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Profile: Boris66
User Name: Boris66
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
Gender: Male
Joined: Wednesday, March 11, 2020
Last Visit: Friday, February 26, 2021 5:40:44 PM
Number of Posts: 369
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: The Inheritance part three
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021 4:12:39 PM
Would you please correct the third part of my short story?

Mum and Dad went to the funeral and, when they returned, they were both angry. More than a hundred people were in attendance, but apart from Robert and Marta, his other relatives didn’t bother to turn up. Mum was like a snake, hissing and spitting curses at Tom’s children.

A few weeks later, on a Saturday morning, cars started to arrive at Tom’s house – nice, expensive cars that carried smartly dressed people. “Vultures have landed,” Mum quipped. The orchard became alive with the children romping and shrieking in the grass under the trees. People walked in groups, having discussions. In the afternoon, I went into the garden to pick up some raspberries. I had hardly started picking them when Robert and a balding man came into the orchard. The man was a few years older and shorter than Robert and wore a grey suit. They spoke in low voices, and I couldn’t hear what they were talking about, but as the conversation progressed, their voices grew louder.

“Where have you been all these years?” Robert shouted. “I tell you where – busy, earning more money. Without Marta and me, he’d have died years ago.”

“Don’t shout at me. I started working while you still played cops and robbers. I was never stingy. Ask others what I’d done for them.”

“But you didn’t even bother to ring him up. He called your name even in his dreams. ‘My Kevin! Did he forget his father?’ he would ask me. What was I supposed to tell him, Kevin?”

“Don’t preach to me. I don’t want to hear your nonsense anymore.” Kevin moved towards Robert and raised his clenched hand, but in the next moment, Robert’s huge fist flashed and struck him on the chin. He fell as if hit by lighting. Robert towered over him – a lumberjack who had just cut down a large tree.

“Shame on you!” Kevin bawled. “How can you raise your hand against your own brother?” His voice cracked through tears, but Robert was unmoved. Marta and another woman rushed into the orchard, took hold of Kevin’s arms, and helped him come to his feet. He was still crying and gibbering while the women tried to calm him down, telling him that everything would be OK. Soon, they all disappeared inside, and the orchard lay still in the afternoon sun that tinged it with golden light.

I returned to picking raspberries and, when the bowl was full, I went into the kitchen to eat them, but they tasted bland, so I strew some sugar over them, but it didn’t make them more palatable. I shoved the bowl aside, and as my eyes fell on the frame photo on the wall of a pack of wolves that my father had taken in a national park, I wished I were a wolf. I knew that I’d be happier and more satisfied living with my pack than with my fellow humans. They say that wolves take care of each other, so I wouldn’t need to worry about loneliness or inheritance.

Topic: The Inheritance part two
Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021 12:20:31 AM

Thank you very much for your corrections.
Topic: The Inheritance part two
Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2021 11:08:36 AM
Would you please correct the mistakes in the second part of my short story?

One day I saw him walk into his orchard with a ladder and a saw. He climbed the ladder and tried to saw off a branch, but struggled to keep his balance. I feared he was going to fall, and I jumped the fence and held the ladder for him. “Thank you, boy. You’re my saviour,” Tom said. We went from one tree to another, and he sawed off a few unwanted branches.

Then he said, “Let’s drink some tea.” Before we sat at the table outside, he leaned into the doorway and shouted, “Marta, could you make us some tea, please?” A few minutes later, his daughter-in-law brought us tea and cakes on a tray. She was almost as tall and strong as her husband and looked like someone not to be trifled with. “How kind of you for helping our Tom,” she said and ruffled my hair with her fleshy hand. We sat for a while in silence, listening to the twittering of the birds in the hedge and trees, and then he asked, “What do you want to study when you finish secondary school?”

“I want to be a social worker.”

“Oh, nice. I was a landlord, and I was also a kind of social worker. You listen to people day and night telling you their life stories and their worries. You quickly understand how much suffering is in the world. There’re so many needy people around you. You’ll get the job in no time.” He took out his ubiquitous bag of sweets and popped one in his mouth. He offered it to me, but I told him I couldn’t eat sweets after I had drunk tea. I wondered why he always ate sweets, and he replied that he heeded the advice of a doctor who had once seen the X-rays of his lungs. “I was thirty-five and smoked about forty cigarettes a day. He told me if I continued, I’d never reach retirement age. What should I do doctor? I asked. And he advised me to buy a bag of boiled sweets and pop one in the mouth whenever I wanted to light up. So, I did, and eventually I lost my teeth, but saved my lungs.”

Little did I know that was the last time I was talking to Tom.

