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Stray part 1 / A fictional tale from the perspective of a street dog

by Laurenlovely


I wake up to hear barking, and I see a few dogs running around the street. Probably a street fight. I’m used to this. One dog bites the other’s leg, and another dog is snarling and kicking its opponent’s nose to defend himself. Sometimes the fighting turns ugly. I crawl out of my neatly dug hole, stretch my legs, and start trotting over to see what the fuss is about. It's another humid day in the streets of Thailand, and I can already hear the sounds of panting. As I get closer I finally figure out what the big deals about. Food, of course. A stranger or so-called ‘human’ decided to give Oreo, a rather skinny dog, some food. A pack of dogs saw her about to start chomping on the tasty treat and came along to try and snatch it. We don’t exactly call it stealing though, it’s more like an ‘if you take it you eat it’ type of thing. It’s no one’s food. Before she was a street dog, Oreo used to live with an owner to take care of her. At least, that's just what all the other dogs say. One day a chicken passed by and she started chasing after it. She ended up getting lost in Chiang Mai, a small city in Thailand where I live. a pack of dogs I know was sitting in the road at the time, and after a lot of barking, they let her into their pack. This is quite unusual because most dogs have to go around alone. I’m one of those lonely dogs, but Oreo was lucky.

I was born a stray. I’m a light brown male dog and I’m bigger than most of the dogs around here. It’s an advantage since I can scare them off. I don’t have a name, most dogs call me Tiny as a joke. I don’t get it...

I see the food, It looks like some old meat that a vendor tossed from his cart. It's laying on the cement behind Oreo. I hear a growling noise behind me and I turn to attack, but there is no one there. I think it’s just my stomach. I sneak into fighting position behind a tree, and as the dogs are busy fighting I quickly run in to grab the food. I grab the meat and let its scent devour me, and drool starts dripping down my mouth. But I didn't think this through. First, Oreo’s pack is waiting for Oreo a few feet behind her, which I don’t notice. Second, the whole pack is faster than it looks, especially Oreo, who is racing up to me to try and seize the meat back. I bolt around a street corner as fast as my legs can carry me, but they are catching up. I run past a market and a few food carts, and I can smell the corn on the cob grilling on a food stand, which makes me even more hungry. The pack smells it as well and they slow down to look at it. But the second after they notice no ones going to feed them, they come sprinting towards me again, and this time they're not going to stop. With children dashing out of our path, I realize I won't be able to keep this up for much longer.  If turn around right now and give them the stink eye, then I might scare them off, but I could also lose some valuable time to escape. I start panting harder as they come closer, and closer, and closer, until they are right next to me with Oreo almost nipping at my tail. 


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Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:45 am
IvoryRose wrote a review...



First of all nice story! I also a dog lover (I live with four). On one of your sentences you forgot to capitalize the first letter of the word. It’s important to remember to do that because if not the reader can have a hard time identifying that the sentence has started. Another thing that I see many people have been saying is please add more sensory details. Sensory details make the story come to life and don’t worry I make that mistake too. Overall you’ve made me interested in the series and I’ll probably review more of your work.
-Nice to meet you,
IvoryRose




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you! I haven't had much time lately to make it perfect (have traveled to Montenegro, got sick, friends came over-) but I'll try to get back to this soon!



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Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:34 pm
AliceinBluue wrote a review...



Hello Laurenlovely!

I was fascinated by the idea you presented for this, a story from a dog's point of view is very rarely done and I loved the fact that you choose to write it from a stray's perspective. Some of the imagery you use throughout this chapter if so very vivid. It just pulls you all the way in. The part where you describe Tiny was a bit off-putting though, you go from describing how Oreo got adopted by a pack to describing what Tiny looks like and it was a bit jarring. Maybe have a few more paragraph breaks in the chapter, so like on could start where you outline Oreo's story, another could start when Tiny smells the food as he is being chased down by the pack. I think if you did this it would help give your readers understand where the pauses are supposed to be and when you are switching to a new idea.

Hope this helped and I can't wait to read more!
-Alice




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much, I'll try to add that in :3



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Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:02 pm
BluesClues wrote a review...



Hi there!

I don't have much to add to what the others said, but there's a bit.

One, and I know this is a repeat, but Oreo's backstory. When Tiny told us her history, it made it sound as if he and Oreo were friends. But as I read on, it seemed that Oreo was just another random street dog who wasn't really any more important to Tiny than the others. While the scene mostly involves her and Tiny - as she finds food, has to fight off other dogs to keep it, loses it to Tiny, and then leads the chase after him - we don't really need to know her backstory for this.

