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E - Everyone

Heartbeat

by starlitmind


She hears everything.

She hears the whispers of the curtains as the winds arouse them from a nap. She hears the shuffling of feet on tiles, the clicking of pens, and the rising and falling of voices. She also hears stories. Many stories, in fact, but instead of paying attention to the words, she clings onto the voice, for it sounds so very familiar, yet she can never quite put her finger to it….

The most prominent sound, though, is the beeping.

Most days she relaxes on the ocean. She lays on her back, slowly drifting on the gentlest of waves. She is never pulled under, yet always stays afloat. The waves never let her drown. Sometimes she becomes the waves, rising and falling, falling and rising, then rising and falling again. Usually, the sky above is hazy, a white sheet, a blanket of innocence. Fog is carefully stitched onto the sky, and the air is clothed with uncertainty. The atmosphere is soft, but with an edge sharper than the beeping sound coming from nowhere and everywhere.

Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

Sometimes the ocean disappears, and she stands on a glass floor with white sheets hanging from the ceiling that drape to the floor. The room is vast, and she is surrounded by sheets after sheets after sheets. Every time she pulls one away, there is always another. And suddenly, she is running, tearing through the cloth, hoping to find whatever lies on the other end of the never-ending room.

Before she can reach that which does not exist, she becomes a wave again.

Some days, she is in neither the glass room nor the ocean, but a black-and-white grass field filled with roses of no colour. And that’s when she hears the stories. The voice of a young girl, no doubt. A young girl who reads fairytales and nursery rhymes and other stories that fit her best. She always tries to find the young girl, following her voice throughout the meadow. Yet somehow, as she seems to near the echoing voice, it gets farther and farther away, always out of reach, never quite close enough for her to catch.

She never finds the little girl.

What she does find, though, is loneliness. Sometimes it is so overwhelming that all she wants to do is give up. And if she feels that way, even for a second, the glass beneath her feet breaks, and she falls. Every second she gains acceleration, and only until she wants to fight again does the falling stop. Never has her body hit the ground, and never has her body wanted to completely fall, to completely break.

She is already broken enough.

Today, she is back floating on top of the waves. Water streams down her face, or perhaps they are tears. Her tears? Or someone else’s? Often she is confused, but confusion doesn’t bother her in this dreamy world. All that matters is the steady rising and falling of the waves and the comfort of the sounds around her.

There it is. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

Her skin tingles. A face stains the sky above her. Blue eyes, blue eyes, blue eyes. They remind her so very much of the ocean she lays on. Now, she realizes the ocean is not the colour of water, yet it is a kaleidoscope of blue eyes all blended into one another, like buckets of different paints all dumped onto the same empty canvas and becoming a shade that looks like one but so many all at the same time.

Then she leaves the ocean.

Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

Now she is back on top of the glass floor. Her eyes dare to look down. Beneath her, she sees faces. They are streaked with tiredness, wearing happiness blended into sadness seamlessly. Blue eyes, blue eyes, blue eyes. She recognizes their faces, but like so many things, she doesn’t fully remember. It is all a distant memory to her.

And now she is in the field again. Grass tickles her ankles. Gentle breezes rush over her face, lifting her hair and letting it fall slowly. Above her, a sky erupts into a voice. It reads her something about a poisonous apple and a mirror, but she does not give any mind to the story. It is always about the voice she does not remember but almost knows.

Yet something about today is different, she is thinking. But she does not know what yet.

She meanders through the meadows, not trying to catch the voice, only wanting to listen. The honey of the girl’s voice drips from the sky and lands on the grass like morning dew. She stops walking. The voice has never been this clear before, this beautiful. It feels like she has taken misplaced cotton out of her ears, and suddenly she can hear everything, from the voice of above to the beating of her heart (if it is beating, that is, at all).

Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

Could it be? The voice is louder? Yes, it is louder!

And suddenly, she is tearing through sheets hanging from the ceiling, one after the other, chasing after the voice that has become even more louder than before! She runs faster than ever. Everything in her way is ripped to shreds, pieces and pieces of cloth lying in her wake. She is almost there! Yes, she has almost caught the voice! Her feet move quicker and quicker, her steps becoming shorter and shorter. She reaches out her hand to grab it-

-But then she stops. She hears the familiar become the unfamiliar.

