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Childhood-Short Story?

by ToxicAnglerFish


(This came from my writing class, the prompt was, "You find a box labeled "Happiness", what's inside?" So naturally I wrote it, while I haven't been to the class yet for this I'm posting it here :) )

As I open up the mysterious box that glittered with intrigue that spoke to me with innocent and comforting intent within my mind, I saw all the happy memories from my childhood. I see so many memories flashing among the vast fields of my mind, they do a dance of blissful joy and young ignorance. I smile warmly to myself as thoughts of playing and enjoying my self back then flood back to me now. I remember how happy, carefree I was before I grew older and mature about the world's sorrows and cruelties, I began to realize, I was happier back then. As this thought crossed my happy mind, I start to grow a creeping sense of melancholy. My memories keep twirling and moving as I remember how I wasn't always so cynical and constantly seeing the world for its problems and insincerities, this makes my melancholy into a sadness I soon began to recognize. My memories begin to slow down and stop dancing blissfully as a frown slowly formed on my face. I begin to close the box but it forces its self-open as more bittersweet memories of being free and having adventures begin to do an unhappy stomp within me. I soon notice the tears falling down my face as I finally forced the box closed as the stomping suddenly stops. I now sit within the dark, quiet, empty fields within my mind. I cry wondering what happened to all those sweet memories, where did the child within us go? Did the world take it? Or did we outgrow ourselves? I sit and contemplate what happened to me, to everyone around me. That wasn't a box of happiness...


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36 Reviews


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Thu Sep 26, 2019 4:41 am
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Tawsif wrote a review...



Dear ToxicAnglerFish, these memories of childhood haunt me as well, and that's why I particularly liked this piece.

I found only one technical fault here. You mingled past and present tense a number of times. Use a single tense instead.

I really loved the idea of the story. Plus, the twsit with the box of happiness in the end was great.

Keep writng.




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Sun Sep 22, 2019 7:38 pm
itsmejr wrote a review...



I'm going to review this bit by bit but over all, I really liked it.

First I like how you grab the readers attention with an action.

"As I open up the mysterious box that glittered with intrigue that spoke to me with innocent and comforting intent within my mind,"

I would rewrite this to get rid of the extra "that"

As I open up the mysterious box that glittered with intrigue and spoke to me with innocent, comforting intent within my mind, I see all the happy memories from my childhood.

"I remember how happy, carefree I was before I grew older"

maybe italicize carefree to add stress to the word

"I smile warmly to myself as thoughts of playing and enjoying my self back then flood back to me now."

I would rewrite as

I smile warmly to myself as thoughts of childish enjoyments flood back to me now.

or some thing like that

also
"I remember how I wasn't always so cynical and constantly seeing the world for its problems and insincerities,"

as
I remember how I wasn't always so cynical, just constantly seeing the world for its problems and insincerities,

And lastly

"bittersweet memories of being free and having adventures"

as

bittersweet memories of adventures and the feeling of freedom it gave.

Those are the only spots I thought needed some revision. I like your short story and it did bring back some nostalgia for me. I dont really know how to review but those were just some things I thought would make the piece a little better. I hope you have a great day/night!




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Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:53 am
Asith wrote a review...



Hello! I'm going to try to bear in mind that this was just a small writing exercise for a class, but I'll leave my relatively light criticism here anyway :)

The first issue lies with your tense control. In a few places, you've jumped from the present tense to the past tense -- even occasionally within the same sentence! Carefully re-reading your work should help pick these out, and it's important that you do, because tense mess ups are one of the few parts of writing that can actually be straight up wrong! Pick a tense and stick with it (i think present tense works well here). After you a write a sentence, read it over and see if it's in the correct tense. This'll eventually become second nature, but it's a really important skill to develop :)

Second, I think your writing is lovely to read in general. You have very flowery vocabulary, which really helps in a piece like this, and your pacing and sentence control is great too. However, it's worth noting that the second half of your piece is noticeably better than the first. This is likely due to the warm-up effect, where you don't write as good just after you begin for the day, but get better as time goes on. Now, since this is just a writing prompt for a class, you probably don't care that much, but for future writing, it would be a good idea for you to adopt drafting. After you write a story go back to the beginning and re-write it! Sounds tedious, I know, but the result is that you'll probably make it even better since you've already warmed-up. Try it the next time you write something important :)

That's really all the criticism I have. Your story was well-written and creative, and the ending actually toyed with my emotions, which isn't something that writing class prompts often manage to do! You have wonderful descriptions and mental imagery, and it's clear that you're a good writer!






