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Alone | Animal Whisperer Blog Contest

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Outflow avatar Outflow
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
26
I awoke. I had been tossing and turning all night. Rain poured down and wind blew violently outside. The window rattled vigorously in its frame. The nearby fire crackled loudly in the fireplace, echoing off the walls and into my unsuspecting ears. I stood up and stretched out, inadvertently touching a weak spot in the aged wood plank floor and causing a creak. It was always like this. Spring brought storms and I could never get a good night's sleep. I forced open my tired eyes and walked over to the bowl of food set out by the stairs.
  "Sparky!" a voice said.
I, nose still in the bowl, jumped in terror.
  "Sorry! Did I scare you?"
I felt a soft hand brush through my heavy coat. I barked in content.
  "You have to get back to sleep!" said the voice again.
Finally, I recognized her. The person who fed me, loved me, and gave me everything I wanted. I barked again. She wrapped her hands around me and lifted me off the ground.
  "Here, let me help."
She laid me back onto my soft, brown bed and ran her hands through my fur again.
  "I love you. Goodnight." she said, standing up and walking back through the hall.
It took me a few seemingly long minutes to close my eyes again. I hated my dreams. I was an adventurous, imaginative dog and that was one of the things that made it hard for me to sleep. Once I finally fell asleep, I was immediately welcomed with a bright white light. I barked softly. Suddenly, I felt pain. It started in my legs and moved upward towards my tail, increasing in strength. I barked a little louder. Now, it reached my stomach. It felt as if I was being thrown through a pane of glass, tearing through my skin and bone. At this point, I was screaming. I couldn't stand it for much longer. Where was I? All I could do was stare at the light. Then, it faded. I whimpered in soreness as the pain I had just felt slowly subsided. The light was decreasing in brightness, too. I tried to force my eyes open again because I knew I was asleep. I tried with all my strength but to no avail. I was still stuck. Eventually, the light faded to reveal a bare room. The floor, cold and solid, felt rough on my paws. There were no lights. I felt a sudden jolt of energy, almost pushing me across the floor. It was pitch, black, and dark and an old, dusty window revealed what was outside. Wooden shelves with shattered jars lined the walls. I jumped and climbed, using my long claws to attach as well as I could to objects to reach the window. Finally, I looked outside. Then, everything turned white again, leaving me in complete mystery of what was outside.


BACKSTORY/EXPLANATION
DO NOT COUNT THIS IN THE FINAL WORD COUNT.

So, you probably just finished reading. In your head, you're asking, "What did I just read?" Well, let's figure that out. The idea behind this short story is that dogs can see and feel more than humans can. It starts off with a normal night and then turns out to be hard. Since I had some time constraints, I couldn't really add onto this very much. Certain parts of it are not for the faint of heart as he embarks through some extreme pain and some details may be morbid. But if you're here, you probably survived. Good news though. He's okay, just a little rattled. The story leaves off at a cliffhanger, giving absolutely no detail at what happens next. What Sparky was seeing was the end of the world, or in theory, the ceasing of all existence. Except for some reason, he was still alive. The rest is something you can make up.

In general, this was rushed. I didn't have much time to carry out a full submission in the earlier days of the contest and I finally had time. Unfortunately, it was 2 hours before the due date. In hopes of still being able to enter, I put this together. I'm glad I was able to participate. If you notice lack of detail or any way I can improve, PLEASE leave a comment. I need feedback from regular users like you. It really does help me out.

Thank you,
Outflow.
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1
04/24/2019 10:40 pm
Level 34 : Artisan Pokemon
JediJerboa
JediJerboa avatar
This story was a lovely read! It was actually nice to get more insight to why storms scare dogs beyond loud noises.

In terms of improvement, I think you just need more specific details and more imagery. Different word choices and different uses of syntax help with this. If you give your audience something a bit more to chew on, the story doesn't have to be super long. Just don't overdo it. I used to make that mistake and it could be confusing.

All in all, you did great for only 2 hours. I honestly don't think I could have managed to make a story like this in that time frame! :)
1
04/28/2019 7:25 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Thank you! Definitely means a lot.
1
03/31/2019 8:24 am
Level 42 : Master Dragon
Bard Bard
Bard Bard avatar
Excellent work! It was a joy to read!

In terms of feedback, it would be nice if the story had been longer, but, as you said, time constraints forbade you from extending it, and so length-wise, that couldn't be helped. Really, I'd most suggest looking into extending your vocabulary, using more diverse words in your descriptions.

Writing is a wonderful skill, in that the best way of improving it is by reading and simply doing it. If you read books and keep writing, with your present talent, and you will no doubt go far.

Good luck in the contest!
1
04/01/2019 8:10 am
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Thank you so much!
1
03/11/2019 11:00 am
Level 45 : Master Llama
0514
0514 avatar
This is very very intriguing, but I love stories like this! Well written for the amount of time you had, I enjoyed it!
One reason I say it's so intriguing to me is because of the fact that you can't really feel pain while dreaming. I'm not saying this was a mistake on your part, what I'm saying is it really gets you thinking. Where are these dreams coming from? Why does he get them? Do they really tell the future? I love stories that make me think of why it could be happening, and this really helped that! Very interesting read, great job! :)
1
03/11/2019 3:20 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Wow! Thanks! Yes, I intentionally made it to where the reader can decide what happened, so even though I used the term "dream", it's more or less your decision to determine the possibilities. Thank you very much for your feedback and I'm really glad you enjoyed it.
1
03/10/2019 5:39 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Whale
bremda
bremda avatar
Also if you run a contest, I want in.
1
03/10/2019 6:12 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Most definitely!
1
03/10/2019 5:38 pm
Level 8 : Apprentice Whale
bremda
bremda avatar
Beautiful. I think in common literature we often look through the ever-changing and complicated lives of people, and not so much the simple perceived lives of animals that are complex and ever-changing to them. It shows how similar all things are, we all dream, are all afraid of something, desire something, etc.

Sorry for my weird philosophical response, I overthink things. I'm trying to say I appreciate the unique take on the prompt and a interesting choice of character. When I was auditioning for a art school for creative writing, one of the prompts was someone's perspective of you. I wrote through the eyes of my cat, because I found thinking about what other people thought of me was too complicated for me to even know. Animals are wholesome. Once again sorry. I really liked it, vivid imagery and thanks for giving me a diamond on my piece :3
1
03/10/2019 6:12 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Wow! Thank you so much! I don't think it's overthinking, just a sense of understanding a lot of people don't have. I really enjoy writing in the perspective of animals. I didn't really aim for the story to wind up like this, believe it or not. I started off with a completely different character and a different setting. Eventually after outlining, editing, and constantly writing, it morphed into this. I really appreciate your feedback. I really enjoyed reading your story, too and I'd like to see more work from you soon.
1
03/09/2019 7:17 pm
Level 1 : New Crafter
theminecrafter872
theminecrafter872 avatar
Great job!
1
03/10/2019 2:05 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Thank you!
1
03/04/2019 12:00 pm
Level 19 : Journeyman Miner
Pigichu
Pigichu avatar
Thank you for changing the title!! And great story!
1
03/04/2019 12:19 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
No problem! Thanks!!
1
03/04/2019 11:58 am
Level 3 : Apprentice Architect
Story
Story avatar
The story is written so sweetly :3
1
03/04/2019 12:20 pm
Level 18 : Journeyman Scribe
Outflow
Outflow avatar
Thank you! I'm glad you liked it!
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