A couple of months later, I saw an ambulance pulling up at Tom’s home, and then it drove off without warning lights or a siren. I had a premonition that his life was in danger. I went to the house and rang a doorbell. Marta came out and said that, unfortunately, her father-in-law hadn’t been feeling well lately, so they decided to take him to hospital as a precaution. She thanked me for caring about Tom and gave me a hug.

I tried to think about other things, but couldn’t get him out of my mind. I even contemplated going to hospital and cheering him up, but was unsure whether they would let me see him. I was not a family member, and didn’t know if neighbours were allowed as visitors. I never had a great self-confidence, and I couldn’t face the shame of being stopped at the entrance. I stood by the fence every day and looked at the trees hung with fruit. But their abundance and the sunrays playing upon them couldn’t change my mood. Who was going to take care of them if Tom died, I wondered? Who was going to prune and fertilize them? Certainly not his son, whom I had seldom seen there.

Then Dad came home after work one day and told us that old Tom died in the morning. Mum took a deep breath and said, “May his soul rest in peace.” I remained silent, but my stomach was in knots. Something had died inside me. I went into my room, put on some soul music, sat at my desk, and cried. I was empty inside. Never before or after, did I ever feel such a void that grew with each passing second. I had read previously some novels in which people were experiencing loss, but now I knew how it felt first hand.
Topic: The Inheritance
Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 1:01:31 PM
Thank you very much for your corrections.
Topic: The Inheritance
Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 10:55:28 AM
Would you please correct my mistakes in the first part of my short story?

When old Tom died, I was stricken with grief as if my father had died. My earliest memories of him were of an old man who strolled around our neighbourhood with his walking stick, wearing a black and red plaid jacket and a black beret. The landlord before his retirement, he was well-known in our little town where everyone knew everyone else. Dad told me that his pub was the most popular in town, although he didn’t have a high opinion of him because Tom never went on holiday and worked long hours as if he weren’t the owner but the employee. “What’s the use of money if you don’t travel and see the world?” he opined. Mum defended old Tom by saying that now when he was a widower, where would he be traveling alone anyway? Some people weren’t interested in traveling and spending, and that was their choice.

As his orchard and our back garden were separated by a metal fence, I once watched Tom digging around his apple and pear trees. I believe I was about eight years old, and my head hardly reached the top of the fence. It was a hot spring day, and the insects were buzzing around the blossoming trees and flowers. In one moment, he stopped digging, planted his spade into the ground, reached into his pocket and took out a bag of boiled sweets. He popped one in his mouth and, as he took the spade again, he saw me.

“Boy, want some sweets?” he asked and grinned.

It was the first time a stranger had offered me sweets, and I didn’t know what to do. I wanted sweets, but I was timid and lacked self-confidence.

“Of course, you want sweets. Don’t be shy.” He walked up, took the bag out of his pocket and, as he stretched out his hand over the fence, I smelled the sweat that had covered his face and soaked his shirt. I dipped my hand into the bag and took out just one, but he shook the bag and told me to take more, which I did. He asked me about my name, and when I replied he quipped, “Now when we have a David, we have to find a Goliath.” He chortled, but I was too young to understand the allusion and said nothing.

On another occasion, when I and my friend were walking back home from school, we ran into Tom, and he seemed to be glad to see us and shouted, “Boys, want some sweets?” Now I was at ease and reached into the bag and took a handful of them. We thanked him, and he told us to be good pupils, and then he gripped his walking stick and walked on.

A couple of years later, we were playing hide-and-seek and, looking for a place to hide, I slank into his garage, thus triggering the alarm. In semi-darkness, I looked at a beautiful sports car in front of me, and was unable to take my eyes off it. Before I managed to slink back, Tom peered inside and asked, “Boy, are you trying to steal my Porsche?” I blushed and explained to him I was just playing hide-and-seek. He switched off the alarm and turned on the light, and the silver-metallic car showed in full splendour. I had before seen a Porsche only on TV, and now to be able to touch its polished body felt unreal.

“Do you like it?”

I nodded and said, “Yes.”

“Let’s go for a ride.”

I was so impressed that I had forgotten my playmates and the game and, at that moment, wanted to sit in his Porsche more than anything in the world. He eased the car out of the garage, and I got into it and fastened the seatbelt. The engine roared, and soon we drove down the street and then outside the town. Tom didn’t drive fast, but let the car roll slowly, only occasionally stepping on the gas pedal. “Listen to this! The most beautiful sound of car engine in the world,” he exclaimed, his eyes twinkling with delight.
As we drove back, a burly man with dark curly hair waited for us in the driveway. He seemed so strong that I believed he could have strangled a bear with his huge hands.

“Dad, why do you do that? You know that the doctor told you not to drive.”

“No worries, Robert. I just wanted to show our neighbour how a Porsche sounds. We had a great fun, didn’t we, David?” I nodded.

