December 6th, 1941

Submitted into Contest #64 in response to: Set your story in a Gothic manor house.... view prompt

89 comments

Adventure American Coming of Age


December 6, 1941

 

A bright blue sky for a hundred miles west ended the day. Cool mountain breezes, from the snowcapped Sierras, blew across the lowlands. A short hike to the edge of town, Alex and John searched for the house known as “Decay and Splendor.” Hidden among a neighborhood of pines, the gothic manor sat empty and foreboding. Boarded-up windows and tangled vines hid a once beautiful home fallen from glory. Dead leaves scented the air and swished along a buried sidewalk as they approached. Statues and figurines of white marble peeked out among the overgrown brambles.

 

As they approached the gothic structure, birds flew in and out of the tower. Old newspaper covered the windows under fallen boards. Alex felt eyes watching him from a hundred directions. The “yeeek” of the weathervane drifting in the breeze sent many young men running home. No one had been brave enough to stay one night in this house.

 

“Should we go in?” asked Alex.

 

“Sure, why not,” said John.

 

“What if we slept on the porch? No one’s ever done that before.”

 

“Alex, I’m going inside with or without you.”

 

Rumbling came from the east, where storm clouds stretched across the sky. 

 

“Do you want to sleep outside in that or do you want to come inside?” asked John.

 

Alex hesitated, his legs trembling. To the west it was calm and sunny. “Should we go home and do this next weekend,” Alex asked.

 

“Come on, we better get inside before it rains.”

 

“Look at those clouds. It might be safer if we went home, John.” said Alex.

 

“We’d better get inside before the rain starts. It’s starting to get cold, and I want to start a fire.” John walked up the steps.

 

“Go ahead, when the fire is lit, come and get me. I’ll stay out here a little longer.”

 

The thunder reminded Alex of rocks in a barrel rolling down a hill. Lightning flashed in a tall tower of clouds. Dust devils picked up leaves and whirled them around the courtyard. Warm air clashed with cold, and the storm winds howled around the lonely house.

 

The thumping of John’s boots were almost as loud as Alex’s heartbeat pounding in his ears.

 

“John, you’ve got to see these clouds,” said Alex. The sun faded orange along the horizon, as this thunder boomer crept closer and closer. Animals quieted their noises and prepared for the rain.

 

“Alex,” said John

 

Shaken back to the present, Alex spun to see John glowing in the light of his lantern. Fear gripped him in anticipation of a creature reaching out to tear him limb from limb.

 

“I almost died.” shouted Alex, clutching his chest.

 

John looked at Alex, amused. “I called you from inside. The fire is going. Let’s get out of the cold.” Heart racing, Alex grabbed his bag and headed up the steps and inside.

 

Green paint flaked free of the house and mixed with the leaves and trash blowing around the porch. “Are you sure this place is safe? It won’t come falling down on our heads tonight, will it?” said Alex.

 

“No, it’s over a hundred years old. Built with the best wood money could buy. Look, would I do this if it weren’t safe?” John jumped down three steps to the floor, holding onto the banister when he landed. Thunder boomed as he hit the floor. The timing couldn’t have been better. The house shook with the vibration as the storm hissed rain outside the open door. Eyes wide open, Alex slammed the door shut and barricaded himself against the frame.

 

“Never do that again.” he said.

 

John grinned. “It was good timing. I didn’t know. How about we sleep in the dining room tonight?” John said. “Right next to the fireplace.”

 

Alex stood paralyzed from the waist down. Listening to rain slapping the sandstone beneath the gutter sent chills up his spine. Witches tapped on the windows and snakes hissed right outside the door. Cannon balls covered in flames rolled down the halls, crashing into everything. It's all he could imagine.

 

“It’s a storm Alex. Come on in.”

