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Author Topic: story - Broken Arm  (Read 1727 times)

Offline silver-moon-2000

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story - Broken Arm
« on: 19. May 2022, 17:05:05 PM »
I am also publishing this story in the German part.

Well, I would like to say that I have read so many wonderful stories in the last couple of months that my fingers started itching and - as a consequence - I sat down to write this story. Sadly, that would be a lie.

Not about the stories I have read here. You - all of you - have outdone yourself and I enjoyed reading every single story. Thanks for your continued effort.

No, I would be lying about having written this story in the last couple of weeks. When in reality I started writing the first paragraph in March '21. I worked on it off and on for months. Tweaking it a bit here, adding a paragraph there, but never finding the courage to finally post it.

That procrastinating is finally over, so... here goes nothing


Chapter 01/06

The gravel crunches under the tires as the car turns into the driveway. The old station wagon slowly threads its way up the narrow path to the house. The driveway is bordered by waist high walls; flowers overgrow the walls to the left and right and sway in the gentle draft. When the engine is shut off, it doesn't get any quieter though, as the neighbour uses the opportunity to mow his lawn.

After all, the last few days have brought beautiful weather to this part of the country; summer has finally arrived on the coast too! So far, the weather had been typically "English" - no wonder, the inventors of the continuous drizzle after all live barely more than a stone's throw away on the other side of the channel. But now the air is warm, the sky is cloud-free and the sun is almost piercing. The birds are singing, even if they cannot be heard over the rattling of the lawnmower at the moment.

The driver's door opens, a woman in her late thirties gets out and stretches. A few seconds later, she leans back into the car: "Wait, I'll help you ..."

"Don't bother, I'll manage." Despite her confident reply, Lea finds it difficult to open the passenger door. And so, in the end, a spirited kick has to ensure that the car door swings open. And that it crashes into the garbage can with a thunderous clang.

"Careful, you mustn't rip the door out ... it's enough if you open it normally."

"Didn't work... I just couldn't do it with my left hand ..."

"That's why I said that I would help you ...", Ms. Martin shakes her head, a tolerant smile on her face. "Are you okay, dear? Do you manage?" She holds out her hand to her daughter, but Lea waves it away.

A moment later she is standing next to the mother. "You see, everything's all right..." she nods; satisfied not to have needed to take the helping hand.

The lawnmower suddenly goes silent. "Oh, now he has noticed that we are back," she sneers quietly. Lea doesn’t need to look over the hedge to the neighbouring property to know that the face with the huge moustache is looking curiously over to them.

"Can you blame them?" the mother smiles. "Three days ago, they saw you being carried away in the ambulance. It's quite logical that they are curious and ... No, Lea, that's heavy, let ME carry it ..."

But the addressed rolls her eyes. "I'm not a toddler, mom". She doesn't want to listen but insists on carrying the travel bag herself. But that only happens slowly and rather strugglingly. And there is an obvious reason for that:

"Are you okay, can you do it?" the mother asks again a few seconds later.

Lea carries the - indeed - heavy bag with her good hand; the mother sighs resignedly ... Lea is stubborn, and when she has gotten something into her mind, it is difficult to stop her.

"Mom! I'm not one of your porcelain figurines, you don't have to wrap me in cotton wool ..."

"Well, for not being made of porcelain, your arm had made an astonishingly loud 'CRACK' ..."

"Haha, mom, ha ... ha ..."

"Also: If you had been wrapped in cotton wool when you fell out of the apple tree, you just might not have broken your arm, or what do you think?"

"OH ... ... MY ... ... GOD ... !!! ..." Lea rolls her eyes until only the white can be seen. "Mom, your jokes are REALLY bad ..."

Ms. Martin hurries ahead to unlock the front door.



The moment the door closes behind them, they hear the lawnmower start up again. "Now he has something to tell his wife ..." Lea laughs: "Shall we make a bet when Ms. Dubois will find an excuse to come over?"

"It probably won't take her long; she had already been waiting at the door when I came back from the hospital three days ago ...", the mother shakes her head with a laugh, "But I mustn't be mean, they are nice people ... "

"Yes, of course, they are nice," confirms Lea, "but also terribly nosy ..."

"Yes, that they are" her mother has to admit. "No honey, you wanted to carry the bag yourself, then you can haul it to your room as well ..." Ms. Martin is not at all thrilled that Lea drops the big bag right next to the front door, where there's not much space to begin with.

"I can't, mom", Lea shakes her head. Her face contorts, she grabs her right arm. A mixture of sighs and slight moans can be heard. "How can you expect me to do that?"

"Sweetheart?" Ms. Martin sounds concerned. "Is everything OK? Have you hurt yourself?"

The moans get louder and more agonized. The mother's expression changes. Surprise turns into worry. Worry turns into fear. And fear turns into ... an annoyed and at the same time relieved grin: "Yes, I understand: you are seriously injured and you cannot - under any circumstances - carry the bag one single step further ... "

The moans, which had by now developed into a wild howl, stop abruptly. "I'm so glad you understand, mom!" Lea grins broadly and reveals a sparkling silver smile.

"I already regret ever worrying about you ..." the mother shakes her head. "I should have left you on the ground beneath the apple tree back then ..."

"Wow, mean!" the daughter pretends to be annoyed.

"But of course I understand you completely!" continues the mother, unimpressed "I was planning on making you a large iced coffee with lots of ice-cream, but if you are feeling so bad, you'd better lie down ... don't you think so too?"

Lea's eyes open when she realizes, what "nasty" tricks her mother will use. "That's child abuse", the girl laughs, but then grabs the handles of the bag again and drags it through the narrow corridor to her room.

"Ahh, nice to be home again at last", can be heard after a few seconds from her room.

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #1 on: 20. May 2022, 16:34:55 PM »
Chapter 02/06

No braces in this chapter. Feel free to skip ;-)

Both ladies are busy during the next few minutes: Ms. Martin is scurrying around in the kitchen and Lea is clearing out the bag that contains everything she had needed in the hospital over the past few days.

As if following a secret sign, Lea drops her pajamas on the floor after a few minutes - they have to be washed anyway - grins and makes her way to the kitchen. Just with the difference, that the sign was not that secret, mysterious and inaudible to begin with: The door of the sideboard, behind which the tall glasses are stored, makes such a peculiar creaking noise that it can be heard all over the house.

