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The Astronomer

by EuphoriaFalls


Her toga drags lightly over the wooden sidewalk.  She grasps her lantern before her, illuminating her steps.

The sun never fully rises in this place. For a whole season it might peak over the horizon before retreating for a long time again.  The villagers once believed they could find a pattern and somehow measure the passing of time.  Some time after they wondered, an astronomer wandered into the village.  They believed it was providence, and set her to the task.  The astronomer who lives in the observatory up on the hill toiled for what seemed to be years trying to find the answer, long past when everyone else had stop caring for one.  She found no success in her endeavor.  Time didn’t pass and no one grew old.

So she takes frequent walks instead of taking measurements which seem to no longer hold any meaning in world where the heavens have no order.

Some days she wears no shoes.  She allows her toes to become numb from wet chill, the wood silently cracking beneath her feet as she glides through the dark world heel to toe.

Occasionally, she would find herself looking up wondering about what her purpose was in this place.  She would stretch her hands up as she did when she was a child when she first dreamed of mapping the stars.  Her fingertips would sink into blackness.  Her back flexed comfortably as she imagined the sky pulling her in, swallowing her up in its vastness.

“What are you?” she whispered to the brilliance above.

At some point, her toes would leave the ground.

She would float for sometime without ever noticing anything,

And then she would descend once again.


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Sun May 30, 2021 9:48 am
MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi EuphoriaFalls,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

This is definitely a short story I haven't read like this before. It has something magical and unknown about it, which I really enjoyed while reading it. It gave the reader this strange feeling of floating and not understanding this story directly. It's more like a sound that only the subconscious can perceive.

I like how you managed to do that and also create an atmosphere that is familiar and unfamiliar to the reader. With your sentence structure, which is always kept short, I also found it like being in the middle of reading a text from one' s school book, or a poem, a parable or an anecdote. It definitely gives off that vibe.

Even now, I'm still not really sure what the text is supposed to mean in its interpretation, and yet there's something that holds me in its spell, what you actually wanted to express.

As I mentioned earlier, your sentence structure is short. It's a great stylistic device, but sometimes (especially in the second big section) it feels a bit choppy, and I think you could have connected sentences a few times.

So she takes frequent walks instead of taking measurements which seem to no longer hold any meaning in world where the heavens have no order.

Some days she wears no shoes.


Here is the only point where I really think I'm missing something. It feels a little too rushed, the way you jump from one section to the next. Since the story is called "The Astronomer", maybe you could have added some stuff in there, like a description of the stars or something. Since you described that people can't grow old because there is no time, maybe you could add a short note that over all the time the astronomer has been observing the stars, nothing has changed because the night sky changes over the centuries / millennia in our world - new stars come in and others go out.

I loved the ending, how you then suddenly turned the structure into a poem, making it feel different again to the rest of the text.

In summary, it was a confusing yet exciting short story that you created. I'll probably be puzzling over what exactly the meaning will be for a while. Because I only have a few minor theories in mind. :D

Have fun writing!

Mailice.




EuphoriaFalls says...


Thanks for the review and all of your kind words! I know it%u2019s pretty confusing lol, so I%u2019ll definitely take tempo and lack of information into consideration in the future. I%u2019m still sort of building the world this takes place in so I don%u2019t know all the rules myself, and how many things I want to remain a mystery.

I%u2019m was trying to go for something serenely haunting with this piece, so it makes me really happy to hear that you were able to get that experience from my short story.



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Sat May 29, 2021 11:44 pm
Zycoptl00 says...



Nice short story.




EuphoriaFalls says...


Thanks! %uD83D%uDE0A



EuphoriaFalls says...


(I guess emojis don%u2019t work lol)



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Thu May 27, 2021 12:22 pm
KateHardy 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: Hmm....well this was a really interesting little story this one. It definitely wasn't what I was expecting judging by the title and well I'm definitely not disappointed. It was quite a fun story to read.

Anyway let's get right to it,

Her toga drags lightly over the wooden sidewalk. Her lantern is grasped before her, illuminating her steps.


