November 27, 2005

short story 1

Then, I thought I was dying

Sweat was pouring down my face and tears could not wait to break away from the constraints of my eyes; I was trembling during this one of the most precious moments of my life and I thought I was dying…
8 minutes left, I was staring at the examination paper. All the diagrams and illustrations meant nothing to me at the moment. I was usually not an exam-phobia girl. My daddy liked to brag to others about his daughter's excellent performance in exams."Iaaaa..iaaaa…", Magpies were singing so happily outside the windows, towards which, I glanced. The picture of my dad bringing me—when I was a child—to a mountain resort popped in from no where. I shook my head, "Nooooo…leave me alone. Don't you see I am in the crisis of my life?"
I felt chilled all over, but I was soaked in sweat. Tears had terribly blurred my eyesight. 6 minutes left, I could not see any questions on the paper any more. I had tasted the strongest flavor of desperation. When my eyes were put in to rest by tears, my head was spinning on its own. What in my mind now was a montage of pictures of me and my parents—my dad brought me to piano classes; my mom made the most delicious food for me; my parents and I together filled in the application form; I was so triumphant when I made one success after another. But just until now….?
Oh, my god, another 2 minutes had passed. To others, the remaining 4 minutes means another problem solved, another 10 or even more points earned, the pathway to their dreamland, then to their bright future. By this point, I was totally hopeless in my own crazy dreamland. I glanced at the invigilator, he glared me back. Sitting at the classroom of the National College Entrance Examination—the examination of physics, I began to visualize my own gloomy future—this failure would finally lead to my total failure in the NCEE; my parents would cry; I would have to go to a low-level college; I would disgrace my family, I couldn't find a descent job and so on. I was dying.
Now, 2 minutes was all I would have for this memorable event. I guess I had entered a state called hallucination. I had a very strong urge to fetch a camera and take a shot of everything going on at this particular moment, the moment that could decide my destiny—my bewildered face, the invigilator's rigid face, and the other students' dedicated faces…
Was this ridiculous? People always take pictures in places of interests, in parties. No one would deny the logic of taking a picture in a memorable event and could anyone deny the logic that NECC is one of the most precious moments of one's life? I did appreciate it that I could achieve this final state of aloofness. With those questions, that accounted for 1/4 of the total points, unanswered, I was thinking of taking a picture of one saddest peak of my glorious life. "ling…lingg…", the invigilator, like a police, asked everyone to stop. I wiped off my tears, and sat there waiting…


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  1. There are some parts where I could not read because some words(?) were converted into starange characters. So, I'm sorry if I miss understood. This is a story during very important exam and the person was cannot consentrate upon the exam by mental pressure, right? I like your effort to try to represent using indirect expressions. It might be better if you show the relationship between tears and pressure more clearly although I have no idea how. The tear was brought because she could not well manage the exam, or, the person cannot think about questions because the pressure was too strong. But I can well understand the persons feelings with time consuming.

    27 Nov 2005, 10:36

  2. I have to agree with Junko. The unknown characters (ie. ) prevented me from enjoying the story fully. That aside, i think your story is well written. I like the way you reflected on what was going through your character's mind at that particularly precious moment in her life

    27 Nov 2005, 12:53

  3. Feel sorry to both Junko and Dina for being unable to enjoy the story! I don't have the problem of strange code by luck. : )

    A very detailed and lifelike description of the torture in the exam. The feelins and fears in the text sound very genuine. Guess most are derived from your past experience, aren't they? Excellent choice of words!
    The title of your story is a bit confusing however. I didn't notice it was about precious moments until I reached the last paragraph. It might be better to keep the title 'precious moments' to make sure the theme stands out.

    Anyway, a wonderful story! I enjoy reading it pretty much! Look forward to your second story.

    27 Nov 2005, 22:56

  4. haha…
    i didn't take national entrance exam so i didn't know…i only know high schol entrance exam, i cried in math test for the last parts, most difficult questions…I have to admit that you write much better than me! choice of words; and i could see that you have carefully designed the strcuture to make it have a sense of 'pace' and 'rushing', like real story.
    Good try!

    28 Nov 2005, 11:53

  5. liu zi ling grace

    Well ,I am really imprssed.I do like the structure of your writing,using minutes to put the whole article together coherently.
    How realistic the discription of great pressure suffered by poor students ,you remind me my Junior Middle School Exam as well.

    29 Nov 2005, 17:57

  6. Hi,

    you made very clear in what stressful moment the person is. You are right, passing a test to make it a glorious moment in life is strange but I can identify with it. If everything is fine you might not think about this but when you realise what is at stake it can frighten you "to death" and you begin to question your work, your achievement even your whole life.

    The tension goes up until it seems to explode, I was fascinated while reading your story.

    Cheers

    Christian

    13 Jan 2006, 09:16

  7. Precious moments indeed – and I would agree with Janny that you should have kept the title Precious Moments, as was given, and not changed it.

    I subscribe to Christian's comment: "The tension goes up until it seems to explode" and Liu Zi Ling and Yuan Hong's that your description of the anxiety per minute increases the pace; and then those descriptions of the situation – "6 minutes left, I could not see any questions on the paper any more" and interludes of the stream of consciousness are so true that anyone reading it could relate to it. That's the kind of impact that you can make when you draw story ideas from personal experience!

    I like your use of the word "montage" and "blurred"; but there are a few errors such as "diagraphs" etc that I thought could have been avoided.

    27 Jan 2006, 13:17


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