And when this little door is opened, it can only mean one thing: "Can I have two scoops of ice cream in my iced coffee?" Leah calls ahead.

"If you like..."

"And a waffle with it - or two! - and whipped cream on top and cocoa and sprinkles and chocolate sauce and ..." She falls silent when she arrives in the kitchen. Her eyes widen and the corners of her mouth twist into a big grin when she sees what is laid out on the small buffet:

There is a large tray with steaming hot coffee in a large mug for the mother. Sugar shaker and a small milk carafe next to it. Two plates, on each a large piece of bewitchingly fragrant apple pie with a mountain of whipped cream. For each one a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small bowl with homemade rhubarb compote.

"Do you still want two scoops in your iced coffee, despite that?" asks the mother, pointing to the tray with a spoon.

"Really, how can you ask that, mom?" Lea grins with big eyes. Her mouth is watering and she is sure that everyone in a wide area should hear her stomach rumble. "Sometimes I think you can do magic ..."

"It helped that I knew what time you were to be discharged ..." Ms. Martin, obviously delighted with the praise, is now generously sprinkling chocolate flakes over the whipped cream of the iced coffee, which - "child-friendly" - contains significantly more cocoa than coffee: "Could you maybe fetch the cake forks? And if you want, a long spoon for yourself ..."

"Will do!" The drawer with the cutlery also makes a creaking noise. But that's no wonder, because the sideboard, like the rest of the kitchen, is almost a hundred years old. And the kitchen furniture is nowhere near as old as the house itself.



Old and of course not comparable to a "modern house": Right angles are nowhere to be found; the windows are small and hard to open. There are no window-blinds, and the shutters are more for decoration. Most of the walls are "just" plastered mud bricks and the solid wood floor is so curled and twisted in places, especially in the corridor, that they have to be constantly careful not to stub their toes.

And yet the house by no means gives the appearance of a ruin. On the contrary. Even the Dubois family, who a few years ago built a low-energy house with all the bells and whistles next door, has to admit that the old house is "charming".

The outer walls were newly whitewashed a few years ago; the beams of the half-timber framework are dark brown and in good shape; the window frames and shutters, even if they don't close properly, have been repainted and are beautiful to look at. The black slate shingles on the roof contrast nicely with the white of the walls and blue of the windows.

Of course, cosmetic repairs would be needed, just as it wouldn't hurt if a carpenter would take a look at the furniture. Pretty much every wooden connection in the house creaks; a couple of shingles on the roof are cracked and "maybe" one or the other of the shutters has a few varnish tears ... after all, Ms. Martin is not a professional painter. But none of it is really important; they are - as said - nothing but cosmetic repairs. And the simple yet beautifully decorated chests of drawers and cupboards will last another hundred years even without professional help, if the residents so desire.



The soft "clink" when the mother puts the iced coffee on the tray brings Lea back to the here and now. "Where were you in your thoughts?"

"I just thought how strange it is here," sighs Lea. "You know, mom, but ... I like it here ..."

The mother raises her eyebrows: "What's THAT supposed to mean?"

Lea looks a little guiltily: "I didn't mean to say that I want to leave here. Not at all, I like it here. But you also have to admit that this is not a 'normal' house and that a lot of my classmates couldn't even imagine living 'like this' ... "

She doesn't want to admit it, but Ms. Martin is a little hurt by that remark. After all, this is her "dream home" and hearing her daughter talk like that is like a stab in the heart. A very small stab, mind you, because she knows well enough that Lea is basically right. It IS a "strange" house after all.



Ms. Martin, however, can't think of anything better than to live here. After separating from her husband - when Lea was but one year old - she wanted to leave Paris. Leave the overcrowded area behind and go into the countryside. Here, practically directly at the English Channel, just a few minutes from Calais, stands this house that she immediately had fallen in love with. Of course, the house had to be fixed up, but it was worth that effort ... and Lea knows nothing else than to call this house her home.

Many years ago, it was a cottage of a larger farm; the house where the old parents lived after the younger generation took over. There isn't much left that has survived of said farm: just this house and the garden behind it. Over the decades, civilization had gradually closed in on the once lonely farm and now this old house is just one of many in one of many streets.

For some reason it wasn't razed to the ground to make way for new buildings back then. Maybe - maybe (!) - because it is one of the few houses in the area that can't be denied having its own character? Not one of the dozens of almost identical prefabricated houses of the last few years, but a house on which one can read its history. A house that - strange as it sounds - seems proud of its history. A house that its owner is particularly proud of.



She carries the tray outside onto the small terrace. Of course - how could it be otherwise - the stones have also warped over time, so that it is always a bit of a gamble to be able to arrange the small table and chairs wobble-free. Ms. Martin nods resolutely: The levelling of the terrace will definitely be her next project!

"I had realized this in the hospital ..." continues Lea, without suspecting anything of the mother's thoughts: "Of course it's nice not always having to worry not to clog the toilet and such. But ... "she sighs theatrically," this is my home. And somehow, I missed it ... ", with a silly grin, she pats one of the old wooden beams.

"What did they do to you in the hospital?", The mother shakes her head with a smile.

"It's just nice to be able to sleep in my own bed again. Especially when I'm greeted like that", Lea points to the tray and reaches for her iced coffee.



Of course, not everything in the house is a hundred years old or even older. The previous owners - or was it the owners before them ... or the owners before them? - had provided for electric light. There have been no wash bowls in the bedrooms for a long time; the little wooden outhouse has not been the toilet for decades and an electric water heater has recently been installed to provide warm water in the bathroom. A modern flat screen TV hangs on the wall in the living room and the computer is standing in the corner of that room. And of course, both residents have their own mini-computers in the form of smartphones.

But that is practically the end of modern comfort. Due to the earth-floor, the humidity in the cellar is so high that the vegetables stored there sprout faster than one can say "Sacré Bleu"; in winter, thanks to the wood stove, the living room - apart from the kitchen - is the only warm place in the house and what cannot be prepared in the microwave is still cooked on a wood-fuelled oven.

And yet Ms. Martin cannot imagine anything other than living in this very house. Of course, the garden also had a big influence on this decision. The house had stood empty for a long time and the garden was accordingly overgrown. And yet it had "spoken" to the woman who had walked wide eyed across the property with the agent. Now, after a lot of work - both indoors and outdoors - and a dozen years, the house and garden have been refurbished and tidied up and are beautiful again.

A house with a history and a garden where the grass seems greener, and the trees are taller than those of the neighbours. A sea of flowers in front of the house, now swaying in a gentle breeze. The long, narrow walled gravel driveway that looks as if it wants to invite visitors to another time.

Behind the house is a large garden, significantly larger than several of the neighbouring gardens put together. With large bushes and gnarled trees, some of which are as old as the house. Or maybe even older ... the majestic oak in the middle of the garden certainly already stood here before the farm. Elderberries, cherries, plums, mirabelles, pears and apples grow here, just like blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, currants and a lot more. Only the quince tree was planted by Ms. Martin when she moved in.

At first, she had also considered digging a pond, but she was afraid that her daughter, who was still very young at the time, could do "nonsense" and put herself in danger. As it turned out three days ago, her daughter is not past this stage even more than a decade later ...



It's true: the house certainly has its own peculiarities; it almost seems fallen out of time. But in return the inhabitants are rewarded with - among other things - a beautiful vista of their own garden, which is glowing brightly in all colours. And not far away, the "Pas-de-Calais", the English Channel, glitters bluish in the light of the sun. On a good day - like today - the white cliffs of Dover can be seen in the distance.

And the neighbour, who apparently felt that he could not gain any new information by sticking around, has thankfully moved the lawn mowing to the other side of his house, so that the noise pollution is also kept within limits.

Or in a few words: It is peaceful and beautiful here.



The fact that the ravages of time - despite all of Ms. Martins work - not only gnaw on the house, but also leave their traces on the garden, can be seen from the broken branch that still lies under one of the apple trees and that is responsible for the fact that the younger resident of the house now wears a colourful cast on her right arm.

"I don't think I have asked you this before, but did you actually choose the colour yourself?"

Lea looks down at the plaster cast on her right forearm and smiles: "Surprised?"

"A little bit. I would have thought that you would have chosen a ... well ... 'less flamboyant' colour ..." The mother quickly adds: "Not that this is a bad colour ..."

"I would have, if I could have ..." Lea sighs a little. "You know, mom, the people - that is, the doctors and nurses - were really nice and all ... But sometimes I had the feeling that I was already too old for the children's wing ..." She nods and raises her arm with the cast, "and THAT is the best example!"

She fishes the rest of the vanilla ice cream out of the bowl with her spoon and eats it with delight. The rhubarb compote did not survive long either. Her lips show a fine "milk moustache" from the whipped cream of the iced coffee.

"I was only allowed to choose between this colour - I think one of the nurses called it 'bubblegum-pink' - squeaky-yellow, neon-blue and puke-green. The yellow and blue hurt my eyes and that green was particularly nasty to look at ... so I had no choice ... Because 'white' is apparently MUCH too boring for children and only for adults or something like that ... "

"Do I hear a slight bitterness there?"

"Nope, not at all", Lea grins.

Offline Sparky

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #2 on: 20. May 2022, 18:59:06 PM »
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this lovely old house.... I'm guessing that it will feature more in the story. But excellent descriptions..... I don't suppose it's on AirBnB is it?

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #3 on: 20. May 2022, 19:29:58 PM »
I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this lovely old house.... I'm guessing that it will feature more in the story.

I'm sorry having to disappoint you there. In those six chapters that I'm going to publish, that was basically the only appearance of the good old house.
This story, I must confess, is somewhat of a fail. I had plans to develop this into a significantly larger story than it turned out to be.
But then another story took precedence. And then another one. By the time I returned to this story, I had lost all interest in it.

I tried to slave through but I hated the chapters that I had written and so I deleted them.
What I'm trying to say is, that those six chapters never had been meant as the entirety of the story, but rather as the beginning of a larger story that was cut short and so there are things in it (like this house) that have no further significance.
That said, if I ever decide to continue, the house would have played a larger role in it. That's why I had dedicated an entire chapter introducing it... and I was loath deleting it

Still, I hope that you may enjoy the story regardless. Thanks for reading

Offline Sparky

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #4 on: 20. May 2022, 19:50:18 PM »
I know what you mean: you spend time writing something, and you just can't bring yourself to delete it, it's almost like cutting off your arm! Nice writing though, and maybe you'll get inspiration in the future to use the house more....

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #5 on: 21. May 2022, 01:59:28 AM »
I have a file with stories that I go back to and work on from time to time. Sometimes it just takes being in the right mood to work on a particular story.

If I am not 'feeling' a story, I move on to a different one.
 

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #6 on: 21. May 2022, 17:44:18 PM »
Chapter 03/06

Then she shoves a large piece of cake into her mouth. Lea grins delighted: "Weawwy ... wou mow, mom, wou weawwy mabe be beft cabf'."

"It can't be that good if you can't swallow it, but have to talk with your mouth full," replies the mother dryly. Lea blushes, swallows quickly and washes it down with the last of the iced coffee.

Spot, the neighbors' cat believes this to be a good opportunity to pay a visit to the Martins. He rubs against Lea's legs, who pats him behind the ears for it. "You see, Spot missed you too ..."

"Still: It's true, you really make the best cakes.", nods the girl.

"Well, I don't know ... but it's probably not hard to be better than the hospital food, is it?"

"Oh, you have no idea ...", the girl pretends to become upset and describes - probably with a good measure of exaggeration - all the "strange" things she had to eat.

"Besides, you won't believe it ... the people there have apparently never seen anyone with braces ... If I had been in the adult wing, I would have understood ... but ... but I wasn't even the oldest. I CANNOT have been the first with braces ... but still ... they made a complete mess out of it ... " Lea shakes her head, "After every meal they told me to brush my teeth ... "

"It's not bad of them to remind you ..."

"Yes... well, OK...  but not after every meal - and I mean EVERY meal ... and then again when it was time to go to bed!" Lea sighs annoyed at the memory of it. She mimics a nurse: "Remember, Lea, to brush your teeth!" She rolls her eyes again "Thank you very much, but I can think of that myself ... I'm not five anymore, when I should have been told everything ..."

Her face turns into a big grin "But ... Mom, that wasn't even the best ... because ... you won't believe it ... they have ..." Lea laughs, "... they seriously had asked me if they - because I have braces - if they should mash everything for me..." Lea reaches for her forehead "My goodness ... completely bonkers..."

"The way I know you, you said something?!" Mrs. Martin smiles.

"Yes I did: 'I broke my arm and not my jaw,' I said," nods the girl and grins.

"Yes, you really didn't fall on your mouth", her mother shakes her head and thinks about what the poor nurses have to endure from those "tormentors" all day long.

Comment: that's more or less an untranslatable play-on-words: "not to have fallen on the mouth" is the German version of "not to be at a loss for words"



Then the cake is vehemently attacked again: "HA! That serves you right! After everything you have done to me, you deserve to be made into a cake by mom and to be eaten by me!"

"Sometimes I really don't know if I have to worry about you," smiles the mother, shaking her head again. "What ideas you sometimes have ..."

The sun shines warmly on their faces. Lea leans back and closes her eyes. "Is that nice ..." she sighs ecstatically. When she tries to stretch out in the chair, she however has to realize that not everything is pure bliss after all. Her face contorts. "Mmmm ... OUCH! Damnit ... that was stupid!" She scolds herself.

"What happened, honey?"

"Oh nothing, I just have to be careful how I move my arm for the next couple weeks ..." She massages her right arm in a vain attempt to stop the painful stinging. But of course she can't get through the stiff cast ... A few seconds later however the pain thankfully subsides.

"I just shouldn't twist my arm that much while everything is still so sensitive ..."

"Is there anything I can do to help you?"

Lea nods ... and lifts the empty glass: "Another iced coffee would definitely help me ..."

To the laughter of both, the mother walks back into the kitchen.

Meanwhile, Spot is chasing a butterfly in an unsuccessful attempt to catch it. While at it, he also jumps over the branch that fell to the ground with the girl on it three days ago.

Both the branch and Lea's arm had made an audible "crack". The branch before and the arm after Lea "flew" through the air.

The dead piece of wood is still lying on the lawn while the girl - with her arm in a cast - is sunbathing on the terrace.



"By the way, what made you climb the apple tree?" The mother puts another iced coffee in front of her daughter; the glass is so cold that water droplets condense on it.

"Well, you had said you wanted to bake an apple pie," Lea points with her fork at the remnants of the cake on her plate, "and that takes apples... doesn't it?"

"And then you thought to yourself: 'I'll just climb into the only apple tree in the whole wide backyard that has rotten branches', yes?"

In response, Lea sticks out her tongue at her mother. "Picking the apples straight from the tree is always more fun than using the apple picker ... "

"But then you wouldn't have a broken bone and you wouldn't have to deal with a cast for the next few weeks ..."

"You're right," says her daughter placidly.



"Speaking of 'dealing with it': I'm so happy that I broke my right arm. I mean: I'm NOT happy THAT I broke my arm, but that it was the RIGHT one ... Would it have been the left one, it would've been much worse ... "

She shudders at an embarrassing thought: "You know ... when I had to go to the bathroom for the first time in the hospital, one of the nurses really asked me whether ... whether she should wipe my bum ..."

"You were on the children's wing after all", contends the mother.

"Well yes, but I'm not three years old!" Again she shudders. "I can be happy to be left-handed ... Otherwise it would've been much more embarrassing ..."

"But only for you, the nurses are used to this!" replies her mother. "But you can be happy that you did not live at the time this house was built. Then you would not have remained left-handed ..."

"What do you mean?"

"In the past, right-handed people were the norm and left-handedness was at least considered unrefined: And some even made it into an superstition. You still have something similar nowadays in India, where the left hand is considered 'unclean'. That's why all children were reeducated so that they had to do everything exclusively with their right hand ... "

"Wow, that would have pissed me off ...", Lea looks at her cast and imagine how she would cope if she had broken her dominant hand. "And did the children simply put up with that?"

"That was less a question of 'putting up with it' and more a matter of 'strict upbringing'. And if necessary ... well, the parents and the teachers were much less squeamish back then than they are today and would lash out 'if need be'..."

"And how do you know all this?"

"From my grandmother. She was also left-handed as a child, but then had to learn to use her right hand ... My mother - your grandmother - was the first who was 'allowed' to remain left-handed."

"And you, mom? You do everything with your right hand ... but were you also left-handed?"

"Me?" Ms. Martin raises her right hand and looks at it with interest for a moment. "No, I am a native right-hander ... and thus almost the black sheep in our family, where most of the people are - or were - left-handed ... You got that from your grandma."



Lea talks about the other patients in the children's wing and that she definitely didn't want to swap places with some of them. That she could be happy that she "only" broke her arm. But since almost no one from her age group was there and most of the children were younger than her, she had stayed "to herself" for a large part of the time.

The conversation slowly drifts from one topic to another. It is clear that both enjoy the time in the sun.

"Would you like another iced coffee? Or a piece of cake? There's also still some compote left ..."

"No, thanks, not a single morsel. Otherwise, you'd have to take me back to the hospital because of a burst stomach ..."

Another wrong move when Lea tries to sit up. "Damn it," she mumbles.

"Do you want a pillow to put your arm on?"

"Might not be a bad idea". And after the mother comes back a short time later with two sofa cushions: "Thanks mom ..."

"Do you perhaps care to tell me what you have to watch out for with that cast in the next days?"

Grinning, the daughter shakes her head: "Nope."

Amazed, Ms. Martin lifts her eyes: "Why not?"

"Because I can't ... Really, mom ... you remember me saying that I was too old for the children's wing?"

The mother nods with an expression that clearly states that she disagrees, but for reasons of "keeping peace" she does not want to contest that openly. Fortunately, her daughter doesn't catch that. Well, on the other hand, if it's true, what Lea had told her, then the children's wing really must have been geared to cater to SIGNIFIKANTLY younger children. Then it's no wonder that Lea felt out of place.

"But seemingly I'm still not old enough for the doctors to tell me what to look out for ..." Lea sounds a little bit irritated: "Apparently, I can't be trusted with more than: 'If moving your hand a certain way hurts, then just don't do it again and come back in a week for a check-up...' that was all they told me ... "

An indulgent smile plays around the mother's lips: "To be honest, I can't quite believe that ..."

