The Encounter in the Woods - Woods Man (Continue The Story Contest by @erh.germany)

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(Edited)

Continue The Story Contest - Week #2

The Encounter in the Woods

by @erh.germany

On the fifth day of their trek in the forests of Upper Italy, the boys finally reached their campsite. Immediately throwing down their heavy shoulder luggage.

Neigel wiped the sweat from his brow with a blue-red-white striped scout cloth, as he had done countless times before, so that by now the cloth was worn and faded, a sign of his challenges. Just like his once dark blue shirt and the shirts of the other boys had long since seen better days, but that was how it was supposed to be.

Walter tossed him his sleeping roll, which Neigel quickly caught and then threw himself with it onto the soft forest soil. The others came panting after them and, exhausted but happy, after some banter about who should look for the firewood, they began to set up their place. The heavy fabric pods for their spacious tent were hoisted onto the appropriate brackets, Mark and Vincent, the other scouts, doing so in routine fashion.

"Soon it will be your baptism!", Neigel called out to Vincent, the youngster, and everyone laughed in joyful and comradely anticipation, as Vincent was the only one who had not yet received his name. Neigel, who had been christened "Surfboard", had to endure his baptism in the form of remoulade and mustard in his hair and had been given things to eat that he would never have eaten in his life had it not been part of the ritual.

"Eh really, guys, don't mess with me!", Vincent replied, but of course knew full well it would come to exactly that. Earning the name was a mixture of fun and seriousness. Oddly enough, at home, one failed to pull off this form of character wisdom and slyness. But even though Vincent anticipated his initiation, he also was a bit hesitant.

There were only four of them who had hiked up to the hill this time and they would meet the rest of the group again in a few days. Surfboard, as the oldest and in charge of the small flock, turned to his comrades as they sat around the cosy crackling fire and hungrily gobbled down their dinner, the obligatory tinned ravioli and Vienna sausages. Still chewing, he said, "Tomorrow two of us are going down to the next village. We urgently need new provisions. Who volunteers?"

Walter, who was called "Ram", was the first to speak up: "Me in any case, I have to shit so badly, no one will believe me!"

"And may the Ram have some flowered toilet paper?" interjected Mark, aka "Please", who couldn't understand how anyone could crave sanitary facilities when the whole point of their venture was precisely to escape from pleasant civilisation. "Say, can't you do your business among the trees like any normal pathfinder, are you a real woodsman or a sissy from the city?"

"Shut up, Please! You don't know how it tears your guts apart if you can't poop!"

Vincent was holding his girth in laughter because Surfboard had pulled his trousers halfway down, pretending to press and then giving up exhausted. With his shorts still down, Surfboard dropped to one side and shouted, "Done, good old battering Ram, you shall have the pleasure of an enamelled toilet bowl again! I'm guessing that Please doesn't want to join, so Vincent and you are going to the village together."

"Next time I'll stay at the camp, I promise," Vincent, still chuckling, got immediately excited by the prospect that he would probably meet girls in the village.

Girls, after all. They had it better on their hiking trips anyway. Once, a group of eight had managed to stay at a local's place, a farmer had opened a barn for them and on another occasion, according to Vincent, a teacher had even invited them to spend the night at his house, including dinner.
"Hellooh, good evening, kind sir, I'm a girl, tinkle, tinkle. Can't you let us in, we're starving and dying of thirst here in the wicked hard world," Please mimicked what he meant by girlishness. "

Remember when we were chased away by that crazy guy who set his dog on us?"

"Shoosh, yeah, that's right, or when we got lost in the bog and came out at a wind turbine where the workers looked at us like aliens?"

So the evening passed in cheerful chit-chat and during night they slept peacefully.

The next morning, Vincent and Ram having already set off down into the valley more than two hours ago, Please and Surfboard spent their morning in relaxed silence.

Surfboard, who was cutting a stick for a piece of grilled meat and whistling a tune, was interrupted by his friend: "Shht! Listen, do you hear something? That can't possibly be the boys."

