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There once was a young boy of around ten years old. He had lived most of his life in hospitals due to a rare, life-threatening genetic illness that, although not incredibly dangerous at first, could kill him in a matter of minutes when (or if) it ever reached its low point. His illness was rare enough that the statistical evidence was still unreliable, meaning there was no way of telling whether or not he would indeed hit that low point. At this period in his life, he was once again in the hospital. This time, however, was different. This time, he had been in the hospital for three months. He was put on a new medication. And this time, his hospital stay was due to a low point in his illness.

You see, at nine years old Jamie Maguire hit a point in his disease where even the term ‘critical condition’ didn’t begin to cover the severity of the situation. The doctors told his parents that he had a ten percent chance of survival, unless they wanted to try a new treatment that had been discovered only a few months before. Jamie’s parents were told that there was no guarantee that it would work, and there was a slight chance that it may even do the opposite of what it was believed to do, but they agreed with close to no questions. Their baby was the most important thing in their lives, and they weren’t ready to lose another one.

Young Jamie was immediately put on this treatment and his medications were switched around to accommodate the change. He and his parents were warned that there may be severe side effects, but all three of them agreed to the treatment anyway. Within just a few days of his new treatment, Jamie was already improving. He still wasn’t mobile like he had once been, and he was still quite weak, causing him problems when he wanted to move around in bed, but he was stable and his health had increased to a point where doctors were almost completely sure he would survive.

One day in particular was just slightly different from all the others up to that point.

He woke up slowly. Before he even had a chance to open his eyes, he had this great feeling that it would be a good day. He laid there with his eyes closed for a few minutes, just soaking in the few rays of light coming in from the window. A quiet cough caused Jamie to open his eyes. At first, it seemed as if there was no one else in the room. Upon a somewhat closer inspection, at least for what he was capable of from his vantage point on the bed, he noticed a young girl of about twelve years old. Like him, she had dark brown hair and dark eyes. Their skin tones were similar as well. In fact, her whole appearance was quite similar to Jamie’s own. There was one slight difference though: her eyes were hazel, with green being a slight majority, while Jamie’s were a solid brown.

The young girl approached Jamie’s bed and introduced herself as Jamie, though she mentioned that she much preferred the nickname Gypsy. Like most people, Gypsy gave Jamie a rather good first impression. She was one of those people that he immediately liked, but no matter how hard he tried he just couldn’t explain why. She was one of those extremely outgoing people who made everyone feel comfortable right away, and her happiness made most people around her happy as well. Jamie was one of those people she could make happy with just a simple smile. Her randomness infected the room with Jamie’s laughter as she made a fool of herself just to see him happy. He didn’t know who she was or where she came from, but he was incredibly happy that this strange girl had come to his room.

What Jamie didn’t know though, is that this new friend was invisible to everyone else. She was a one of a kind person, in so many ways, and Jamie didn’t have to spend a lifetime with her to figure that out.

The two became fast friends and Jamie spent every waking moment with her, aside from the time his parents came by to visit. Since his health had evened out, they took shifts visiting him and worked when they weren’t visiting. Since his health wasn’t critical anymore, they weren’t allowed to stay past visiting hours either, so Jamie had a lot of spare time to spend with Gypsy. She was always so patient with him. When he didn’t feel like doing something, she would suggest something else that she thought he might want to do instead. When he felt like sleeping for a while, she would patiently sit in the chair on the other side of the room and wait for him to wake up once again so they could continue their somewhat crazy antics.

As Jamie’s health continued to improve, he was able to do more and more with Gypsy. When Gypsy asked him to try standing up, anyone could see the fear etched in Jamie’s face. He wanted more than anything to be as normal as he could be, but he was scared of trying something like standing up—especially when he hadn’t even been able to lift himself enough to shift positions for nearly a month. However, he was quite a determined young soul, and he made the decision to stand up on his own two legs at least once. Gypsy stood close by ready to catch him if he fell, and fall he did. He fell a good few times before he managed to hold himself up for a full minute. Exhausted after the over exertion, he sat himself down on his bed again. Telling Gypsy that he wanted to nap for a while, he closed his eyes and drifted off into a dreamless darkness.