Hmm...okay....that's a decent patch of description there to start off with there....the toga lets you know the kind of time it might be set in and then there's the lantern as well. All very good indicators to set the scene for the coming story there, that seems pretty good right at the start.

The sun never fully rises in this place. For a whole season it might peak over the horizon before retreating for a long time again. The villagers once believed they could find a pattern and somehow measure the passing of time. Some time after they wondered, an astronomer wandered into the village. They believed it was providence, and set her to the task. The astronomer who lives in the observatory up on the hill toiled for what seemed to be years trying to find the answer, long past when everyone else had stop caring for one. She found no success in her endeavor. Time didn’t pass and no one grew old.


Ooooh, well that's a really interesting phenomenon there, don't think I've seen that sort of thing before, a place where the sun never fully rises..., well there are places where the sun doesn't rise for a few months at a time, but then a time where time doesn't pace and no one ages is definitely a very unique thing. This astronomer here seems to be an interesting character as well, working away at a problem so old no one even wants to see the solution anymore. Well let's see where this story is headed here.

So she takes frequent walks instead of taking measurements which seem to no longer hold any meaning in world where the heavens have no order.

Some days she wears no shoes. She allows her toes to become numb from wet chill, the wood silently cracking beneath her feet as she glides through the dark world heel to toe.


Hmm...well that looks like measurements that she'll be taking for a long time to come there...those definitely don't seem like they'll come to a close all that soon. Hmm...and the fact that she's walking barefoot there is a pretty interesting detail to add, wonder what that's going to be about.

Occasionally, she would find herself looking up wondering about what her purpose was in this place. She would stretch her hands up as she did when she was a child when she first dreamed of mapping the stars. Her fingertips would sink into blackness. Her back flexed comfortably as she imagined the sky pulling her in, swallowing her up in its vastness.


Hmm...well, that's interesting...showcasing a bit of backstory there although the back flexing uncomfortably takes this whole thing in a very different direction...hmm...well let's see how this ends I suppose.

“What are you?” she whispered to the brilliance above.

At some point, her toes would leave the ground.

She would float for sometime without ever noticing anything,

And then she would descend once again.


Oooh...well that's a bit of a mystic looking ending there...certainly seems quite interesting there with all the floating going on...well...at any rate its a solid ending there. :D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this was a pretty neat little story. Its definitely enjoyable and quite interesting. Well anyway, that's about all I've gotta say here. :D

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

Stay Safe
Harry




EuphoriaFalls says...


Thanks for the review! I found you insights really interesting and helpful.



EuphoriaFalls says...


your* lol



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Thu May 27, 2021 5:32 am
unicornchriz111 wrote a review...



Hello,

I love this story, it is one of those stories that really gets one thinking. The concept is incredibly intriguing, and the language used to describe it is exceptional. Some language that could be improved upon is when you write,

"Her lantern is grasped before her, illuminating her steps."

Makes it appear as something/someone else is holding her lantern before her. The rest of the story is very well written and leaves me wanting to know more, good job!




EuphoriaFalls says...


Thanks for the review! The pointer about my second sentence was really helpful.



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Thu May 27, 2021 1:57 am
TheWarriorMingan wrote a review...



Hi, EuphoriaFalls!

First of all, I like this story. I would like to know more. Alright, let's dive into the review!

"Her lantern is grasped before her, illuminating her steps." Here it sounds like her lantern is held by someone or something else in front of her. Maybe you could try something like, "She grasps her lantern before her, illuminating her steps." Or, "She holds her lantern before her, illuminating her steps."

"At some point, her toes would leave the ground." This left me wondering if it was if she felt like she was drifting through the sky, or if she literally left the ground.

Once again, good story, I would love to hear more!

Follow your heart, and nothing can go wrong. (Concerning writing.)




EuphoriaFalls says...


Thanks for the review! I'll definitely give those first couple of lines another look. And as for the last couple line, yes she literally leaves the ground, she just never notices when it happens.



TheWarriorMingan says...


Fascinating!




The last of the human freedoms is to choose one's attitudes.
— Viktor Frankl