Surfboard put down his carving and both looked in the direction from which they heard sounds. From the undergrowth they saw a figure coming in their direction. It waved at them from a distance.

In approaching them, they realized a man, already a bit aged, conspicuous about him was his rather run-down appearance, but in another way he seemed even elegant, with a hat on the already gray curls protruding under it and dressed with a walking stick. "Good day, buona giornata, young gentlemen!" he called to them. Eyes shining bright.




Pixabay


Woods Man

Despite feeling a little nervous, Neigel began slowly approaching the conspicuous man who was walking towards their campsite.

Mark was also feeling some anxiety and grabbed Neigel's arm, quietly exclaiming:

"Surfboard wait... Do you have your entrenching tool, pocket knife.. Some protection of some sort?"

Neigel chuckled a little.

"Relax Please, he looks a little strange from off in the distance, but I'm sure he's just camping out here and wants to say hello. I got this."

As the man started closing the gap between them, Neigel noticed he was covered in all sorts of animal pelts.

Neigel began feeling a bit more nervous but didn't want his discomfort to be obvious to the odd man approaching.

The hat the man was wearing seemed modern, something fashioned in the past ten years perhaps, and a bit weathered, but the walking stick was nothing more than a large vine like branch that had been intricately carved with different patterns and symbols.

The animal pelts were of course the most shocking to Neigel.

Neigel looked back at Mark, witnessing a look of sheer horror in his eyes, and said calmly:

"Don't worry Mark, it will be ok."

The man approaching sensed their fear in the way that comes natural to a fifty five year old approaching a couple of teenagers, and spoke in a calm and maturely confident manner.

"Hello young men, I'm currently foraging in this area for a bite to eat, no need to be alarmed. May I rest my legs for a moment and sit with you?"

Neigel, feeling a bit less nervous by the man's deep and calming voice said:

"Yes sir, you are welcome to sit with us and rest your legs. Our other two comrades will be returning shortly. They are out getting some... uh... foraging too.."

The man smiled and knew right away that Neigel was in charge of his fellow scouts and felt a pang of childhood nostalgia with how Surfboard was trying to emulate his way of speaking.

"Thank you young man, are you in charge of this expedition out here with your friends?"

"Yes sir! I've been a scout for two years now and finally get to teach my comrades how to survive in the wilderness without the assistance of our scoutmasters. It's a big responsibility and I'm up for the challenge!"

The man smiled with a nod, and began to sit down slowly on a large log the boys had placed by the campfire site.

Once seated, he started unfastening his large pelt coat, laden with large buttons made of bone, presumably the antlers of a deer or elk. It appeared as though this large coat was sewn with some thick hemp like strand, which connected pelts to an inside layer of thinner hide. For as rudimentary as it was, it was well made, and went all the way down past his knees.

Once removed, his underclothing was two layers of cotton fiber based undershirts, white that looked mostly greyish brown from years of weathered use, and his pants were modern looking black jean fabric, and also worn down roughly.

His boots were a strange looking concoction of more furry pelts that encapsulated what looked like regular boots. It was hard to know for sure, but they looked tough and he left them on.

He reached into an inside pocket of the coat, and pulled out a corncob looking pipe, already stuffed with some tobacco, and a bag containing a ridiculous amount of matches.

Neigel and Mark no longer felt any nervousness at all, and were intently watching his methodical like movements as he performed his undressing and smoking ritual. It was rather unusual and pleasantly relaxing to watch for them.

After a few minutes of the three of them sitting there in silence, Neigel felt the need to break the silence.

"uhh, scuse me sir.. I hope you won't be offended if I ask, how come you're wearing a bunch of animal pelts, and uh.. I feel like it would be appropriate to introduce ourselves. My name is Neigel, they call me Surfboard, and this is my buddy Mark, who goes by Please."

The man realized how awkward this was for the boys, and realized introductions were not a bad idea anyway.

"Pleased to meet you Surfboard and Please. I go by the name Woods Man."

Neigel and Mark just gave a little nod..

