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Young Writers Society



For Griffypoo

by Snoink


[i]Isaac.[/i]

The voice woke Isaac up immediately. He blinked back sleep and sat up slowly. The room was still dark and the only noise that he heard was the other boys’ soft breathing. He guessed it was midnight, which was the latest hour that he could think of in this groggy state. He rubbed his eyes.

“Hello?” he said, too sleepy to keep his voice down. He heard several boys groan, still in their sleep, and the squeak of several mattresses, but then it was quiet. The silence woke him up more. “Hello?” he asked, his voice only in a whisper.

Nothing.

He sat up for a minute, his ears keen, but he heard nothing else, except for the usual sounds — the other boys breathing, the drip-dripping of the leaky faucet in their communal bathroom, and Richard whimpering, like usual.

He must have been dreaming.

What had he been dreaming?

He wrapped his blankets around him tightly and settled back to bed. Just as he felt his cheek touch his now cool pillow, the voice came again, but more urgently:

[i]Isaac.[/i]

He started up again, straining his ears to find out where the sound came from. Whoever belonged to the voice was someone with authority, he knew that.

His first thought was to go to Warden. Warden had authority. Maybe, Warden wanted to call him, without drawing attention to the other boys. A strange idea came to his head: maybe, he was to be an elder. Maybe Warden wanted to let him know now, instead of in front of everyone else later.

Or maybe it was one of the boys playing an awful trick on him.

“Who is it?” he hissed. Lionel, who was on the bed next to him, shifted and groaned, but otherwise there was no sound.

He sat up again, feeling cold all over. The room was silent. He strained his ears again and then decided: he would see Warden. And, if any of the boys were trying to prank him, Warden would get them in trouble.

Satisfied with this, he tiptoed to the small bedroom enjoining the common room and knocked on the door. “Warden?” he whispered. He knocked again. “Warden?”

Some of the boys nearest to Warden’s door woke up and groaned. “What are you doing?” Bill muttered. “It’s past bedtime.”

Just as Bill said this, Warden’s light turned on, and he came staggering out, half-blinded from the light. “What’s wrong?” he said, his voice gruff from sleep.

Isaac felt his stomach drop. Warden was clearly not the voice.

“Someone called my name,” he began, stammering. “I thought it was you. I wanted to know why you wanted to wake me up.” The words sounded stupid, even to him.

Warden rubbed his eyes and blinked again. “What’s that you said?”

“Someone called my name. I thought it was you.” He heard mattresses creak and breathing stop — most of the boys were awake by now. Every boy would hear this story later, if they weren’t awake already. He felt his cheeks flare up in shame.

“It must have been a dream,” Warden said. “Now go to bed!”

“But it wasn’t, sir,” he said, unable to stop himself, his cheeks flushing scarlet. “I thought it was at first, but it was the most real voice I had ever heard. It sounded like it was important.”

Warden looked at him, stifling a yawn. “Well, what did the voice say?”

“It said, go to bed, Isaac!” Lionel said, his voice cranky. The room erupted in giggles.

Warden glared over the room, and it instantly shut up. Then he looked at Isaac. “Did the voice say anything else?”

“No, sir.”

Warden looked over the room. “Was anybody playing Isaac after hours?” The whole room went silent. “Jeremy, were you?”

“No, sir,” Jeremy said, his voice sulky. “I was asleep, just as Isaac should have been. Why would I want to wake everyone up? We get up too early as it is.”

The giggles started again.

Warden looked annoyed. “Isaac, you were dreaming. Everyone, go to bed!”

By this time, of course, everyone was fully awake and didn’t want to go to bed. Isaac considered telling Warden again that he wasn’t lying, but one look at Warden’s face stopped him. “I’m sorry for the interruption, sir,” Isaac said. “I will not bother you again.”

Warden nodded, rubbing his eyes again. “Good, good.” He went into his room and closed the door a little too loudly.

The room burst into laughter.

“Isaac, Isaac!” Jeremy called out in a saccharine voice. “Oh, Isaac, I want to talk to you so much!”

Isaac wrapped himself up in blankets and pretended to sleep.


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Sun Oct 27, 2013 11:10 pm
Griffinkeeper wrote a review...



Why is this science fiction? It seems like this scene could be applied to just about any period of time. In fact, if Warden had told him to reply "Speak Lord, your servant is listening," then this would have been similar to the story in the book of Samuel. Instead though, the scene ends without any explanation of the conflict which started the story.

Well written, but ultimately unsatisfying.




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Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:37 pm
Lava wrote a review...



Snoink!

So, I was just looking through for some sci-fi stories and I stumbled upon, and the lackj of confused me, until I saw your reply below there. Did you continue with this story?

Okay, so, since it's a snippet-of-sorts, I'll try to keep plotlinequestions away. And some, comments:

[quora]“Hello?” he said, too sleepy to keep his voice down.[/quora] I would presume that sleepy-groggy would not be a very loud voice. It just kind of conflicts with the scene in my head.

Besides that it is too short to review much. Just some comments on what went through my head while reading - if it helps.
The scene I imagine is that of a dorm/school dorms. It does remind me of a British atmosphere. The kids, to me, seem to be about 11/12/13 years old. Not more than that.

Cheers!




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Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:09 am
dragonfphoenix wrote a review...



Knight Dragon, here to review on this gloriously exhilarating Review Day!

Technical:
I think your formatting got messed up. Your italics didn't work. Isaac shows up instead of the italicized version.

I didn't find any other technical things, such as grammar or spelling or other such stuff, so good job on that.

Now, as for the content, you have this labeled as science fiction. I read through this entire thing, and I didn't find one sci-fi element, unless we're including the voice. But even that could be attributed to a natural explanation or even the supernatural without being science fiction. So since this is a novel (also according to the classification), are you going to explain that in future chapters? Otherwise it's kind of confusing why you called it sci-fi.

Hope this helps!




Snoink says...


I am contemplating putting this in space, just for fun! Though, I don't quite know yet. In any case, it is science fiction involving biological engineering (which will be revealed shortly). I am a biochemical engineer outside of writing, so I tend to like those sorts of science-y stuff. ;)



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Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:34 am
OliveDreams wrote a review...



Hi Snoink! Here representing the amazing red team on this fine review day :) I will present a delicious review sandwich for your chapter.

First off, the things I liked;

“Whoever belonged to the voice was someone with authority, he knew that.” - I like the way you've used his instincts to give the reader an insight into this mysterious character. Cleverly done!

“It said, go to bed, Isaac!” Lionel said, his voice cranky.” - I loved this line. It really made me chuckle and to do that naturally within writing is a hard talent to find! Well done!

I think your dialogue over all is very good and natural.

Now for the constructive criticism;

You use the word 'Warden' a lot throughout the whole piece. I found myself noticing it more and more. Maybe you could find more varied ways of referring to this man.

I thought you could have ended the chapter with the voice breaking the silence once again. It could have rounded it up nicely with a bit of tension.

Well done! I hope to read more soon :)

Olive <3




dragonfphoenix says...


Warden is his name, not his title (I think; if that's not the case the Snoink can correct me).



Snoink says...


I am pretty sure he has another (real) name, but the boys all know him as Warden, so it is his name to them. It would be like "Dad" (since they don't have any fathers). :)




When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.
— Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind