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Boris66
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2021 10:15:50 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 305
Neurons: 1,619
Would you please correct the mistakes in my short story?

I went to a supermarket one day and, after buying my groceries, I headed towards a nearby bus stop. But before I reached it, I heard the loud cries coming from the bus shelter. In this country, where people usually refrain from showing strong emotions, to hear someone crying with such a force is an oddity, comparable to snowing heavily in January in Australia. The shelter was built with large glass panels, which were covered in advertisements for travels, obstructing the view of the interior, so I had to come close to it, pretending to read a timetable to see who that person in distress was. And there was this young blond girl, about twenty, sitting on a black plastic bench, staring at her smartphone, and wailing as if she were the unhappiest woman on earth.

I was no stranger to human suffering. I had seen women howling after their sons or daughters had committed suicide, inconsolable mothers who lost their babies at birth, parents who got the news that their soldier sons would never come home, widows who threw themselves over the coffins of their deceased men, tearing their hair out in sorrow and wanting to be buried with them. I witnessed all kinds of grief, but nothing that I had seen before could have compered to this girl. Large tears, the size of marbles, rolled down her bloated face incessantly as if coming from an inexhaustible spring. Her wailing was heart-breaking and painful to listen to. I wondered what might have caused so much pain. Had her boyfriend sent her a message, informing her he did not love her anymore? Her best friend drowned on holiday in Spain? Her mother was killed while cycling to work? Her father died in cancer? She failed to get into film school? Her lovely dog died on an operation table? Indeed, there was no end of suffering and pain on this planet. You could only pretend to be strong and suffer in silence, or show you sorrow in public just as she did.

I wanted to hug her and ask her what was wrong and if she needed any help, but I was afraid of her reaction. I knew nothing about her. She could have been a radical feminist who hated men and thought we were animals, or a member of Me Too movement who saw every man as a potential abuser; she could have been a victim of rape or human trafficking. Shy and coward, I was afraid of losing face.
Soon, more people came. Of course, they all heard her howls, and they all pretended to be deaf. They stared at their own smartphones, adjusted their clothes, watched airplanes crossing the blue sky, and looked at the buildings on the other side of the street. There was enough place on the bench, but none of us dared to sit down. Everything was better than to take notice of another human being in pain. According to the timetable, the busses ran every twenty minutes, but as if on purpose this one was late, and people glanced impatiently at their watches, wanting to be away from this place. Then an older gentleman wearing a dark suit and a hat, and using a walking stick shuffled up and, noticing the girl, went straight to her, asking if she needed help.

“Get lost! Get f….ing lost, you old codger!” She was still staring at her smartphone, and screaming and crying like a psychotic. The old man backed away and blushed, and I believed we all present had the same reactions. I felt ashamed and wished for the ground to open and swallow me. He had at least tried to help and showed that he cared, while we others only revealed our cowardice and indifference.

When the bus finally arrived, everyone wanted to get on board as soon as possible, as if we were refugees fleeing for our lives. It was a relief to be inside the airconditioned and comfortable vehicle, which would soon give us our peace of mind. We had enough of our own problems, we did not need other people’s misfortunes, we could not waste our precious time and look back when we must pursue our goals. If the girl did not feel well, she should have turned to the institutions and searched professional help. Surely, there must be some apps or internet forums that help people in distress and pain.

Before she disappeared from my view, I noticed the strands of her hair pasted to her sweaty forehead, and I knew that I would never forget her, pondering the mystery of her pain until my death. Suddenly, I remembered the story my father told me when I was a child. He was walking from the town back to his village one summer night. It was a full moon and the countryside was lit up as if under floodlights. Out of nowhere, Father saw a man leading a snow-white cow by a rope walking in his direction. He was dressed like a pilgrim, wearing a round white cap and a white toga. The man was smoking; the blue smoke drifting above his head into the night. As they met, the stranger nodded, but said nothing. Father wanted to ask him who he was and where he was heading, but fear stunned him. The scene was surreal, but as he was sober, Father did not doubt his own eyes. He wanted to solve the mystery his whole life, unfortunately without success. People said the last words on his deathbed were, “The man in white, who are you? Where’re you going?”
THE END
FounDit
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2021 11:36:36 AM

Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 9/19/2011
Posts: 14,955
Neurons: 71,499
Boris66 wrote:
Would you please correct the mistakes in my short story?
My suggestions:

I went to a supermarket one day and, after buying my groceries, I headed towards a nearby bus stop. But before I reached it, I heard the loud cries coming from the bus shelter. In this country, where people usually refrain from showing strong emotions, to hear someone crying with such a force is an oddity, comparable to snowing heavily in January in Australia. The shelter was built with large glass panels, which were covered in advertisements for travels, obstructing the view of the interior, so I had to come close to it, pretending to read a timetable to see who that person in distress was. And there was this young blond girl, about twenty, sitting on a black plastic bench, staring at her smartphone, and wailing as if she were the unhappiest woman on earth.

