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Nest Hunt

by eilisBK


It was another sticky summer day in July. Cotton ball clouds were strewn about a cornflower blue sky. The sun beat down against the concrete, heat haze shimmering in the air. A warm breeze danced through the leaves of the dominating beech sending the shadows dancing. The heat was oppressive, claustrophobic and cloying. It wormed its way into your head and stole your memories or put you to sleep.

"Hon, wake up! You've got a job to do." My aunt shook my shoulder gently, pulling me from clammy unconsciousness.

"Is it my turn to do the dishes?" I pressed the heel of my hand into my eyes, rubbing the sleep and haze from my mind.

"No no, nothing like that. One of the hens has built a nest outside the henhouse and we've gotta find it in case there's a pile of eggs hidden somewhere. We can't have 'em cooking in the heat much longer." I rose from the sofa, my back and arms sticking to the brown leather, and stepped outside. My face scrunched up in a vain attempt to stop the white light of the sun from blinding me. Gentle music drifted from my uncle's den in the pig byre as I crossed the yard to the barn. The barn was filled with various bits of junk hidden in the dark ranging from cat food to refrigerators to sticks. Lots and lots of sticks. What's an adventure without a good poking stick? There was kindling, logs and twigs, but I settled for an old broom handle. It was long and sturdy. There was always a risk of splinters, but this stick felt good in my hand. It had the diameter of a two-pence coin and when propped upright was almost the same height as my shoulder. It was perfect.

Back across the street, past the rusty water troughs, taking a moment to greet my uncle in his den and I was ready to start my adventure. Marram grass scratched against my legs as I traipsed through the fields. My stick pushed nettles and brambles back from my ankles. Warm air fluttered my skirt and stirred my hair back from my face. A gorse bush loomed above me. The marigold yellow blooms and prickly thorns scraped against the stick as I began rooting around in the bush. No nest of eggs, but Vala the farm cat slept nestled in amongst the thorns. Following my path of trampled grass I ran from the field and through a side alley. Dry chicken droppings stood stark and white against the dark concrete floor. A promising lead...

The back garden was very different from the fields. The grass was well kept, the flowers plenty, and the sun seemed so much closer. Sweat beaded on my forehead and trickled down my back. The heat made blood rush to my face, made my head pound and deafen me. I stumbled towards a large bush, hoping to find some respite offered in the shade of its lower boughs. Collapsing upon the grass, the sun wrapped me in its suffocating embrace. The heat was dry and sticky. It was a heat that wormed its way into your mind, stealing your memories and lulling you to sleep. Nestled in amongst the leave my eyes grew heavy and shut. There was nothing else to feel escept warm.


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820 Reviews


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Mon Jul 26, 2021 11:39 am
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MailicedeNamedy wrote a review...



Hi eilisBK,

Mailice here with a short review! :D

You have a beautiful and well developed introduction. I like the imagination you use to transport the reader to that particular July day. I especially loved this sentence because you managed to describe the heat in really well chosen words:

The heat was oppressive, claustrophobic and cloying.


I like the story. It has something magical about it, even though the whole theme and plot is rather realistic. But I think that's what I liked so much about the story. You managed to create a plot and make it a kind of journey of discovery. I liked the descriptions and the depictions. Especially because you wrote about family members, it gave the text a strange familiarity that I really liked and made me feel like I was there in the story.

One thing that struck me and tugged a little at the reading flow was your alternation of a short and long sentence. This works for the short duration and then also has something of a wave style, but I think if you turn these short sentences (which are mostly just reactions) into trains of thought, you can more purposefully connect the reader to something there. For example, here:

There was kindling, logs and twigs, but I settled for an old broom handle. It was long and sturdy.

You could reword the second sentence to "It was long and sturdy, I tought." That would give the text a change of pace from time to time.

Another point that struck me:

I crossed the yard to the barn. The barn was filled with various bits of junk hidden in the dark ranging from cat food to refrigerators to sticks.

You can start with "It" here, otherwise you'll be repeating yourself within two sentences.

Overall it was a great text. I think it had just the right length and key elements in it to make a really nice short story. I think it was exactly this simplicity that I liked so much.

Have fun writing!

Mailice




eilisBK says...


Yo yo yo! Thank you for the thoughtful review Malice. I'll be sure to implement your feedback into my next work!



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Mon Jul 26, 2021 7:15 am
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HarryHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well that's not something that I was expecting in the slightest to happen...that ending took me completely by surprise which is a rare occurance in a short story...usually they don't have such dramatic changes...but I did love this particular dramatic twist.

