Father looses a son and is upset he did not fulfill his expectations.
The leaves were gently swirling in the soft breeze as they fell towards the earth’s floor on a fine autumn day. This was the fate of most leaves in Queensland Park. They grew, they aged, and eventually they fell. Some landed on the paths, some on the grass, some in the hats of passersby, and only a few on the old bench. There was nothing extraordinary about this bench’s appearance. It sat alone under a large oak, slowly shedding flakes of its green coat. But it was not the appearance of this bench that made it distinctive, but the memory it held of a man.
Queensland Park was not the sort of park one would take a child to. It had a delicate, peaceful atmosphere that could easily be shattered by the playful antics of children. It was also the place where Mr. Lanton took his daily walk. Mr. Lanton was a very ambitious man. He had gained success at a very young age and was leading what some might call the “ideal life.” He had found a respectable wife, who had bore him a son. When the child was 8 years of age, Mr. Lanton started taking him along on his daily walks. Every day they would walk through the park and sit on the bench under the oak tree, and every day, with the glories of nature around them, Mr. Lanton would tell his son of the company he was to inherit and the money he would make and the high position he would obtain in society. 12 years passed. The somber boy became a man and had learned to share his father’s avarice. Father and son still visited the bench daily.
Then one fateful day, as autumn was nearing its end and winter was wrapping itself around the nearly bare trees and fallen leaves, there arose a strong, piercing north wind. The last surviving leaves were harshly blown off their boughs and carried away.
The bench was not visited that day. Or the next. Or the next.
It was one week before the bench was occupied again, and then by only one man. It was a frightfully cold day. The very air seemed to have frozen. There was no wind. No sound. No feeling. Mr. Lanton was not aware of the cold. His only perception was that no one was sitting beside him. His son was gone, never to return. His son whom he had taught. But what had he taught him? What does succeeding in the future matter if there is to be none? The silence was broken. There was weeping.
A slight breeze materialized. One leaf, the last that had survived through the howling tempest of the previous week, now broke from its branch. Gently it floated down and quietly, unperceived, it landed on the bench, and caught the tears of the old man.
This review is being submitted by a student of Dynamic Reviewing. Thank you for allowing me to read and comment on your writing.
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I liked The Bench because the tone was a mellow one without changing. Though the ending was sorrowful, and the subjects of money ambition and death were part of the story, the tone remained the same.
Overall, besides the tone and mysterious mood, the plot, with the Father facing the education of his son that rises to the end, worked well. I followed the story line easily.
The past tense and the third person omniscience worked also. His son whom he had taught. But what had he taught him? What does succeeding in the future matter if there is to be none? The silence was broken. There was weeping.
This passage shows how the third person omniscience worked. The the reader knows the thoughts of the protagonist.
The plot development seeing the father and son's relationship develop from the son being an 8 year old to being over 20 was smooth and somber.
Maybe, to catch the readers' interest more, this first sentence would work:
"I taught him and ushered him to a truly happy life, now when I hoped he would watch over me, he won't.
There wern't any glarying grammar nor punctuation faults.
The rising acation, (the bench visits), the climax with the bench not being visited, "His son was gone, never to return," and the (ending with the falling of the leaf) serves as a nice resolution.
The result was a mood that was mellow and good.
Keep writing, chip.