"Yes about the pelts.. Well you see, I've lived in these woods for thirty years now, and it's been necessary for me to keep myself warm during the night and winter months. The clothing that I wear underneath is not enough to protect me from the elements."

He didn't explain how he made the coat and fur covered shoes, but it seemed obvious enough that he had to hunt for these animals over time and slowly create this magnificent display of furry warmth.

Both Neigel and Mark hadn't a clue what to think or say.. and Neigel just responded with "Wow.."

As if things couldn't get any stranger, the man let out a yawn, looked down at his pelt coat, and then just plopped down on it and started snoring within two minutes.

Neigel and Mark exchanged looks and then Neigel just shrugged his shoulders and they both just sat there in silence watching this strange man sleep and snore rather loudly for a woodsman named Woods Man.

Two hours had passed when Walter and Vincent were seen in the distance returning from their trip to collect provisions.

Neigel immediately started walking towards them to alert them of the man so they wouldn't be scared to death and cause a scene.

Woods Man stirred and started waking up at this point and Neigel had already closed the gap on his friends.

As he was explaining the situation, he heard Walter's guts start audibly rumbling.

"Are you freakin' kidding me Ram! I thought you would have emptied your guts back in the sissy boys bathroom already!"

"Shut up Surfboard, it's these damn Vienna sausages backing me up!"

"Yeah right, you are just a sissy who's afraid of a big woodsman, don't lie.."

They all sat down and when formalities were done, Woods Man said "Ok boys, I should probably get moving along now."

The youngest in the bunch Vincent, seemed the most curious at this point.

"Mr. Woods Man, if you don't mind me asking.. How come you live in the woods like this?"

Woods Man gave a little chuckle.

"Well young lad, it's quite a story.. but I'm happy to stay for a few more minutes and tell you all about it."

As if by instinct, the boys started cracking out snacks to prepare for story time. Walter of course eating nothing but his favorite Vienna sausages. Surfboard asked Woods Man if he would like a portion of their snacks to share before embarking on his foraging for the rest of the day.

Woods Man just looked down at Walter already scarfing down Vienna sausages for a brief moment and said, "No thanks young man, but I very much appreciate the kind offer."

Woodsman began telling the story of how he ended up in the woods and decided to stay.

"I was an intern in college for quantum physics when I was barely older then you fine young men, and my professor turned out to be a very wealthy man who invited me on a trip to sit in with one of his seminars here in Italy."

"Our trip didn't happen, as his privately owned jet crashed down in the very woods where we sit. He was well adept to the ways of the woods, and despite being a wealthy man, he understood very well the meaning of life. I did not have such an insight, and money ruled every aspect of my thinking."

"He offered me a lucrative sum of twenty dollars for my two books of matches, in which he used to start fires with a bag of one hundred thousand dollars worth of one dollar bills for kindling."

"He was the one who hunted for all of the meals we ate, and he charged me a small fee for every meal."

"He was giving me an opportunity to learn how to survive, which I overlooked greatly."

"When my twenty dollars had expired, and I had not asked him how he was able to obtain our meals, he simply told me that I failed, and was no longer welcome on his camp site, and if he saw me again, he would consider me an intruder and take my life."

"I knew he was not joking a single bit, and without question I got away from this man and nearly died in the woods afterwards."

"I hadn't the slightest clue how to hunt, fish, what kinds of plants I could eat, nothing.. All I could think about was how my entire life was a lie.. as I starved."

"Once I could no longer bear the hunger, I started eating leaves and grass and whatever I knew was not likely to kill me. I started thinking of ways to make traps, to make spears, to hunt for wild game in any manner I could."

"The first year was the hardest, at times I was so weak I could barely muster the energy to crawl on my belly and eat grass, but I somehow pulled through."

"When I had become proficient at providing for myself in the woods, I never wanted to go back to society ever again. I've met other young scouts like yourself, and the scoutmasters all know I am here. From time to time they bring me some clothing and light provisions like these matches, tobacco, undergarments, and this nicely tailored hat that I'm wearing. I always try to keep a lot of matches after what happened."

