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short, short story 
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Genuinely Genius

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Post short, short story
This short story was written by a 14 year old boy in one half hour sitting. I would be interested in what others think of its literary merit.


WHEN THE SUN MEETS THE SEA



When the sun meets the sea. I have lost count of the number of times those few words have escaped from my dry mouth. It is amazing what a mind can reflect when there is nothing else to occupy its time, no mundane task to eat at its thoughts. In these past hours, I have gone many places in my mind's eye. Places I don't even remember, conversations that have long since been swept away by the tide. I now remember my first step, my imaginary friend from long ago. His name was Michael. I can recall countless hours we would spend together. Though I grew to have many more friends, who were not only good friends but also human, the friend in my head was always more real. I guess it is because he could be anyone I wanted, he was always there for me. I was always like that, wanting to be left alone, even into my adult days. Alone. Now I know the meaning of the word. For I have never wanted to interact with another person as much as I do now. Now that I am here, lying amidst the wave. They slap softly against the wood, each with a faint whisper. I try to hear what they say, but it sounds like they are miles away. I look up towards the sky. For my entire life I have been told not to look into the sun's eyes. However, now I find that the light of the sun comforts me, the light shines through my darkest thoughts. For I know what happens tonight at sundown, I know what's coming my way. I listened to the radio the day before, before I went out. I did not expect, however the squall that came up last night. That was a surprise. And so I am stuck, my leg prevents me from moving. All I can do is look up at the sun. It is a beautiful August day, but I know that it is the quiet before the storm. I wonder what I should do, what I should spend my last moments thinking about. People say that they see their life flash before their eyes when encountering the end. As for me, all I can think about is the sun. It is my only companion. I try to think of Michael, but he fails to appear, he is no longer there for me. It's quite a way to go. All my life I have begged for loneliness. From my friends, from my lovers, from my enemies. And now, I will get my wish. I will be alone. Suddenly a darkness comes into the corner of my eye. I turn my head, the mere size of the cloud is epic. I look at the water, and see a ferocious wind line coming my way. The sun is sinking now, sinking in the sky. I challenge it, I know what will happen. I am ready. Frightened, yes, we all are. But I know what's going to happen to me, and I am prepared to face it. So goodbye, sun, sky and sea. I hope to see you all again in Elysian Fields. Because I know what the cloud brings. When the sun meets the sea.



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Suzanne
Sat Feb 05, 2011 2:55 pm
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Post Re: short, short story
I think it is beautiful. This young man has talent and his piece shows maturity. Although the piece is short he is able to incorporate many different images, and each image is clear. His choice of words suprises the reader. What I found to be most delightful is this young man had a clear goal where he wanted the story to go, and he was able to lead the reader to this goal using wonderful imagary. He never floundered, he knew exactly how to lead the reader and to keep the reader's interest. Short stories are difficult, the writer needs to be fast, precise and deliberate. There were so many feelings and emotions that were captured effectively within this very, very short story. Well done.

I have often thought that a great writer is like a guide. A guide through the wilderness. As a reader, I have no idea where I am going, but a great guide will take me through this wilderness without getting lost. This young writer is like this, he never once got lost, and although I had no idea where this story was heading, I trusted him.

I hope this young man is encouraged to continue his writing. He is so young, but shows great maturity. This is truly a delightful story. Thank you for sharing.

Is this young man someone you know?



Sat Feb 05, 2011 4:39 pm
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One more post ought to do it.

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Post Re: short, short story
I want you to know that I read and enjoyed the story LadyofShallot. It certainly carried me along.

I wonder what happens next......the sign of a good story.....

It reminded me a bit of the writings of Michael Marpurgo because he writes books which are enjoyed equally by children and adults:

http://www.michaelmorpurgo.com/


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Sat Feb 05, 2011 5:59 pm
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Post Re: short, short story
May I piggy-back on Suzanne's evaluation. It says so much of what I would have like to have said but didn't know how to put into words so aptly! I love the idea that a good writer shepherds the reader along and doesn't let him get lost...

I think your grandson shows great maturity and has done a lot of thinking about the nature of aloneness. Very perceptive to see that being alone maybe isn't what we really want, even in the case of a person who seems by nature to be a 'loner'.
Quote:
I was always like that, wanting to be left alone, even into my adult days. Alone. Now I know the meaning of the word. For I have never wanted to interact with another person as much as I do now.
and this...
Quote:
All my life I have begged for loneliness. From my friends, from my lovers, from my enemies. And now, I will get my wish. I will be alone. Suddenly a darkness comes into the corner of my eye.


It has been said by writers more notable than I that aloneness is the very essence of hell. There is the perception of this in this piece.

Another phrase in particular that invites me to read more into it than may be there:
Quote:
For my entire life I have been told not to look into the sun's eyes. However, now I find that the light of the sun comforts me, the light shines through my darkest thoughts.

The image of light being a penetrating and yet comforting presence is interesting...

If I were to discuss the piece with the writer I would challenge him to think through the implications of the conclusion:
Quote:
I challenge it, I know what will happen. I am ready. Frightened, yes, we all are. But I know what's going to happen to me, and I am prepared to face it. So goodbye, sun, sky and sea. I hope to see you all again in Elysian Fields. Because I know what the cloud brings. When the sun meets the sea.


