words weren't jagged, allowing herself to disassociate until the embers burned themselves out and nothing but ashes were left. Sometimes, afterwards, she would trace flowers with her fingertips onto the stained skin, letting the roses bloom after the bruises did.

He raised his hand and she flinched back, already bowing her head, already I think you should say ready since its a bit repetitive since you already said "already" just before it taking the blame. His fist knocked out a porcelain tooth and she tasted metal in her mouth. She didn't even remember what she had done; maybe he hadn't liked the way dinner was arranged on the table or the coffee was too sweet. It didn't matter though, those were just excuses. He stopped seeing her after a while and began seeing all his mistakes and fears and dreams that were tied down too loosely and slipped out of his fingers like fog. He stopped seeing the girl that he was in love with, let that memory break like a favorite piece of good china, no matter how much super-glue you use, the cracks will still be there

He was a fire-breathing dragon, blind with rage and she, a peasant girl lost in the forest. She hide in the briars a waiting for him to hibernate for Winter. It's a shame that in this world, Summer never ends.



I really loved this. The first part I'm not sure if it meant to be his instead of hers and if so please ignore that suggestion haha. Well I really really liked this and you described it beautifully. I hope you get many helpful reviews and I can't wait to read more of your works soon!!! Good luck and keep up with the amazing work!!! Happy Writing!!!!!
Soulkana<3
May the gentle moon take you into peaceful dreams. May the mighty sun brighten your new days.
  





User avatar
151 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 4674
Reviews: 151
Sun May 01, 2011 12:16 am
Amfliflier says...



Hi!

This was pretty good! I feel the need to say this in every review, just to make sure: So this was a story about an abusive boyfriend and his girlfriend? Anyways, it was really good. The description and emotion were great, and overall this was really good! Nice job! :)
Forever for All <3

MUSIC RULES! :)

Everyday is Earth Day! :D
  





User avatar
62 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 2401
Reviews: 62
Sun May 01, 2011 12:42 am
MOIMOW says...



Hey, I really liked the description and metaphors in this. You're right, it is short, but I think it gets the point across.
Grammatically,
She hide in the
should be she hid, but that was all I found.
Keep writing!
"Forget love. I'd rather fall in chocolate."
  





User avatar
85 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1464
Reviews: 85
Sun May 01, 2011 1:49 am
Eniarrol says...



This had heaps of imagery and made you picture everything. My favourite bit was probably the second paragrapth as the first one had just a litte too much imagery there that made the story a bit confusing.
I do the same thing though so don't feel I am being harsh :)

I would like to see you continue this it seems interesting!
-SweetMoments
A hero isn’t defined by winning. Loads of heroes die in the effort. Most of them never get any recognition. No, a hero is just somebody who does the right thing when it would be far, far easier to do nothing.


~Previously SweetMoments
  





User avatar
99 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 7377
Reviews: 99
Sun May 01, 2011 2:44 am
TabbyGirl says...



Yo, Jas... I'm Tabby, from the contest, 'member XD?

Oki dai, so, I thought that opening paragraph was excellent... you used a ton of great imagery... at first I wasn't at all sure what you were talking about in the first paragraph, but then I started reading the second one and I was like "ah!"

I mean... really, the only complaint I have is it gets sort of confusing where the imagery ends, and the literal part begins... but looking back, I realize almost all of it is imagery... (I though he was litterally drowning her when I first read that part)

But yeah, besides that, it was a good read. Although I don't know how you would continue this exactly, if you want to, do it!

One final note: bears hibernate in the Winter XD

--
Tabby
  





User avatar
126 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 3420
Reviews: 126
Sun May 01, 2011 2:54 am
View Likes
Mickixoxo says...



Uhm.... I don't get it >.<
I got really confused in the first paragraph because you didn't really explain the two people and at first, I just though that you accidentally said "him" instead of "her" haha.

Pain was hidden shallowly in the palms of his hands. It seeped out, dripping onto her skin every time she said something wrong. Novas exploded in her head whenever he started, but she took herself to another place where his hands could not curl into fists and his words weren't jagged, allowing herself to disassociate until the embers burned themselves out and nothing but ashes were left. Sometimes, afterwords, she would trace flowers with her fingertips onto her stained skin, letting the roses bloom after the bruises did.


This was extremely confusing and I could have sworn my brain melted and started dripping out of my ears.... So... his pain dripping out into her? What do you mean? At first the sentences didn't really fit together at all and it all just seemed jumbled together to me and I didn't quite understand what was going on.
It was only at the end of the story when I finally got the gist of what was happening. He was beating her, right? But he didn't want to? Or... something...
Don't get me wrong. I really did enjoy thing. It was actually quite interesting. Just confusing, is all.

