Sunday, 24 October 2010

Guiding Sound

It was terribly damp, he felt as if breathing hot steam. Steadily he was fighting his way through the thicket.

Everything was so colourful, reds mixed with green, some purple here and there, and in between, an exquisite yellow flower poking its head through a sea of leaves. His exhausted breath was drowned out by cries of birds. Today he could not only hear normal birds but something special; peacocks. They were everywhere, in, on and below trees.

He didn't really know where he was heading, but the cries of these majestic animals encouraged him. The result would be worth his strains and by the end of his hike he would find something life-changing, even though this walk was already mind-blowing.
How long he has been in the jungle, he does not remember, neither does he remember ever being somewhere else.

Suddenly he could sense the atmosphere change. In front of him stretched a huge lagoon, paradise got even better. The sun was reflected by the blue water. After standing there for minutes in amazement, he slowly walked into the pool. It was very cool, but glorious after not having a bath for what seemed like days. He dived and dived.
When he got out of the water, he heard something; whispering noises. Some meters away from him stood a woman with a child, around the age of 10. They wore something like animal skin around their waist. She smiled at him.

“Come!”, she said.

Something within her voice made the man follow her without hesitation. Swiftly, she started jogging. The child did not have any problems keeping up.
They reached a place one could call a village. The huts were out of wood and leaves. But the amazing thing was that most of them were built high up between trees. And in this clearing there was a whole population, a small village life going on. It seemed like everyone had a task, even the young children listened to a story an old man was telling them.

“Welcome! I imagine you have been traveling through the jungle, like so many of us before. You may stay here as long as you like”, a young man with a brown beard invited him to look around.

In the tree closest to him sat a beautiful peacock. The newcomers' heart beat faster. He felt at home. Finally, his long journey has come to an end and he has found a place to stay.


  1. This story was inspired by track 14. The sound of peacocks reminded me of my holidays in Mexico and Costa Rica. Holidays abroad are a different world for me, so i wanted to describe a different world in my text.
    Also, the music created an image in my mind of someone exploring the jungle and finding something wonderful.

  2. I love the way you have brought the music to life - and the fusion of the tense excitement of his journey and the elated relief of his destination comes across very powerfully indeed. I like the air of mystery you create too, especially as he comes upon the mother in the lake, and also in your description of the vegetation at the beginning. Atmospheric writing at its best. Well done.

    As for targets for improvement, I can think of a few things. Firstly, beware of cliche (words or phrases which have been said too many times before - or sound like they have - and therefore lack originality). Your adjectives "life-changing" and "mind-blowing" are less effective for their familiarity. Similarly, your final sentence reads a little disappointingly in its ordinariness, I fear.

    Also, following on from what I said last time, there is still much more room for metaphor. You have a "sea of leaves", which is great, and you almost have "breathing hot steam" if you had only left out "as if", but, other than that, it is largely metaphorless. Maybe that could be your main target for your next prose piece?

    The only other point I would make is about tense. Your piece is striving for immediacy, and yet you write in the past tense. Why is that? You write once in the present tense - at the end of the third paragraph - but then revert. Worth thinking about, perhaps?

    Let's see what the other students think...


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