Number two involves the senses. So when a human is narrating, we obviously focus a lot on what the human narrator sees, because sight is the most important sense to a fully-grown human (unless they're blind). But dogs use their senses of smell and hearing, especially smell, a lot more than humans do to get information about what's going on around them. While a human narrator might describe a particular smell if it reminds them of something or is particularly good or particularly strong, I'd expect a dog narrator to focus on smells a lot more. Sounds, too, but smells were what felt lacking in this chapter. Of course there's the smell of the food, but different parts of the city might have different smells, different dogs might have different smells, perhaps the narrator runs across a smell he doesn't recognize, etc. I think involving the sense of smell more in the narration and details would really help flesh out the dog-ness of this story.




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much, BlueAfrica! Smells are important indeed, I really need to start focusing on them I know...It was my first try but I'll try to do better. If you would like you can visit part 2 which I probably should add smells into as well. But if you want you can add a review in there as well! Once again thank you so much! -Laurenlovely<3



BluesClues says...


I feel like it's hard for us, Human People, to describe much more than sight and sound in our stories, because we just have super weak noses! So when we're writing a character, like a dog, who uses different senses than we do, I think it's hard for us to remember or figure out how to describe what they would notice.

Anyway, I'm glad I got a chance to read it - I keep seeing it in my people feed and finally got around to it!



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Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:01 am
Boluk wrote a review...



Okay I really like this. Everything can be pictured so vividly. and this reminds me of Disney. I also love how you have the dogs act mentally like humans. This sounds good and all but how come the dogs seem to know what a stray is. It seems like most of the other dogs are also strays meaning Tiny couldn't have learnt it from them. So that whole thing ruins the realism. Why would the stray dog even make a hole in the first place instead of running and hiding behind something. And did the dog want to sleep. If so why would it sleep in a hole instead of just lying down like actual dogs do. And finally how could the dog be panting and not drop the meat. But all of these were just nitpicks. I can't wait for a part two. Your grammar is amazing. your characters seem very well rounded. And Dogs are quite frequent so it makes sense as to why there are many of them in your story. This reminds me of a crime story if that makes sense. With the whole street fighting and all that jazz. I don't know if you will use this or not. In the future I really hope you will make a sequel




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much for the reply Boluk! I'm glad you enjoyed the story :D
Also, I just put out part 2 yesterday so it is quite new, I hope you go read it :)) thanks again -Laurenlovely<3



Boluk says...


I will read it



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Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:48 am
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Laurenlovely says...



Update: I added where they are located, toned down Oreos past, and did a bit more description!! Hope you like it better, and feel free to edit my new and improved part 1 of Stray again!! Thank you all for your kind feedback. :D

Update: thanks for all the likes on my story guys <3






Much Better! ^-^ and such a cool location!



Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much Justlittleoleme2! And I was based in the literary spotlight as well, I'm so happy :D



Laurenlovely says...


did a bit more editing because of misspellings (etc.) but other than that I feel it's better. Hurrah! :D



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:55 pm
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Justlittleoleme2 wrote a review...



Hi there!

I want to start by pointing out all of the details I liked in this story.
For one, it's a dog story and dog stories are always fun. For two, your characters are behaving pretty much how real dogs behave. They get lost, they scrap, and they take advantage of any opportunity they can get.

I also really liked this sentence:

{ I crawl out of my neatly dug hole, stretch my legs, and start trotting over to see what the fuss is about.}

It has a really nice flow of action and use of descriptive words. ^-^

Now for the review!

Overall story nit picks:

Like I said, dog stories are always fun! But your story comes out a little shallow on detail and a little stiff on the action.

It would help if you took the opportunity of the first sentence to set the stage. Describe where you character is sleeping. Is he proud of the little spot he found to sleep, did he dig it out himself, does he feel safe? Is his sleep deep and restful, or shallow because he's hungry? Was he dreaming before he was woken up. Where are they, what are the sounds they are hearing, the smells they are smelling(smells are very important to dogs). That sort of thing. It doesn't have to incredibly detailed, but a little stage setting goes a long way. I would also suggest a bit more stage setting at the scene of the fight as well. It doesn't have to be much, just enough for you readers to get a clear picture of what's happening.

Also,

I feel as though you jump into Oreo's life story a little early. It would be good to mention she was once a farm dog, and that she runs with a pack, but describing how she became lost, and how she joined the pack is a little much for right now. Remember! Unless Tiny was there when she joined the pack, or had spent very much time with her, he probably wouldn't know those details anyway. Those details would be good to save for if Tiny ever really gets to know Oreo, or speaks to someone who really knows her.