 

A lightning bolt, bright enough to highlight every room, followed by thunder, exploded outside the house. Alex jumped across the floor and slid to a halt. Grabbing his bag, he ran to the fireplace and plopped on his knees, trembling, holding the pack for safety. “Why, why, why, why, did I agree to this? What was I thinking? I want to go home," he said.

 

“You’re going to be OK. There are no such things as ghosts," said John. Sliding out his sleeping roll and untying his pack. John went about his work setting the example of calm under pressure. Nerves of steel, that’s what he believed in, like his father said; “With nerves of steel you can handle anything.” Alex didn’t believe him. He sat there and trembled, gripping his bag.

 

A nest of spiders, disturbed by the heat of the fire, ran from under the mantel and up the chimney wall to the ceiling. Up into the darkness they ran, ten, twenty, fifty, and then they vanished.

 

Alex sat like a statue, crushing the contents of his bag against his chest. I’ll wake up covered in spider webs. They’ll suck my blood dry, he thought.

 

“Hey Alex, are you going to sit there all night?” John waved his hands in front Alex. Shadows from his fingers loomed across the room. Alex could see John's fingers even after he closed his eyes. He opened them to see John’s grinning face staring back at him. “You’re fine, you’re safe with me.”

 

Alex lightened his grip on the bag. It tipped to the floor.

 

Five minutes later, everything was laid out. They made their sleeping rolls like boy scouts. John, in his sock feet, sat and ate a Hershey bar while Alex contemplated all the ways he might die that night.

 

“You should have brought something to eat,” said John.

 

“I did, but I’m not hungry.” Alex looked sad. He listened to the rain outside, the fire snapping, and his courage draining away. “Why did you do this? Why did you bring me here, John?” asked Alex.

 

John froze mid-bite. He looked at Alex. The heat from the fireplace warming his face. Through the orange light, he could see his friend was pale. “Look, we’re about to turn 17. The world needs men with confidence. Men who can face their fears and not blink. Do you understand?”

 

Alex understood. That’s what "Boy’s Life" was teaching him and the Boy Scouts. He unpacked a chunk of cheese and looked into the fire as he picked at it. I want to be a man. He thought. Raindrops fell through the chimney and hissed around the fire. Alex looked at John. He always felt stronger with John. They’d been friends their whole lives. Alex gnawed at his food. His round cheeks regained their color. Then he became emotional.

 

“John, what’s it like to have your dad around?” asked Alex

 

John crumpled the empty Hershey wrapper and tossed it in the fire. “You miss yours, don’t you?”

 

Both their fathers served in the Great War together. Both their families lost relatives during the Spanish Flu. After these two were born the country fell into a depression and Alex’s father left to find work. It'd been several years, and he hadn’t returned.

 

“Yeah, I miss my dad. He wasn’t here to teach me things like your dad.” Alex became quiet.

 

“I’ll tell you a secret,” said John.

 

Watery eyes looked up.

 

“I never had a brother, and I always felt like you were one to me.” John grinned. This comforted Alex. A heavy sniff and he and John stood up to explore the house.

 

Old mouse droppings lay among thick dust now scuffed by their boots. The place was old and musty, but not rotten. Kids told stories about people lost inside forever. They said the basement, meant for animal sacrifice, was bloody and full of shrines. Feral cats would stare at you from the fireplace or atop the stairs. Their glowing yellow eyes watching your every move.

 

A constant tap, tap, tap came from a room down the hall. Alex and John went to investigate. Room after empty room showed nothing but peeling wallpaper and bare floors. Alex looked behind him as much as he looked ahead. The feeling someone would appear over his shoulder at any moment; scared him stiff. Down the hall, a cool breeze blew cobwebs along the ceiling. Step after step they moved through the darkness.

 

John felt brave, but Alex’s heart beat harder and harder.

 

“What do you think it is?” asked Alex.

 

“Only a leak in the roof.”

 

“Do you have a knife or anything?” asked Alex

 

“No, why would I have a knife?”

 

“I wish I had a knife.” said Alex

 

“Why?”