"My experience was a gift, because it showed me the true meaning of life, what matters and what doesn't matter."

"You boys are all attentive, and I appreciate that, because I can see you are all kind hearted and have a bright future ahead. I hope you have learned something today on your expedition, something which may give you insight and wisdom through your journey in life."

"I very much enjoyed sitting and speaking with all of you, thank you for allowing me to rest my legs briefly at your camp site. I must be off now, best wishes to all of you, and may your future be a good one."

Mark, who had been the quietest during all of this was tearing up and having a difficult time holding his emotions in. The rest of the boys sat with knots in their throats for a moment, and Neigel gratuitously gave Woods Man a nod and broke the momentary silence.

"Thank you for sharing your story Mr. Woods Man, we really enjoyed our time with you."

He reached out and shook Woods Man's calloused hand, and Woods Man gave him a wink with his glimmering blue eyes, turned and faded off into the wilderness.

The End


Thank you @erh.germany for this cool contest. I loved this storyline that you provided, and felt that you left perfect spots open for storyline expansion. It was masterful in how you crafted it, and I decided to take a story that I wrote on Jan 16, 2019 and meld it into the new story as an expansion, 30 years into the future of Woods Man. What did you think of this twist I added? I can't wait to read your thoughts!
PS. Apologies for going a bit over the recommended amount of words in the rules, I have a difficult time making stories short, but I did my best to keep it on the shorter side :D

@wrestlingdesires as per your request, dropping a tag for you to read this :) also my friends @owasco, @carolkean, and @jerrytsuseer. Also the other tags from @erh.germany's original post, if you would like to have a read @itsostylish, @litguru, @samsmith1971, @kemmyb, @deeanndmathews, @oivas, @gwilberiol. Also feel free to drop your post links in the comments if you would like to share your story with me. I plan to click on all of your blogs anyway, and me dropping the tags here is a bit of a reminder for myself. Anyone else who participated, please feel free to drop me links so I can visit and read your story continuations!

Thank you to any and all who read my continuation of The Encounter in the Woods. I brainstormed this story for about three days and then began writing about 24 hours ago, slept, and finished it up with all the appropriate edits before posting today.

This concludes the Woods Man (Continue The Story Contest by @erh.germany) continuation story.

I appreciate all the great comments and support. Your time is a valuable commodity, and I always keep this in mind and do my best to respond to everyone.

Have a great day! -@futuremind



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A really moving and beautiful continuation of the thread that was started!

I recognise in it a longing for authentic people, a willingness for orientation and initiation not to let the human spirit forget its body in a world that seems to be dominated by cognitive activities. What boys and girls probably want are experienced adults who teach them that borderline experiences of a traumatic kind always overcome the trauma they have experienced when the adults around the young people find it quite normal - do not worry, but radiate confidence and trust - and thereby catch the experienced horror and transform it into the ordinary.

Telling a story within a story I find an appropriate means of conveying a message that includes the stylistic device of exaggeration. Such an encounter as you have described is one in a million or more. The improbability of such a meeting touches all the more the wish for such a thing to happen.

Your personality shines through here, I assume that you have discovered the slow pipe tamping and smoking ritual for yourself and have found satisfaction in it. It is quite an excellent way of providing tranquillity when one holds one's little ceremonial with care.

The man in the woods is a leading figure, an example of accepting a most remarkable and difficult task. You have achieved that he does not live a complete hermit's existence, but accepts that he will be helped and provided with civilised things in due course. This gives him more credibility, although I would also pity this man if he did not maintain a relationship with a woman. LOL ;-)

Part of him does not accept communal life, in which he would also be confronted with relinquishing his leadership role. For example, I would have liked it quite a bit if the Wood Man's time had also culminated with the end of the story in a new era of self-overcoming for him - a return to civilisation. This would then have concluded the walkabout of the man himself.

