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The Old Beech Tree

by GrandWild


  I walked out of the house, letting the screen door slam behind me.  There were no tears; only a heavy, heavy weight in my heart.  I let my feet take me into the woods, following a path I had taken many times.  It wasn't my fault she had died.  She came down with pneumonia and there was nothing I could do.  Mom had tried everything she could, every medicine there was, but with asthma, there was no saving my sister.  She had been too young......too young!  I reached the end of the path and sat down on the bench like I usually did when I came this way and waited.  

  Soon the bushes rustled and an old wolf came out of the foliage, blue-gray fur sleek and well-groomed.  He and I had known each other for a long, long time; almost five years now.  I had named him Flight.  I didn't know why, but it was just a good name.  I hugged him tight around the neck, and that was when the tears came.  I sobbed silently into his fur, feeling it dampen underneath my cheek.  

 Flight licked my tear-stained face when I broke away, washing away the sorrow and comforting me.  He brushed my side with his tail, beckoning for me to follow.  I did, knowing exactly where we were going.  Grandfather would be there and he would comfort me.  

As we walked through the beautiful spring forest I observed the sunlight that filtered through the thick leaves of the oaks and maples.  Birds pecked at bushes and flitted from tree to tree.  A rabbit hopped across my path as we walked.  Eventually, we reached the place that Grandfather always was.  His old branches reached out to me, pulling me toward the trunk of the old beech.  I grasped the lowest, thickest branch and pulled myself up into the branches, higher and higher, not stopping until I had reached the thickest branch of that height. 

  Flight watched from below as I settled myself into the crook of the branch.  It was wide, wide enough for me to curl up in, but I just lay, belly up, gazing at the sky, feeling my remaining tears dry out in the sun.  I stayed like that for hours, thinking about Arrie, how she had liked to hang from the lower branches, giggling as Flight had tried to reach her toes by leaping up, tongue extended out of his mouth.  Flight and Grandfather had been our secret, but now it was only mine to keep.  

  Flight whined, letting me know that the sun was setting, that I should be getting back.  I sighed and climbed down Grandfather's branches and onto the forest floor.  Flight licked me and I kissed him goodbye before heading back to my house.  I would see them both tomorrow, and I knew that I would probably be heading back very often for the next few months.

  I heard my secret wolf howl a goodbye as I reached my back door and knew that he was sitting by Grandfather, hoping that I would be happier when he next saw me.  Well, he had a long wait ahead of him.


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Sun May 09, 2021 10:56 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well...this was quite a story. Very sad there to see there...but our protagonist here is dealing with this a lot better than most and its sweet to see the comfort being offered here as well...gives you a little bit of hope which is always nice.

Anyway let's get right to it,

I walked out of the house, letting the screen door slam behind me. There were no tears; only a heavy, heavy weight in my heart. I let my feet take me into the woods, following a path I had taken many times. It wasn't my fault she had died. She came down with pneumonia and there was nothing I could do. Mom had tried everything she could, every medicine there was, but with asthma, there was no saving my sister. She had been too young......too young! I reached the end of the path and sat down on the bench like I usually did when I came this way and waited.


Ooof...well we're starting things off here on quite a sad note I see. Definitely a truly terrible situation to be in...aaand so far it appears our protagonist here has managed to move past it and understand the situation which is always a good sign...now let's see what this secret is all about.

Soon the bushes rustled and an old wolf came out of the foliage, blue-gray fur sleek and well-groomed. He and I had known each other for a long, long time; almost five years now. I had named him Flight. I didn't know why, but it was just a good name. I hugged him tight around the neck, and that was when the tears came. I sobbed silently into his fur, feeling it dampen underneath my cheek.


Ohh...well wolves are quite cool here...and you can definitely see that these two here have shared quite a lot of time together by the level of trust here and then the whole crying thing as well...definitely seems like a very special wolf here.

Flight licked my tear-stained face when I broke away, washing away the sorrow and comforting me. He brushed my side with his tail, beckoning for me to follow. I did, knowing exactly where we were going. Grandfather would be there and he would comfort me.


Aww...well that seems like another wolf...comfort is a good thing to have at this time...although can't be nice having to protect a secret that you once shared with someone all alone.