 

“So I could give it to you,” he said.

 

John looked at Alex from the corner of his eyes. “Lets go.”

 

Easing their way down the hall, the bathroom door was half open. The noise came from inside. Pushing the door, its hinges creaked, and the lantern filled the room with a yellow light. Rain dripped through a broken window on to the floor. “See, it’s nothing.”

 

Turning back, Alex lunged across John’s path. Sudden movement in the darkness came at them like the wind. Alex braced for impact when a sheet of newspaper hit him in the face. Alex’s mind knew what it was, but he couldn't believe it. John grabbed the paper and pulled it away. Alex stood motionless, eyes closed, waiting to die.

 

“Thank you, Alex.”

 

John crumpled the paper and tossed it on the floor. Together they breathed a sigh of relief. Foot steps and howling wind were all the boys heard as they walked from room to room. Back downstairs by the fire. For a moment the two sat silent.

 

“You know, you saved my life back there.” said John.

 

“How, from the funny pages?” said Alex

 

“It’s not the point. Did you see what you did?”

 

“No?"

 

“When you thought we were in danger, you threw yourself in front of me to protect me from getting hurt.”

 

“So?”

 

“That’s the point. You didn’t know what it was, but you sacrificed yourself to protect me. That’s the most brave thing I’ve ever seen anyone do.”

 

Alex sat up straighter. “You mean it?”

 

“Yes, I mean it.” John ran a hand through his hair. “You're the bravest person I know.”

 

Alex smiled. “Yeah, I’m not scared anymore. Let's go down to the basement and see what’s down there.”

 

“Lets not get too brave.” said John.

 

Rain, interrupted by thunder, calmed to a steady gentle rhythm. The fire popped and smoked, raging brighter with new logs, then calming to red embers. The night and its symphony of sounds relaxed the boys. Lying on their backs, listening to the rain, they waited to fall asleep.

 

“Alex, do you remember what we learned in history this year? Do you remember what Thomas Paine said?” Alex looked confused.

 

“It’s from ‘The American Crisis.’ Do you remember? ‘These are the times that try men’s souls.’” Alex looked over at John, then understood. John grinned. “Yes, you remember, don’t you?”

 

Alex looked up and confidently said. “Yes, my favorite line was: The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”

 

Lying prone, John raised his hands in presentation to the world around them and said. “We are in this house on the edge of town. Tonight we’ve faced our fears. Tomorrow we will be men.”

 

“Do you believe that?” said Alex.

 

John’s fingers crossed and settled on his chest. A deep sigh, but no answer. “Do you ever think about what the future will bring?”

 

“No, I think about summer, and baseball.”

 

“My dad always said to go with your gut. My guts are telling me somethings coming.”

 

“Do you mean like a fart?”

 

Laughter echoed off the walls. A large peel of thunder sounded in the distance. Uncontrolled hysterics warded off any fears. Gasps and chuckling followed by yawns and stretches settled between them.

 

“John, do you think we will ever be as great as our fathers? I mean, will we get called upon to live the life they lived?”

 

“If my gut is right, yeah, I think we will. Someday. Besides, if history has taught us anything, it’s that it will repeat itself.”

 

“Do you think we will have to fight the Germans again someday?”

 

Lying with one hand behind his head, John looked at Alex. “That’s what my gut is telling me. Someday, we will fight the Germans again. My dad keeps telling me it’s important to go camping with the scouts, he’s even teaching me how to shoot at groundhogs. It’s like he knows something isn’t right.”

 

“Do you think he could teach me how to shoot? I’ve never shot more than a sling.”

 

“I don’t see why not?”

 

“I miss my dad.” said Alex “If he were here, do you think he’d have anything to tell me like your dad?”

 

“Sure he would. All dads are like that. They want their kids to make the world a better place.”

 

“Do you think we can make the world a better place?” Alex asked.