But that's complaining at a high level (!), so I'll row back and say that you have filled the man with his special character role brilliantly. It wouldn't have occurred to me to go further with my thoughts here if you hadn't provided the template for it :)

You also portrayed the boys credibly, who at first eyed the stranger somewhat anxiously and cautiously. To deepen the characters could also mean to change the characteristics attributed to them in the beginning, perhaps because the course of the story allows it. So I personally like the fact that Neigel (Surfboard) shows a somewhat still immature pride in being a leader, and Mark (Please) sheds tears at the end, because it contradicts his otherwise rather teasing manner and reveals a depth that he otherwise finds difficult to express.

On the technical level:
You have skilfully avoided entangling the returnees in overly sprawling explanations. That was a skilful move! And you brought everyone together at the end, which was a certain difficulty.

I see some shortcomings in the fact that you could have left out some explanations, such as the one about the man not eating processed food. You could have left it at the simple refusal, because his whole way of life speaks for itself. You can also shorten some introductions of literal speech by leaving out the "he said". Like here, for example:

The man replied with: ...
The man carried on...

and in other places. You could still shorten overall, some descriptions are already sufficient without further embellishment.

For the temporal or numerical information, such as here

After approximately twenty minutes ...

it is enough to say that a certain amount of time has passed.

He offered me a lucrative sum of 20 dollars for my two books of matches, in which he used to start fires with a bag of $100,000.00 dollars worth of 1 dollar bills for kindling."

write in words, not numbers "twenty dollars" and a bag of "one hundred thousand" ....
And I think a shortening of the story in the story would bring an upgrading.
In my eyes, this alterations would round up your well done story.

I thank you so much for taking your time and take a part in this contest!
I have dared to reply in length and depth, for you give me the assurance that you don't mind being provided with this amount of text.

Greetings to you!

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Hey @erh.germany,

Thank you for the compliment! I put forth my best effort to make a captivating continuation to the awesome storyline you provided.

Teenage children are intuitive and their lack of experience and maturity makes it a natural phenomenon to look up to mature adults and search for meaning in their existence and identity. We should always give our time and attention to children who are curious and seeking these guidance's in an adult role model, in my opinion.

Your personality shines through here, I assume that you have discovered the slow pipe tamping and smoking ritual for yourself and have found satisfaction in it. It is quite an excellent way of providing tranquility when one holds one's little ceremonial with care.

Of course ;D

accepts that he will be helped and provided with civilised things in due course. This gives him more credibility, although I would also pity this man if he did not maintain a relationship with a woman. LOL ;-)

Hahaha, well it's slim pickin's out in the woods. I don't think he's found a good lady yet, but I'm pretty sure he's not opposed to the idea :D

He definitely doesn't accept the communal civilized life, to the point of rejecting it, because he sees the civil life as uncivilized in a sense, where humankind's true nature is degraded by technology and ideologies that further remove humankind from our roots, so to speak.. I hadn't considered a return to society for Woods Man, hmmm maybe there will be a return.. After all he's probably never going to find a lady living in such seclusion, and the clock is ticking for him. I'm pretty sure he has a high testosterone level, and a well functioning man member, he better hurry up and get back onto the dating scene! He might get confused about things like "Tinder", idk..

I personally like the fact that Neigel (Surfboard) shows a somewhat still immature pride in being a leader, and Mark (Please) sheds tears at the end, because it contradicts his otherwise rather teasing manner and reveals a depth that he otherwise finds difficult to express.

I'm really happy you picked up on the depth to how I deconstructed certain character attributes, as a means to show the fragility of childhood. Oftentimes thick exteriors are put up as walls to portray images to others, which are nothing more than a security blanket the person portrays because of insecurities or fears. This rings true for both children and adults, and I believe it takes a bit of maturity to be able to recognize this, as well as perceptiveness. You obtain a high level of both!

I see some shortcomings in the fact that you could have left out some explanations, such as the one about the man not eating processed food. You could have left it at the simple refusal, because his whole way of life speaks for itself. You can also shorten some introductions of literal speech by leaving out the "he said". Like here, for example:
The man replied with: ...
The man carried on...

Thank you for the critiquing, I'm always open to it because I like to improve.