Grammar nit picks:

This little sentence,

{Food of course.}

Could be punched up with a comma and and exclamation point, like this: Food, of course!

The excerpt below was a little angular with the language, and a little shallow on description.

{A stranger or so-called ‘human’ decided to give Oreo, a black and white female dog, some food which other dogs saw her eating and came along to try and snatch. We don’t exactly call it stealing though, it’s more like a ‘take it and eat it’ type of thing. It’s no one’s food.}

I wrote the paragraph below to give you an idea on how to loosen up the language a bit:

{A human had tossed a dog named Oreo the carcass of an old baked chicken, and she was defending it viciously from a small pack of dogs that were trying to steal it. Well, not steal it. We don't really see it as stealing, more like snatching and eating. Besides, it was no ones food until it was in your stomach.}

You notice I took out the whole "black and white female dog" bit. Anyone hearing the name Oreo instantly imagines a black and white dog and using the pronoun she, lets the know she is a female. This way you save words, and allow the sentence to flow naturally. I also described exactly what it was the human gave her, which your readers need to know in order to care about what's happening.

When you simply describe the food as "food", you limit your own story telling. Of course it doesn't have to be chicken, it could be anything, but what that food is can tell the readers a lot about the situation. ;)

That is all I have for now! Keep writing!!!




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much Justlittleoleme2! Some of the things you wrote down, such as describing the food, I didn't write down because I thought it would be better to describe it in the next chapter. But I see your point and I will try to add a little more action and description for part 2, and do some editing on part 1 as well! You're right about Oreo as well, I just thought that if I just said "Someone tossed Oreo the food" someone would get confused and say "Who's Oreo?" But I also feel I rushed in too quickly... Once again thank you so much for the review, It will definitely help me on part 2!



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:41 pm
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Tuckster wrote a review...



Hey there! MJ stopping by for a short review :)

Since this is so short, I'm just going to go through this word-by-word, putting my comments in blue, my edits in red, and taking out things with a strikethrough

Spoiler! :
I wake up to hear barking, a street fight.How does the MC know immediately that this is a street fight? I’m used to this. One dog is biting the other’s leg, and another dog is snarling and kicking its opponent’s nose to defend himself. Sometimes the fighting turns ugly. I crawl out of my neatly dug hole, stretch my legs, and start trotting over to see what the fuss is about. Food, of course. A stranger or so-called ‘human’ decided to give Oreo, a black and white female dog, some food which other dogs saw her eating and came along to try and snatch. We don’t exactly call it stealing though, it’s more like a ‘take it and eat it’ type of thing. It’s no one’s food. Before she was a street dog, Oreo used to live on a farm with an owner to take care of her. One day a chicken got loose and she started chasing after it. She ended up getting lost and found a group of dogs sitting in the road, after a lot of barking, they let her into their pack which is quite unusual because most dogs have to go around alone. I’m one of those lonely dogs, but Oreo was lucky. This was definitely an info-dump here about Oreo, and it was irrelevant to the story, so I suggest you take that out. Also, I got a little lost in here trying to follow what usually happens and what was happening now, partly due to tense inconsistency. Just something to keep in mind.

I was born a stray. I’m a light brown dog and I’m bigger than most of the dogs around here. It’s an advantage since I can scare them off. I don’t have a name, most dogs call me Tiny as a joke. I don’t get it...

I see the food. It on the ground behind Oreo. I hear a growling noise behind me and I turn to attack, but there no one there. I think it’s just my stomach. I sneak into fighting position behind a tree, and as the dogs are busy fighting I quickly run in and grab the food. Bad idea for several reasons. First, Oreo’s pack is waiting a few feet behind her, which I don’t notice. Second, the dogs are faster than they look, especially Oreo. I’m running away as fast as my legs can carry me. If I turn around right now and give them the stink eye, then I might scare them off, but also I could lose some valuable time to escape. I start panting as they get closer, with Oreo almost nipping at my tail. [color=red]This seems incomplete. There's definitely not a lot here, and what you do have is just the middle of a scene. We don't really get to know the characters or a detailed plot, so I would make this longer and then maybe cut down on the number of parts.


So overall, I liked the idea of dogs fighting and the setting that you gave. Your strongest point here is the backstory of all the characters, even though we can't all see it right now, they will be very driven and it will be easier to write this story. However, this felt incomplete and didn't really seem like a complete chapter. I think if you just spent a bit more time and took it a bit slower it wouldn't feel as rushed, and you would have some more to work with here.