 

“I’ll tell you like my dad told me. You can make it better, or die trying.” Alex grinned and relaxed for the first time that night.

 

Steady breathing broke the silence. Light rain patted the roof. A warm fire and full stomachs ended the night.


October 23, 2020 05:56

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.

89 comments

Hello there! I just want to say that you did a great job writing this story! I love reading it, and look forward to reading more of your work! :)

Reply

04:06 Oct 24, 2020

Well, thank you very much! I really appreciate your reading my stuff. I want to read your most recent story as well but I’m getting a list so I will get to it. Cool? Thanks again! Robert

Reply

No problem! It was my pleasure! :)

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Megan Sutherland
05:47 Oct 24, 2020

Wow!! Robert, this was amazing! Your descriptions were on point and the dialogue/story line flowed so smoothly. I honestly don't have any critiques! I really loved this! :D -Megan S.

Reply

Show 0 replies
Echo Sundar
16:35 Oct 23, 2020

This story is really great! As they say short and sweet, I love how Alex got over his fears at the end, and I really like who you staged the ending perfect way to wrap up the story. One grammatical issue I saw in this story was this line, “I’ll tell you a secret.” Said John. Make sure to have the s be lowercase, but besides that great job!

Reply

Princemark Okibe
17:01 Oct 23, 2020

👍🏿 You are really good at picking up stuff. I didn't pick that out. And a comma should be after 'secret'. [“I’ll tell you a secret,” said John.] He made 'said' start with Capital letter because he assumed the fullstop should end the dialogue.

Reply

19:20 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you both! I’ll make the corrections. Y’all are the best and thanks again! Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Anjali Malik
15:32 Nov 03, 2020

Hey Sir, you had asked me for the feedback so here I m ...And sorry that I'm quite late for this one... This story is really remarkable as i really liked how you put the dialouges so smooth and ya you did full justice with the story by giving apt title to it. It was really worth spending time and really enjoyed it 😊😊 Stay safe , sir😉

Reply

16:38 Nov 03, 2020

Hey, I appreciate you taking the time to read my story! I can’t thank you enough. I like this story and I’ll look for your latest submission as well. I’ve tried a new style on my next story if you are interested. It’s not as long and I’ve heard good reviews. Thanks again! Robert

Reply

Anjali Malik
19:00 Nov 03, 2020

No problem .....I'll definitely check it as soon as I'm free....You are always welcome😊

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Lizzie Brown
09:20 Oct 28, 2020

There were some very good descriptions in this story. Well done with it.

Reply

14:54 Oct 28, 2020

Thank you so much! I’m excited about this story line. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Alexandra Dyess
21:22 Oct 26, 2020

YES. My favorite part was when you called it “The Great War”, because although the friction and fighting had already begun in Germany in 1939, the US wouldn’t be joining until the attack on Pearl Harbor. A lot of people mess up by calling it “World War I” before the characters could have known about WWII. I loved how fear of the house may have been misdirected fear of the coming war and “becoming a man” earlier than he’d been ready for. I’d say he turned the corner just in time for the next day.

Reply

22:15 Oct 26, 2020

I'm glad you caught that and I had to think about it for a moment. You're right they didn't know it as WWI at the time. The fear part was a way to add to the mystique of the gothic manor house. I wanted to play into the ideas people have about old mansions and creepy abandoned manor houses. I wanted people to see it as a scary place. The idea that two young guys were going to stay the night made more sense in a time without cell phones. The coming of age was a key part of the story and when would two young guys be preparing for a future ...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Karin Venables
19:35 Oct 26, 2020

A coming of age story. I like these two boys. Alex and his fears, and John with his staunch bravery. The dialogue flowed well. I believe you will get yourself published. PS: your Face Book Link goes to a non public account fyi.