As we walked through the beautiful spring forest I observed the sunlight that filtered through the thick leaves of the oaks and maples. Birds pecked at bushes and flitted from tree to tree. A rabbit hopped across my path as we walked. Eventually, we reached the place that Grandfather always was. His old branches reached out to me, pulling me toward the trunk of the old beech. I grasped the lowest, thickest branch and pulled myself up into the branches, higher and higher, not stopping until I had reached the thickest branch of that height.


Well that is some really neat description there...love the visual that you create there...definitely would be a lovely place to explore.

Flight watched from below as I settled myself into the crook of the branch. It was wide, wide enough for me to curl up in, but I just lay, belly up, gazing at the sky, feeling my remaining tears dry out in the sun. I stayed like that for hours, thinking about Arrie, how she had liked to hang from the lower branches, giggling as Flight had tried to reach her toes by leaping up, tongue extended out of his mouth. Flight and Grandfather had been our secret, but now it was only mine to keep.


Well...a little bit of reminiscing there I see...well...that's good to see....well sad to see the whole memories flooding back thinking back on with some sort of smile there is a lot better than several other things that could happen.

Flight whined, letting me know that the sun was setting, that I should be getting back. I sighed and climbed down Grandfather's branches and onto the forest floor. Flight licked me and I kissed him goodbye before heading back to my house. I would see them both tomorrow, and I knew that I would probably be heading back very often for the next few months.

I heard my secret wolf howl a goodbye as I reached my back door and knew that he was sitting by Grandfather, hoping that I would be happier when he next saw me. Well, he had a long wait ahead of him.


Well...that's a hopeful note at least somewhat there to end with...could be a lot worse here...at least we've got hope here that things can somewhat get better...although I suppose it can never quite be as good as it was...ahh..well...'tis life.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall...this was a pretty nice story...liked that ending quite a bit especially...anyway...a little sad though after this...you do a pretty good job here with the emotions. Anyway let's see what happens after this.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




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Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:30 am
Ishan212 says...



Actually because of a server error my review was submitted twice.
I am really very sorry for this.




GrandWild says...


That's ok.



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Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:26 am
Ishan212 says...



Hi Raven Lord,
I am Ishan and I am here to review your short story. So here we go;

You have written a fantastic short story. Your theme was very good. It was about someone who lost his/her sister. And how he or she goes to into the jungle with a fox called Flight.But the thing I didn't like was that you didn't give us any introduction about your characters. I was not able to find even the name of the narrator.There was also no background in the story. You might have guessed by reading the above lines that by reading your story I was not able to figure out that the narrator was a boy or girl. I bet it could have come in our 'Literary Spotlight' if you had given some more information about the characters.

Your style of writing is just fab and it is one of the finest short stories I've ever read.
Keep Writing!!!




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Thu Oct 09, 2014 11:24 am
Ishan212 wrote a review...



Hi Raven Lord,
I am Ishan and I am here to review your short story. So here we go;

You have written a fantastic short story. Your theme was very good. It was about someone who lost his/her sister. And how he or she goes to into the jungle with a fox called Flight.But the thing I didn't like was that you didn't give us any introduction about your characters. I was not able to find even the name of the narrator.There was also no background in the story. You might have guessed by reading the above lines that by reading your story I was not able to figure out that the narrator was a boy or girl. I bet it could have come in our 'Literary Spotlight' if you had given some more information about the characters.

Your style of writing is just fab and it is one of the finest short stories I've ever read.
Keep Writing!!!




GrandWild says...


I'm actually writing a little sequel concerning the characters right now. Flight was a wolf, not a fox. In the thing I wrote introducing the story I said the girl's name was Katie. Also, it was a normal forest, not a jungle.



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Wed Oct 08, 2014 3:01 am
vetas wrote a review...



oh I am bad at reviews....lol but I will try :) I wont be mentioning anything about grammar because that is my biggest problem lol. But I am here to give my opinion and suggest anything I can :)

The story to me actually was catchy. I wanted to know more about the characters. I Wouldn't mind having some more background info on the characters. It would let me know who they are better and let me connect better. Besides that, I liked it :) It pulls me in enough to make me want to read more.

Good job! I wish you luck in your future writing :) These are just my opinions, I'm no professional :)

(Flight does sound like a cool name!)




GrandWild says...


Thanks for your review! You did great! Maybe I could do a short sequel where we meet the characters. That might help.



vetas says...


Hey that could be cool :)



GrandWild says...


Already started it.



vetas says...


