The Promise

December 21, 2016
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Jack gripped his rifle in ill concealed terror as the shrieking sound grew deafening. A moment later a thunderous boom rang across no-man’s-land, blinding heat washed over him and his eyes were dazzled by a red flash.
He wiped the sweat from his brow, then he glanced across at Paddy, who stood beside him on the firing step, waiting for the order.
Paddy’s face was deathly pale, but Jack realised his own hands were shaking as he gripped his rifle. “Promise me something, Jack.” He whispered hoarsely.
“Promise you what, Paddy?” Jack replied shortly.
“If I die, you’ll look after Mam for me.”
Jack tried to laugh, though terror still clawed at him, “You won’t die, Paddy. You and me, we’ll get through this.”
“Jack-”
“Yes, I promise!” Jack snapped, more harshly than he meant too. “If you die, I’ll do that.”

 

Eerie silence had fallen over no-man’s-land. Jack was stumbling through the mud and thick fog, stumbling over bodies and hissing as loud as he dared, “Paddy? Paddy! Where are you?”
He tripped in a shell hole and fell, then he heard a faint, raspy voice.
“Jack?”
Jack scrambled to his feet and knelt in the mud beside his best friend. “Paddy! Oh, Paddy, I’m sorry, I-”
“Jack,” whispered the weak, but urgent, voice of his friend. “Jack, you’ll write to Mam, won’t you?”
Jack stared at Paddy’s pale, mud-streaked face, his heart breaking, “Paddy-”
“You made a promise, Jack. Mam will be heartbroken when she hears. Look after her, please. You promised me you would.”
Jack nodded, tears trickling down his face, “I know. I’ll do that.” He gripped Paddy’s hand, and there, surrounded by the dead of no-man’s-land, vowed to himself that for as long as Paddy’s mam lived, she would never be alone.






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addictwithapenThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Aug. 14 at 12:55 pm
This is well-written and your grammar is solid. The only problem is that it feels more like a scene from a book than a story on its own. Though I, as a reader, do find myself caring about the characters, the events would have a much more profound impact if the reader were more familiar with them. I recommend that you make this part of a longer story, with this at the end. Otherwise, great work!
 
SpeakerofWolvesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jun. 8 at 9:03 pm
@SeekJustice I love the plot of this story, and there is some advice I will extremely recommend on. First of all, just like what @valkyrie1212 said, I noticed that there lacking of imagery AND character development, it was like you just threw the character in the face without having to describe the scene or what is going. I would recommend that you start the beginning just tranquil and then increase the suspense, and action. Then have the ending maybe a cliffhanger or twist plot that makes the r... (more »)
 
SeekJusticeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jun. 9 at 7:21 pm
Thank you so much for your critique, I appreciate it. :D
 
SpeakerofWolvesThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jun. 10 at 10:00 pm
@SeekJustice No problem! I am hurt right now and after writing that, I felt bad about what I said. But, thank you for helping my story! :)
 
valkyrie1212 said...
Jun. 8 at 8:04 pm
Great story :) on the whole, there's nothing much to improve, as in grammatical and spelling errors/storyline wise. However, you may want to add more imagery and context to help add depth to the story. A good rule of thumb when writing is to make sure the reader gets something out of the story. I didn't really feel much for Paddy and Jack because I don't know the conditions of the war (you could definitely add imagery there), or their background/their current state. So yeah, I think adding some ... (more »)
 
SeekJusticeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Jun. 9 at 7:20 pm
Thanks so much for your critique! Yes, I do agree that it needs more imagery and depth, however I originally wrote it from a competition and the word limit was 300 words. I will work on that though.
 
TheVoiceoftheSilent said...
May 31 at 9:48 am
That was really good and really sad. My only correction is in the second paragraph. Spell it realized, with a 'z' not an 's'.
 
SeekJusticeThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
May 31 at 7:00 pm
Thanks for your comment! :) The reason realise is spelt with S instead of Z is that I'm Australian and we spell things the British way, we spell things like Realise and Colour, differently to Americans. Thanks, :D
 
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