Gypsy watched him for just a few moments as he slept. If there was a person that could see her, they would easily be able to see the sadness in her eyes as she watched the ill little boy rest. There was something in her eyes that said she knew something no one else did, and clearly, it wasn’t a good thing. She sent a sad smile his direction and walked out of his room.

For the first time in a few weeks, Jamie awoke to an empty room. His parents hadn’t stopped by yet and Gypsy wasn’t in her usual place by the table at the food of his bed. The room seemed darker, gloomier, than it had the last few weeks. Though he didn’t know the reason, Jamie did know that something wasn’t right. He didn’t feel very well that day either. He thought about how nice it would have been if Gypsy had been there as usual. She always made him feel better, even if he didn’t feel like feeling better. The usually bright little boy didn’t feel like himself that day. But that was just the beginning of a long ride.

Although Jamie’s new treatment was working far better than the doctors had predicted it to, something inside young Jamie was incredibly wrong. He appeared to be getting healthier and stronger. His hallucinations, as the doctors had called Gypsy, were becoming less and less common—meaning the treatment was doing its job. But on the inside, his system was becoming weaker and weaker. A case that will forever remain a medical mystery, Jamie was slowly dying on the inside while his body gave the impression that he was improving drastically. There was no cure for his illness; and that is something his family would soon discover.

The day Jamie woke to an empty room was the first of many, but it’s not quite the end of his story just yet.

Though less and less frequent, Gypsy continued to visit Jamie in his dreary hospital room. Her visits were less punctual and expected. Jamie never knew when to expect her anymore. The first string of days without a visit from Gypsy was depressing for Jamie, but he managed well enough. His parents would bring movies for him to watch, and when they visited they would play games with him. When she was able to make a quick visit, Gypsy was forced to explain her sudden inability to visit constantly. It was like having a knife through her heart… She didn’t know why she wasn’t able to visit as often, and her difficulty trying to discover the reason was heartbreaking for her as she scrambled to think of an excuse for Jamie.

Like a parent trying to explain death to a child, she told him that she just had to go away for a while. She explained that he probably wouldn’t see her very often anymore and that it was a good thing because it meant that his treatment was working the way it was supposed to. With glassy eyes, she hugged Jamie one last time and walked out of the hospital room.

The next morning, his parents received a phone call from the hospital saying that there was an emergency and Jamie was in critical condition again.

By the time they arrived, there were only a few seconds to see him before his heart rate flat lined for the second time that day. His heart rate didn’t pick up as fast the second time; in fact it was believed that they had lost him for good. But not all hope was entirely lost. One doctor saw something that no one else did: a young girl by Jamie’s side, crying silently as she watched her brother’s soul slowly leaving the body. This sight brought the doctor’s determination back and she continued the attempt to bring Jamie back with more passion than before.

Like many hospital stories, this one unfortunately doesn’t have an entirely happy ending. The doctor’s attempts continued to fail as Jamie fought and fought to no avail. As the doctor watched her attempts continue to fail, she couldn’t help but be discouraged. Unbeknownst to everyone in the room, Gypsy had formed a plan of her own. It may not be believable that a twelve year old can save someone’s life, but I suppose in a weird sort of way, her way of saving his life makes the disbelief easy to believe.

She didn’t really save his life in definitions that most people would consider saving, but he lived on in a way that no one could have predicted.

He was in fact dead for almost eight minutes according to the doctors’ official time, but he did come back that second time. And when he opened his eyes, it was almost as if nothing had happened since he had first flat lined. There was one slight difference that no one ever really noticed, though… Jamie’s eyes were hazel, with green being a slight majority.