Yay that's great! :)



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Tue Oct 07, 2014 4:11 am
Brunnera wrote a review...



I'm Brunnera, RavenLord! And I've read your short story, and shall now review.

I usually start with technical errors before moving on to advice and personal thoughts on the story. Let's start, yes?

" Mom had tried everything she [knew] "

What about replacing that with "could"? I don't know, considering that "tried" is a physical action...

" She had been too young......[too young]! "

Change that into italic form. That way, when one reads it, one applies more emphasis onto the last few words. This technique also helps deliver more emotion.

" [it] was wide, wide enough for me to curl up in, "

You've missed the capital. It should be "It", not "it".

Well, I guess that's all of the technical errors.

Your story lacks imagery, if you ask me. With an exception of Grandfather and Flight, though-- they were both beautifully described. I am meaning the forest. There was almost no description about the woods, so my image of the location that the unnamed narrator was in was very vague. Try adding some more description to give readers a clearer image of where the character is.

For example, was the landscape greyish? Or was it foggy and cold? Or did the sunlight seep in through the thick leaves of the tall, green trees? Or, perhaps, were the trunks of the said trees white, decayed and lifeless? Were there the chirping of birds, the crunches of leaves as a deer passed? Applying all of these to your story is a good way to pull a reader into you short story. Describing it simply as "the beautiful spring forest" is not enough.

Besides that, it is possible for you to linger more on Arrie's character, so the reader is more drawn to sympathy and sadness that the narrator is feeling. Sure, you have given us a brief explanation of what she loved to do when she was on the tree-- but, ask yourself, is that enough? Ask me, and I say that the answer is no.

Because Arrie's departure is the reason of the character's sadness, describe Arrie more. Give me a detailed sketch of her! What is she like when she is happy? Does she have a childish giggle full of bliss, or a melodious laugh similar to a harmonious song? Did she grin and show off a spectacular set of teeth, or was she shy, and smiled with the edge of her lips curved upwards?

When you add descriptions like these, the reader will slowly miss Arrie as much as the narrator does.

And when your character reaches the top of the tree, is there a view? Is the view magnificent and breath-taking, or is it gloomy and adds to the depression?

In conclusion, remember that imagery is important.

All-in-all, even though it lacks in some fields, I enjoyed this story a great deal. Although I'd usually find it weird that she has tamed a wolf, this story is an exception, for I understand that sometimes our greatest and most understanding of companions are not always human. In fact, her friendship with Flight was a magical, heart-warming bond that I concluded a very nice touch to the story.

To name a grand, old tree as Grandfather sends an unknown, fuzzy feeling to me, for some reason. I don't know, it's just the hidden meaning and emotion behind that name that makes me feel that way. It speaks of a thousand memories without actually saying a word. I guess it reminds me of the bliss of childhood.

Anyway, just so you know, your story was very enjoyable, so don't take my criticism as a sign I did not like it. Quite the contrary, really. Sure, it was rough around the edges, but it was full of emotion, and that was a good quality of your short story.

~Brunnera




GrandWild says...


Thanks for the help! I'll change that right away.



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Tue Oct 07, 2014 12:58 am
WindSailor wrote a review...



Hello, Windsailor here to review your story. I really enjoyed this story, it was simple, short, and expressive. Losing someone is a hard thing, and I feel you captured the burden it places on a person very well in this short. Although, it was a bit of a cliche story, I felt it was well written and easy to relate to. We have all been in that place of deep sorry, and just went to our little hideout, whether that be a tree or whatever. Also, I liked the addition of the wolf to the story. Sometimes our furry friends are the only friends we have that can "understand", and the relationship between the author and the wolf was very strong as evident by the text.

I really liked this part,

Flight whined, letting me know that the sun was setting, that I should be getting back. I sighed and climbed down Grandfather's branches and onto the forest floor. Flight licked me and I kissed him goodbye before heading back to my house.


It explained how close you were with the wolf in such an easy and simple way, and it also brought the story to a close. Often times the ending is one of the hardest part of a story, and I feel this ending was good. The last line kind of hits the reader, and reminds them of the first paragraph, and just draws it all to a conclusion. All in all, great story, definitely keep writing! :)




GrandWild says...


Thank you for that lovely review, WindSailor!! I'm glad you liked it so much!




Don't gobblefunk around with words.
— Roald Dahl