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Much Ado About Nothing (taking suggestions for a better title.)

by LadyGemstone

This is where he'll hide it, my secret nothing. My priceless air. I sigh, staring up at the tops of the tall oaks. Willow the wisps and fairies fill my fractured imagination here in this secret place. Oh, this is a must. The leaves are green and firmly cling to their trees, and the sky is a peculiar grey. A single Elm has its beautiful splay all while the roots jut out of the ground. The lightning scar, the bear claw mar, what a beautiful sight. The stream beside the tree as red as mystery. And the clouds above are black.

This is indeed a good place to end my heavy quest. I'll hide my secret nothing, and then get some rest. I've stumbled over mountains and breathlessly crawled up hills, I've stepped over valleys and walked through plains, I've forded streams and tiptoed through rivers to get to this place. I've never moved so quickly with so little haste. This must be the spot, but where is the boy? It's he who I need. He has to hide the nothing! I'm much too old, much too dry. I can capture, yet never cast. I need to find him, and fast. Time will tell, they say, and time has told.

Take one look at this face, you'll see I'm old. A boy must hide the nothing, and no boy I see. Unless, of course, The Spirit's blind and thinks that the boy is me. I sit and wait, and wait and sit, but no one comes my way. My imagination, waning as I breathe, captures an image in the stream. A boy is what I see. I lean over and touch his shoulder-- He is as real as a dream! We lock eyes, and to my surprise, the boy is me. A young chap just over thirteen. He has curly eyes and pointy teeth. Pale and twisted lips, eyelashes that are braided together, hair like licorice whips. He is brawny, lanky, and as thin as a post. He looks like a mural or perhaps an abstract ghost. I have to squint to see the picture of old, of what I used to be. But in his left pupil, there I am, it's me! Tan skin, pointy chin, purple eyes, and auburn hair.

"It's true," speaks The Spirit from its majestically cobbled form, "this is the boy, and the boy is you." And with that it emerges from the water in startling grace. My eyes behold the scene, as its mouth opens wide and its kind face nears to me. "Step inside and hide the nothing. You can't do it, because you're something. But the boy is here, and he is nothing."

I suddenly understand what I must do. I extend my hand, taking The Spirit by the tongue, and as it swallows me up colors flash like peacock plumes. Gold like my first summer. Green like the Sisle Sea. I see the colors flashing in his jaws and they amaze me - a rainbow of feathers fluttering together in a blood red sea! I follow them down a flight of neon stairs. When I get to the bottom of the neon steps, I can't even breathe; all I know is in this glow there is more color than can possibly be perceived. For I know The Spirit and it knows me, and by this chance this floral dance is last that I may see.

Out of the water emerges the boy, brand new and young and clean. He is I and I am he, The spirit re-purposed we. He must hide the nothing, the precious breath of air, all where I can see. His mind twists with imagination, writhing with life's beat. It slithers here there and yonder. A quest it must complete. "Where shall I hide the nothing?" We mumble to the stream. The Spirit says nothing, but the stream looks upwards resolute. "The stream points to the sky. The trees do too!" We've found our place hide the nothing. To hide it fair and true.

The boy sits ever so suddenly and looks up to the sky. Oh, here comes the nothing! The treasured breath of air. Once striped from all the land, leaving it bare. As the boy looks up a shiver run down my spin. Oh no... Oh no... The nothing... He throws his head back and grins. He opens his mouth and seems to choke. He utters not but rainbow smoke. And it is his end. He hid the nothing, it was his dying deed. Over he fell with a triumphant yell.

Oh there goes the nothing spiraling through the sky! It goes over the land from grass to sand. Whats dead is live and live is dead. As the nothing drives ahead. The world once deranged is now a changed and peaceful place to be. All that's lost is live once more and all thanks to me. I was alive and what I held was nothing. Now I am dead everything has life. I am the boy who hid the nothing. And now the nothing is free.

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861 Reviews

Points: 28996
Reviews: 861

Thu Apr 30, 2020 5:11 am
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Morrigan wrote a review...