“Of course, but imagine if you had crashed. It wouldn’t have been so fun. Please.” He held out his hand, palm up, and Tom dropped the key in his hand. As Robert pocketed them, Tom turned to me and said with a tinge of malice, “My son is a mechanic, but unfortunately knows nothing about a Porsche. Can’t even change oil. He repairs trucks.” Robert pretended not to hear his father, and strode into the house while Tom stuck his tongue out at his back. He then turned to me and said, “I have five sons and a daughter, but none of them took after me. I don’t understand what we did wrong. Gina and I loved them and worked hard to give them decent education, but they seemed to have forgotten their old father. Robert and his wife live with me and take care of me, but others are so busy they don’t even have time for a telephone call.” Tom spat at the gravel path and struck it with such force that the bits flew around. I was silent and speechless, but felt pity for the old man.
Topic: Clive and Paul
Posted: Saturday, February 20, 2021 2:58:38 PM

Thank you very much for your corrections.
Topic: Clive and Paul
Posted: Saturday, February 20, 2021 11:05:33 AM
Do my sentences sound natural?

It was ages since Clive had seen Paul, but when he suddenly ran into him on the street, Clive was shocked by his looks. They had gone together to university, but now Paul looked ten years older, raddled and dishevelled. They shook hands and hugged, as Clive suppressed the impulse to wince at the smell of his friend's clothes.

"Glad to see you, mate, but I understand you're not well."

Paul hung his head and then shook it. "That bitch threw me out of her flat about three months ago, and then changed the lock. I couldn't even take my clothes with me. This is all I have." He lifted the red, battered Adidas sports bag and held it in front of him.

Clive put his hand on his forehead and ran his fingers through his hair, "Oh man, oh man. That's terrible. Where do you sleep?"

"Whenever I can. Under bridges, on benches, in parks, and sometimes in other people's homes if I meet a kind-hearted soul."

"Do you still work?"

"No." Paul replied. "I was sacked. When I became homeless it was as if the ground opened under my feet. I came late to work, and couldn't focus on anything. Honestly, I didn't care. Can you imagine how I felt? You're in love and believe she loves you too, but instead she throws you like an old rag. We didn't even quarrel."

"I never trusted women," Clive said. "That's probably the main reason I never married. But let me think how I can help you." He rubbed his chin for a while and said, "I've a cottage outside town that you can use. It has everything you need: water, electricity, oven, refrigerator... You can stay there as long as you want." He took out his business card and gave it to Paul. "Please call me in the afternoon. I'll pick you up somewhere in town and then drive you there. Is that OK?"

Paul held the card in his hand as if it were an ingot of gold while tears welled in his eyes. "Mate, I can't believe I met you. You're my saviour."

"No worries. I still remember our student years and how generous you were to me when I was broke. I owe you more than I can ever repay."
Topic: The Hornbys and the Smiths
Posted: Saturday, February 20, 2021 2:13:04 AM
Thank you very much for your suggestions.
Topic: The Hornbys and the Smiths
Posted: Friday, February 19, 2021 8:55:11 AM
Do my sentences sound natural?

The Hornbys had invited the Smiths to dinner. When Adam Smith read the email, he said to his wife, Gina, "I don't wish to go."

"Why not?" Gina asked. "I think it was kind of them to invite us."

"I don't like Tom any more. Since he bought that TV channel, he had become unbearable. He thinks he is the most important man in the world. He wasn't so before. I remember him from our student years when he was just an ordinary guy."

"People change with time. Why shouldn't he? It's no mean feat to have a successful TV channel in today's world. Maybe he wants to offer you a job?"

"He probably wants something from me, otherwise he'd never have invited us. Maybe it's about a job, or he just wants to tell us how successful he has become recently, and how many celebrities he has met. Tom is the kind of man who needs people around him to marvel at him."

"But we don't need to stay for hours. If you don't like it, we can apologise and pretend we have something urgent to do at your grandparents."

"Let's agree on the signal for leaving. If I start drumming with my fingers on the table, ten minutes later you say that we are sorry because we have to go and see my grandmother who lies sick in bed."

"OK," Gina said. "We'll do as agreed. By the way, I am eager to chat with Emma and see her new clothes that Tom paid for. She told me on the telephone that now that he earns well, he treats her with all kinds of presents."

"Of course, because he has no time for love. It's just another compensation."

"I wouldn't mind getting a few presents from you as a compensation," she said and giggled.

"You know what they say: you can't get everything in life. So be satisfied with what your already have. You know that men are not virile for ever."

They burst our laughing.

Topic: David and Bob
Posted: Friday, February 19, 2021 2:14:20 AM

Thank you very much for your corrections.