When he was sent back to his room once again, a small note was discovered on his bedside table. In small, childish scribbles it read:

I am the voice of Never, Never Land
The innocence, the dreams of every man
I am the empty crib of Peter Pan,
A soaring kite against the blue, blue sky,
Every chimney, every moonlit sight
I am the story that will read you real,
Every memory that you hold dear”

Since Jamie’s revival, Gypsy was never seen again—and just as she had predicted, Jamie would never be the same child he had been, no matter how much he pretended to be the happy little boy everyone thought him to be.

Because behind those hazel eyes was a secret that no one would ever believe.

So here's the project I've been working on for AGES. I'm finally done! I've done so much editing on this that I think I may have killed it, but I'll leave it up to you to decide. I wouldn't consider this my favourite piece, despite the huge amount of work I put into it, but I'm still slightly proud.

I thought I'd try something new with this one, so there's no dialogue in it. I haven't decided whether or not it's something I enjoy... Let me know what you think :meow: and PLEASE feel free to tear it apart with whatever constructive criticism you can muster! I'd also love to know what your interpretation of this story is. I'm curious about what you guys think happened.

Oh! And the quote is from Storytime, by Nightwish. It's not mine, so don't give that credit to me. Everything else is mine.

I got this idea from =Laeneris, the original idea was this: "Something about a boy who fell in love with a girl, but she turned out to be a hallucination (he's sick). As she finally fades from his life, it means that the drug he got as treatment worked, but he is too sad about the loss of his friend to care"
Yes, I realize it kind of spiraled out of control and derailed a bit from that prompt.
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:iconlaeneris:
Hi Berry! I'm excited to finally give you the critique that I promised and I hope it'll help you out. Let me start by repeating myself; I really liked this story. While I could still recognize your style of writing, I also feel like you challenged yourself and that it produced something different than what you would normally write. My yays and nays will be discussed down below. :aww:

Star rating somewhat random. Didn't really put a lot of thought into it as I dislike them.

Storyline and story elements
I would consider this more polished than your usual pieces. For me the result was a smooth reading experience, especially the beginning.

That said, I'm not sure how I feel about the p.o.v. used. To put it bluntly I felt quite detached from what was happening, getting the feeling we're watching this from afar, as if we're floating above Jamie's room. Part of this could be explained, I think, by your tendency to tell rather than show. Yes, I know this is a cliche saying, but there's a reason why it became a cliche in the first place. Show me that he's happy about meeting a new friend. Show me Jamie getting sad over the disappearance of his friend. I want to feel that these are real characters. I understand that the lack of dialogue makes this harder, but it can be done.
You do show at times, which I think is a great thing you should definitely keep up (for example, you explain how patient Gypsy is with him through her actions). Nevertheless I think there is room for improvement here.

The "death" scene is over fairly quickly and lasts barely a sentence. While it does fit with the speed at which we are led through the story, I can't help but feel it was rushed. Maybe you could show them trying to shock his heart back into action or something. But that's just an idea.

I liked the lyrics near the end, but I'm not sure of its relevance to the story. That aside I thought this piece had a particularly strong ending. There is room for different interpretations without being too vague, which I liked.

As for your question – no dialogue worked fine for me, but it might've been a nice touch. Writing a piece consisting of either all dialogue or none at all can be hard. I myself prefer a balance, because dialogue can teach us a lot about characters as well as descriptions. :)

Characters
Gypsy is an interesting character you've created. She seems wise and caring beyond her age, while also able to have fun. The part where she tries to explain why she can't visit as often was painful to read. In my opinion that paragraph is the best of the story as it so accurately describes her pain that I could almost feel it myself.

I feel like the focus was on Gypsy rather than Jamie, and that therefore Jamie got the short end of the stick in terms of character development. As if he was a plot element to serve for Gypsy's entrance rather than a person. Having finished the story I'm unable to describe his personality with a few words. If you want both characters to make a strong impression, perhaps consider how you feel about this yourself?

Grammar, spelling etc.
Sometimes you repeat words that are close to each other, so it might seem a bit repetitive. For example, 'agreed' is used twice within 2 sentences from eachother. Perhaps you could find a way to rephrase things.

The first paragraph seems redundant near the end. I think it could be shortened without losing any significant information. Also, the words "low point" are used three times, and to me, that is a bit unappealing.

Miscellaneous
I've noticed a few things while reading that I'm sure you will be annoyed at me with, but I'm going to point them out anyway. (I can't stop being nitpicky. Help!)

:bulletorange: If the girl is far away from him, how can he possible see what eye color she has unless she comes closer?
:bulletyellow: How can he possibly tell she's extremely outgoing when he mentions in the sentence right before that one that he couldn't explain why he immediately liked her? And moreover, it seems a bit strange to note that “her happiness made most people around her happy as well” as Jamie is allegedly the only person that can see her at that point.
:bulletorange: How can he possibly give both the impression of drastic improvement yet waste away on the inside? This part seemed a bit clunky and I cannot wrap my head around it...
:bulletyellow: If the doctor saw her, then was she hallucinating as well? Or maybe her feelings were so strong that others were also able to see her. Of course, I could just be looking into this way too much. But for me, you set a rule in the beginning (that no one else can see her) which, when broken, should have an explanation.

Small typo: "Gypsy wasn't in her usual place by the table at the food of his bed."

General overview
All in all I would say this is an interesting, fast-paced story that might, however, have benefitted from a slower and more drawn-out approach. It features an absolute endearing character and a twist that freshens up the story as soon as you get to the end of it. I know how much time you've put into it and you should definitely be proud of yourself!

Keep in mind this is only my opinion and it's likely that someone else would write an entirely different critique. I hope I was helpful to you. :D

Peace out!
:peace:
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
5 out of 5 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconwriteacrossme:
Hello! After such a long time, I decided to give out another critique. I've been looking to read this piece for a while now; so here I am. I noticed you really tried something new with this piece; I like it. There are a few things that need fixings but I can honestly say I enjoyed this piece. Perhaps not my favorite piece, but I still did enjoy it. So without further ado, let's begin this critique! :D

~~

So, if I got this correct, Gypsy took Jamie's body? And Gypsy was the first child, his sister? I think? That's what I got out of it and I really thing the originality is great! Lots of mysteries I still have in my mind and questions to ask, but I can come up with my own answers.

To be honest, the narration with no speaking kind of... made me feel out of place. I suppose... um, I think it's just I felt interested but at the same time the story telling and P.O.V. just wasn't very appealing to me. While reading it I didn't feel any great emotions like happiness or sadness, it all seemed more neutral to me. So I can't say I felt all that connected to this piece; not like some of your past works.

I like how after it leaves you thinking though. Like I said, it left me with questions. It can be a good thing and a bad thing; in this case I believe it was a good thing and made it all the more mysterious, better. :)

I read this piece over a few times because some parts were confusing. This isn't related at all to what I just said; it's a completely different thing. I felt kind of lost at trying to figure out what Gypsy and Jamie were doing, what time this took place in... I do think it goes back to the P.O.V. If we got a look from one of their perspectives I feel it would've been less confusing, but that's just my little opinion there. :aww:

So, relating AGAIN to the P.O.V, I think narrating this story this way must've been pretty hard. I feel like all dialogues are really hard as well as no dialogue at all. When there's no dialogue, there's more room to 'show not tell'. Perhaps a reason I thought of this as just a bit hard to follow and a teensy bit off was I think you weren't using enough action. This could just be me, but your use of was and were, things like that brought me out of the story. For a suggestion, try to minimize the use of non-action verbs. It takes the reader's mind and body out of the experience of reading. Some parts of the story seems better than other parts, but it's just a suggestion.

I may have already said this, I can't remember, but I do believe that you repeated some things. This is probably me being nitpicky but I'll show you what I mean...