I was no stranger to human suffering. I had seen women howling after their sons or daughters had committed suicide, inconsolable mothers who lost their babies at birth, parents who got the news that their soldier sons would never come home, widows who threw themselves over the coffins of their deceased men, tearing their hair out in sorrow and wanting to be buried with them. I witnessed all kinds of grief, but nothing that I had seen before could have compered to this girl. Large tears, the size of marbles, rolled down her bloated face incessantly as if coming from an inexhaustible spring. Her wailing was heart-breaking and painful to listen to. I wondered what might have caused so much pain. Had her boyfriend sent her a message, informing her he did not love her anymore? Her best friend drowned on holiday in Spain? Her mother was killed while cycling to work? Her father died in cancer? She failed to get into film school? Her lovely dog died on an operation table? Indeed, there was no end of suffering and pain on this planet. You could only pretend to be strong and suffer in silence, or show your sorrow in public just as she did.

I wanted to hug her and ask her what was wrong and if she needed any help, but I was afraid of her reaction. I knew nothing about her. She could have been a radical feminist who hated men and thought we were animals, or a member of the Me Too movement who saw every man as a potential abuser; she could have been a victim of rape or human trafficking. Shy and coward, I was afraid of losing face.

Soon, more people came. Of course, they all heard her howls, and they all pretended to be deaf. They stared at their own smartphones, adjusted their clothes, watched airplanes crossing the blue sky, and looked at the buildings on the other side of the street. There was enough space on the bench, but none of us dared to sit down. Anything was better than taking notice of another human being in pain. According to the timetable, the buses ran every twenty minutes, but as if on purpose this one was late, and people glanced impatiently at their watches, wanting to be away from this place. Then an older gentleman wearing a dark suit and a hat, and using a walking stick shuffled up and, noticing the girl, went straight to her, asking if she needed help.

“Get lost! Get f….ing lost, you old codger!” She was still staring at her smartphone, and screaming and crying like a psychotic. The old man backed away and blushed, and I believed we all present had the same reactions. I felt ashamed and wished for the ground to open and swallow me. He had at least tried to help and showed that he cared, while we others only revealed our cowardice and indifference.

When the bus finally arrived, everyone wanted to get on board as soon as possible, as if we were refugees fleeing for our lives. It was a relief to be inside the air conditioned and comfortable vehicle, which would soon give us our peace of mind. We had enough of our own problems, we did not need other people’s misfortunes. We couldn't waste our precious time looking back when we had our own goals to pursue. If the girl did not feel well, she should have turned to the institutions and searched for professional help. Surely, there must be some apps, or internet forums that help people in distress and pain.

Before she disappeared from my view, I noticed the strands of her hair pasted to her sweaty forehead, and I knew that I would never forget her, pondering the mystery of her pain until my death. Suddenly, I remembered the story my father told me when I was a child. He was walking from the town back to his village one summer night. It was a full moon and the countryside was lit up as if under floodlights. Out of nowhere, Father saw a man leading a snow-white cow by a rope walking in his direction. He was dressed like a pilgrim, wearing a round white cap and a white toga. The man was smoking, the blue smoke drifting above his head into the night. As they met, the stranger nodded, but said nothing. Father wanted to ask him who he was and where he was heading, but fear stunned him. The scene was surreal, but as he was sober, Father did not doubt his own eyes. He wanted to solve that mystery for the rest of his life life, but unfortunately without success. People said the last words on his deathbed were, “The man in white, who are you? Where are you going?”

(In the case of "where are", saying both words sounds very much like "where're", but they are usually written out because of that.)

THE END
Boris66
Posted: Thursday, January 14, 2021 11:42:36 AM
Rank: Advanced Member

Joined: 3/11/2020
Posts: 305
Neurons: 1,619
FounDit,

Thank you so much for your time and your corrections.
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