Hi, I'm Morri, here to leave you a review.

Hopefully you're taking suggestions for more than just the title! ;)

This is an interesting story, and while you incorporate rhyme and meter sporadically, I do not think that it quite qualifies as a poem. If you would like to make it into a poem, I recommend changing the form, and changing the style. While there is a lot I could say about the style and form, it really comes best to the author if they've read poems in a category similar to their own. Check out The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes. I feel like your language is similar to his style. Notice his use of poetic devices like repetition, simile, consistent meter, and consistent rhyme. I chose to show you this poem because it is a narrative poem, like your own, though the story is different. Of course, that is his style, and not yours, but I feel like reading others' poetry will give you more perspective on your own work.

Something I noticed when I was reading your piece is that you use big concept words a lot. I'm talking about words that tell the reader what is happening, but do not show the reader what is happening. For example, you say "beautiful" twice in the same paragraph. Don't tell the reader that something is beautiful. Rely on your imagery to show that to the reader, and allow them to draw that conclusion themselves. There are a few other words like that in this piece, and I recommend doing the same thing. Replace them with powerful imagery.

Adverbs are another thing that plague your piece. Adverbs only need to be used when the verb is not strong enough on its own. You have strong verbs for the most part. Let's look at this line.

The leaves are green and firmly cling to their trees,
You can take out "firmly" with no ill effects on your sentence. "Cling" is already illustrating that the leaves are holding on.
Moving on to a sentence where the verb could be improved.
The boy sits ever so suddenly and looks up to the sky.

What is a more illustrative way to say "sits?" You could say "The boy rockets up" or if you mean that he's sitting from a standing position, "The boy plants himself." There are many more ways you can say this, but you don't need an adverb if you have the right verb. Adverbs weaken the sentence. We should be enlightened by context and vocabulary on how an action is taken. There are a few other places where you've used adverbs where the do not benefit the piece. Go back through and see how many you can remove, either by simply erasing them, or changing the verb to something stronger.

Willow the wisps
I think you mean "Will O' the Wisps."

The stream beside the tree as red as mystery.
This sentence structure is confusing. I do not know if you are saying the stream is red, or the tree is red. Furthermore, mystery is an abstract noun, and I'm not sure what shade of red you're talking since you're comparing a color shade to something that cannot be seen. The writing feels a little lazy here, as if you're allowing the meter and rhyme to dictate your word choice. Don't let it overpower you!

Another thing about the previous line, and the surrounding paragraph: I am wondering why you are using basic color names. There is definitely a time and place for that, but I feel as if you're not doing this landscape justice by saying "green" or "black." What kind of green are the leaves? Are they surreal teal? Are they emerald? Sage green? Do the clouds roil with wind, do they rain ash, or do they shoot azure lightning? Give us more here.

He is brawny, lanky, and as thin as a post.
I don't think that "brawny" is the right word here. If he's lanky and thin, brawny is a contradiction. Brawny's denotation is physically strong and muscular. Lanky's denotation is ungracefully thin and tall. Brawny's connotation is where the problem lies. Brawny tends to refer to folks who are pretty stocky with muscle, which totally contradicts lanky. If you're saying that he still has muscle though he's tall and thin, perhaps "wiry" is a better term to use. The definition of wiry (of a person) is "lean, tough, and sinewy." Hopefully this clears things up for you.

Once striped from all the land
I think you mean "stripped."

As for title recommendations, I think a good title might be "Nothing, the Boy, and Me." Or "The Secret Nothing."

Altogether, I think this has potential. It feels like you could turn it into something a bard would sing in a tavern. Something about great deeds and such. I hope that this review is useful to you! Happy writing!

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127 Reviews

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Reviews: 127

Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:17 am
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TheCursedCat wrote a review...

Okay screw the lame introduction. THIS WAS STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS WASN'T IT? This is the first time I've seen this genre being explored and being done so naturally oh my my!

Here's my review soundtrack if you're interested :D Metallica: Nothing else matters

Let's begin.

