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Unseen

by Typer


A hospital is a cruel place: it lives on all pain, suffering, loneliness and misery that can come from a human soul. There is cold shielded in shadows, threaded through tarnished grey hallways and fixed strobe lights above sick beds. Dark doors hide broken souls; doctors moving like shades between graveyards, barely glancing at the fresh graves not yet filled in, where life still comes in white breaths from puckered mouths. The endless pings of coffee machines and reception phones try desperately to drown out death. Yet still, there are screams. Bright shrieks of sound which link together life and death in a horrendous reminder of the fleetingness of life. Some from the mouths of babes, freshly born and suckling in their mother's arms and gazing bleakly out at a world they have yet to conquer, others from saggy faces and stopping hearts, surrounded by misery and swathed in tears.

Creeping throughout these dank hallways, collecting the sound of suffering and the dread of death in a pearl stopped glass, comes the Wolf.

He prowls through corridors; but they do not see. The doctors clutching vaporous coffees who pass nurses drenched in sweat; they do not see. Within brown curtain woods and past white sheet streams lie the sick- ravaged with age and time and wrapped in wrinkles- and they have prowling eyes and beaten hearts and they see nothing. Their ears are old, many lives and deaths have passed their sorry sounds across their minds yet they do not hear. Their eyes remain young and do not fit within the wrinkles that have been painted on youth with brushes of time, yet the Wolf passes them by without a whisper of movement. Their hearts remain brave and true, yet they slow. Yet they stop. Then, in a beatless silence, they stop.

Then, he strikes.

The Wolf comes with creeping step. He drools. He leaves his musk on the curtain train, on the bleached white sheets, on the cold dead heart. He passes over the red hooded child lying on her grandmother's breast. Her breath is warm, teardrops a halo around her eyes, her fingers held together in futile prayer. The warmth wafts across his fur. She is not his prey. Not yet. The small, white haired woman in white sheets, fingers folded in her granddaughter's hair, is still. The pearl stopped bottle is at his hip. With one clawed paw, he reaches over and grips the snowy branches of the old woman's hair.

He took her lover, once. A fresh spring day. The sun was high. His axe glinted with tree sap. Lemonade lay on a tree trunk by his side. He was a worker, a woodsman, who had earned a better life than what he had been given. He wiped his brow, and lay back against the trunk. His heart seized. He fell upon the buttercups. The Wolf took his final heartbeat and placed it into his bottle of the dead.

Her screams barely touched him as he left a house of misery.

She is barely changed from that day. Her wrinkles are deeper, streams cut into old mountain sides, peppered with brown liver spots that sink like forests into the leather skin. Her eyes are closed, but they were ice blue and cold, bereft from her husband's death. Her claws are curled into the red hood. Chuntering breaths come from lungs tired from years of sighing, crying, heartbreak. A withered tree, cast off by all but the young sapling at her breast. He feels pity for her. Then again, he always does.

The pearl stopper leaves the bottle. There is a moment of pure, uninterrupted silence. He rips his claw into her heart and captures her last breath, last thought, last heartbeat. A rasp, then a slight pop echoes around the silent, deserted room.

The child raises her head. She is youthful. Untouched by death. A rose amongst battered tree trunks surrounded by the axe of mortality. She touches her grandmother's shoulder. She shakes it. She begs, moans, sobs, anything to get her grandmother back. In the corner of her eye, a large, hulking mass, leather belt at his waist and a bloody bottle in his hand, seems to disappear in a blink of an eye.

But she does not see.


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179 Reviews


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Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:16 am
Magenta wrote a review...



Hello! You haven't met me before I see because you've just joined! Congratulations for coming to YWS and welcome. I see that you've already submitted a work or two and have done some reviews. I'm glad to see that you are enjoying it here. I haven't been here too long myself, but I'll still offer my assistance if you need anything, though it seems that you're a pro already! ;) Anyway, I'm Magenta and I'm here to do some reviewing for you.

"A hospital is a cruel place: it lives on all pain, suffering, loneliness and misery that can come from a human soul. There is cold shielded in shadows, threaded through tarnished grey hallways and fixed strobe lights above sick beds. Dark doors hide broken souls; doctors moving like shades between graveyards, barely glancing at the fresh graves not yet filled in, where life still comes in white breaths from puckered mouths. The endless pings of coffee machines and reception phones try desperately to drown out death. Yet still, there are screams. Bright shrieks of sound which link together life and death in a horrendous reminder of the fleetingness of life. Some from the mouths of babes, freshly born and suckling in their mother's arms and gazing bleakly out at a world they have yet to conquer, others from saggy faces and stopping hearts, surrounded by misery and swathed in tears."