Reply

20:09 Oct 26, 2020

Thank you, I appreciate the compliment. I really like this story as it developed. I will read your latest as soon as I can. I don't know why the FB page isn't working. If you look up Robert Grandstaff Author I should come up that way. Thanks for letting me know. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Ola Hotchpotch
18:56 Oct 25, 2020

It's a nice story but I couldn't understand some lines. The lines ...the storm came from the east ....the west looked calm and sunny. Why? No feelings. It feels incomplete. If I see something like this I may think of it as a bad omen. Something is coming....The storm came. Alex could say something. He is the one who is frightened. Then ..... John froze mid bite.... why would he freeze? I thought people freeze in fear. I couldn't feel the atmosphere of that place. I couldn't visualise .I could only understand that nobody had cleaned the h...

Reply

22:01 Oct 25, 2020

I was setting the atmosphere with a storm rolling in from the east. The house was mostly dark except what the lantern showed so it takes an imagination to fill in the blanks. The idea these young boys were thinking about a future and according to the title we know Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. They were thinking about a future not knowing they’d be drawn into a war soon. These are the ideas I had for the story. I’m glad you liked it. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Gary Crawford
17:51 Oct 24, 2020

I love how this is written. I love the dialogue, the back-and-forth between two very close friends. The reader knows what's coming the next day, and how the boys are mentally preparing themselves for whatever it is they feel is about to happen. I'd like to see a follow-up written in August 1945 about how these two made out.

Reply

22:54 Oct 24, 2020

Thank you! I’ll have to work on a sequel with another prompt. I really enjoyed writing this one. Thank you again for reading my story. I’ll read your latest as soon as I can, I’m creating a list. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Onur Yürür
08:02 Oct 24, 2020

Great story, great writing, great feels. The struggle of trying to be a man despite not having a father figure around, the comradeship and sacrifice among peers that have to take place of family, and the cherishing of hope through dedication and bravery in times of great uncertainty...

Reply

17:17 Oct 25, 2020

Thank you so much! I’m really trying to get better with with my descriptive writing. I like this story. I’m looking forward to reading your latest. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
John Del Rio
03:29 Oct 24, 2020

So well written. It has such a Old time feeling. It wasn’t till after I had read the story that I realized the next day they will find out about the Japanese bombing Pearl Harbor. And John and Alex are at the age where by next summer they could be in the Pacific theater or over in Europe fighting the Germans, like their fathers had done. I kept waiting for it to turn into a ghost story, but wasn’t disappointed because it was such a coming of age tale. I hope that they both make it through the war without too much trauma. I honestly was...

Reply

John Del Rio
04:04 Oct 24, 2020

I can see John and Alex enlisting together and serving together. I think having them in the Pacific theater would be more disorienting to them than being in Europe.

Reply

04:10 Oct 24, 2020

Well, I’d have to think about it. I know the South Pacific would be a twist to the story but I kinda like the European angle. I’ll let that simmer for a while. Let’s see what happens. Robert

Reply

John Del Rio
04:19 Oct 24, 2020

Let me know when you post it so I can enjoy it

Reply

04:23 Oct 24, 2020

You’ll be the first to know. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Gary Crawford
17:52 Oct 24, 2020

I didn't read down this far before I commented. Yes, I'd like to see an "after" story.

Reply

Show 0 replies
04:00 Oct 24, 2020

I am so glad you saw the link between the story name and the storyline. That makes me feel like I’ve accomplished my goal. I call it the “AAHA” moment. When the reader realizes the importance of a key idea in the story they can quickly reimagine everything they’ve just read and it all falls into place. Thinking about this story on the way home from work tonight I tossed around the idea of a second part. Like you said a summer later perhaps. Great minds think alike! Post-Apocalyptic stories are some of my favorite. I’ll read your seri...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 3 replies
D. Jaymz
23:22 Oct 23, 2020

Excellent work 👏 Very well-written. ~~~~~~ Giving critiques on dialogue is dangerous because so much of it can be the author's style that will be interfered with if corrected (where would Mark twain be if we corrected him🤔). In dialogue, I believe the rules should be thrown out and kneel to stylistic choice. But, I have pointed a few things out just for you to consider (if they were missed and something you never intended) ~~~~~~ Some Points ~~~~~~ I’ll wake up covered in a spider webs. (If you use 'a' then there would only b...