I wasn't sure about that part actually.. It does seem unnecessary now that I think about it. The idea behind it, is his unwillingness to constrict himself with his speech, even if it might hurt feelings.. kind of like that shroom talk we were having ;) but yeah it disrupts the flow a bit, I can see that, and will edit it out :)

The quoting has always been a tough area for me. I always try to do it in a way which doesn't give confusion to the reader as to who is speaking. I've read some books in the past, and there were quotes back and forth, and at times I was like "which person in the story is talking!?" Things like this can make or break a flowing character narrative. I appreciate that advice, and will utilize it in the future.

For the temporal or numerical information, such as here
After approximately twenty minutes ...
it is enough to say that a certain amount of time has passed.
He offered me a lucrative sum of 20 dollars for my two books of matches, in which he used to start fires with a bag of $100,000.00 dollars worth of 1 dollar bills for kindling."
write in words, not numbers "twenty dollars" and a bag of "one hundred thousand" ...

I thought people liked exact time lapse referencing lol, but I can also see how it could become confusing if trying to maintain a time based reference in a story for some. For me, I enjoy being able to follow time flow, but I think INFJ's are quite rare, so I need to not assume everyone thinks like me :D

write in words, not numbers "twenty dollars" and a bag of "one hundred thousand" ...

You're giving me high school flashbacks of English grammar class! Hahaha, I always make this mistake, but I know it is not grammatically correct to do this, I will correct it! LOL

I have dared to reply in length and depth, for you give me the assurance that you don't mind being provided with this amount of text.

You just know it to be a fact ;P Nothing daring about it hahaha.

I appreciate your excellent critique and kind compliment with my Woods Man story continuation of your awesome "The Encounter in the Woods". I hope I'm able to take part in all of your challenges/contests, and will do my best to always satiate your hunger for quality writing my friend. Thank you! :)

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Good morning, good morning to you,

with my first coffee, still dark, I like to answer.

It fulfills the writers pride in me, that you so much liked the given story. As a female, I thought it'd be fun to slip into the existence of male teenagers. :D

Teenage children are intuitive and their lack of experience and maturity makes it a natural phenomenon to look up to mature adults and search for meaning in their existence and identity. We should always give our time and attention to children who are curious and seeking these guidance's in an adult role model, in my opinion.

Yes, the role of the adult is significant, he is under permanent observation by the teenager and should be aware that the principle of "walk the talk" applies. Adults who feel comfortable in this role and are not insecure are usually more successful in getting along with teenagers. Those adults who are uncomfortable or insecure in the position of leading are less likely to be taken in their stride by young people and they will take every opportunity to test or annoy the adult :) - I can see that you know that and that parenting taught you great deal. It sure does us adults good to be a parent (or having substitute positions), right?

Hahaha, well it's slim pickin's out in the woods. I don't think he's found a good lady yet, but I'm pretty sure he's not opposed to the idea :D

The return of the Woodsman to civilisation would be a win for women. Lol - It would be a waste of his vitality to live so lonely and it would be another act of courage to embark on the most dangerous of adventures: a lasting relationship with the opposite sex. HaHa ;-D - Also, he'll find a companion who wouldn't even know about tinder & co.

I'm really happy you picked up on the depth to how I deconstructed certain character attributes, as a means to show the fragility of childhood. Oftentimes thick exteriors are put up as walls to portray images to others, which are nothing more than a security blanket the person portrays because of insecurities or fears. This rings true for both children and adults,

I was touched that the protective wall of the boys was taken down by you and you showed their emotional being moved. Without this component of expression of humanity, the description of experiences remains too superficial and one-dimensional. I really enjoyed how the end of your story read in this respect.

As for the technical things, I learned this in my training as a PR specialist, that when composing texts, numerical details are written in text form (although I don't set anything in stone, things change all the time), if you pay attention, in novels these details are never given in numbers and even with time details, they are only given exactly if, for example, the context inevitably requires it. But these are really just little things and the cherries on the ice cream :)

Such a contest is again a chance to develop in it and to see how one copes with feedback that is not exclusively praiseful but also offers constructive things. I personally notice from this that it is not always easy for me to receive suggestions for improvement in addition to praise and enthusiasm, but on the other hand I know exactly that they help me and it is actually a simple matter to accept it straightforwardly and when that happens, you have integrated it and can move on to the next one. How wonderful!