Beep, beep, beep. Beep, beep, beep, beeeeeep.

The sound itself is crying for help! She panics. The voice stops reading. The voice is screaming. She feels like screaming. The beeping goes out of control. She is out of control. The grass becomes rough in a sudden wind that feels like hurricanes. The sky is falling apart.

Suddenly, she is back on the ocean, but the emptiness above her is dark. It is beeping erratically, and the waves are the roughest they had ever been in her whole existence here. Water fills her lungs as she struggles to breathe. The beeping is now coming from her ears, or perhaps it feels that way because of how loud it is. There are so many voices now, yet she cannot tell where any of them are coming from! A strident voice rips the air, elephant footsteps thunder across the sky, and she is swept away so violently, so far away from the ocean she thought was home…

That’s when her body breaks.

The ocean gives way to the glass floor, which gives way to nothing. She is falling through threads, like those of a spider, and she becomes wrapped in a cocoon. Blue eyes are everywhere. The little girl’s voice is not screaming anymore but exclaiming. Of what is not known.

That’s when she hits the ground, and her body breaks into a million stars, scattering throughout the emptiness they call space. Yet this makes her feel more whole rather than broken, perhaps for the new constellations create a different her, a person she used to know.

Silence embraces the darkness.

She is not scattered anymore. Instead, she is a sky full of her constellations. She is not under the broken glass floor anymore, but at the end of the never-ending room, all the sheets dancing behind her. There is nothing in her way anymore. Nothing to tear, nothing to run through. She is free from her entanglement of a prison, from an ocean that tried to drown her, from the meadows that always taunted her.

There is a light in front of her. She grabs it tightly. She is not afraid.

She is gone.

Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

~

A pale girl is lying on a bed. Her eyes open. White bed, white sheets, and white walls surround her. A much younger girl is staring wide-eyed at the pale girl. A book from her hand drops.

Many people in white apparel are running around. It is chaotic in the room; it is contradictory towards the dreamy world the girl once lived in.

Then the pale girl looks left.

She sees a monitor. On it is a red line going steadily up and down.

The screen speaks. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep…


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Tue May 24, 2022 3:22 am
Coffeeboyjay wrote a review...



Hi there starlit

1. What did I like the most in the story starlit is that the story is saying that Most days she relaxes on the ocean. She lays on her back, slowly drifting on the gentlest of waves. She is never pulled under, yet always stays afloat. The waves never let her drown. Sometimes she becomes the waves, rising and falling, falling and rising, then rising and falling again. Usually, the sky above is hazy, a white sheet, a blanket of innocence. Fog is carefully stitched onto the sky, and the air is clothed with uncertainty. The atmosphere is soft, but with an edge sharper than the beeping sound coming from nowhere and everywhere.

Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep.

Sometimes the ocean disappears, and she stands on a glass floor with white sheets hanging from the ceiling that drape to the floor. The room is vast, and she is surrounded by sheets after sheets after sheets. Every time she pulls one away, there is always another. And suddenly, she is running, tearing through the cloth, hoping to find whatever lies on the other end of the never-ending room.

Before she can reach that which does not exist, she becomes a wave again.

Some days, she is in neither the glass room nor the ocean, but a black-and-white grass field filled with roses of no colour. And that’s when she hears the stories. The voice of a young girl, no doubt. A young girl who reads fairytales and nursery rhymes and other stories that fit her best. She always tries to find the young girl, following her voice throughout the meadow. Yet somehow, as she seems to near the echoing voice, it gets farther and farther away, always out of reach, never quite close enough for her to catch.

She never finds the little girl. so the girl was a mermaid since I'm hearing while I'm reading is kinda like that because It says she was in the ocean and she can hear everything starlit this could had been a fantasy story because the story is talking about the young girl

2. What do I think needs to be improved starlit is that why would you give up on one of your chapters of this this was pretty interesting starlit that's why I came and review this story to see how interesting It is

Have fun writing!

Jay"




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Wed Jun 30, 2021 2:56 pm
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FireEyes wrote a review...



Hey star! And OH MY GOODNESS IT'S BABY STAR'S FIRST WORK!!! Wow. First reading this I got taken aback at how far you've come. I am at a loss for words because It's like you've been on this sight forever, when this was April of 2020. Before i turn this review into gushing about you ;), how about I actually review your first posted YWS work?

