Sunday, 7 November 2010

Better than Heaven...

I thought I was going crazy because the same day... the same scenes... and the same heartbreak was approaching me all over again... This was it... This was when I had to say goodbye to my dearest one in the whole world... The one I had taken care of... My shining light in the dark... My angel!... This was where it was going to take place... This was the end, but I wouldn't let it be him... I wasn't going to let the nightmare come to life...
Holding him tightly by my side, I got into the cab. I couldn't let go of him... I tried holding back the tears... but before I knew it, they flooded my face... The pain I felt because I had to say goodbye was killing me... Burning inside... Tearing me apart..."I love you, dear... Be careful..." I whispered in his ear. I wrapped my arms around him... Holding him tightly and protecting him...
I felt as if a thousand knives went through my body...The crash took place... The drunk driver smashed the car... I heard a scream and that's all...
The next thing I knew was that I was in an emergency room... Doctors and nurses rushing towards me... The knives still piercing me... My eyes struggling to stay open... trying to find him...
I closed my eyes thinking they would be shut forever... Shut without seeing his beautiful face for the last time...
I didn't know how long my eyes had been closed. When I opened them, they were surrounded by white... Was this heaven?... Where was I?... I found out what was going on when a small, blurry figure ran towards me and cried out:"Mommy....."
He wrapped his tiny arms around me... I felt the tears of joy flood my eyes... That was when I realised this was better than heaven.....


  1. Hi Atieh,

    I'm Andy - your new wordvoodoo mentor. It's a pleasure to read your stuff for the first time. I really like what you've done here. The way you've judged a reader's response to the piece is great - I was entirely expecting a sad ending, so bringing that great image in at the end was brilliantly uplifting.

    You're images in general are working well - it's a very powerful image to think of a parent protecting a child, and a child happiy returning to a parent, so yeah - all good there. And your control of language is good. Everything read very clearly, I didn't have to reread anything, and I saw everything that you wanted to convey. It might sound straighforward, but it's a skill to think of a reader the way you have, so well done.

    I actually think you've made some things too easy for the reader. For example the line 'The pain I felt because I had to say goodbye was killing me' doesn't really need 'because I had to say goodbye.'People talk about showing and telling a lot with writing (and we'll probably end up talking about it more too) - but don't worry about it too much now.

    I liked your control of the narrative - that we're going back into a memory, then realising something about the moment - well done. I did wonder about the ellipsis. Having '...' does give a lot of eye space, so a nice pause to think, and it implies confusion, but I'm not sure it's doing anything a '.' couldn't in this case. It's cool to experiment, so by all means try stuff, but you might want to lose that effect for this piece.

    Also be aware of reusing figurative language. 'Flooded my face' isn't that strong an image - to say 'flooded my eyes' is fairly generic - so to use it twice doesn't work that well. That'd a super-picky point though. I did like the reoccurance of knives, but you might want to tone down the bit with the doctors - with horrible things it's often better to understate rather than exaggerate. I really liked that you stayed away from making this a brutal ending though - people often go for mean endings in stories cos they feel it gets people's attention, but what you've got here is great.

    Well done with all this. I look forward to seeing your next piece,


  2. Hi Atieh,

    I’m Sarah, and I’m another of your wordvoodoo mentors. I’m really excited to start working with you! Like Andy, I really enjoyed the twist in this tale: this piece’s set-up fully made me predict a sad ending, but by confounding my expectations this narrative became fresh and attention-grabbing. There is a clear beginning, middle and end, and through this structure the story gains suspense. Well done!

    I found the ellipses ( the …’s!) a trifle distracting: the lack of conventional punctuation threw me a bit when I was reading this piece, thus making me “step out” of the story-world, and the story slightly less immersive.

    Be careful to avoid cliché: ‘tears of joy’ and ‘flooded my face’ are quite familiar phrases. Next time, perhaps you could utilise more figurative language (similes and metaphors) and personification in order to make your prose more original and more exciting!

    This was a good attempt. I’m not sure how well it fulfilled the guidelines for the task (it was more a mini-story than a description of a place, person or object!), but as a narrative it worked well. I’d like you to spice up your language a little more next time, though!



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