He shoved the girl he loved to the bottom of a frozen lake, with manacles and chains holding her down. She pushed up desperate to break the ice of fantasy, to escape the dream world of the lake, breathe in the air of reality. The ice was too strong and her breaths became shallow. She was Alice in Wonderland, tumbling down rabbit hole, losing bits and pieces of herself with each second.


Did he actually kill her? Or was it just another one of the various metaphors you used in this paragraph? And I also don't really understand WHY he was doing all of this to her in the first place. Maybe if you could elaborate a little?

But really. Other than the fact that it was confusing in the beginning, I really did find it interesting and I liked it :)
If there's a 50/50 chance of getting something wrong go for it anyway because there is also a 50/50 chance of getting it right

I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity. ~Edgar Allen Poe
  





User avatar
3746 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 2212
Reviews: 3746
Sun May 01, 2011 3:59 am
Snoink says...



Hey Jasmine!

Okay, this was really weird and maybe a bit too short. Part of me wants to say, "It's too abstract!" and the other part of me wants to say, "Make it even more abstract!" For instance, it might be really cool if it went really realistic and then turned to really abstract with only a slight transition. Kind of like that poem "Naming of Parts" by Henry Reed.

Actually, let's look at that poem for a minute, shall we? :D

Spoiler! :
Today we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But today,
Today we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighbouring gardens,
And today we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards; we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring. It is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For today we have naming of parts.


So, you'll see that he goes to something brutally to real to something really strange and fanciful without really blinking an eye. I think that would be reeeally cool if you could do something like that with the abuse. It looks like you've tried to do it, to some extent, but the thing is that you made it so abstract that it's kind of all together mushy, but if you had those parts that are brutally realistic and weave it with the flowery abstract stuff, it'll be so much more awesome. So, make him hit her and make that stylistically shorter, then see if you can transition that with flowier prose. It'll be awesome!

Anyway, just an idea! :D
Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.

"The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls the butterfly." ~ Richard Bach

Moth and Myth <- My comic! :D
  





User avatar
162 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 12987
Reviews: 162
Sun May 01, 2011 4:55 am
silentpages says...



A good start. :) My thoughts going through:

In the first paragraph, you've got a lot of metaphors and imagery all in one space. Seeping pain, novas in her head, jagged words, embers and ashes... Roses blooming after the bruises did. All of them beautiful (I especially like the roses one), but all of them in the same space may get a little confusing/overwhelming to a reader. If you really want to use all of them, maybe divide them up a little more?

"Alice in Winterland" -- Love that. Excellent twist on a familiar allusion.

"tumbling down rabbit hole" -- The rabbit hole.

Again, lots of imagery throughout the whole piece. That's not a bad thing, but it could get confusing for a reader. First his words are jagged, now they're embers. First she's a girl at the bottom of a lake, and then she's lost in a forest. Right now we're not really tied down to any particular setting, in real life or in her head, and so many changing images could make us lose track of the story itself.

I do think that you did a good job of getting across the way she responds to the beatings, making excuses for him.
"already bowing her head, already taking the blame" "He stopped seeing the girl that he was in love with..."
Both really good lines showing different things about these characters.

Basically, this has the potential to be a really good piece, but I think it would be a lot stronger if you tied us down to something. Give us some consistancy. Something to follow along throughout the whole piece. I really liked the Alice in Winterland angle, so maybe focus on that, and the whole aspect of coldness, rather than giving us the coldness along with the fire and the flowers and the plates and a million other things we're trying to picture all at the same time.

Keep writing. ^^
"Pay Attention. Pay Close Attention to everything, everything you see. Notice what no one else notices, and you'll know what no one else knows. What you get is what you get. What you do with what you get is more the point. -- Loris Harrow, City of Ember (Movie)
  





User avatar
86 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 3699
Reviews: 86
Sun May 01, 2011 4:56 am
charcoalspacewolfman says...



Hallo, there, Jas, I'm not sure why I clicked on this, but I did and I don't regret it!
You have really great imagery. I got a bit confused at points, like the deal with the lake (for once I'm grateful for a clarified metaphor), but all in all I got your gist. It's very nice to have a piece where I can imagine a bunch of cutscenes flipping by and have them all pretty much make sense.
As for the general feel, well, it's sad. I'm not sure I have a clue where you should go from here, though half of me wants you to get her out of this sucky, sucky relationship. She doesn't seem to have a good deal of impetus to leave, though, so you'd have to figure out if you want your story to end happily or not, since this all points to somebody ending up dead and it looks a lot like it's going to be the girl.
HMS Tragedy?! We should-we should have known!!!
  