So my initial thought about this short story (feels weird to say that instead of poem) is that it feels more like a poem than a short story. It's laced with all your imagery and metaphors that I think work better in a poem. I feel as though short stories are to have a grounded story. While some short stories have a /\ sort of structure, yours is more like a bell curve. It still has a climactic feeling but it's not as exciting.

So I think something that can be improved is the use of repetition. I think it's a little overused. I think the extended beeps are fine but with lines such as

Blue eyes, blue eyes, blue eyes.
and
rising and falling, falling and rising, then rising and falling again.
Feel more like filler than hammering home a point you are trying to make. And I also think you're use of the ocean and the glass breaking is a tad redundant in the story. And *gasp* how are there no celestial/space themes??? Was baby star okay?

One last critique is that I want EmoTioNS. I love emotions in a story to the point where I feel da emotions and cry with the characters. While you do have beautiful description, there's no way to tell the character's inside feels. We only get her outside feels. While some works such as this can make me feel like the main character, insert myself into the story, I feel distant from this one. I wanna feeeeeeeeel something.

Okay okay enough with that. Let me praise baby star's first work. As I said before, you're description is beautiful and it gives me a picture in my head. I also think your last paragraph show what's going on outside of the girl's world is splendid. When you were talking about the girl hearing the soft voice in her dream land, it struck a chord with me as I read
A much younger girl is staring wide-eyed at the pale girl. A book from her hand drops.
It leads me to believe that she was reading a story. And the whole last part also leads me to believe that she was in a coma and had just woken up. That's why there's chaos. I don't find many short stories about the inside mind of a person in a coma. I really like it!

Well that's all I have for today, I hope you enjoyed and found some of it useful! GMO star, your first work was really good! And another thank you for getting me through team tortoise, the hardest part for me is finding works to review. YOU'RE AWESOME AND I HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT DAY!!! <333333 Anyway byeeeeeeeeeeeeee<333




starlitmind says...


So my initial thought about this short story (feels weird to say that instead of poem)


HAHA THAT'S THE FUNNIEST

And *gasp* how are there no celestial/space themes??? Was baby star okay?


wow. what a shock 0.0 I guess this was before I became infected >.>

[quote]It leads me to believe that she was reading a story. And the whole last part also leads me to believe that she was in a coma and had just woken up. That's why there's chaos.[/quote

YUP YOU NAILED IT!!!

YOU'RE AWESOMER, AND I HOPE YOU HAVE A FABULOUS DAY!!! <333 THANKS SO MUCH FOR REVIEWING!!! ^_^



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Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:21 pm
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Hkumar wrote a review...



Hi StarlitMind!

This was a great story indeed. The way you have narrated it with so much suspense is really intriguing. The imagery was great throughout the story. It was as if you had taken your readers into someone's dream where the woman founds herself in different places , from ocean to the glass room and then to the meadows. You had created such a beautiful ambiance with your description that I was able to picture everything in my mind.

And suddenly, she is tearing through sheets hanging from the ceiling, one after the other, chasing after the voice that has become even more louder than before! She runs faster than ever. Everything in her way is ripped to shreds, pieces and pieces of cloth lying in her wake. She is almost there! Yes, she has almost caught the voice! Her feet move quicker and quicker, her steps becoming shorter and shorter. She reaches out her hand to grab it-

The way you wrote this is just like how we see ourselves in our dreams, trying to reach somewhere or to get something but the more efforts we try to put in, the more we are dragged away from it.

Then the part where you wrote how she wasn't bounded anymore and was free to run away from that prison was also very nicely written. I could feel all the those nervous and exciting feeling developed within me.

The repetitive beep beep sound towards the later half of story did make me wonder something related to being in a coma but still I wasn't sure but when finally the ending came everything cleared up. The voice that she used to hear was that of that young girl. I have heard that in some cases people may hear the surrounding voices during coma. That also explained the voices heard in the first stanza.

Overall I enjoyed your story thoroughly. You did a great work here.
Keep writing :)




starlitmind says...


Thank you so much for your review!! :) Your kind words mean a lot to me <3



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Sun Apr 12, 2020 4:05 pm
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Tawsif wrote a review...