Lea tilts her head a bit. "Yes ... well, you are right: They have told me a few things: I should take care that the cast stays dry. When I take a shower, I should tape a garbage bag over it or something. And if it hurts a lot more, we should go back to the hospital immediately ... but that really was all they told me. And you've been there too ... "

Now it's for Ms. Martin to nod: When she picked Lea up, one of the doctors spoke to her. And he really didn't have a lot to say. "But we got a bunch of information and leaflets and so on! Everything we have to know, will probably be in there. We'll just have to read through them presently!"



Lea nods thoughtfully. "I was somehow lucky... could've been worse."

"Why do you think so?"

"Well, because there are still holidays ... I really wouldn't want to suffer through school with the cast on... Especially getting the backpack on my shoulders or being bumped into on the bus ... that would surely hurt!"

"If I understand the doctors correctly, you will get rid of the cast before school starts ..."

Lea nods. "Yes, but they also said that my arm can still be sensitive, even after the cast is gone." She shrugs her shoulders carefully.

"We'll have to wait and see. Let's just hope that it will work out when school starts," the mother says and her daughter nods in agreement.

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #7 on: 22. May 2022, 16:52:14 PM »
Chapter 04/06

"What do you think of that ..." suggests the mother: "I'll carry the dishes back in and do a little cleaning and meanwhile you will brush your teeth." She grins cheekily at her daughter, "Then we can sit outside a bit longer and soak up the sun ..."

"Sounds like a plan," Lea sits up lazily.

"And honey ..." the mother tries to sound as casual as possible while she piles the dishes on the tray: "While you're at it, you could also put your headgear back on ... don't you think so?"

Lea, who was about to get up, plops back on her chair; her expression has suddenly darkened. "No, I DON'T think so!". She glares at her mother indignantly. "Oh man, mom, it was just so nice here and now you come with that ... Can't you give me a single break ONCE?"

"Oh Lea ...", the mother sighs softly, "You just now had a THREE DAY break. And it's not that bad ..."

"Yes, it IS", Lea replies curtly. "Bam, the whole nice atmosphere is gone ... Oh, mom, sometimes you really are annoying ..."

A certain mixture of irritation and sharpness can be heard in the mother's voice: "I wouldn't always have to be so 'annoying' if YOU wouldn't always act up when it comes to your headgear..."

Lea wants to start up, has already opened her mouth for an irate answer ... but then she thinks better of it and lets herself sink back into the chair. A second passes, then another, until her mouth curls up into an awkward grin: "Touché ... you're right, I guess ..."

While the mother picks up the tray and makes her way into the kitchen, she tries another way: "But ... Mom, I CANNOT put my headgear on, look ... look here:" She points with a grand gesture - which the mother can no longer see - to her cast, which shines intensely in the afternoon sun: "I broke my arm ... I CANNOT put my headgear on..."

From the kitchen can be heard: "You said it yourself: You fell on your ARM, not on your HEAD ..."

Comment: another more or less an untranslatable play-on-words: "not to have fallen on the head" approximately means "you're not stupid"

On her chair, Lea sighs: "Wow, you really have an answer to everything ..."

"I'm your mother; it would be bad if I didn't..."

The girl sighs resignedly: "Well, if it absolutely has to be ..." With that she really gets up and trots to the bathroom. On the way there, she sticks her tongue out at her mother good-naturedly. Most of the bad mood has already evaporated.

Half gone in the corridor, she then calls back over her shoulder: "I won't let those stupid braces ruin this beautiful mood ..."

"That's the right attitude ...", Lea hears before the bathroom door closes behind her. By the way, the bathroom door is pretty much the only door that can be opened noiselessly. The two residents were tired of being woken up at night by the creaking door when the other had to go to the bathroom.



A few minutes later she steps out of the kitchen onto the terrace and plops back into her chair.

The mother has meanwhile cleaned the table of the residue from having coffee and instead put a jug with ice-cold, homemade lemonade and two glasses on the table. OK, OK ... the oranges have been bought - those don't grow in a garden in northern France after all - the lemonade made from them is nevertheless homemade!

Mr. Dubois has now finally finished mowing the lawn; the "silence" that sets in is almost unfamiliar. Just that it is still not really "quiet", because after having gotten rid of their loud, rumbling competitor, the birds are now doing their best to show that summer is reigning. But at least this "infernal roar" of the birds is much more pleasant than the raging rattle of the gasoline-powered sheep.

Ms. Martin drops the hospital documents she had just read and looks thoughtfully at her daughter. She doesn’t say anything, but Lea knows exactly what is going on in her mother’s head: Because the daughter doesn’t wear her headgear after all.

Or more precisely, Lea IS wearing it. Well no... she's not actually wearing it around the face, however, but she is wearing - well... carrying - it in her hands. "I can't do it ..." is her short reply.

"What do you mean sweetheart?"

"I mean, I can't get the stupid headgear on ..." Lea sounds annoyed. "And by that I don't mean 'I don't WANT to', but rather: 'I CAN'T', OK?"

The metal bow jingles onto the table, the straps follow with a less obtrusive noise.

Ms. Martin lays the pamphlet aside and looks at her daughter with a mixture of disbelief, astonishment and concern. "And why is it? Can you tell me, Lea? Does the brace no longer fit? Have you not worn it for too long and ..."

Her daughter shakes her head vigorously, interrupting the mother. "No, that's not it ... But really, Mom, it's really 'nice' of you to blame ME again ... 'You haven't worn it for too long' and so on."

Now it's up to Ms. Martin to shake her head: "I didn't mean it like that, darling. But it's true that you didn't wear your headgear in the hospital ... Did that little time do so much that it already no longer fits?"

Lea shakes her head again: "No, that has nothing to do with 'doesn't fit'." She reaches for the facebow and squeezes the inner bow lightly to show how flexible it is. "Nothing will happen THAT FAST. That would be terrible if I couldn't get it in after three days ..."

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #8 on: 23. May 2022, 18:04:37 PM »
Chapter 05/06

After Lea fell out of the tree and screamed for her mother in a pained voice, the two had more urgent problems than worrying about the fact that the daughter would theoretically have to wear her headgear for a few more hours that day in order to fulfill her schedule.

But at least she didn't climb into the tree with the metal bow in front of her face! THAT could have gone south really bad!

And when the ambulance finally sped off in the direction of the hospital with flashing lights, there was still no room in the mother's mind for that contraption. Rather, it was now a matter of collecting the things that her daughter might probably need if she actually has to stay in the hospital overnight.

All of this was packed into the travel bag more or less unceremoniously. For a brief moment Ms. Martin had actually considered whether she should also pack the flat blue bag - the contents of which are now on the small table between the two of them. But then she decided against it and preferred to pack a second pajama instead.

And really: Lea had broken her arm and a surgery was scheduled that same day. In the evening, at the end of the visiting hours, the anesthesia had worn off just enough for the mother to "repack" her daughter from the surgical gown into her pajamas. Even if she had brought the headgear with her, this would not have been the time. There is no way of knowing what Lea in her stupor would have done with it...

The next day the girl was almost completely herself again. Perhaps even more excited than normal, certainly due to the painkillers and other medications ... She had asked her mother to fetch a few little things that had been forgotten at home in the excitement. At the top of the list, of course, is the charger for Lea's smartphone ... After all, the battery has dropped to 25%. She would never hold out with that until she was finally allowed to leave the hospital ...

Lea had - oh wonder! - of course NOT asked for her headgear.

Ms. Martin had cautiously hinted at whether she should bring that thing with her. However, since the answer was "as expected", she left the topic alone. Especially since it probably wouldn't hurt to give her daughter a few "braces-free" days, would it? At least as long as Lea had to deal with "more important" things: For example, to learn what to look out for with her cast in the next few weeks ...

And that's why the mother had just been a little worried that - because of her "mistake" of not taking the metal bow to the hospital - the brace might no longer fit.

"That's how I meant it," she explains to Lea.



The girl nods. "It's nice of you and all. But no, that has nothing to do with 'doesn't fit'. I just can't do it with one arm." She picks up the metal bow and holds it - with her left hand - in front of her mouth. "I can put the facebow in without any problems, even with just one arm ..." She lets the bow drop again, puts it on the edge of the table, and picks up the neck pad:

"This stupid thing however thinks that it has to be awkward ... I can hook it to the facebow on one side; but if I want to hook the cushion onto the OTHER side, the stupid facebow slides right out of the braces." She taps the cast lightly with her left hand. "Because of the stupid cast, I just can't cope, at least not without my arm smarting ..."

"That doesn't have to be", the mother nods. "Can I help you somehow?"

"I thought", Lea replies hopefully, "that maybe we could wait until I got rid of the cast ... Then I could use both hands again ... that would really help me ..."

"You can forget about that," smiles the mother. "That's several weeks. We won't wait THAT long. You know that Dr. Lenard insists on you wearing your headgear!" It is quite clear what Lea thinks of her orthodontist's admonition. "What would you think if I help you instead?"

"Nothing," is her daughter's short answer, who then sticks out her tongue at her mother. "That's really a stupid question ... you can see that for yourself, yes ...?" Even before the mother can answer, Lea relents: "It's fine, it's fine, it was just a joke." Then she sighs again: "I have no other choice after all ... because you'll insist that I wear that thing ..."

"Can't you understand that?"

"... yes, I can. I just don't like it ..."

"All right, honey, don't mope that much! YOU said yourself that you didn't want to let the headgear weigh you down!", the mother claps her hands with energy, "What should I do?"



One last, resigned - and perhaps a little exaggerated - sigh, then Lea reaches for the bow, but accidentally nudges the table with her cast arm. The problem is that the table is indeed not standing very securely after the mother wiped it down. The table shakes, the metal bow slides off the table and hits the floor.

"Great! Shit!", Lea is upset, bends down and picks up the bow. At least that didn't hurt her broken arm, that's something ... "Don't laugh!", she tells her mother, but that is an unsuccessful undertaking.

"I'll be right back," Lea carries the bow into the bathroom and rinses it off. When she comes back, her bad mood is completely gone. It's just too nice to be back home in the familiar surroundings. The fact that the mother has poured lemonade for both of them and also thought of equipping her daughter's glass with a long straw helps, of course. Just like the blue sky and the warm sun, which make it more than pleasant to sit outside. One simply CANNOT stay in a bad mood for long in such fine weather.

Especially when the headgear isn't as bothersome as Lea pretends. The girl got used to it amazingly well ...

Yes, OF COURSE life could be a little nicer if she didn't have to run around with a bridle strapped around her like that, that's quite obvious! Of course, it also would be nicer if she didn't always have to make sure to wear that thing long enough so that her orthodontist is satisfied. Of course, it still is a little embarrassing when strangers see her wearing it ...

But 'bad'? No! That thing - that she has to wear for a few months now - has not been 'bad' for a long time. But THAT she will never tell her mother ... Lea prefers to exaggerate a bit with her dislike lest mother getting too stupid ideas.

Like, for example, the idea, that the daughter could wear her headgear in the hospital. THAT really doesn't have to be! The subject was raised once, but Lea made such a gloomy face that it petered out quickly ... Fortunately, her mother is not too strict about that and did not insist!

Wearing headgear at home? Yes! No problem!

Have the neighbors seen her with it? They have! Multiple times!

Do her friends know? Not all but most of them!

But to wear that thing to the hospital or ... or even to school? No thanks, not as long as it can be avoided!



Under the curious gaze of her mother, Lea puts on the metal bow. She has done this often enough so that it only takes a few seconds. "And again, I'm happy that I broke my right arm", Lea laughs contrived. "I'd never thought I'd say that: 'I'm glad I broke my RIGHT arm because it's easier for me to put my headgear on with my LEFT hand ... Wow!'"

"And what should I do now?", the mother ignores the pretended indignation.

"I'll keep a grip on the facebow so that it cannot slip out again and YOU'LL attach the straps." She lifts her arm with the cast and reaches for her mouth with it. "See: I can get there without any problems; but now it hurts when I move my hand ... and the doctor said I shouldn't do that ... "

The mother reaches indecisively for the "tangle" of blue straps on the table. "Ummm, mom ... first the smaller cushion ... Yes, exactly, that one. That one goes around the back of my neck ..." The mother stands up and walks over next to her daughter. Lea turns so that her back faces her mother.

To know that this cushion is a part of the daughter's orthodontic treatment devices is one thing. The mother has seen her dozens, if not hundreds of times with it, of course. But to be able to say exactly how and where that thing has to be attached to, is a completely different matter! She'll need her daughter's help for that:

"On each side there are black marks on one of the holes ..." explains Lea further; the mother inspects the straps and nods when she sees the black dots. "They were done by one of Dr. Lenard's assistants ... The facebow has to be hooked into those marked holes ..."

