The Gift – Part 3 by Jane Bradshaw

The Gift – Part 3 by Jane Bradshaw # I didn’t see the car that crossed over into my lane until it was too late. Slamming on the brakes made no difference. The sound of scraping metal filled my entire being, as the intense pain shocked my body. My car rotated 360® as I slammed...

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Member
30 days ago

Jane some great descriptions in this episode. I agree with Deryn on the sentence length.Well done

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane
I have to say this story is growing on me! I want to know about her power, and where it comes from…

The main criticisms I would offer would be to concentrate on your tenses – you do slip from one to the other and back again, which makes your stories a little difficult to read at times.
I would also say you need to work on eliminating the sentence fragments in your writing. Two examples:
 ‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt. Legs crushed behind the steering wheel and centre console.’ 
If this is going to be two sentences, you still need to identify the owner of the legs in sentence 2 to form a complete sentence:
‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt. My legs crushed, behind the steering wheel and centre console’
Or, as one sentence: ‘My right arm twisted at an odd angle, half hanging out of the seatbelt, my legs crushed behind the steering wheel and centre console.’

And ‘What used to be a white Ute was teetering on its roof. Reminding me of a Christmas beetle, left defenceless and buzzing on its back. Unable to right itself.’ – I would cut this to two sentences: ‘What used to be a white Ute was teetering on its roof. It reminded (stay in tense!) me of a Christmas beetle left defenceless and buzzing on its back, unable to right itself.’

These are technical issues, but I believe if you can nail some of these, this story is only going to get better. I’m looking forward to the next chapter

Member
30 days ago
Reply to  Jane

As a general rule, I take what programmes like Hemingway and Grammerly and similar say with a healthy grain of salt. I have no faith in Grammerly for example, and have not really used Hemingway to have a proper opinion of it. The suggestion to break the long sentence into two wasn’t a bad one, just the construction of the two individual sentences let you down.
As for tenses, yes, that is something I’ve noticed with your story writing. I had an editor who had the mantra to stay in tense, religiously, throughout. If you start in past tense, stay in past tense, and change the story to suit the tense if you need to. I struggled with it too, but it did pay off and made a big difference to the final draft of I Will

Member
30 days ago
Reply to  Jane

Have you read Wishin’ ‘n’ a Hopin’ by Jeff L Mauser? You should read it even if you’ve read it before, and pay particular attention to his use of tense which is really good. It is set at a 40 year class reunion (tonight) and talks about events from the past.

One sentence in particular caught my eye:

“Stepping inside he’s surprised at how similar it is to the last time he was here.”

Surprised is bad because it is in the past tense, and doesn’t work with the “Stepping” and “Is”. The sentence starts in present tense, goes to past tense, then back to present again. Would change “Surprised” into something present tense, which means we may have to change the “He’s” that come before it so it flows.
SO, for example:
“Stepping inside, it surprises him how similar it is”
OR:
“Stepping inside, he’s surprised by how little has changed” allows you to keep the past tense. I would opt for example 1 though.

The final “was” in the sentence is correct because he is recollecting an event from the past, and is not part of “today’s” activity.

I hope that all that makes sense! 🙂 When you read stories, look for the ones that flow and study the use of tenses – you’ll find that the best stories are the ones that stick to a tense religiously. What is it about the good writers on this group you enjoy?
What is is about the way they write that makes you enjoy them?
What can I learn from these people, stories, and how can I apply it to my writing?
My Jan 2018 story was inspired by a type of story that Elaine Dodge is fantastic at, and my attempt to replicate it. This year long story attempt was inspired my Mia and Annalie – I’m still learning every time I get on this site too

Member
1 month ago

Oh my, I do love this. You seem to have researched the mystical well, Jane – I don’t know much about out-of-body experiences and all, but it all seems to fit so perfectly together. The whole piece crackled with foreboding. Looking forward to the next instalment.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane,
So now we are shown the full scale of the powers that Amari has. The description of the aura that is almost sentient and the meteor shower is fascinating. I did stumble a little on “sizzling” as description of light, but I decided that perhaps this light makes a little sound. The revelation of the powers is exciting and difficult to totally grasp-which I imagine is how the Amari feels as well. This is an elaborate build up to the decisions that Amari needs to make about how to move further with this new knowledge. And will she let John in on her secret? Excited to see how this will turn out!

