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December 7, 2012
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My feet are burning in the icy cover that had lain itself over earth. It had happened so fast, in just a few hours all was white, except for the black tree trunks or withering branches.
I bend down to wipe the towering snow off a frail branch that seems to be in imminent danger of breaking upon its burden. I'm not careful enough, and by accident I break it myself. With a sigh I get to my feet and walk on, dropping it next to me.
I don't know where to go, and I know that no map would do me good. I have lost count of days, maybe weeks, maybe months, maybe years. It was a long time ago that I saw the blue skies, and even longer since I have eaten anything but roots and frozen berries.
I take some snow and swallow it, satisfying myself with the cold water until I reach civilization. The further I walk the darker the forest looms, the louder my feet crunch in the snow, and I fear that I am all alone. Somewhere in the distance I hear a sound. Someone calls. A village must be near then.
I hug my stained coat to my shivering body as I continue to follow my instincts. Doing so, I begin to sing myself a lullaby – it's a sad one, but it calms me. I don't know who sang it to me.
The moment I see the faint glow of light shine through the thick forest I begin to run. I run quicker than a deer, sliding down slopes and jumping over frozen trickles of water. I skid over a gloomy, frozen marsh, my eyes focused no longer on the hope of seeing the moon. Then I stop. The falling snow has become stronger, and it's making it harder to see. But I am close, I should be. I walk on, careful, hopeful, silent, until I can see the forest clearing up.
With suspicious steps I creep closer to one of the tiny houses. As my feet touch the snow free ground of the walkway the villagers made I feel a shiver coursing through me.
My hand slides along the clean wood of the porch. I stand up straight and walk over to the house in the center. Its windows are filled with the shadows of people, and from its chimney billowing smoke rises. As I try to see where it goes snow falls on my face and into my eyes. Blinking I shake my head before I walk to the door.
No one hears my first knock. No one hears my second.
I slide over to one of the windows and gently tap against the fogged up glass. A small boy sees me, but runs away at the sight. Why? I didn't harm him.
I edge away, but I haven't given up yet. I don't want to give up yet.
Again I tap, this time louder. Finally people turn around to me, see me watching them from the iciness and the falling secrets of winter. The music stops and soon they are as silent as the forest was when I walked it. But I know this reaction, so I quickly shrug it off and point to the door. Many eyes follow my gesture, but no one moves toward me.
I can see mothers hugging their children close, and fathers stepping forward. Young men try to stand strong, assuring young ladies that they will be safe. But there is one child who watches me with fascination. There is no judgment in its eyes, not hate or anger not even fear. For a moment my heart feels light. I try to smile, but I can't.
An old man wobbles toward me after I knock again, and he shakes his fist at me. He yells, shouts, and soon the others follow his example. I do not know what they are saying, I do not speak their language, but I know that they want me gone.
Tears fill my dark eyes as I move away from the warm glow and sit down beneath it. I hug my knees to my body and try to blend out the angry cries from the house. I was wrong. Again.
The door flings open, and a strong built man charges at me with a shovel.
I scream, and jump away. As I hurry away I ignore the joyous cheers behind me. Slowly I blend into the wintery forest again, but I soon fall down. With my face buried in the snow I wish to be someone else. Someone they wouldn't cast away, someone who doesn't look as scary as I do.
Still lying in the snow I lift my hand to look at it. Snow clings to my claws and I think I look a bit like a tree trunk, half white with snow, the rest black. I close my eyes. Finding comfort in my dreams I slip away, but I know that this will not be the end; just another night that I spend alone.
I think of the child who had watched me with big eyes. Maybe if I go back tomorrow that child will set me free? Or maybe it is too late already. I let out a long sigh as the snow begins to cover me. At least I have a purpose for tomorrow – that's all that matters.
All that matters… All… that… matters…
Best listen to this while reading. [link]

A few hours of the eternal journey of an unlikely creature, and an unlikely friend.