The mother obeys and carefully hooks the force module into the metal bow on one side. She does that so deliberately, carefully and slowly that Lea feels compelled to give an amused answer: "Mom, I told you before: I'm not a porcelain doll. You don't have to be so extremely careful ... You need not to be afraid of accidentally knocking out a tooth or something."

"I just don't want to hurt you, honey. I just can't judge whether I'm too rough ... Should I make your hair into a ponytail? That might make it easier ..."

The mother stands a step behind her daughter, holding Lea's long hair out of the way with one hand while she guides the cushion around Lea's neck with the other.

"No, a ponytail won't work because of the other straps ... I've already tried" Meanwhile Lea has the index finger of her left hand between her lips and gently pushes on the metal bow.



"Right now... that's the moment the stupid bow always slipped out," nods Leah when she feels a slight pressure on one molar. "If you pull on the strap now, the stupid facebow would come right out on the other side if I didn't hold onto it ..."

"And that's really supposed to go into the hole with the black mark?"

"Yes why?"

"Oh, it just seems to me that ... how should I say that - I have to pull quite hard ..."

Lea grins widely "Mom, I am so happy, I am SO GLAD that you recognize that too. Hopefully you will finally understand why I so 'love' to wear my headgear ... It doesn't really hurt, but it's uncomfortable enough that it's just not fun having to wear it. It doesn't help that I look like a total nerd with it ... "

Then she sighs when she feels the familiar pull on BOTH molars. "For a moment I was hoping that you wouldn't strap it around me after all ... after all you now know how 'badly' the headgear pulls on my teeth ... Fiddlesticks ..."

"I was a bit surprised," admits the mother, "but after you said that it has always been like that ... at least I won't do anything wrong and you're ... 'used' to that." The mother deliberately avoids phrases like "normal" or "without problem".

"Damn," laughs Lea, "I should have kept my mouth shut! Or ... even better: I should have told you to use the hole BEFORE the black mark."

She grins widely: "Uhh, mom, speaking of it, you made a mistake there because: This is the wrong hole and ..."

"I may have believed you earlier, NOW it's too late for that ..." smiles the mother too. "And ... hey, get out there, you naughty beast ..."

While the two were distracted, Spot had seized the opportunity and snuck through the open patio door into the kitchen. Even if the tomcat is welcome at any time, it should stay outside. Especially when the remains of having coffee - including the cream - are still on the sideboard.

One could almost think that the cat is offended - or maybe feeling guilty? - because it disappears quickly around the corner of the house. Was he lapping up the cream or did he just hear something that interests him more? After all, a light breeze rustles through the leaves and makes the birds in the higher branches chirp.

"He'll come back," laughs Lea.

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #9 on: 24. May 2022, 17:03:46 PM »
Chapter 06/06

"Oh, mom, you don't need to do that, I can do it myself now. The facebow can no longer slip out after all", but the mother already has the second part of the strap set in her hand.

"How does that work? Just use the marked holes again, right?"

Lea sighs. Her mother often says that her daughter is stubborn. In moments like these, however, the girl knows exactly, WHOM she inherited this stubbornness from. "No, mom, this time it's a little different ..."

Hadn't Ms. Martin been able to assert herself or if she had not had a strong will, the project to wake this house and property from its slumber would inevitably have been doomed. It had been a lot of work and if she hadn't stayed on top of it, the two of them would probably have lived here anyway. Just not in an "old house with homely charm", but probably in a half-dilapidated ruin.

Or in her case now: her mother won't put the straps down so easily; if Lea absolutely wants to put on the second part of her straps herself, she would have to take the cushion out of her mother's hand. And that ... that's not worth the trouble! Or maybe she should look at things from the other side today?

"If mom wants me to wear this thing, she should really do her part... Besides ... I broke my arm, so I can let myself be 'pampered' a little." She rolls her eyes until only the white can be seen: "Well...'being pampered' really is an EXCEEDINGLY STUPID expression for having my mom strap me into my headgear ..."

"Um, honey? One side is marked in red and one side in black ..." the mother had inspected the more complex part of the strap: "The red line is a few holes further forward than the black ... does that have something to say?"

Lea nods: "The cushions are not the same. Well yes: The damn thing is - uh, what is it called ... symmetrical! - but I have to hook it on differently on one side, because ..." She shrugs the shoulders: "Oh, I don't know why ... I just have to ..."

"Anyway, the one with the red line should go here," Lea taps her index finger on her left cheek.



The next few seconds pass in which the mother, following the explanations, puts the strapset on her daughter's head and then attaches the force modules to the facebow. Finally, the mother pulls her hands back: The task is done, Lea is now wearing her treatment device "completely".

"I thank you, mom ..." sighs Lea, "what would I do without you ..."

"You don't have to grin like that, young woman", the mother threatens with a raised index finger: "Otherwise one might think that you enjoyed the whole thing ..."

"Definitely not", Lea shakes her head, but she can't completely banish the grin from her face. She didn't "enjoy" it, but... well... it was a "quite unique" experience. With her left hand she straightens the cushions a little better, especially the "highpull" part was sitting not entirely correct. But it'll be quicker to fix that herself than to explain to her mother which cushion to move in which direction.

"What is it, honey?" asks the mother, who had watched her daughter "adjust" the brace. "Is something wrong? Did I make a mistake?"

"No, that's okay. Everything fits fine ..." A dry grin steals into Lea's face: "But it fits 'even better' now!" With her left hand she's doing the air-quotes ...



Over the next few minutes, the two of them make themselves comfortable on the small terrace again. As suspected, Spot has returned and is purring on Ms. Martin's lap, who continues to study the hospital documents: They do not contain anything that is truly earth-shatteringly important. Actually, everything is more or less obvious. At least as long as one approaches the matter with common sense. And neither of them should be lacking in that.

Lea has meanwhile pulled out her cell phone and is playing some game as best she can with one hand.

"You know, mom, as much as I like to sit out here in the sun ... it sucks with this thing on," she flicks one finger against the metal bow in front of her mouth, "because when the sun is shining, it sparkles so much that I hardly can see anything. That really hurts my eyes ..." From the way she said it, it is clear that she does not expect an answer, but simply wanted to let her "displeasure" run free. Despite her complaint, the girl does not seem to be overly fazed by the glittering bow around her face.