"(...) it ever reached its low point. His illness was rare enough that the statistical evidence was still unreliable, meaning there was no way of telling whether or not he would indeed hit that low point. At this period in his life, he was once again in the hospital. This time, however, was different. This time, he had been in the hospital for three months. He was put on a new medication. And this time, his hospital stay was due to a low point in his illness."

"(...) her happiness made most people around her happy as well. Jamie was one of those people she could make happy with just a simple smile. Her randomness infected the room with Jamie’s laughter as she made a fool of herself just to see him happy. He didn’t know who she was or where she came from, but he was incredibly happy that this strange girl had come to his room."

I'll again mention I really do love the idea and how you made the ending. Fascinating and I didn't see it coming. There may have been some things I left out or forgot to mention, good or bad, but please believe me when I say it was a great read for today. Ignore those stars over to the side, they're stupid :stare: Thanks for your wonderful words, can't wait to read more!

Take and leave any advice as you please. It's all just one person's opinion and you don't have to listen to a word of it :)
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:iconbaccaratta:
baccaratta Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I have been meaning to comment on this a long time ^^;
It is a really good work and it made my time in hospital a tidbit more enjoyable =3
I found it really intriguing to read and it managed to keep suprise me with small twists and turns which is good! :D
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013
That's fine :P I'm glad you liked it! I'm still not sure what my own opinions are, but it's good that you liked it :3
Thanks so much for the comment!
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:iconbaccaratta:
baccaratta Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Though provoking even to yourself, you truly have achieved something great =3
I did, and you are most welcome! :D
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2013
Thanks, I appreciate it :)
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Mar 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Aw sadness cake :( kudos on the idea though, I didn't expect Gypsy to take his body when he died. Unless I got the wrong impression and that's not what happened..?
Anywho, I don't know why but I could swear I had heard an idea akin to this before! Although not as interesting as this, for I'm sure if it was I could recall it easier.
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 24, 2013
That's exactly what happened :)
I think I have too... I just don't know where! :?
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Ok good, I'm glad I didn't have a slow moment lol

It'll come to one of us at an extremely inconvenient time, resulting in an outburst of "oohh!"
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2013
Haha nope, not a slow moment xD

That always happens!!! Although at the moment, I seriously have no idea why that idea sounds so familiar.. It will drive me insane.
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
You know what that does remind me of though? Danny phantom. The whole overshadow thing he can do. That shit there is boss.
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2013
You know.. I remember watching Danny Phantom all the time... But I can't tell you anything about it other than the name. ^^; I seriously don't remember anything from way back when. D:
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Student Writer
Wow, that was amazing! I'm planning to write a critique soon, but I'd just like to drop a small comment first. :typerhappy: I was really looking forward to reading this, especially because you said you'd been working on it a lot.

Seems to me that 'Gypsy' is Jamie's sister who died earlier. Maybe a miscarriage? :noes:
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013
:boogie: This comment made me really really happy. Just wanted to throw that out there first. Your impression is mostly correct! It's not a miscarriage, but a "freak accident" (if you'd like to call it that) and she died a year or two before Jamie was born.
No rush on that critique! I'm excited to see what you have to say though. Please please please tear it apart! :nod:
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Student Writer
Good to hear! :blushes: I'm not sure what a "freak accident" means though? Did something happen to her when she was a baby, but already born?

Okay then... per your request I shall find everything wrong with this and burn it to the ground. :iconcreepylaughplz:
Kidding! But I'll do my best to address everything. :aww:
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013
A freak accident is just a strange accident that was completely unexpected, like someone goes to cross an empty street when suddenly a car comes out of nowhere and hits them. It could be something like what you mentioned as well, I don't have specifics on that though.

Please do! :D
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Mar 28, 2013  Student Writer
Ohh, I see. That name makes an awful lot of sense now. :omg:
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2013
It's funny how some names make perfect sense while others are just completely random. :shrug:
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