There seem to be conflicting assertions... to be at the mercy of a thing and yet challenge it. To know what's coming and yet be frightened. To know one thing and yet hope for another... I guess it appears to me that the writer is not entirely persuaded of what his destiny will be but is trying hard to be brave.

Your grandson has done an impressive job here. I hope he will pursue writing and we will get to hear more! ( :


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Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:23 am
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Post Re: short, short story
The piece has some striking phrases and it hints at the delirium of the speaker while maintaining coherence for the reader's sake. I felt some contradiction in the history of aloneness vs. having many friends throughout life. I like Dawn's comment on the unresolved attitude about the end of his life. It suggests that up until, and including, the very end, we're struggling to understand how we can make our exit with something approaching peace. We can't (perhaps--who has come back to report to us?) bring ourselves to fully believe that this is it for us, that we can be conscious and then suddenly not.

Your grandson did a lot in his half-hour!



Sun Feb 06, 2011 9:20 am
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Genuinely Genius

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Post Re: short, short story
Thank you Dawn and Dwill for your comments. You are both right in that there are contradictions in his story. As I said he was 14 when he wrote this and the narrator is obviously a person of a more advanced age. . . what it is, is uncertain. The conflict probably stems from who he is personally and who he is imagining his character to be and since this is the first and only draft, he did not resolve that.

He is the sort of person who is friendly to everyone. At his table in the school cafeteria, all are welcome, although of a very pacific nature he has stood up to the school bully. He has a group of friends and a best friend.

His desire is to become a movie director. He is a very good boy and a good student and I think a good writer but the above story was the first I actually witnessed him writing.

Thanks again, I appreciate the feedback which I will pass on to him. He is the kind of kid who listens!



Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:56 am
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Post Re: short, short story
email from my daughter:

subject: Volkswagen: The Force
Mom,
this is a great commercial. but it made me cry! where did my little boy go?

The commercial "Volkswagen the force" (on you tube) is the little boy we used to have! always in a costume, always acting. Now the writer of dark material!



Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:42 am
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Post Re: short, short story
Quote:
I challenge it, I know what will happen. I am ready. Frightened, yes, we all are. But I know what's going to happen to me, and I am prepared to face it. So goodbye, sun, sky and sea. I hope to see you all again in Elysian Fields. Because I know what the cloud brings. When the sun meets the sea.


I really enjoyed your comments Dawn, and I agree with you and DWill, the last few lines are provocative.

Dawn wrote:
There seem to be conflicting assertions... to be at the mercy of a thing and yet challenge it. To know what's coming and yet be frightened. To know one thing and yet hope for another... I guess it appears to me that the writer is not entirely persuaded of what his destiny will be but is trying hard to be brave.


What I think is interesting is the writer mentions Elysian Fields. Elysian Fields can be seen as the final resting place of warriors. Warriors are brave and they fight. They know what is coming, they are brave, but frightened at the same time. And although warriors are surrounded by their comrades, although the dying may be surrounded by loved ones, at the time of our death, we are truly alone.

Quote:
Now that I am here, lying amidst the wave. They slap softly against the wood, each with a faint whisper. I try to hear what they say, but it sounds like they are miles away.


I love these lines. A great image of loneliness. He is right there among the waves, but he cannot hear them. Reminds me of that saying, "Alone in a crowded room".



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Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:43 am
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Genuinely Genius

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Post Re: short, short story
Oh Suzanne, thank you again. I am going to forward all these comments to my grandson. It is important I think that people receive encouragement in whatever their individual endeavor is.

All of the remarks above are honest evaluations and I think my grandson will definitely appreciate them and learn from them.



Sun Feb 06, 2011 12:00 pm
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Post Re: short, short story
lady of shallot wrote:
email from my daughter:

subject: Volkswagen: The Force
Mom,
this is a great commercial. but it made me cry! where did my little boy go?

The commercial "Volkswagen the force" (on you tube) is the little boy we used to have! always in a costume, always acting. Now the writer of dark material!


OH, I can so relate to this. My baby boy turned 15 yesterday! I think I would have cried too. :(



Sun Feb 06, 2011 2:53 pm
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Post Re: short, short story
Impressive writing. Buy that kid a nice journal!



Sun Feb 06, 2011 3:29 pm
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Genuinely Genius

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Post Re: short, short story
thanks Dexter. Don't know if he keeps one or not but I have bought him them in the past.

Suzanne these boys must be in the same grade. . . 9th?



Sun Feb 06, 2011 6:11 pm
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Post Re: short, short story
Yup! My Will is in HS, a 9th grader. He is not much of a writer however, he seems to be a science guy.



Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:10 pm
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Genuinely Genius

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Post Re: short, short story
I did email my grandson the comments you all so kindly made. This is his response:

Grandma,

Thank you for putting up my story and sending me the comments! I liked them a lot, they were very insightful, probably more than I was when I wrote it! Haha, I thought it was kind of funny because I didn't really think twice when I wrote it, and now these people are analyzing it very thoroughly. I liked how some of the comments gave a little constructive criticism, and challenged some of the things I said in my story, which then leads me to think about and analyze it more for myself. Thanks again!



Tue Feb 08, 2011 7:43 pm
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