The birds fly from branch to branch chirping and hop carefree about looking for insects on the ground. They know they don't have to be afraid; the cat is currently far too lazy to care about the nimble creatures.



"Do you know what the 'most stupidest' thing about my headgear is? Especially for YOU?", Lea asks suddenly. She cannot prevent the corners of her mouth from pointing upwards treacherously.

The mother looks up in amazement and then shakes her head.

"That I cannot put that thing on tonight on my own either. Not to mention tomorrow ... AND the day after... AND the day after... AND the day after..." Her grin gets wider with each "AND".

"As long as my arm is in the cast, you'll have to help me." She looks challengingly at her mother "Do you really think that you want to do this again and again? Don't you think that you will lose your patience?" Her grin goes from ear to ear: "Shouldn't we maybe INDEED wait with headgear until I can do it on my own again?"

The mother smiles too. "Oh, it won't be that bad, honey, I'll be happy to help ..." When she sees her daughter's dejected expression, she pauses for a moment: "But maybe you're right, it REALLY is a lot of work ... And I indeed do not feel like putting your headgear on and taking it off for you time after time ... "

"Oh, you know, mom, I can take it OFF on my own ..." her daughter objects. Still, she nods enthusiastically.

"What do you think of that," continues the mother, only the slightest hint of a smile on the otherwise motionless face: "I help you to put on your braces every day after breakfast, lunch and dinner - and if you want, take them off before that too."

Lea nods.

"In return, YOU'LL - with the exception of the meals - just wear your headgear for the rest of the time, yes?"

Lea's nod quickly turns into a headshake. The mother suddenly grins just as broadly as her daughter did before:

"I see it like this: The problem is not that I have to help you to put ON your headgear too often, but that you want to take it OFF too often ... But if you take it OFF less often, you also have to put it ON less often ... And the more you wear it, the less I have to help you and the faster your treatment will go. And then the both of us will be happy ... "

"'Happy' my ass!", Lea's eyes are wide open and in her voice, there is a decided worry that her mother might actually mean it. She manages without any major problems to draw sufficiently long bars in her timetable to make her orthodontist happy. But what her mother had just suggested, that ... that would be exhausting!

The mother laughs so hard at her daughter's crestfallen expression that she scares away Spot, who now decides to go on the - unsuccessful - hunt for a feathered snack after all. "Oh honey, it's so good to have you back".



Lea lets her cell phone sink; the day was exhausting and she is tired. In addition, her arm is throbbing uncomfortably and the pain medication she took earlier is making her drowsy. She leans back into the cushions and closes her eyes.

A few minutes later a gust of wind rustles the leaves while the sun is still shining warmly down on the two figures. One of them is now reading a book and every now and then casts a loving glance at the other, the sleeping figure. The girl is no longer bothered by the silver glitter of her metal bow. Her cast hand gently rests on the sofa cushions.

The melting ice cubes clink softly in the glass and in the distance - on the English side of the channel of course - a soft thunder can be heard. In the evening, a summer storm will undoubtedly break in on them and give them more work than the two of them would like ... But it will be some time before then. And until then everything is warm, bright and peaceful.

END

Offline Sparky

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #10 on: 24. May 2022, 21:18:03 PM »
Well, what can I say? I absolutely loved your story. It was a very different storyline from many, nicely highlighting the relationship between mum and daughter, built around some braces.

Your English is very good... a couple of things I might have phrased slightly differently (the fabric bits of headgear I just call "straps", the padded bit on a cervical I guess is a "pad") but that just didn't matter, I could understand everything just fine.

I'm glad you came back to this story, and finished it, and let us read it... What's the next one about?

Offline silver-moon-2000

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #11 on: 24. May 2022, 22:18:21 PM »
Your English is very good... a couple of things I might have phrased slightly differently (the fabric bits of headgear I just call "straps", the padded bit on a cervical I guess is a "pad") but that just didn't matter, I could understand everything just fine.

Thanks for all that flattery ;D I try and if I'm not sure, there are still services like translate.google and deepl (imho with better quality, as it "flows" more naturally).
May I assume that you're an English native speaker? Otherwise I'd be SOOO jealous  >:D
My english got better over the course of the last couple years but I'm still ways off of obtaining that "natural flow" and phraseology.
I also try to vary a bit and not always use the same words and/or phrases. That's why sometimes I may use words inappropriately.
As long as I'm understood I can be happy though  ;D

I'm glad you came back to this story, and finished it, and let us read it...

Just a short clarification: I had written this story up to this point, before I lost interest in it. There are still ideas lined up to be written, however:
  - What will happen, when that lightning storm hits? Will there be lots of damage to our quaint little house?
  - While cleaning up the debris, Lea and her mom will discover some secret about this house, no one knew about. But what may that be?
For this reason - because I knew I would need it later on again - I had introduced the house the way I did.
Those ideas exist, but only in bullet-list form. I couldn't be bothered to return to this story and actually develop those ideas into a coherent form.
And still I have no interest in doing so. Maybe sometime later, maybe never  :-X

Right now I'm captivated by a "slighty longer" ;D story (145 pages as of now and not even a 1/3 of it done)


What's the next one about?

Well, now that you've asked... You may choose between
- a 13 chapter long story called "F means Headgear" (I'm not 100% happy with parts of it but I'm loath to rewrite it)
- a 19 chapter long story called "The new girl's secret" (I need to rework the english translation a bit, as I changed the german version without mirroring that to the english version)
- a collection of 4 (1-chapter) short-stories called "Short and awkward" (a collection of individual "images" that I liked to transform into written text but where there is not enough "meat" to develop into complete stories of their own)

Offline Braceface2015

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Re: story - Broken Arm
« Reply #12 on: 25. May 2022, 02:42:32 AM »

I have to echo Sparkys comments. I am amazed that you are able to write your story in two languages at the same time and translate it so well.

The words that you chose to use adequately described that the device was doing, even if the choice was unusual.

I've been enjoying the stories that you write, and your use of the English language has improved as you write more. I find that dictionary.com and thesaurus.com are useful for when I need to find the meaning of a word or to find different words to use to say the same thing.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your stories, whenever and whatever you give us.