Disclaimer! Read this only if you want your head to explode....Because it most definitely will.

Spoiler! :
I fricking love this and I'm going to worship this. THE ENTIRE IDEA OF THIS IS THE VAGUE CHANGE OF IDEAS THAT NOBODY CAN REALLY PIN-POINT AND SAY, "Hey that's the theme of the story! Let's analyze this!" NO! That isn't possible with writing like this. Even an attempt would be ruining this and GOD I LOVE IT AND I CAN'T STOP SAYING IT!

I'm not gonna be correcting your grammar 'cause well I'm not going to get my revenge for all the times you corrected mine! THIS IS NOT THE BATTLEFIELD ITS THE FRICKING FOREST WITH WATER AND ITS SO MUCH OF OH GOD WHY AM I NOT IN HERE?(And there isn't much to get back at you with so it's pointless.)

Gem I'm assuming that this is what your head looks like because if you write more of this I might just jump in and I might cause a lot of damage so be prepared. Oh lord I'm going crazy.

You must've got by now that I'm not critically analyzing this. I'm not gonna assess its content because well I don't have anything to point out. All I saw was pure imagery and shift of rich ideas and the BOY (Apparently you). The best thing about stream of consciousness is the energy it generates and I really want to tell you that I'm am hyper right now just 'cause I read that and that is why this is just perfect.

I think the best thing about this is the vagueness. YES. THE VAGUENESS. You could call me crazy but hey! I am married to ambiguity. And I'm also a White Knight so yeah.

All that aside. I want to tell you that if you EVER doubt your writing, I WILL jump into your head and cause destruction till you are insane.(just kidding)

Hope this helped you.


Yours sincerely,
Grav :D

LadyGemstone says...

I am a girl but other than that. Yes and thank you.

TheCursedCat says...

Where's the life in that? YOU SOUND LIFELESS unlike what you wrote! -_-

LadyGemstone says...

lol i haveeent haaad my coofffeeeeee lol.

TheCursedCat says...

XD GO GET IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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119 Reviews

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Reviews: 119

Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:58 am
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Clairia wrote a review...

Hello, there! I'm Clairia, here to leave you a review.

I must admit that I was a bit confused whilst reading this. Your description is lovely, but the story doesn't necessarily seem to go anywhere--and I wasn't sure what the plot was. There wasn't much to indicate character development/establishment of main environment/etc. It reads a bit more like prose to me than a short story, which is perfectly fine! I'd just like to gently suggest that you consider modeling this into some sort of poetry. You seem more than capable to transform this piece, and I think it might be for the best. I'd also love to see what else you could do with the idea of someone embodying nothing, because it's a very interesting concept that aligns with the mystery and freedom of free verse.

I wanted to point out a few spelling errors that you had as well, just so you're aware of them in the future.

"Its true," speaks The Spirit from its majesticly cobbled form,

"Its" should be "It's", as in "it is", and "majesticly" (I'm assuming) is actually spelled "majestically."

While spelling isn't a huge deal, it can affect how others view your writing. I'd suggest downloading Grammarly, a google extension that corrects your grammatical/spelling errors as you type. This will prevent small mistakes like the ones in your piece from slipping into other final products. I've used Grammarly in the past and I've found it to be immensely helpful <3

Your rhyme scheme was quite fun to look at, I must say. This piece was a joy to review and the fantasy aspects of it were nothing short of heartwarming. I hope to see more from you in the future!



LadyGemstone says...

Thank you for the help I could have sworn i put it under poetry but with the other titles. >~< <3

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304 Reviews

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Reviews: 304

Tue Apr 28, 2020 10:08 pm
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whatchamacallit says...

Gem I hate to be this person but I'm pretty sure "adue" is spelled "ado" XD

LadyGemstone says...

Its alright you and Ethan were both that person and it is fixed now. XD

"Honestly, I think the world is going to end bloody. But it doesn't mean we shouldn't fight. We do have choices."
— Dean Winchester