Thank you very much for the criticism! I did notice how my tenses kept changing throughout and the fact my grammar was a tad bit off then usual. The writing class excepts rough drafts thought since to them we are simply finding our voice and improving so no need to make a final draft unless we submit it in their end of the year book. Anyway thank you for the criticism as it will help me decide whether or not I want to fully develop this piece. :). Also thank you for the comments about my vocabulary and about your emotions! I'm glad it did that!



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Sat Sep 21, 2019 2:58 am
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Cici wrote a review...



Hi, ToxicAnglerFish!

This was a pithy and pensive short story that I truly enjoyed reading. Your descriptions and language are lovely. I absolutely love your take on the prompt: it was so meaningful! I'm not sure if you want a review of this piece, but here's one.

As I open up the mysterious box that glittered with intrigue that spoke to me with innocent and comforting intent within my mind, I saw all the happy memories from my childhood. I see so many memories flashing among the vast fields of my mind, they do a dance of blissful joy and young ignorance.

This opening sentence was a bit verbose. I recommend shortening it or cutting off a few unnecessary words. You also switched to past tense with "I saw all the happy memories," but that is a simple change. I've noticed that you flit from present to past tense throughout this story. I suggest reading over this again and changing any verb tenses that don't fit.

I see so many memories flashing among the vast fields of my mind, they do a dance of blissful joy and young ignorance. I smile warmly to myself as thoughts of playing and enjoying my self back then flood back to me now.

I think that the comma should be replaced with a semi-colon, or you could add a conjunction after the comma. Maybe emphasize on those memories and give details. Including specifics of actual childhood memories might enhance the theme of this narrative and help illustrate a visual image. I understand that you do include "playing and enjoying myself," but you could expand this element even further. You could change "my mind" to "my thoughts" in order to avoid repetition.

My memories keep twirling and moving as I remember how I wasn't always so cynical and constantly seeing the world for its problems and insincerities, this makes my melancholy into a sadness I soon began to recognize.


I suggest substituting the comma with an em dash (—) or a period. Just a thought, maybe go deeper into what those problems are (I'm not sure if you want this to be personal or the sort of vagueness that allows the reader to fill it in with their own experiences). Also, "began" should be "begin."

I begin to close the box but it forces its self-open as more bittersweet memories of being free and having adventures begin to do an unhappy stomp within me.

You might want to change "its self-open" to "itself open." I see that you do emphasize a little more about the memories, but it still is unclear. What adventures? Were they adventures with your friends? Where did take place? Was it outside in nature? How were you free back then? Did you not have to worry about school, jobs, a social image, and money?

I soon notice the tears falling down my face as I finally forced the box closed as the stomping suddenly stops.

Merely something small: "forced" should "force."

I now sit within the dark, quiet, empty fields within my mind.

Maybe switch out one of the "within" with "inside." I think you need an "and" after the second comma.

This was such a profound and pleasant read! I adored the concept and idea that you described: it really does make me wonder all those questions. You do wonderfully at formatting this story, and the language you use is beautiful! I would love to read more stories by you.

Terrific Job!
Cici






Thank you very much for the criticism! I did notice how my tenses kept changing throughout and the fact my grammar was a tad bit off then usual. The writing class excepts rough drafts thought since to them we are simply finding our voice and improving so no need to make a final draft unless we submit it in their end of the year book. Anyway thank you for the criticism as it will help me decide whether or not I want to fully develop this piece. :)



Cici says...


You're welcome for the review! I understand the concept that your writing class has about rough drafts; a class that I took did the same thing too. They recommended "freewriting," which is dumping your thoughts down and not worrying about grammar. This is a wonderful rough draft, and it would be so cool to see the final piece!




Anything's possible if you've got enough nerve.
— J.K. Rowling