January 09, 2006

Short Story Part III – Life is wonderful

I enjoy every day. I really live every day. There is not much I cannot get along with. Life is wonderful when you accept what is given to you. This lesson I learnt years ago. Sometimes it is hard to remember, often it shows me what I have become. Thank you for being alive.

My memories are blurry, what I know I will never forget.

I heard strange noise, unbearable loud. I woke up, there were so many people crying. What happened? I couldn't realize but I knew something did happen. To me! At that moment pain overwhelmed me. I wanted to move. No chance.

Life ran out of my eyes when I had a look around, just a bit to the left and to the right. There was metal everywhere. It was very close to my body. I was confused and then I felt darkness. I didn't know how much time passed by then I woke up for the second time. The place was different but as curious as before. There were two men who took care of me and others just sitting next to me. I raised my head and looked at the ceiling of a room. A room with convoluted windows!? I realised that I was inside a helicopter. Before I could say a word I lost consciousness again.

I felt warm light shining on my face. I opened my eyes. Everything was white, I steered at the ceiling and moved my head towards the floor. It was a hospital. I felt nothing but pain in my head then one of the doctors talked to me:
"Mr. Schwerdt, can you hear me? Please do not speak. Nod ones for yes and twice for no. Do you understand?"

I nodded, one time, very briefly.

"I will explain the situation to you very shortly", he said. "You had an accident on the motorway. Anyone of your family is healthy and is sitting next to you." He paused and stepped aside so that I could have a glance on my parents and my brother. "You are severely injured, Mr. Schwerdt. We did the best we could but we couldn't repair the damage to your backbone. As a consequence you are not able to move body on your own but the head. You are paraplepic."

The vision got blurry. Tears were running down my face. 'It was a dream', I thought. Then I tried to raise my arm. Nothing. Then I tried one of my legs. Again no response. My whole life passed by in that moment and I was really helpless.

"Mr. Schwerdt", the doctor interrupted my thoughts. "...". I didn't listen, I just nodded when he stopped and looked at my parents. They saw how I suffered and cried all the time. Darkness.

The next days and weeks the hopes of the doctors were completely destroyed to help me getting back into normal life. The sadness in my heart often let him think of giving up. No future. No life. These words were in my head for a long time. But then there was the time to leave the hospital.

'What next? What can I do now?', I asked myself. 'And I baled my fists and smiled.


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  1. ziling liu (grace)

    i really like the sentence you wrote " Life is wonderful when you accept what is given to you".
    Besides i do agree with you about the posotive attitudes towards life.

    22 Jan 2006, 18:28

  2. This is a much better written story than the previous ones. You start it well, creating the suspense through a slow build up. (But I wondered whom the "Thank you for being alive." line was addressed to.) Clearly, the sentences are better and they are more controlled. You have also made tremendous effort to show rather than tell: “There was metal everywhere. It was very close to my body. I was confused and then I felt darkness.” Furthermore, you have made good transition between the 4th and 5th paragraphs. It’s good practice to make use of dialogues to help unfold the story, just as you have done through the doctor’s speech.

    However, to me there was a catch: The story is called Life Is Wonderful; with all that you wrote, it just wasn’t! You see, just using the word “…smiled.” in the last line doesn’t help make it in tune with the title. And then I couldn’t make sense of the character smiling all of a sudden in the end after all that agony and hopelessness.
    (There are grammatical errors such as “blurry” instead of “blurred”, and “unbearable loud” instead of “unbearably loud” etc, but the discussion of these is not within the scope of our course.)

    Over all, it is obviously a concerted effort at writing on your part, and it has certainly paid off – you’ve written well.

    26 Jan 2006, 21:29

  3. i am a bit confused by your story. It seems to me that what happened to the boy in the story is that he paralised years ago but now he thanks for being alive and appreciates the beauty of life.
    But I think it is a bit abrupt and lacks develpment and transition in the boy's mind.
    I like your dialogue it develops very natual.
    70 for story 1
    75 for story 2
    85 for story 3

    30 Jan 2006, 13:34

  4. I have read your stories and I think this is best story to come out from you. I will appreciate if you come out with another story this term. As for grading, I would grade the three stories as fellows:
    69 for story1
    75 for story 2
    80 for story 3

    07 Feb 2006, 21:28

  5. I'd say ur effort on showing rather than telling for this piece is very commendable. well done! I am confused about the mood of the story though. why did he smile in the end?

    Story 1: 65
    Story 2: 75
    Story 3: 79

    02 Apr 2006, 03:51

  6. Christian Lorenz

    Dear Hasan,

    well, I called this story "Life is wonderful" because what happened there was a bout me. I had this car accident and I am really happy to be alive. I saw the car that, so not these days but a couple of years ago I was shaken by it. I see, I made some progress and I appreciate you wrote me that. Really encouraging.

    Since I will leave University of Warwick and England in some weeks I want to say thank you for my first short stories in my live; I hope we see each other again.

    Best wishes

    Christian Lorenz

    21 May 2006, 16:59

  7. Christian Lorenz

    Hi guys,

    thanks for doing the ranking of my stories. I have to apologize that I won't be able to do the same for you. I wrote all of you pretty detailed comments about it and I hope you can think of a number between 0–100 by yourself.

    As Hasan pointed out earlier this is my "master piece" ;–), so this is all I would like to do for now.

    Cheers Christian

    21 May 2006, 17:35


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