Hi, starlit mind.

This was one of those stories that stand out to a reader. I was very much engaged into the story as I read, and it was a very good read.

I have to praise the wonderful imagery you used throughout the story. It was picturesque, the kind of description that creates a lot of live images in the readers' minds. It never felt too much or excessive anywhere. It flowed smoothly, with great depth of words. And it fascinated me.

Here's a few suggestions and other remarks:

'the rising and falling of voices'

Perhaps 'rise and fall' sounds better.

'Now, she realizes the ocean is not the colour of water, yet it is a kaleidoscope of blue eyes all blended into one another, like buckets of different paints all dumped onto the same empty canvas and becoming a shade that looks like one but so many all at the same time'

That line really touched me. Well done!

'It feels like she has taken misplaced cotton out of her ears, and suddenly she can hear everything'

Misplaced cottons..... Wow!

'it is contradictory towards the dreamy world the girl once lived in.'

Perhaps it should be 'contradictory to'.

Honestly, I didn't get the ending at all. That was the one thing in the story that could improve. Could you explain it to me?

I found this story quite different and creative. What you need is work on the ending and maybe elaborate the story more.

KEEP WRITING.




starlitmind says...


Thank you so much for your review! :) The ending was basically to reinforce the idea that the girl was in a coma, and at the end, she woke up from it and realized she was in the hospital. I'll definitely take your advice and fix the things you mentioned. Thanks a ton :)



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Sat Apr 11, 2020 5:30 pm
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Atticus wrote a review...



Hi there, and welcome to YWS! Tuck dropping by with a quick review for you today.

The most striking part of this short story was the breathtaking imagery. You've mastered using metaphors, personification, and other literary devices to describe areas. The description was brief but beautiful. My favorite line was "Fog is carefully stitched onto the sky, and the air is clothed with uncertainty". It painted a clear and beautiful picture in a creative and image-filled way.

I also really enjoyed the way you interspersed the beeping throughout. It contributed to the feeling of fading in and out of consciousness and awareness and helped the atmosphere feel more sparse. It ended up being a really powerful device that made your story come to life in a new and creative way.

If I could nitpick a bit, I didn't particularly like the way this ended. It was a twist that took away from the finality of the last scene. I think it would be stronger if you intensified the last scene rather than trying to introduce a new element right at the very end.

My second word of advice is to introduce some more emotions. There was beautiful imagery, beautiful usage of literary devices, and a strong narrative arc throughout. The only thing this seems to be missing is some emotional output from other characters. A short scene in which the girl's parents hold hands and cry a bit, or the doctors speak in hushed and worried voices outside the door, or something else to acknowledge the emotions hanging around this scene would go a long way in increasing the richness and complexity of this story. It would grip the reader on a more emotional level, which would take this story from a piece of good writing to something that they can't take their mind off.

I hope this review was helpful to you! If you have any questions about this or anything else on YWS please don't hesitate to reach out. I hope to read more from you in the future. Excellent work on this!

Best,
Tuck




starlitmind says...


Thank you so much for this review!! I will definitely work on the last scene and add more emotion throughout the story. Thank you so much :) <3



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Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:34 am
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amazingbt wrote a review...



Hi, and welcome to YWS! Okay, first of all, this story was really incredible. I loved the beginning where you say "She hears everything" because it really ties back to the "Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep. Beeeeeeep" that you repeat throughout the story. I feel like the start/middle part of the story is so poetic, it feels like a super long metaphor. Just the way you wrote all the descriptions is really good. This also really comes in handy when she hears the crying voice. All of sudden, the ocean is transformed from a peaceful and serene place to a chaotic scramble of unanswered questions. The beeping in the background is wonderful as well and I really liked that you chose to repeat it. I also had a feeling that the beeping was the heart monitor at a hosital, and it wasn't unclear at all where the sound was coming from. There were few gramatical errors and I think you did a wonderful job.
Looking foward to reading more,

~amazingbt




starlitmind says...


Thank you so much for you review! It means a lot to me :)



amazingbt says...


Any time! :)



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Sat Apr 11, 2020 1:33 am
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amazingbt says...



welcome to YWS!




starlitmind says...


Thank you so much <3




The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust