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Stray part 2 / A fictional tale from the perspective of a street dog

by Laurenlovely


I dodge another cart, almost tripping over my own legs. There are so many people walking around, sitting down at tables, ordering food, I have never been in a busy area like this before, and all the all the chattering hurts my head. I take a quick look at the pack to see if they are still right behind me, and Oreo and I make eye contact, in which she runs even faster. People start shouting at us and try to shoo us away, but I keep running straight. If I stop or try to take a turn I know I’m gonna slow down. I have to find something that will grab the packs attention, fast! After frantically waving my head in every direction, something catches my eye in the distance. 

As we come closer I finally realize what it is, a chicken!  It was as if Oreo read my mind because she was already charging towards the chicken with her mouth wide open, not even caring to look back at the meat I was still holding in my mouth.

The chicken, who seemed like it managed to escape from its cage, finally registered what was going on and is in a complete frenzy. It should have just stayed in its cage. The poor thing squawks madly and is shaking in fear. It takes a turn into an alleyway with Oreo still chasing after it. The owner of the chicken notices this, but just mumbles "too late now." to a guy next to him and sits back down. I stop watching, since she is probably going to rip it apart now, I just hope she doesn’t. Seeing blood gushing out of a living animal doesn’t please me as it might other dogs. All of Oreo’s pack slows down to wait for her, but then they decide to stop. They start barking at her to come back, but she won’t. I know that once Oreo is involved with a chicken, there’s no stopping her until she finishes devouring every last bite of the savory carcass.

 While everyone is paying attention to Oreo I hide behind an empty food cart. I notice that we’ve run so far that we are next to the forest. I usually don’t come here, not just because it is far, but because I hate forests. Everything inside of the forests disgusts me. The eeriness, the feeling of being alone, and worst of all, spiders...I never want to encounter a spider.

I turn to glance at what’s going on, and notice that Oreo and the chicken are not in that alleyway anymore. I place the meat right next to me, but before I can take a bite I see Oreo running a few feet in front of me, and she is getting closer to the woods. A dog from the pack wants to start chasing after her, but the other dogs stop him. I watch as she sinks away from view, still chasing that terrified chicken. The packs’ tails stop wagging, and they start pacing around not knowing what to do. She will come back when she feels like it, unless she gets lost. I move my attention from the pack to the meat and sink my teeth into it, quickly chomping down every bite. It’s way better than the cold rice that I found by the dumpster two days ago, but even that was good too. You just have to take what you get, and when it’s hard to find food you enjoy it so much more. When I finish eating I quietly sneak past the pack, hoping that none of them saw me, move to a different street. I start walking down the road to find a new sleeping spot.

After a long day I find a tree that no dog has claimed yet. I dig my paws into the dirt and make a new hole to sleep in. Finally, I close my eyes awaiting tomorrow. 


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Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:55 am
IvoryRose says...



I have no idea why my review was submitted twice. O.o




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Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:54 am
IvoryRose says...



Woop woop I returned and I will probably review all three chapters. First off I love the first paragraph. You described sounds and the chase well. It really painted a great mental image of dogs running around chasing each other. So far you’ve also done a good job with the characterization of the dogs. The main character being digusted by blood gushing out of a chicken and even stating that unlike the other dogs it is not a fan really sets the character apart from the others. It’s good that you didn’t make the story super over the top or ridiculously silly. I could see the dogs as almost human which is a good thing. The only thing I think you could improve on is when you described the meat. You could have described the texture and taste more in my opinion over all great story.




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much!! This made my day :)



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Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:54 am
IvoryRose wrote a review...



Woop woop I returned and I will probably review all three chapters. First off I love the first paragraph. You described sounds and the chase well. It really painted a great mental image of dogs running around chasing each other. So far you’ve also done a good job with the characterization of the dogs. The main character being digusted by blood gushing out of a chicken and even stating that unlike the other dogs it is not a fan really sets the character apart from the others. It’s good that you didn’t make the story super over the top or ridiculously silly. I could see the dogs as almost human which is a good thing. The only thing I think you could improve on is when you described the meat. You could have described the texture and taste more in my opinion over all great story.




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Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:02 am
AliceinBluue wrote a review...



Hey hey! I'm back for the second chapter!

I liked the fact that you picked your story up right where you had left off from your first chapter. We stay with Tiny as he escapes the pack and enjoys his meat. You don't stray away from showing how rough it is for stray dogs to survive on the streets.

Why does the rest of the pack stop when Oreo does? You said in the last one that Oreo was adopted by the pack, so why would they all just slow down when Oreo gets sidetracked by the chicken?

If your narrator is a stray dog, why have they never ventured into crowded area before. One would assume that as a stray, Tiny would often go into crowded areas in order to obtain food. And then you mention that Tiny hates forests as well, so where does he spend all his time getting food?

I agree with MJTucker in that the chapter seems a little bit rushed. I think it would be helpful if you described things a little bit more or talked about how Tiny experiences his world. Overall, this was a great follow-up to your first chapter and I can't wait to read what you come out with next!
-Alice




Laurenlovely says...


Thanks again Alice, I'm working hard on making these chapters as good as they can get! I just need some time... :) haha anyways I'll be workin on it!
-Laurenlovely<3



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Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:10 pm
BluesClues wrote a review...



Hi again!

I'm going to echo Mea in that switching up your sentence structure in future drafts could go a long way toward drawing readers deeper into the story. And filtering - think, for example, about this part.

After frantically waving my head in every direction, I finally spot something in the distance. As we come closer, I finally realize what it is.

“A chicken!” I say, and realize that I said that out loud.


Would Tiny really say "a chicken!" to himself aloud, or would he simply realize it's a chicken and think that? It's a small thing, but it always takes me out of the story when a character says something obvious to himself and then realizes he said it aloud. Since Oreo was already going for the chicken, there's no need for another character to overhear him, so who is he saying this for? Probably the reader. But in that case, he can just think it, like

Frantically waving my head in every direction, I finally spot something in the distance. As we come closer, I realize what it is: a chicken. Alternatively: As we come closer, I realize it's a chicken.


This is also a spot where you can take advantage of some description. What draws his eye to the chicken in the first place? Is it flapping around? Squawking? Is the owner chasing after it? And think about the smells, like I mentioned in the last chapter! A human might not realize it's a chicken from a distance, because we'll just see this weird shadowy shape flapping around and can't pick it out until we get closer - we're using our eyes. But a dog might be able to smell that it's a chicken, at least if the wind shifts.

I liked the description of the forest, because Tiny made it sound like kind of a creepy place - and then Oreo heads into it, bent on the chicken. The other dogs try to stop her but won't follow her in, which makes it feel like she might never come out again.

But I could also think that because I kept misreading the title of the story - every time it showed up in my feed, I thought it said "stray part 1(or 2) / a fairy tale from a dog's perspective," so I was kind of ready for something like a spooky enchanted forest. Oops.




Laurenlovely says...


Thanks, BlueAfrica! Wow I had just replied to you on Stray part 1 to check out part 2 and here you are! I'm glad you liked my description of the forest haha, and I fixed the "A chicken!" Part! So hopefully it's a bit better :D Thanks again for reviewing!! -Laurenlovely<3



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Wed Sep 27, 2017 11:09 am
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Mea wrote a review...



Hey there! I thought I'd drop by for a review today. I've read both parts of this story, so I'm able to comment on it as a whole. :D

I like your main character and his mix of the sheer practicality that comes from being on the streets, but I'm also getting this feeling that he's longing for something beyond the simple "stay alive from day-to-day," which is great because it makes him more interesting. Plus, I just feel sorry for the poor thing - his life clearly isn't easy. (I also like that this is in Thailand and I think you have lots of opportunities for rich description here!)

My biggest suggestion for you is actually a technical one and a little complicated so I hope this explanation makes sense. While I was reading this, I had a hard time feeling immersed in the story - something felt artificial and was reminding me that I was reading a story, that I wasn't really there right beside Tiny.

I figured out that what was causing this was your sentence structure, particularly the repetition of "I". Almost all of your sentences are "I do this" or "I think this." There could definitely be more details of the scene around Tiny, and in general more sentences that don't have him as their subject. The biggest thing is not the repetition of "I" as a word, but the fact that it is at the beginning of the sentence and in an "I [verb]" format. It draws attention to the fact that Tiny is telling a story, and since he's not doing it in a particularly unique or special way (which is fine), it becomes a distraction more than anything.

So change up the sentence structure! And also, try to delete words that draw attention to the way the narrative is filtered through Tiny's perspective - instead of saying "I realize I said that out loud," try "Oh. I said that out loud." Again, it's all about immersing the reader in your character and his world, and not doing anything to distract the reader.

I echo the other reviewers about making the paragraphs shorter, particularly when it comes to the fast-paced chase scenes.

And I'll leave it at that! This is a sweet story, and I hope you write more!




Laurenlovely says...


Thanks for the review Mea!! I'll try to fix the repeated "I's" problem. Every review helps a lot, so thank you for pointing out more, and I hope you liked Stray part 1 as well! I hope you read part three, it's gonna be a bit different, hopefully in a good way :D thanks again for the review
-Laurenlovely<3



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Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:58 am
rosette wrote a review...



Awww man, I didn't get to help kick this out of the Green Room!
Oh well, guess that means, you'll be receiving an extra review. ;)

But it's good to see the next part out for this story. Tiny's adorable - tripping over his own legs? He sounds like a puppy, it's so cute. <3 This was pretty fast-paced, and ended quickly after all that running around and chicken-killing. Ugh. It always grosses me out when I hear of a dog eating a chicken, but it's good to see Oreo is a true stray dog of Thailand! That chicken-devouring from her really helped show her true colors.
I just thought the location of the chicken was somewhat vague. (Man, I'm all about location, aren't I?) So, the setting is a marketplace in Thailand and then... "something in the distance... "A chicken!" I say." I'd like to know where the chicken is. Under a tent, or wandering around tables, or what? Was it someone's chicken? I'm not sure about how people in Thailand behave for this sort of thing, but would anyone be freaked out or irritated that this stray dog is suddenly wanting a chicken for lunch? Or is this sort of thing normal?

And I know this story is told from a dog's perspective, but I don't see a lot of human interaction or really, any people in here. When I think of marketplaces in Thailand, I think of crowded, dusty areas, with people shouting and selling their wares. But. Then again. I've never been to Thailand, so not like I would know. However, I'd think there would still be quite a few people hanging about, you know. Maybe yelling or shooing away these dogs that so often wander their streets.

I'm also glad to see some more character depth from Tiny. He's scared of spiders, and doesn't like blood or being alone. He sounds like a softy.
Aww.
He's so cute.

Keep it up, Lauren!
Sorry this review was so short. I didn't have much to say, as you can see. :P

cheers for now!
~rosette

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Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much, Rosette! Your reviews always make me so happy <3 I'll edit again so don't worry :D Thanks again -Laurenlovely<3



rosette says...


You're welcome! :)



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Tue Sep 26, 2017 1:41 am
LukeStarkiller wrote a review...



Well done! I enjoyed this piece very much. It has a frantic quality to it, as if the dog (narrator) is trying to get as many words out in as little time as possible. That being said, I think it feels a bit TOO rushed and becomes a little too frenzied for the reader to keep up with.

One thing that would definitely help this is breaking up many of the longer paragraphs. It makes the reader pause a bit and is also easier to look at and to read. I would add paragraph breaks in the following places: "savoury carcass. While everyone" "terrified chicken. The packs’" "gets lost. I move" "much more. When I"

I also noticed some minor grammatical errors, but that may have been a stylistic choice (to make the dog's way of narrating a bit haphazard), so I won't go over them.

I think the biggest overall problem with this is the plot. There isn't really a cohesive objective to tie the story together; rather, it's more of a "day in the life" kind of experience. This isn't a bad way to do a short story, but it I would at least consider adding some sort of fundamental problem that the main character has to solve. I say this not because I felt the events you had were bad but because there wasn't much of a resolution at the end. After all, there wasn't really anything TO resolve. If you hadn't had your main character lie down and go to sleep at the end of the piece, I wouldn't be clued in that the story was ending. (Unless you plan to continue this into the next day, of course.)

Overall, though, a great piece. You absolutely nailed the characterization of the main character through action, and it was actually quite a treat to read. You clearly understand not only how dogs think and act but also how to put that on the page.




Laurenlovely says...


Thank you so much!! :D :D



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Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:59 pm
Tuckster wrote a review...



Hi there! MJ back for another review :)

Since this is so short, I'm going to copy-paste it and put all of my corrections and stuff inside the spoiler.

Spoiler! :
I dodge another cart, almost tripping over my own legs. I’m gonna slow down soon if I don’t find something that will grab the packs attention, fast! After frantically waving my head in every direction, I finally spot something in the distance. As we come closer, I finally realize what it is.Two things here: 1, you need to remember commas, especially since in the first sentence it would change the meaning, and 2, finally was overused. You only had three sentences and used it twice, so maybe take it out or find a synonym.

“A chicken!” I say, and realize that I said that out loud. It was as if Oreo knew what I was going to say before I said it, because she was already charging towards the chicken with her mouth wide open. Is this a fair assumption? Maybe Oreo just saw it and then her dog instincts took over, and she chased it, so I think that last statement was a bit of a stretch.

The chicken, whicho finally registered what was going on, is in a complete frenzy. The poor thing squawks madly, and is shaking in fear. It takes a turn into an alleyway with Oreo still chasing after it. I stop watching,since she is probably going to rip it apart now,. I just hope she doesn’t. Seeing blood gushing out of a living animal doesn’t please me as it might other dogs. All of Oreo’s pack slows down to wait for her, but then they decide to stop. They start barking at her to come back, but she won’t. I know that once Oreo is involved with a chicken, there’s no stopping her until she finishes devouring every last bite of the savoury carcass. Separate paragraph?While everyone is paying attention to Oreo, I hide behind an empty food cart. I notice that we’ve run so far that we are next to the forest. I usually don’t come here, not just because it is far, but because I hate forests. Everything inside of the forests disgusts me. The eeriness, the feeling of being alone, and worst of all, spiders...I never want to encounter a spider.

I turn to glance at what’s going on, and notice that they’reWho is they referring to? not in that alleyway anymore. I place the meat right next to me, but before I can take a bite, I see Oreo running a few feet in front of me, and she is getting closer to the woods. A dog from the pack wants to start chasing after her, but the other dogs stop him. I watch as she sinks away from view, still chasing that terrified chicken. The packs’ tails stop wagging, and they start pacing around, not knowing what to do. She will come back when she feels like it, unless she gets lost. I move my attention from the pack to the meat and sink my teeth into it, quickly chomping down every bite. It’s way better than the cold rice that I found by the dumpster two days ago, but even that was good too. You just have to take what you get, and when it’s hard to find food you enjoy it so much anymore. When I finish eating, I quietly sneak past the pack, hoping that none of them saw me, move to a different street. I start walking down the road to find a new sleeping spot.

After a long day, I find a tree that no dog has claimed yet. I dig my paws into the dirt and make a new hole to sleep in. Finally, I close my eyes awaiting tomorrow.


This chapter seems, like the first one, to go very fast. You sped through all of this, and it was so fast-paced it takes a lot of action to fill the page. I think if you took it a little slower, maybe added some dialogue, described some things, established more of a relationship, it might get a bit longer and not feel as rushed. It would also help with the lack of character development and relationships that we see here, since there have only been two dogs mentioned by name, and we don't know a lot about them except from the info-dumps.

I also noticed that you were missing a lot of commas and added in all the ones I could think of, so just be aware that bad grammar can be a sign that the writer doesn't care enough, which is obviously a turnoff. If the writer doesn't care about it enough to proofread for basic grammatical elements, why should the reader spend time on it? Just something to think about.

I think that's about it for today, so hopefully this was helpful, and if you need any clarifications or need any help on this, my PM box is always open, as is my wall! Please don't hesitate to contact me for anything, and with that said, have a great rest of your day and good luck with this.

Best wishes & RevMo cheer,
MJ




Laurenlovely says...


Thank MJ, sorry about it being fast-paced, whenever I start writing my mind starts rushing through everything... I'm sorry... But I will also continue editing it so don't worry. :D Thanks for helping me out MJ, hope to see you on part 3! :D Byee -Laurenlovely<3




Don't go around saying the world owes you a living; the world owes you nothing; it was here first.
— Mark Twain