Well hope you like it (: Oh and, if you have a suggestion on how to call this feel free to tell me, I'm really not satisfied with the title right now ^^;

Plus if anyone wants to critique:
1. How was the atmosphere when reading this?
2. Was the imagery good?
3. Are the paragraphs to short?
4. You have any suggestions on the title? (:


-Avy
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:iconlaeneris:
Let me start off by saying I loved this little story. :heart: It has such a melancholic feel to it. I felt as if I was that creature myself, staring into houses filled with warmth and laughter while I had to stand outside in the cold. What a terrible fate... anyway, I'll do my best to break down my critique for you. :aww:

Storyline and story elements
I'm just repeating myself here, because I adored this story. The essence of it seems rather simple. A creature who wanders the forest enters a town in hopes of finding something or maybe someone that can help it. If I got it right, that is. And yet there's a heavy emotional weight pressing down on the reader which I thought you did a really good job on. :clap:

Since there is not yet much of a point to it except sharing a few moments with the MCs life, I would like to suggest to perhaps continue this story? It would be amazing if you could turn this into a longer story, because I'd say it deserves having a proper ending! It could either be happy or sad or maybe bittersweet, but I feel like there's a lot of opportunity here to turn this into a beautiful, complete story.

Characters
I love your MC in this story. It (I'll be using it for convenience) seems to have had a horrible time, yet it never gives up... there's just something incredibly sad about its attempts and the way it deals with them. I think this is because of the rather impulsive and childlike actions such as it sitting near the house with its knees pulled up. It gives me the idea that either this creature is young or has little experience with others and doesn't really know how to act. To me, that adds to the sympathy I felt for it. The little things too, such as it singing a lullaby but not really knowing who sang it first.

I also like the little hint at the claws. We're not given a lot of information to form a mental picture of MC yet I managed to give it an appearance in my mind without any problems. I think the freedom for filling in your own details works really well here. I wonder what it could be if it's something that can apparently withstand being buried in snow.

Grammar, spelling etc.
There's some beautiful phrases in this story. One of my favourites is 'the falling secrets of winter'. :iconheartblueplz:

Sometimes I felt the dragged out verbs were a little bit unnecessary, perhaps they could be shortened to 'I don't' instead of 'I do not' here and there? It sounds a bit too formal for MC to say. Just a suggestion though. :D

When MC taps on the window and the boy runs away, it is said that Why? I didn't harm him. I think this sentence is a bit out of place, it doesn't really seem to add anything other than stating a fact we already knew. Maybe consider writing something like how MC keeps staring inside waiting for the boy to return, but ultimately has to back off? Then it could decide not to give up, etc.

Miscellaneous
It doesn't really make sense to say that everything was covered in white except tree trunks and branches. Why wouldn't those be covered?

Your questions
1. How was the atmosphere when reading this?
Forgive me for the blunt wording, but I felt like a homeless person while reading this story. I really felt as if I was standing outside on the street, completely frozen, and watching happy families enjoy time together through the windows of their home. There was a sense of longing and despair, but also a tiny bit of hope for a change for the better.

2. Was the imagery good?
Yes! I have no further comments on this.

3. Are the paragraphs to short?
There don't really seem to be any paragraphs? Or maybe it's just my own definition that paragraphs are seperated by an empty line. Anyway. I was not bothered by the length at all so I would say that it wasn't too short.

4. You have any suggestions on the title?
Icebound? Frigid hope? Frost's embrace? Snow of sorrow? Sorry for the lameness, I have never been good with titles. ^^;


That's all for now, I hope I helped you with this critique. Please remember that nothing I've said is aimed at you as a person, only at this particular piece. :tighthug:

Peace out! :peace:
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student Writer
That. Was awesome. I thought for sure the MC would be revealed to be some kind of monster, but it had such a sad ending... :crying:

I was thinking, I could write a critique on this for you if you'd like me to! I just thought I'd ask first since y'know. :aww: :huggle:
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:iconakashasdreamworld:
AkashasDreamworld Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Aw thank you!! :tighthug: At one point I thought maybe I should describe the MC more, but I decided not to, it tore the atmosphere apart in my opinion ^^

That would be awesome! :la: if you have the time, I would really like that ^^
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Dec 26, 2012  Student Writer
I agree on your point, it's probably best left to the imagination what MC looks like. :aww:

Okay, I'll try to get it done this year! :giggle: :huggle: I'll be extra nice with it! But don't worry, I loved it so I probably won't have many complaints~
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:iconakashasdreamworld:
AkashasDreamworld Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:huggle:

Haha, no stress! Take your time, you have a lot to do form what I gather ^^ I can wait :aww:
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Writer
I'm writing it! But you wanna know what's really creepy? I just read the word glow with my iPod on and this song called Glow started playing... :stare:
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:iconakashasdreamworld:
AkashasDreamworld Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
:dummy: yay!

... oh snap. That's. so. awesome! :la:
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2012  Student Writer
And kind of creepy too! :empllama:
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