User avatar
38 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 1813
Reviews: 38
Sun May 01, 2011 7:33 am
ChocolateMoonLight says...



You really did a fabulous job with 'Winterland'. I don't know about others, but I think you should finish it here, its short and to the point and it's really good. I like how you've used metaphor in many places and it really makes it better, then if it was left just as a simple to-the-point sentence. So hats-off to you on that!
I really get stuck while writing the end of the story, and I think you did a fine job with it.

You've used some really long sentences in this piece, and well, sometimes they are good but sometimes they really mess up your story, so you should take care of that. I've just quoted the whole thing and marked somethings with red, that I think are needed.
There are somethings marked with blue. They represent the lines I really liked...

Pain was hidden, shallowly in the palms of his hands. It seeped out, dripping onto her skin everytime she said something wrong. Novas exploded in her head, whenever he started, but she took herself to another place where his hands could not curl into fists and his words weren't jagged,(You should drop the comma here and start a new sentence, it already is very long and it gets a bit confusing)allowing herself to disassociate until the embers burned themselves out and nothing but ashes were left. Sometimes, afterwards, she would trace flowers with her fingertips onto her stained skin, letting the roses bloom after the bruises did.

He raised his hand and she flinched back, already bowing her head, already taking the blame. His fist knocked out a porcelain tooth and she tasted metal in her mouth. She didn't even remember what she had done; maybe he hadn't liked the way dinner was arranged on the table or the coffee was too sweet. It didn't matter though, those were just excuses. He stopped seeing her after a while and began seeing all his mistakes and fears and dreams that were tied down too loosely and slipped out of his fingers like fog. He stopped seeing the girl that he was in love with, let that memory break like a favorite piece of good china, no matter how much super-glue you use, the cracks will still be there.

He shoved the girl he loved to the bottom of a frozen lake, with manacles and chains holding her down. She pushed up, desperate to break the ice of fantasy, to escape the dream world of the lake, breathe in the air of reality. The ice was too strong and her breaths became shallow. She was Alice in Winterland, tumbling down rabbit hole, losing bits and pieces of herself with each second.

He was a fire-breathing dragon, blind with rage and she, a peasant girl lost in the forest. She hid in the briar bush, waiting for him to hibernate for Summer. It's a shame that in his world, Winter never ends.


Hope this helps you...:-) :-)
Spoiler! :
Checkout the different shades of sunset...
topic84708.html


Need a review??? Click here! http://www.youngwriterssociety.com/topic87443.html#p913699%20URL%20Review%20Bar...
  





User avatar
177 Reviews



Gender: Male
Points: 792
Reviews: 177
Sun May 01, 2011 7:35 am
Paracosm says...



Good job! Very poetic and I love the description! It just took me a second to get what was going on!
Review unto others as you would have others review unto you.

Don't panic!

Also, Shino!
  





User avatar
553 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 58538
Reviews: 553
Sun May 01, 2011 7:51 am
MiaParamore says...



Hey Jass! :)

Even though you've got some excellent reviews, and specially from Snoink and Silent, I'd still like to do a review for you. Since it is a short piece, I'd not have much to say.

As you yourself have said that it's short, I won't comment on that. It's your wish how long or short you want your piece to be. So, what I'd like to start rambling about is your beginning. I just thought that it was too much of imagery. I wouldn't decline the fact that you portrayed a simple thing into a thing of beauty, but it was maybe like going overboard with it. It's my rule; keep the start simple. The reasons?
1. People have just started reading your piece, and so they don't need to be bothered with things they have no idea of. Except, of course, if it's going to be explained.
2. Heavy descriptions can put off your readers. if I were to read a novel, or maybe even if you were to read a novel with the beginning as follows, then maybe you'd consider keeping back the book into a shelf, resulting in its gathering dust.

The rosy flush on her cheek bloomed in like a fresh orchid flower, igniting her face's colour to a rosy pink. I couldn't put off my eyes from her, as if they had been glued to her face. The gravitational pull tried to distract me from her, but my eyes' force was overpowering it.
That's something I just wrote now. Here it has a big problem. If the same passage had been fitted somewhere a bit after the beginning, then maybe it wouldn't have hurt to read it, but imagining a novel/short story's start to be so complexed can be a bit bore. I'd like you to, hence, consider opening your stories with something simple, until your readers are glued to it, and then throw your balls of imagination on them. For example, imagine being invited to a house, and the moment you enter the place, the host stuffs your mouth with mouth-watering, but heavy stodge. Would it be the best thing? You'd definitely like to settle down first, breathe and then eat something. Right?

Apart from the fact, I didn't find anything. Yeah, but I'd like you to work a bit on the second paragraph. Something about it just seemed off to me. You know I am talking about the parts where you explain a bit about how his love for her had vanished totally.

Also, the first paragraph was a lot confusing. I had to read it twice to get the gist of it, and I think maybe it's my problem, but still the opening shouldn't confuse your readers so much. Just use the KISS(Keep it simple, silly) technique at some points. But don't use only that. You have to find a balance between your descriptions, imagery and dialog. And if you can do that without any flaw, then that's what writers are. :)

The third passage has to be the best in the whole story. I just can't say enough about the imagery you had there, how you related Alice in Wonderland's story to this story and I love comparisons like these. So, keep up the good work. I hope it;s a prologue and you have more to show us in the future.

Hope this helps,
Shrubs
"Next time you point a finger
I might have to bend it back
Or break it, break it off
Next time you point a finger
I'll point you to the mirror"

— Paramore
  





User avatar
201 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 4013
Reviews: 201
Sun May 01, 2011 8:15 pm
peanut19 says...



Hi, Jas! Peanut here for a review.

Pain was hidden shallowly in the palms of his hands


This is an interesting way to start out. I like it but it doesn't seem to be the right description. Maybe hidden isn't the right word here. I'm not sure how you would reword this but to me it sounded odd.

Novas exploded in her head whenever he started, but she took herself to another place where his hands could not curl into fists and his words weren't jagged, allowing herself to disassociate until the embers burned themselves out and nothing but ashes were left.


Wow, a really long sentence. Maybe put a period after jagged and put "She allowed herself..." at the beginning of the next sentence. I felt like I was reading that all in one breath, not really pausing to let it sink in.

He stopped seeing the girl that he was in love with, let that memory break like a favorite piece of good china, no matter how much super-glue you use, the cracks will still be there.

Semi-colon after china. And I really like this sentence(:

tumbling down rabbit hole, losing bits and pieces of herself with each second.

Down a rabbit hole. And I would make this your own say something like water hole or fishing hole instead of rabbit. Readers will still see the allusion to Alice In Wonderland but it will make more sense with your setting.

Overall:
At the end you sort of loose me, not that I got bored but it got confusing. The way I read it the setting changed, which it didn't really. Make sure that you tell that your MC is imagining it like that. She's using those descriptions to explain how she feels, how it is when he abuses her. Because I thought he was trying to drown her or something and I don't think that's what you wanted.

I think it's good for a short piece but I don't know if you should continue it. I think if you do continue it you're going to have to make it unique because stories like this are written all the time. But if you can distinguish your characters from others that have been put in this same situation you'll do great adding to this. And I think that Winterland is a good title for now. If you add onto it you might want to think about changing it, or you can keep it. It's not bad.

~peanut~
There is a light in you, a Vision in the making with sorrow enough to extinguish the stars. I can help you.
~And The Light Fades


The people down here are our zombies, who should be dead or not exist but do.
~Away From What We Started


P.S Got YWS?
  





User avatar
1122 Reviews

Supporter


Gender: Female
Points: 4075
Reviews: 1122
Sun May 01, 2011 8:27 pm
Elinor says...



Hey, Jas!

So, this was a really neat piece, and I think that if you figured a few things out in terms of the story and the characters, it would definitely benefit from expansion. As a whole, this piece is well-written and grammatically sound, but because it's so short, it moves at such a fast pace and it's hard to figure out exactly what is going on, even if you read it through a few times. Right now, you've gotten your ideas down and that's good, so as you revise, try to figure out what story you want to tell.

Your first paragraph is strong, but in the end you start to loose me. Like Peanut said, is she imagining it or is it really happening to her? I'm also somewhat unsure of what the Alice in Wonderland allusions are supposed to be; is this is a retelling? Is she comparing herself to Alice for a certain reason? Since this is short and you only have two characters, you should really try to develop them as much as you could. Like Peanut said, try to make them stand out from others and into in your one. Who is the guy? What is his relationship to the narrator? What does he want from her? What is the girl like? What are her thoughts toward the end?

Another thing that you could try to do that would be good for the piece is strengthen the imagery and description used throughout. What is the significance of the winter land? What does it look like; is it just an average winter landscape or are there unusual things about it?

Overall, this is a well written piece that I can really see going far; hope this helps you! Feel free to to drop me a note if you have any questions/comments.

~ Elinor

All our dreams can come true — if we have the courage to pursue them.

-- Walt Disney
  








Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
— Neil Gaiman