Anyway let's get right to it,

It was another sticky summer day in July. Cotton ball clouds were strewn about a cornflower blue sky. The sun beat down against the concrete, heat haze shimmering in the air. A warm breeze danced through the leaves of the dominating beech sending the shadows dancing. The heat was oppressive, claustrophobic and cloying. It wormed its way into your head and stole your memories or put you to sleep.


Well, that is a lovely description to get this story started here...that one has some wonderful details there and it is so ridiculously easy to imagine exactly what the place is like. Pretty awesome start there.

"Hon, wake up! You've got a job to do." My aunt shook my shoulder gently, pulling me from clammy unconsciousness.

"Is it my turn to do the dishes?" I pressed the heel of my hand into my eyes, rubbing the sleep and haze from my mind.


Hmm, well, it seems like a pretty normal sounding scene here from a household, very peaceful note to start on here...the vibe of this story so far has a lovely relaxing feel to it here...and I'm lowkey expecting something to go wrong here...well, let's see where this goes I suppose.

"No no, nothing like that. One of the hens has built a nest outside the henhouse and we've gotta find it in case there's a pile of eggs hidden somewhere. We can't have 'em cooking in the heat much longer." I rose from the sofa, my back and arms sticking to the brown leather, and stepped outside. My face scrunched up in a vain attempt to stop the white light of the sun from blinding me. Gentle music drifted from my uncle's den in the pig byre as I crossed the yard to the barn. The barn was filled with various bits of junk hidden in the dark ranging from cat food to refrigerators to sticks. Lots and lots of sticks. What's an adventure without a good poking stick? There was kindling, logs and twigs, but I settled for an old broom handle. It was long and sturdy. There was always a risk of splinters, but this stick felt good in my hand. It had the diameter of a two-pence coin and when propped upright was almost the same height as my shoulder. It was perfect.


Well, that explains the title quite well...love the description of there too..those really do seem to be something you're very good at, cause every single one I run into is awesome. And also this is a pretty fun little idea here, I never imagined I'd read a story about something that simple, but it does actually sound exciting. The way you talk of the sticks and just construct the ambience of the setting here just really adds a whole new level to this too...and even though it seems like it wouldn't be much of a story, it actually seems like it could be pretty enjoyable here.

Back across the street, past the rusty water troughs, taking a moment to greet my uncle in his den and I was ready to start my adventure. Marram grass scratched against my legs as I traipsed through the fields. My stick pushed nettles and brambles back from my ankles. Warm air fluttered my skirt and stirred my hair back from my face. A gorse bush loomed above me. The marigold yellow blooms and prickly thorns scraped against the stick as I began rooting around in the bush. No nest of eggs, but Vala the farm cat slept nestled in amongst the thorns. Following my path of trampled grass I ran from the field and through a side alley. Dry chicken droppings stood stark and white against the dark concrete floor. A promising lead...


Okay....well, this is turning into an impromptu investigation here...and I love the undercurrent of humor you get with calling the chicken droppings a promising lead. On one hand, its quite exciting to see that we're sorta searching for this missing nest....while there's also the hint of humor from talking a search for a nest quite that seriously.

The back garden was very different from the fields. The grass was well kept, the flowers plenty, and the sun seemed so much closer. Sweat beaded on my forehead and trickled down my back. The heat made blood rush to my face, made my head pound and deafen me. I stumbled towards a large bush, hoping to find some respite offered in the shade of its lower boughs. Collapsing upon the grass, the sun wrapped me in its suffocating embrace. The heat was dry and sticky. It was a heat that wormed its way into your mind, stealing your memories and lulling you to sleep. Nestled in amongst the leave my eyes grew heavy and shut. There was nothing else to feel escept warm.


Well...that too...wow that took a turn....here things were, all just relaxed and just a regular ol fun hunt for a nest...and then boom...it just turned into the opening scene of an apocalypse film....it almost feels like something attacked this person, with the heat coming up and sounding almost like a person there...well, powerful cliffhanger to end there...now I really want to know what happens next...:D

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall, this was another lovely read. It was a very simple story this time...it felt like a very one time thing, but the ending...ahhh...well, that just absolutely makes you want to know more...well...anyway that's all I gotta say here..soo...until next time. :D

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Harry




eilisBK says...


Thank you so much for the review Harry! On a fun lil' side note, this story is actually what I spent my day doing yesterday! The only difference is I didn't fall asleep under that bush at the end.



HarryHardy says...


You're Welcome!!

And oooh, that's fun :D




I cannot separate the aesthetic pleasure of seeing a butterfly and the scientific pleasure of knowing what it is.
— Vladmir Nabokov