I have assessed you in such a way that you would not hold it against me and I am glad that you confirm such things to me. The way I deal with "criticism" shows how much or how little willingness there is to experience it as turned towards rather than away from.

I hope, I can continue with running the contest. We are just three contestants this time. If interest is low, I may do it not very often (which is okay for me) or even stop (which would be a pity but not a drama).

Have a good start in the day!

Sincerely yours.

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You've got a lot of talents my friend! Thanks for sharing your giftedness this time in writing.

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You write in detailed, yet clear fashion. I was impressed that you picked up on the lack of a scoutmaster. I like the wariness the boys display in your story, it rings true. I have reservations, but I’d like you to read my version before I comment further. https://ecency.com/continuethestory/@erh.germany/continue-the-story-contest-week-2#@itsostylish/re-erhgermany-20211113t15233413z

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Thank you kindly for reading my continuation, and for complimenting how I write.
I'll be checking out yours within a few hours and will reflect my thoughts :)

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"I hadn't the slightest clue how to hunt, fish, what kinds of plants I could eat, nothing.. All I could think about was how my entire life was a lie.. as I starved."

"Once I could no longer bear the hunger, I started eating leaves and grass and whatever I knew was not likely to kill me. I started thinking of ways to make traps, to make spears, to hunt for wild game in any manner I could."

WOAH.. that part hit me hard!

Great writing! Thanks for sharing!

books-happy.gif

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Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reflecting your thoughts on it my friend.

Sometimes life doles out some brutal reality checks, and not just in fictitious stories. This is something that could really happen, and probably already has for some. Literally and/or metaphorically ;)

It's always a pleasure reading your great comments :)

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I was ready for disaster! I thought Woods man would surely turn out to be a murderous creep, from all that modern stuff he had I think. That, and the unease even I can sometimes feel deep in the woods.

But in the end, it was a beautiful story. The best kind of woods story, the kind that brings out the glory of true self that comes from an understanding of nature's ways. Everyone is lucky is this story! Except for poor Walter, who has IBD and needs to stop eating shit. He could use 20 years on foraged foods.

Great story! I'm not sure I can get it done this week. I have an idea, but no time!!!

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I am so happy nobody picked up a horror story, it begs in a certain way for it, but then, it doesn't. ;-)
The week is still left with some more days. So far we have three stories. I hope, I can continue the contest.

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When is the deadline? Payout of your post? I'd like to write one, but I am swamped with personal business, and those stories take me a lot of time.

I just noticed this on your page, and think it is brilliant. We all do think too much, and feel too little.

"A person who thinks all the time has nothing to think about except thoughts. So, he loses touch with reality, and lives in a world of illusions." ~Alan Watts

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It's the day after tomorrow, I guess.
Yeah, storytelling is time consuming for my part, too. Sometimes they really come easy and in one flow. But oftentimes they don't and have to be carefully crafted.

Ah, you found my header! Alan Watts is one of my favorites when it comes to quotes. He was a word artist. That sentence caught me right away, for I felt, I myself am too often roaming my own thinking chamber.

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Hey @owasco,

No no, we couldn't have Woods Man turn out to be a murderous creep LOL.

It was a little tough coming up with how he got the hat though, I must admit.. I was not sure.. was thinking along the lines of some city people tried to do him harm and he ended up with all their clothing, with a few less city people in the world as a result lol, but even that seemed like it would make Woods Man out to be aggressive, and I was aiming towards a more gentle man who's independent with his lifestyle, so the idea of the scoutmasters looking out for him seemed to be the perfect way to go about this :)

Everyone is lucky is this story! Except for poor Walter, who has IBD and needs to stop eating shit. He could use 20 years on foraged foods.

