I've been writing a few short stories lately. I'd like to share them, but you must give constructive criticism because I really don't know how to write and would like to learn how to be better. This story is very short. I've left it open to interpretation as to who the characters are and what is happening. It was inspired by a test used to find the reincarnation of the Dalai Lama.
Dust drifted through the shaft of light coming from the small window overhead. The room was small and smelled of old wood and moth balls. Around the room were belongings that could easily be mistaken for junk. A rusting wrench, a small toy boat, some clothes and other items that are so easily collected throughout life and yet difficult to part with even after the owner has died and turned to dust.
On a stool in the center of the room an elderly man sat watching a small child walk around the room examining all the items. With the seriousness of a toddler the boy stooped to look closely at the wrench and then becoming bored tottered over to the robes. Picking up the robes the child giggled and a small grin creased the lined face of the old man. The child then spied the small toy boat and quickly tossed the robes down and hurried to snatch up the wooden boat. The sail was old canvas that was more brown then the original white and the paint on the hull had chipped and cracked. The child grabbed hold of the boat by the mast and gave it a big shake, hoping for noise or lights that he was used to seeing with his toys at home. Disappointed the child waddled over to the old man and handed him the boat with a look of hope in his eyes.
The old man took the boat from the child 's outreached hands and with tears in the corners of his eyes croaked, "Sorry little one."
A dark, tall figure that had been observing the exchange stepped forward.
"Frederick," the old man said. "Please take the child."
"Of course, sir." Frederick answered with a voice as cold as winter night. With the stiff-backed tread of a man accustomed to military marching, Frederick walked up to the little boy and with gentleness that belied his demeanor, took the boy's hand.
"Come, child. It's time to leave this place."
Turning quickly he led the small child through the door, leaving the old man weeping gently in the silent, dusty room.