Peer Review by icecreamcastles (United States)

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Stranded

By: jar jar jesus


A hunter sat by a river with his trusty canoe by his side. He had a long day and was trying to get some rest after a bear hurt his arm. He took his left sock off and wrapped it around the wound. He had been trying to hunt deer when the bear suddenly attacked him. He managed to fight it off but the bear still wounded him. He had to deal with this kind of stuff everyday. He had been stranded for almost two months, and had been trying to survive with all he had left: his clothes, his canoe, an old notebook, and a pair of scissors. He had been doing well so far, considering that he has survived for two months. He wanted to go back home, but he couldn’t find his way back. After he got up, he scavenged for berries, hoping it was enough. He had learned to ration his food so it could last him the day. After all, he had to. He was stranded. He found some berries on a bush near the river, and ate some of them. He put the rest in his pocket, saving them for later. He then took a piece of paper from his old notebook, ripped it out, and used it for a marker so he knew where to find the berry bush again. He walked back to the river and rested some more. He fell asleep in his canoe, leaning up against the front for a pillow-like feel. It wasn’t that comfortable, but it would have to do. He rested for a good, long while, but he was woken up by the sound of ruffling grass. A deer, he thought. Silently, and carefully, he lifted himself up, leaving only his eyes visible, and peeked out of the canoe. He was right! A deer was standing a few feet away from the boat, grazing on the grass near the river. He lifted the rest of his body out of the canoe, and snuck up on the deer. This might be his last opportunity for a meal. He gets his scissors out of his pocket, and...BAM! He stabs the dear in the neck, instantly killing it. I’m sorry, he thinks to himself. He carries the dear back to the river, storing it for later. After he laid the dear across the river bank, he searched for firewood. It hadn’t been raining recently, so most of the wood should make excellent firewood. He finds a couple trees, and uses his scissors to try to saw off tree branches. He managed to get a pretty good pile of wood, so he took the branches back to his resting spot by the river. He put the scissors back in his pocket, and picks up the branches and puts them in the canoe, so he knows where to find them. He then goes back to the bush he marked with the notebook paper, and tries to find more berries that he previously didn’t see. He found a good handful, and put them into his pocket that he put the other berries in. He tries to find nearby squirrels or plump birds to catch and eat, but he didn't have any luck. He slowly walks back to the river, and leans up against the canoe. He dozes off for a while, then wakes up hungry. He took the firewood the put in his canoe and tried to start a fire. It took a long time, but he did it. He then takes the deer, and reaches in his pocket for his scissors. He cuts good sized slices out of the deer, strips the hair from them, and roasts the meat over the fire. He takes a bite out of the first slice, slowly chewing it to savor its delicious flavor, and then swallows it. He slowly eats the meat he prepared, savoring every bite, until it’s gone. He gets up, goes back to the canoe, and rests until morning. 
After a long while, He feels the warm sun on his skin. It’s morning. He rubbed his eyes as he slowly got up to start the day. He looked up at the sky, the sun in his eyes. He turned his head. He saw some birds flying in the sky. What a great day, he thought. It was warm and sunny, and he had just gotten up. Soon after, he suddenly felt a bit hungry. He reached into his pocket and grabs a handful of the berries he picked the other day. He lifted his hand up, dropped the handful of berries into his mouth, and swallowed them. He slowly got up, and dragged his canoe into the river. He grabbed some leftover firewood he collected the day before, and put it in the boat. He took the notebook paper by the bush to use it as a marker for something else. He didn’t need it anymore. He was moving to a different spot along the river. He took two long pieces of firewood, and used them as paddles. He didn’t mind getting two sticks wet, he had a lot of leftover firewood. He hopped into the boat, and started to paddle backward. He rowed for about an hour, until he finally came across a good settling spot. It was a lush green forest by the river with berry bushes everywhere. On the other side of the river there were miles of plain with a few trees scattered across. This is wonderful! He thought. Suddenly, his stomach started to rumble. All that rowing made him hungry, and what better way to get food than looking for birds in the forest! He hopped out of his canoe with his firewood and notebook in hand, and dragged the canoe out of the water. He set his canoe down, and walked into the forest. He immediately found some berry bushes with lots of berries on them. He picks them off one by one and holds them in the palm of his hand. He eats a few of the newly picked berries before putting the rest in his pocket to save for later. He takes his notebook and rips out pieces of paper to mark the bushes so he can find them when he wants more berries again. He continues to walk, and hears strange noises. He slowly reaches into his pocket and grabbed his scissors in case something attacked him. It wasn’t the best weapon, but it was what he had. He walked deeper and deeper into the forest with his scissors in his hand. He heard something. He ducked behind some bushes, peeked through, and saw a few rabbits on the other side. He was feeling hungry after all, so he crept up behind the rabbits. All of them noticed him and started to hop away, but he grabbed one and managed to kill it. I’ll have this for dinner tonight, He thought. He was just about to go back when he heard a noise. It sounded like a roar. A BEAR! He thought, scared out of his mind. He made a run for it. He ran and ran back to the river, but the bear caught up with him. He turned around, pointed the scissors at the bear, and charged. The bear ran towards him, and clawed at him, but he dodged, and stabbed the bear in the leg. The bear let out a cry of pain, then ran towards him. The bear bit his leg really hard. He tried to get out of the bear’s grip, but it was no use. He continued to stab him, until he stabbed his eye. The bear let go and roared, its eye quivering. He tried to run back to the river, but his leg was injured badly, and the bear got on top of him. He was held to the ground, all of him except his hand with the scissors. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die. I’m gonna die!, He screamed to himself as he was trying to break free of the bear’s grip. The bear lunged at him to rip him apart, but he remembered the hand with the scissors wasn’t being held down, and punctured the bear’s lower jaw all the way through his head. He wasn’t in danger anymore, but his leg was still hurt badly. Luckily, he had broken his bone instead of the bear ripping his leg off, so his leg could heal, just not for a while. He took off his jacket and wrapped it tightly around the broken leg to act like a cast. It was far from perfect, but it was what he had. After some time, he finally managed to get back to the river. He rested under a nearby tree and ate some berries he had found in the forest. He walks back to his resting spot, uses the last of his firewood besides his paddles, and starts a fire. He takes his dead rabbit from before, skins it with the scissors, and cooks the meat. He takes a piece of the meat from the rabbit he just made for himself, and puts it into his mouth. He slowly chews it, savoring its wonderful flavor, and swallows it. The taste is so good, he wants more, and more. He gobbles the rabbit meat up until its gone. That was so good!, he thinks to himself, his hunger satisfied with the rabbit meat he made. He stretches his arms, then his legs, then his neck, and walks over to the canoe. He had a long day, and he needed some rest. He laid down in his canoe, and fell into a deep sleep. He slept for a while, until he was woken up by a howl. Can’t I just sleep!, he angrily thought to himself. He woke up and saw that the fire was still burning from before. He carefully grabbed a stick from the campfire, trying not to topple the sticks over and light the grass on fire. He held his newly-made torch in his hand, and walked toward the direction the howl came from. He crouched down and quietly moved toward the sound. He heard another howl. With his torch in his hand, he kept moving towards the sound. He kept walking until he got there. It was a pack of wolves feasting on a moose they caught. He went up to the wolves and screamed at them. He waved the torch in their faces and drove them away. He ran back to his spot, put the torch back in the campfire, and dozed off. He was in too much of a deep sleep to realize that the pack of wolves from before was creeping up behind his canoe. He heard a ruffle, then a scratch, then a howl. He woke up and pulled the scissors out of his pocket as fast as he could. He saw the pack of wolves he had driven out. He charged at one of them with the scissors and punctured the stomach of the wolf. He pulled the scissors out and the wolf started to gush blood out of its stomach. The rest of the wolves charged him and clawed at him. He hopped away and took the scissors apart to make two blades. He threw one at a wolf’s eye, and kept the other part in his hand. He pulled the first scissor blade out of the wolf's eye and impaled his leg so he couldn’t run. The rest of the pack fled and the other one limped away. He roared at them to scare them, grabbed water from the river to put the fire out, and went back to sleep in his canoe. He woke up the next morning with a craving for fish. Luckily, he was living by a river. He found some fish swimming in the river. He noticed they were all going one way, so he tipped his canoe over on its side, the opening facing the fish, to capture some of the fish for a meal. He dragged the canoe out of the water, and saw about seven fish flopping around in the canoe. He snatched one out of the canoe, sliced its head off with his scissors, gut it, and ate it. He didn’t care if he would get sick. He had a tough immune system, and the water was fine. He didn't want the fish to go bad, and he was still hungry, so he sliced all of their heads off and gut them. He ate all of them whole, and it would fill him up for some time. He then ripped out a piece of notebook paper, and drew an arrow facing the direction the fish were coming from with nearby dirt so he knew where to get the fish and which way to face the canoe. He embedded it into the ground with a stick, so it would stay in that spot. He decided to take a trip in the canoe. After all, he almost got killed by wolves yesterday, so he wanted to treat himself. He hopped in his canoe and paddled backward. After a while, he saw a huge forest. He wanted to enjoy the scenery, so he stopped paddling and stood up in the canoe. He felt the breeze on his face as he looked at the beautiful forest. He liked it so much he hopped out of his canoe and ran into the forest. He was starting to get hungry, so he tried to find food, but with no luck. He tried to go back, but he lost his way. He tried to get out for hours, but he ended up walking deeper and deeper into the forest. This is the end. He thought. He was starving, he was thirsty, and he was cold. It was night, and it was getting colder by the minute. He found some tree branches and tried to start a fire. He managed to succeed, but he was still cold. He threw some leaves into the fire to make a smoke signal, in case anyone was nearby. He would die if he couldn’t get any warmer. Suddenly, he heard a faint whirring sound. A helicopter? He thought. He threw more leaves into the fire to create more smoke. The whirring sound got closer. It is a helicopter! He thought, excited. He made more smoke, and eventually the helicopter dropped down a rope ladder. He climbed up the ladder, and hopped in the helicopter. He was finally free from the wilderness. He explained his situation to the driver of the helicopter, and told the driver where he lived. The helicopter driver took him back to his house in the country. His family was so excited to see that he was back. I’ll never take what I have for granted again! He thought. He took a look around. He was glad he was home, and he was glad to be living in a house again. “I never thought I would see you guys again!” he said as he hugged his wife and son. It was almost midnight, and he needed some rest. He then went to his bedroom, and not his canoe, and rested until morning.