I found that part hilarious because of my time in military training and how those MRE's (meal ready to eat) would bound us up terribly.. Some worse than others, so I had to expand on this area some, making worse Walter's inability to shit in the woods like a normal person. Eventually he will shit in the woods when he can't take it anymore. I also find it funny that a lot of people would find this unnatural, and I've lived in a city my entire life. I think I'm a woodsman at heart, trapped in a city life :D

I'm sure everyone will understand if you're not able to get to it. I can relate to how difficult it is to contend with many things. I also think it's more common for intelligent introverted people to have difficulties with keeping up with the fast paced life of an extroverted world. Idk, is the world predominantly extroverted? Seems it's becoming more introverted in a strange way.

Thanks for reading and for the lovely comment my friend!

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A fine story ... Woods Man ... a richly detailed character with a unique, thought-provoking history.

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Good Morning @futuremind , I've just now gotten around to reading your addition, and I did not click the links to, I presume, the original story by @erh.germany , but I feel I was able to glean the necessary back story.
I thought your addition was great. For the most part, I disagree with @erh.germany 's critique, but everyone has their own preference about such things.

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Hello,
since you tagged me, allow me to ask what you disagree with?
I welcome all readers who are interested in continuing stories and either participate themselves or read those of the participants.
Greetings!

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You were telling my friend he should use letters (one thousand) rather than numerals (1,000)
I disagree with that advice. To me, that is an entirely subjective choice, depending on the type and location of the writing.
You said to leave out "After approximately 20 minutes" in favor of "certain amount of time has passed"
I would agree, but I might have said "after about 20 min" instead of approximately

I'm a very literal person in reading and reacting. I meant no disrespect. The storyline is good and enjoyable

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Thank you, I have no problem with that. It's how I learned writing, maybe it's different in other locations. My suggestion was well intended, as I find it reads more fluently in this way.

I am glad you enjoyed the storyline.

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Thanks so much for the compliment my friend. I appreciate you taking the time to read it and felt you might enjoy it :)

It's been a while since I've composed any creative writing, so this was a lot of fun for me and put me to the test quite a bit.

I enjoy a good critiquing from a brilliant woman like @erh.germany from time to time ;)

I think the only critique I'm not sure about is the time lapse part, but agree with her other critiques completely. It's just the stubborn bull Taurus in me.. I always have to resist just a little when a good woman tells me I made a mistake hahaha :P

I'll be stopping by your blog tonight my friend, I hope you get some good rest and wake up in the morning to some good post love, and rays of sunshine of course! :)

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The woodsman is quite the character. I like his fashion sense, particularly the intricately carved walking staff. He seems like a man who had his share of experiences in life and is now content with who he is (and isn't). It speaks volume when you're able to survive and become self sufficient, away from the comforts of civilization. A great lesson for those of us who have become dependent on modern conveniences and cry in the corner if a light bulb goes out. 😭

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Thank you for reading and sharing your perception of Woods Man. You summarized his character very well.

I certainly would cry if my lights went out, but it would only be for my plants 😅

A great lesson for those of us who have become dependent on modern conveniences and cry in the corner if a light bulb goes out. 😭

Very true. I think the best lessons we can receive in life come from experience, but only if we are able to recognize the lessons and grow from them.

The story of Woods Man is in part, a manifestation of my experience being homeless for the better part of ten years of my life. I know now not to take things for granted and find gratitude with all of the blessings life has given me since the experience.

I'm really happy you found some value in his story :)

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I certainly would cry if my lights went out, but it would only be for my plants

A friend of mine had his garden eaten by his girlfriend's cat. Imagine how he felt towards that cat.

I know now not to take things for granted and find gratitude with all of the blessings life has given me since the experience.

In BC, we got walloped this year with fires that destroyed a whole village and now we got floods that have destroyed homes and infrastructure. A lot of people now find themselves out of a home and livelihood. Things can turn on a dime for any number of reasons, So, this lesson is one of the greatest, and it gives us a better appreciation for the things many of us spoiled brats take for granted.

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