Reply

Show 0 replies
Amy De Matt
19:22 Oct 23, 2020

I absolutely loved this, for many reasons. First, you are meticulous with the details. They seem real and set mood. Well done! The humor is great. This is what 17-year olds would say. But most of all, I love the story. There is truth here. Great job, will be reading as much as you write!

Reply

19:59 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you so much! I intended to go one way with the story and then it went another. I wanted to tie things together according to the prompt. I think two unsuspecting boys having an adventure and learning about the importance of manhood the day before the Pearl Harbor attack seemed to fit just right. Thanks for reading. I'll start reading stories tonight submitted by others. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
18:28 Oct 23, 2020

This is really well written! Your first descriptions of the noises in the house being snakes and witches, followed by the later, more literal descriptions shows the boys growing confidence really well. I think the word you might be looking for to describe the house is "empty and foreboding", instead of "forbidding".

Reply

18:50 Oct 23, 2020

I can’t believe how many times I’ve read this and missed that word. Thank you so much! I appreciate your help. I wasn’t even sure I was going to post a story this time but I’m glad I did. I will change that word right away! Robert

Reply

22:57 Oct 23, 2020

Glad I could help! It's always nice to be able to post another story

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Charles Stucker
17:15 Oct 23, 2020

Dirt devils picked up leaves and whirled them around the courtyard. Warm air clashed with cold, and the storm winds howled around the lonely house.- I had to search out where you mentioned the east/west weather divide. Perhaps if you put it in the opening, I would not have envisioned a clear dry sky so clearly I missed the split in the middle of their verbal interplay. No, it’s over a hundred years old. Built with the best wood money could buy.- At that time it would be ironwood, which could last three or more centuries with little to no...

Reply

19:00 Oct 23, 2020

You’ve got a great eye for detail. Dirt devils collect dust and dust devils distribute it. I’ll make the change. The opening line mentions clear skies in the west this is why the storm comes from the east. Much of the rest can be explained by youthful ignorance. What do they know about hardwood? I’m glad you saw the title and lined it up with the story. I hope more people see that and connect the impact of the boys realizing the importance of coming of age. Thanks for your help! Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Sam W
17:08 Oct 23, 2020

Hey, this was fun, and a really sweet analysis on courage. I enjoyed it. At the beginning, you wrote, "approaching the Gothic structure, the birds..." I think you meant, "AS they approached the..." . Otherwise it would be the birds approaching, not the boys.

Reply

19:04 Oct 23, 2020

Good catch! Thank you so much for reading this story. I wanted to impress upon the reader the importance of two boys coming of age in relation to the date of their adventure. I really appreciate your reading and sending me feedback. Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Joanna Ortega
16:43 Oct 23, 2020

I loved the story. There's an innocence there within two boys trying to be men. I like your use of imagery. The only recommendation I have is to maybe look over grammar. :) but it was a great story anyway.

Reply

16:53 Oct 23, 2020

Thank you so much! I’ll look over this tonight and look for corrections. Thanks again! Robert Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Princemark Okibe
16:41 Oct 23, 2020

Saw your message so I came over as requested. As usual, your description skills are on point. Your writing is clear and direct but still engaging. While most people will complain, I do love the twist. We were all expecting bad things to happen and you proved us wrong. You must be such a realistic and grounded person in real life. You write well so the errors I may point out are minor but since I kind of like giving edits like Charles Stucker, there is no way I am not going to give suggestions about some stuff. So, here comes the ...