Firstly, I think that you did a good job with the first or one of your first submissions that you have submitted to the website. The first sentence that you have here should be separated. I think that t would look better if you had it separated into two different sentence instead of using a colon here. It just isn't necessary and I think it would make the first sentence more dramatic and emphasized. What do mean by "cold shielded in shadows"? Is this sort of a metaphor that I don't quite see. The last sentence here seems to be a bit long. It also seems to be a fragment that you might consider revising. "Babes"? That sounds kind of strange, don't you think? It's probably just me, though. Wow, this is full of emotion. Emotion and reflection are two things that a writer needs in his or her story and you have it.

"Creeping throughout these dank hallways, collecting the sound of suffering and the dread of death in a pearl stopped glass, comes the Wolf." I don't quite understand what you mean by, "pearl stopped glass". Maybe you could make this clearer for the reader to understand or take it out if it isn't necessary. I think it is fine here, but just clarify it for your audience. I like how you add an ominous tone to this story. I would suggest, though, that you capitalize the word "the" before "Wolf" because you are referring to it as "The Wolf", right? if you don't capitalize that, then you wouldn't capitalize wolf. I would also add a comma before "the wolf".

Other than these few things, I think that you have a great short story. You had great deception which helped paint the pictures that you wanted and the development was well-written. I hope to see some more of your writing on the young Writer's Society because you have some great stories to write for.

~ Magenta



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Typer says...


Thank you! I will take your comments on board.



Magenta says...


Glad to help! :)



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36 Reviews


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Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:17 pm



I was hooked at the first sentence. I was hooked till the end. Unseen will be one of the greats.



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Typer says...


Oh wow, thank you!





well deserved!



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Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:52 am
Bol wrote a review...



Hey there, here to leave a review on this excellent story.
First off, I love how you wrote the start. Most people's impressions of hospitals are places that are filled with light and life, places where the sick are treated and the injured nursed back to health. But you challenge that, and that challenge hooks the reader in immediately and keeps them reading.
Another thing you did well at is conveying the atmosphere. You instantly get a feel of dark, dim, scary. A place of death and not at all a place you'd like to be in. My favorite line has to be "doctors moving like shades between graveyards, barely glancing at the fresh graves not yet filled in, where life still comes in white breaths from puckered mouths." The expressions here are used perfectly and amazingly, giving the reader a sense of impending death and such.
And your use of description is perfektionieren, or perfect in English. Readers immediately understand what's going on, how something looks, what that thing is and whatnot. Great story, I love it.



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Typer says...


Thank you! :)



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Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:06 pm
Sophiewrites wrote a review...



Hello!
I really enjoyed your work and thus decided to give you a little review on it.
What really caught my eye in this was the atmosphere. Without too many words you managed to catch everything that was needed to set the mood
,, it lives on all pain, suffering, loneliness and misery that can come from a human soul. There is cold shielded in shadows, threaded through tarnished grey hallways and fixed strobe lights above sick beds. Dark doors hide broken souls''
My favorite part were the grey hallways with the strobe lights...amazing!
There is really nothing to complain about grammar or spelling, good job! Furthermore the structure made reading easy and I was able to read it all in one go.
You also managed to work with a very vivid imaginary that's a skill most writers don't develop until long long times. When did you start writing? I think that's what makes that piece of work quite a masterpiece!

Keep up the excellent work,

sophiewrites



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Typer says...


Thank you so much! I started writing a couple of years ago but not very frequently. This is one of my favourite pieces I've done. Glad you liked it!



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Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:46 pm
Lucia wrote a review...



This is honestly one of the best views of a hospital that I have read. It displays a kind of discouraging aura that makes you want to shiver.

There is one part where it seems that you repeated yourself. "Yet they stop. Then, in a beatless silence, they stop."
Later on, when you tell the story of the woodsman, it's kind of a sudden scene change. Maybe you could kind of flow into it, dropping little hints here and there. Or you could just make it more like a flashback.

At first when I read this, I wasn't sure what it was going to be. You started with the hospital, then later introduced the characters of Little Red Riding Hood. So I thought, "Oh. Okay, it's another retelling." . But really, this really cuts a lot deeper than that.

As you can probably tell, I really liked this.
You should definitely keep writing!!!



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Typer says...


Thanks for the feedback & I'm glad you enjoyed it :)



Lucia says...


Anytime!




"Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood."
— George Orwell, 1984