Best wishes & RevMo cheer,
MJ




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much MJ! I edited the story so if you would like you can come review it again. Sorry that it is so short, I'll make part 2 longer! I also edited Oreos past to make it shorter because you are right, it was a bit much for the first chapter. I also added a little bit more description so people could understand better. Once again thank you for reviewing, it's really helpful since this is my first story. Hope you check out my editing...I tried to make it better. -Lauren :)



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:34 pm
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PrincessInk wrote a review...



Welcome to YWS, Lauren!

I liked the inner monologue here. I can kind of sense her voice here--kind of humorous and quirky. I think it could be refined a bit, by the sentences to make her personality shine through, more clearly, but take this with a grain of salt because I'm no expert on voice.

I agree with rosette that there could be a little more setting here. I think that it would be really interesting to describe things from a *dog's* POV, especially a small one, because things like trash cans, which are big but not gigantic, can be HUGE for a small dog. I also think that description of the scene could really set the mood of the story. Are we in a park? A crowded city street? An alleyway? Specific details such as these are great for the story! I know that this is supposed to be a fast-paced scene, but a few details here is good. A paragraph many lines long is probably dull, but I think that a few carefully chosen details will be lovely.

In the 1st paragraph, I thought that the explanation of who Oreo was could be slipped in later. Right now, it feels rather irrelevant?? I think the backstory could be included later, maybe mentioned when Oreo and Tiny interact. In the 3rd paragraph, I thought that the sentence structure became rather stale. Most of it was like "I did this. I did that." and in my opinion, it can hamper the flow of the sentence. Obviously twisting them around awkwardly is dull, but repeating the same structure over and over can become dull--fast.

Overall, I think this is an interesting (and rather hook-y) opening, but I also feel as though you could add more details of setting. That's all I've got to say!




Laurenlovely says...


Thanks for the review PrincessInk! I tried to add more details, and I'll have to find a way to tell where they are located because I feel I did a poor job on this and describing the character, because the main character is a boy <_> oi... So I will have to go back and add that in! Thanks again for the review!! I hope you read part 2 when it gets out :) -Lauren



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Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:30 pm
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rosette wrote a review...



Hi Laurenlovely!
Well, you're fairly new here and I never welcomed you properly, so let me get it out now: Welcome to YWS! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. :)

This was a pretty short chapter, but I think it's adorable. Stories from a dog's perspective always are. To me, at least. :P

I wake up to hear barking, a street fight. I’m used to this. One dog is biting the other’s leg, and another dog is snarling and kicking its opponent’s nose to defend himself. Sometimes the fighting turns ugly.

That italicized sentence confused me for a moment. I thought you were already giving the details of the street fight going on. But no, you were telling us what a typical street fight is like. The tenses just got a little messed up. "is biting" makes it sound like that is currently happening - it should be "bites..., and another dog snarls and kicks it's opponents nose to defend himself."

One thing that kept nagging at me while I was reading was the setting. Or rather, the lack of it. Exactly where are these dogs? It sounds like a park, maybe, but I can't be too sure.
I'm also wondering what kind of food this is. Yeah, that might sound weird, but really! Is it like, a hot dog or a pretzel, or what? Also, also: you keep referring to the other dogs as well, "the dogs". How many are there? Does this dog, Tiny, know them all? I don't know why he wouldn't, seeing as he has been a street dog his whole life. Surely he knows who's all in his neighborhood.
Second, the dogs are faster than they look, especially Oreo.

If Tiny knows all of Oreo's history, how does he not know how fast she can run? Second of all, I don't know how Oreo looks. I know she's black-and-white, but whether she's chubby or thin with a ribcage sticking out, I can't say.
I'm wondering about the breeds of these dogs...

I hear a growling noise behind me and I turn to attack, but there no one there. I think it’s just my stomach.

*applauds wildly* xD This cracked me up.

I think something you could add to give this story more humor, maybe, is how much Tiny wants the food. He awakens, trots up to the fight, sees food, grabs it and runs. It was all quite sudden. There were no thoughts of ohhhh food or mouth-watering moments of his? No licking of chops? (I seriously see so many dogs do that when they spy food). What were his - okay, this might sound strange - thoughts and feelings on it? It all happened so quickly. I'd like to see a few more added details.

---
Hope to see the next part out soon!
cheerios for now,
~rosette <3




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so so much rosette! Don't worry I'll add the setting they are in in no time! I described things a bit more so readers could understand a bit more as well, and keep them in the story. I also edited Oreos history, but I'll try to add more details of her :) Thanks a lot for the review rosette, and I hope that you enjoy the next part!! -Lauren



rosette says...


The setting is great! Thailand, my, my. :D



Laurenlovely says...


Thank you, Rosette~ :D




Adventure is worthwhile.
— Aesop