Peer Review

The unusual protagonist. He doesn't seem to react in ways I would expect a person to - he doesn't respond to injuries much, he eats a lot... and for someone who is lost for months, he still seems to take pleasure in things like canoeing and scenery when a normal person might be too exhausted from just surviving. He is intriguing.


We need to know more about his inner thoughts. I would like to know why he was hunting alone with no way to be found, whether he is scared at all or sad about his family. Does he think people are searching for him? Is there a reason he seems so contented with being completely alone in the wilderness?


I want to know what lead to the hunting trip and whether he was alone or if other members of his hunting party got separated. I want to learn more about the hardships of hiking in the forests and the weather and temperature and less about the food he finds. Or maybe more details like the kind of berries or the taste of the raw fish...


I think maybe some place like Alaska where there are so many miles of lands without people.


I think there could be some really interesting angles about the main character, because he doesn't come across as completely human or normal. I also think there needs to be a direction the story is headed as right now it kind of seems like a complete short story that ends in his rescue.


Reviewer Comments

I would rewrite with it written more in his own voice so we understand him better. I think also add in little moments of back story - maybe the flickering fire reminds him of Christmas morning back home with his wife and child and makes him feel like crying because he may never see them again. If he has a broken leg or a gashed arm, either make it a feature that he doesn't feel the pain or has super human healing, or else write about the agonizing pain and remember to reference the injury as the story goes on.

Overall I liked it, but I was left wanting to know more about the hunter, because I don't know even his name.