Reply

19:18 Oct 23, 2020

So many things you’ve pointed out I will make sure I correct. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read through this and still missed these punctuations. I am truly grateful! I’m glad you liked the story. I’m working on my style and I hope to refine it more and more. Robert

Reply

Princemark Okibe
21:39 Oct 23, 2020

👍🏿

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Philip Clayberg
16:34 Oct 23, 2020

I like it, I like it! Thank you so much for writing it. When you mentioned statues, I immediately thought of the Doctor Who episode, "Blink". The Weeping Angels. "And whatever you do ... don't blink." Btw, just one error, I think: "Five minutes later, everything lay out." (the quotes are mine) I think you meant "Five minutes later, everything was laid out".

Reply

19:27 Oct 23, 2020

I think I’ve missed stuff because I’ve read this so many times. Your assistance and extra set of eyes are really appreciated. Thanks for the compliments too. They really help. Robert

Reply

Philip Clayberg
21:13 Oct 23, 2020

In my case, I feel like if I don't just proofread one more time, I'll miss something. And, inevitably, I find at least one error each time I proofread a short story. It's disheartening, but it's also proof I'm only human. What I tell myself after several (or more) proofreading/editing sessions is something like: "Okay, I've done the best I can. If there are still any errors that I haven't spotted yet, then no doubt a reader will let me know. Just submit it, share it, etc. and let it go. Don't ruin it by rewriting it to the point you s...

Reply

21:53 Oct 23, 2020

I just proof read it again and found a few sentences I wanted to thin out to make the story flow a little better. I've been using Writing Pro Aid to help with my terrible spelling and grammar. It helps so much. I like to read and write but somethings I really over think. You have glasses, I use mine for reading; when I use them at all. It's a good thing I chose writing and not singing. I'm half deaf and wear hearing aids. If my spelling and grammar is this bad I could only imagine my singing voice. No one has to hear it but the steering ...

Reply

Philip Clayberg
22:16 Oct 23, 2020

Never hurts to proofread and do some rewriting just one more time ... as long it doesn't hurt the overall story. My late father told me that when I was in grade school I was probably doing editing the wrong way if it made the story (or term paper) worse rather than better. I used to hate to edit. I wanted to just write something out (or improvise music on a piano) and not have to go back to see what needed fixing. But I'm getting used to editing more and more these days ... still not a huge fan of it, though. What is "Writing Pro Aid"...

Reply

23:13 Oct 23, 2020

Pro Writing Aid is like Grammarly but it has so much to offer and much of it is free. Look up Pro Writing Aid and see what it has to offer. If you use Microsoft Word or Google doc it will run in the background. I like google docs because you can use it anywhere you can log on. Afterwards you copy and paste into Reedsy. My hearing loss is related to surgeries from childhood and further damage in the military. I've been learning ASL but I don't need it yet. I remember the ear drops as a child, except I had perforated eardrums. The liquid w...

Reply

Show 1 reply
04:21 Oct 24, 2020

By the way I don’t watch much TV. The last Dr. Who I watched was back in the 80’s. That dates myself but I remember they were always on the edge of new ideas. Robert

Reply

Show 1 reply
Show 2 replies
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Show 1 reply
Roger Crane
23:07 Mar 07, 2021

Hi Robert, I noticed on my page that you had followed me, so I decided to read your latest story. I'm glad I did because it was very nice, almost a "coming of age" story--certainly if it had been longer, say book-length. About two boys placed just right for WWII, and how they started out. I like it a lot. Subtle and smooth, not earth shaking, but knowing what was coming as we do now it had "bite" that was unseen. You are a good writer and I will check out more of your stories. Me, I don't put my best stuff here, because of the fact I have to...

Reply

01:40 Mar 08, 2021

Roger, thank you for taking the time to read my stories. I’ll check out vocal media. I’m always looking for something. I’m not sure if I mentioned it but I’m starting a website to post more stories above and beyond Reedsy. I guess we’ve got to start somewhere. If you get time check out my latest story “Ghost Ship.” I’ll talk to you later! RobertGrandstaffhomepage.com Robert

Reply

Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply