Young Writers Society


E - Everyone

Ask me who I am and this is what I'll tell you

by illy7896


I only ever realised that my nan had written my name the wrong way round when I looked up from my computer, sitting at my desk. It was written in a little brown box in the left-hand corner of a painting that she drew with my birthday date just underneath. She had mixed up my first name and my middle name.

I knew that painting ever since I was born, drawn from a Christmas card that she had bought. I loved it really, but the name began to annoy me.

So I ripped it from the nail that it hung on, and I rubbed it out with the top of a nearby pencil. This time, I would write it the way it should have been written. But then, in the moment, I had forgotten how to spell Isabella.

~~~~

The seabirds rampaged from town to town, specks of white plodding their great wings in the sky. Soaring gently like paper aeroplanes, they seemed to chase us with their flaming beaks. Every break and lunchtime, I would trail after my friends and listen to their cries listlessly, my hands stuffed in my pockets and the concrete ground moving steadily underneath my feet.

This time, the wind blew hard and menacingly, so their squawks of pleasure were lost in the dramatic sighs of the earth. Blue and frosty, the sea pushed against the rocks and tugged at the sand as if it were pulling a plug from a drain. Sinkholes of grain that steadied my fall and cautioned my bravery.

My notebook sat in my hand, two pages blank and a world of lines that were left unmarked. Pencils that I had gone through, biting their tops and tearing the lead from their nibs laying in a muddied pile at home. Writing was like wearing a hole through a pair of odd socks and being in too much of a rush to find a pair that actually matches. Everything was misplaced, torn, worn and disordered. Yet every bit of it never failed to render controversial, as the colours never complimented each other and the patterns never suited, but it was my own.

The beaches rang with shouts of joy and screams of laughter. Running my fingers through the ocean with my empty hand, I craned my neck to see the gulls play in their own, free way. And I applauded them with my own freedom, skimming the surface of the world with my hope.

Hope seemed to blush nervously, fluttering its lashes and its face reddening whenever it appeared. It was a sense of shame for all the times it was never there- like coming back to work for the first time in a couple of months and everybody’s watching you. Like starting a new school in the middle of the year and the whole crowd doesn’t know you.

Hope always ends its statements with a question, though it never was wrong in the first place. It’s an educated guess on a multiple answer question and you get it correct, a skim through a book you’ve never read but you know you’ll love, time that you know has gone too fast and spilt like tea from a cup but you know you can just about get on time to class.

Hope puts you on edge, but it’s worth it in the end as the relief washes over and there's a full stop at the end of the story.

When I got home, the name wasn’t there anymore, instead, the outline of where the letters had been imprinted on the paper. But then, I realised, everything was bizarre in this world. And everything is illegible, theoretically. So I spelt Isabella the way I wanted to: incorrectly.


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5 Reviews


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Sun Jun 13, 2021 12:56 am
FakeStories13 wrote a review...



"I loved it, really, but the name began to annoy me." Just a grammatical thing but I think you should put a comma before and after the "really."

"I would trail after my friends and listen to their cries listlessly," Maybe you could specify whose cries you are hearing.

"the concrete ground moving steadily underneath my feet." I think that it is very cool that you personified the ground to move instead of you being the one moving. It conveys a sense of detachment that you started to describe earlier with the word, "listlessly."

The message of your short story could have totally gone over my head but I think it has to do with embracing things in life that aren't in your control and that don't always seem to make sense/don't seem to be correct. If so, I think the paragraph 4th from the bottom ("Hope seemed to blush nervously, ... Like starting a new school in the middle of the year and the whole crowd doesn’t know you.") should try to convey that message more. It is a beautifully written paragraph but I am not fully sure how it fits into the general flow of your story.

I think that reading through the entire thing out loud might help because I found some parts a bit confusing/awkward to read (ex. "When I got home, the name wasn’t there anymore, instead, the outline of where the letters had been imprinted on the paper.").

Overall, I think that this is a very poetic, beautiful, and well-written short story and you can feel free to completely ignore everything I said if you disagree with me.




illy7896 says...


Thanks so much for your review and I completely agree with you!



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Fri Jun 11, 2021 7:59 pm
Omni wrote a review...



Hi there illy! Here to review this piece today.

I only ever realised that my nan had written my name the wrong way round when I looked up from my computer, sitting at my desk.


I wonder, what is the significance of this person looking up from their computer, sitting at their desk? It seems a random time to figure out their name was the wrong way around. Perhaps that was what you were going for, but I wonder if you could make more significance to when they find out their name is the wrong way around.

I knew that painting ever since I was born, drawn from a Christmas card that she had bought.


So the painting was from before they were born? Also, I don't know about you, but I know nothing from when I was born, and I believe that's the same with basically all people. I think you're wanting to say that this painting has been around for as long as they can remember, so I recommend rewording this a bit.

and I rubbed it out with the top of a nearby pencil.


If this is an old painting, I'm not quite sure an eraser would work. Although, to be fair, I have never tried to erase paint with an eraser before XD

specks of white plodding their great wings in the sky.


I am not sure if plodding is the word you're looking for here. You also have combatting themes in this paragraph: one of aggressiveness, almost predator-like (rampaging from town to town, chasing with flaming beaks) and the other of calmness (soaring gently). That's contrasting and gives conflicting images. Perhaps if you change the calming soaring gently to something like gliding over to their next target or something along those lines.

Sinkholes of grain that steadied my fall and cautioned my bravery.


I may be wrong, but sand isn't grain xD you could change it to "unformed shards of glass" or something more meaningful than what I could think of in the spur of the moment.

Hope seemed to blush nervously, fluttering its lashes and its face reddening whenever it appeared. It was a sense of shame for all the times it was never there- like coming back to work for the first time in a couple of months and everybody’s watching you. Like starting a new school in the middle of the year and the whole crowd doesn’t know you.


Beautiful imagery and personification here.

Hope always ends its statements with a question, though it never was wrong in the first place. It’s an educated guess on a multiple answer question and you get it correct, a skim through a book you’ve never read but you know you’ll love, scared to hear the score you got on a test but knowing that it’ll be better than you reckon, when you know you haven’t lost your keys stopping at that cafe but still your stomach churns when you grapple with the items in your bag and touch the remains of that spilt latte.


I like the beginning here, but I think your point towards the end of this paragraph is more of fear and anxiety than hope. I think, perhaps you're wanting to say that hope is that question mark at the end of fear, but it seems like it focuses on the fear more than the hope to me.

--

I enjoy the ending! However, I feel as if the message that you were intending to portray here didn't really come through from your writing until you spelled it out in the end. One of the great things about inspirational pieces that aren't really meant to be interpreted literally is that you can leave the ending open and hint towards the message you were wanting to send (if my name couldn't be put in order correctly, than neither could I). Perhaps you could represent this from an action, ie: the narrator decides to rewrite the name out of order. That means they come to the realization that it doesn't matter and that it could represent their writing and their being. While it annoyed them earlier, they have come to terms with it and embraced it.

It was a nice message, though! Very inspiring ^^




illy7896 says...


thanks so much for your review and I may touch up on those errors!




In the winter months, gale storms in Svalbard can reach wind speeds of 130 km/h. Accompanied by or following snowfall, such storms can reduce visibility dramatically, more so in the winter months of the polar night. During these storms, travel is not advised.
— The Documentarian