Member
Jan
1 month ago

Hi Jane,
Wow! The descriptions of Amari’s out of body experience are amazing and very captivating! I loved your short sentences here and found them very engaging.
We are learning more and more of her powers (and I am starting to guess at her purpose / its purpose) and I look forward to the rest. You are building this story up nicely.
There was one part that confused me a bit – when I read the first part I thought that it happened at night (I imagined it like that with all the lights and her floating above herself) but then further down we learn that it happened during the morning which surprised me (but this is just me and I missed a detail somewhere)
Thank you for sharing the latest gripping instalment of your series – I am very much looking forward to the next part!

Member
Jan
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Hi Jane, thank you for the explanation and my apologies for missing this detail 🙂 Looking forward to reading the next instalment soon.
Take care and kind regards,
J

1 month ago

Hi Jane,

Congratulations on keeping your series going.

A few thoughts to ponder.

I am not a big fan of “got” nor its derivatives and suggest an alternative … “Floating higher provided a much clearer view of my car” or some such alternative. “or gave…”

Perhaps a little too much telling with “..blown-out tyres, deployed airbag..” No doubt the word count came into play. In comparison, the beetle explanation is more of what you should do. This is good.

“He didn’t look too good at all” read like the author creeping in and summarising the scene. Drop this type of line in favour of more descriptions allowing the reader to draw the overall conclusions.

Not sure you need “residing there” after “cobwebs”. It’s fine without the last 2 words.

Some inclusions don’t work for me. Such as “Of course, that baby was me”. Trust in the reader. If necessary give your reader more clues that it is you, but hold back on stating the obvious. Let them figure it out. The reader will enjoy your story all the more if they can figure out the little puzzles.

You have a good series going. Let’s see what the next few prompts allow you to do. I feel November is right up your street.

Thank you for sharing.
Keep writing.

Cheers,
Paul

1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Hi Jane,

I once edited an entry after submission and was given hell by another writer as they could not marry up previous comments etc. I suggest you hold back on these edits for an external – master copy. You are doing fine. Keep it up.

Cheers,
Paul

Member
1 month ago

Why do I get the feeling that John knows something? I enjoyed reading this part 3 and cannot wait for part 4 to hear more about her adventures. I am still surprised that she has managed to keep the secret for this long without telling others. Thanks for sharing

Member
1 month ago

Well done, Jane! I felt myself thoroughly engaged and pulled into the scene as if I was watching the events unfold through my own astral self. Your descriptions are fantastic, I could clearly see and feel the events and the emotions as they played out.

The one part that I find issue with was already called out – I get that Amari may not be up to dealing with the police, but it didn’t seem right that she would just leave the scene of the accident.

At any rate, I was riveted to my seat and couldn’t read the story fast enough. I do hope you continue the story with Area 52, I’d love to hear the chat with John.

Well done!

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane,
Have I told you that I absolutely adore your ability to describe a scene so perfectly that I can visualize it all in my mind’s eye? You, my friend, are truly GIFTED in this area. 😉
As for the story, I’m enjoying the way you’re unfolding it piece by piece and I truly hope you’ll continue this story. Thank you so much for sharing.
Love,
Anne

Member
1 month ago

This was a gripping read, Jane. I loved how you continued the story while providing more information about her powers. The imagery is vivid and felt like watching a movie.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane, sounds like this is not yet the end, but how do you top that? It will be hard for her powers to continue and yet remain a secret! There’s a writing challenge for you! One minor point of fact, after an accident the airbag immediately defeats after you slam into it. I know this, unfortunately, from personal experience. It also makes a frightening smell that makes you think the car is about to go up in flames. Just in case you want to work it in. Cheers!

Member
1 month ago

Wow, Jane, this gets better and better! What a wonderful story concept. I must agree with Deryn’s point. Your editor program leaves a bit to be desired. Seyi’s suggestions were excellent and made a world of difference. I only have two nits to pick. I believe (blown-out tyres deployed airbag,) is missing a comma after tyres. And, (A sight to beholden, for sure.) might be better if it was ‘A sight to behold..’.
Beyond that, Wow, I cannardly wait for the next installment. And you will write the next one!! 😀

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane,
Wow! That was intense! I think your imagery of pain and the car wreck was really graphic and one could almost stand there and see it all happening. I loved the line about the ‘harsh, copper coloured blood’. It would have been great if someone really possessed such powers for real. Wonder how they would have used them?
I was a little confused about one thing though. So, Amari’s soul or essence flew out of her body after the accident and saw the massacre. Then her aura healed her companions. So, the aura wasn’t the essence, they are two different entities? Just curious.
The meteor crashing into the Earth towards the end – I think that part was creative and was a masterstroke. Amazing writing! Thank you for sharing!

Member
1 month ago

This story was amazing…..the descriptions were stellar! The accident, the blood, the injuries, the flashback to her birth, the magic of her aura…all blended beautifully. I could foresee a series of stories based on her ‘gift’.

Member
1 month ago

Hey Jane and howzit? As mentioned already, you apply some great descriptions, and good to get the backstory of Amari’s gift. The line ‘there was so much blood, I could smell it in the air,’ may need a bit of explanation as to how her astral self could still process smells though. And I did wonder how she could hit on the term ‘soul essence,’ as it made her sound like a practitioner of whatever was going on. It may have been more effective for a less definitive term (‘sparked and zapped’ was naive, and effective later on) to be used since she was still very much confused by what was happening to her. It sounds like she will take John into her confidence about her dream. Hoping that ends well, I can’t wait for next part of this story. I hope my comments help, and best regards. Seyi

Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Jane

Hey again Jane and I am glad the comments helped. Perhaps (word count permitting), ‘Or the part of me that was still alive, was not’ OR ‘Or the part of me that was still me, was not’? With regard to the smell, perhaps you could try and play on a different way senses might be perceived by her astral self? I thought of ‘..there was so much blood, its harsh, copper-colored aura lingered over everything’? (or something like that?) All the best with this, it’s an interesting storyline and a great way to muse about our existence. Regards Seyi

Member
1 month ago

This was another fine episode. I think you did a great job continuing the storyline. I think this new chapter flowed better than the first one. So good job! Now let’s see if you can continue the Gift in next months prompt?!

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane
You certainly answered all the questions you left me with last month. Again, I so enjoyed this and I can’t wait for the next one! xxx

I’m hooked on your continuing saga and I love it to no end. I can’t wait to hear of their chat!

Member
1 month ago

Jane,
Excellent story. The description made the scene easy to visualize, from her out-of-body experience, to the next day with John. If I had any suggestion, it would be to continue to tighten the wording. I look forward to more of your chapters to this story. I think you have a great tale going here.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane. I think your descriptions of the crash and seeing the bodies, smelling the blood, the light show, etc are very vivid. I’m left wondering, however, if Amari would have just left the scene of such an horrendous accident without waiting for the police and ambulance to arrive – even though there were no longer any serious injuries. I’m not sure whether you have now ended this story, or if you will be adding more to it, but do feel that your ending from when she wakes up on the side of the road to John’s concerned voice was a bit rushed and unsatisfactory. The sentences are very stilted. Also not sure what is being referred to here: ‘What I wish I said, lay heavy on my mind.’ (Or was that you just trying to include the prompt?) I love the essence of this instalment, Jane, but I just think it needs a bit more work. Thank you for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Jane, I loved this. It was so descriptive. I think this series that you have written is inspired. From the ending, it looks as though it might have come to an end. Or is there more?🤨 Thank you for a great read.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Jane, well that explains Amari’s gift, then! The description of the cars after the accident as well as the mangled bodies of the occupants was very vivid and Amari will have a hard time explaining how they all came out alive, let alone unscathed!
I know you were trying to vary the sentence length here and there, but in some places it didn’t work for me like the last sentence of the first paragraph and the concertina car, the sentences could just have run on and had the same effect.
This is a gripping series, tho, I enjoyed it.

Member
1 month ago

Dear Jane Thank you for your comment on my poem Teacher’.This story is gripping to the smallest details, the cuts,the blood,the feelings,the pain.Your descriptive skills are amazing.Read to the last word in one go. Great work.