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  • I’d wanted to be a vet since I was a child. I was well into adulthood when I graduated, just in time for that first pandemic to make me a dog-walker with a medical license. The world subsequently got worse. F […]

    • Hello Seyi. Brilliant imagery (“… twitching mass glistening with flies at the bottom of the crater.’), and you achieve the horrific scene very well with your descriptions. I think there is an error in the last sentence of the first paragraph:

      • “…but when sleep would bring dreams…”, perhaps this should read: “…but [then?] sleep..”? Somehow, I’m stumbling on this sentence.

        Am I right in my understanding that in this world, it’s the “humans” that are now being led by the leash and are at the mercy of the canine world? Correct me if I’m wrong! Your MC has lost his vocal cords and is trapped in the mind and reasoning of a human. Well written!

        PS. Apologies for the split comment… I posted the first comment prematurely…

    • Hi Seyi,
      This was such a fascinating read! I loved the way you kept it a secret that the narrator was actually a canine. You paint very graphic images and it awes me every time. I was however a little confused as to what was ‘hot dog’? Was it the name of some elite dog or some food supply. Maybe it’s just me. The dialogue and setting were done stupendously well and enjoyed the story. Great read! Thank you for sharing!

  • ‘Have you spoken to Cedric recently?’ Theresa asked from behind the double plated glass, speaking into the receiver that linked her to where Miriam sat.

    ‘No, actually I meant to tell you that he was killed in a […]

  • “Nanna, tell us a fairy tale!” The violet-eyed girl poked the woman sitting next to her in the hammock.

    “No! Tell us an adventure story!” The boy crossed his arms over his chest and muttered: “Girly stuff suc […]

    • I really liked this story. I love stories about folk lore. Also, I love the ending. I like to think of a family of humans who have taken on the task of caring for Dryads.

  • Bad News?

    Pam jumped as she heard the firm knock on the front door. Her first instinct was to ignore it. She remained as she was; sat, or rather, slumped over the kitchen table as she idly watched the dust motes […]

    • This is a bit grim – nightmare news for Pam, delivered rather bluntly, and after the morning she’s already had with her daughter. This piece is a good example of developing a sombre atmosphere in a story: blank, silence, toe tapping, quiet, changed to stone – it all works very well to build the sense of something ominous going on – well done.

    • Hi Maria,
      That was one intense read! You did a brilliant job of sketching Pam’s character in this part. It is indeed harrowing for a woman to keep her husband’s secrets under wraps, that too secrets of such magnitude. Colonel Sparron came across as a shrewd military gut equipped to get his way with this helpless woman. The characters were gold and the scene was emotionally charged. You raised the tension subtly and that worked in the favour of the story. Great writing! Thank you for sharing!

  • Week 24
    A night out
    Robert pulled up a chair at the small table. His friend Anan was already there and greeted him with joy filled eyes. All the tables were taken, and a few people were dancing in the open space […]

  • The child hesitated in the doorway. He fidgeted for a moment, shuffling from foot to foot. Eventually, he tapped on the half-open door.

    ‘Come in,’ said a voice from within.

    The boy stepped over the threshold and […]

    • Oh, Susan! I literally laughed out loud at the ending!

      From the beginning with Connor’s hesitancy at the headmaster’s door all the way through to Mr. Skinner quelling the riot in the classroom, you’ve captured school-life so well. It took me right back to school days and that was… many moons ago. I also like the ease with which you included the Macbeth reference.

      Mr Platt sounds like a fun teacher, the sort to grab and hold a child’s imagination in a way that would, most likely I’m sure, make the lesson ‘stick’ but, oh dear… he has dug himself into a bit of a hole, hasn’t he?

      That ending, though – I did not see it coming at all 😂

    • Hi Susan,
      I really enjoyed this. I was drawn to your entry by the image accompanying it. Took me back to my childhood when I read books with similar pictures given to me by my uncle. I do wish I could remember the titles. I read them over and over.
      Your story was worth the read. The humour running through it ensured a continual smile on my face. And it fitted the word count perfectlly. Thanks for an enjoyable story.

      • Hi Maria, thank you for your kind feedback, glad you enjoyed the story. (I lifted the image from an advert for ‘Down With Skool! – A Guide to School Life for Tiny Pupils and Their Parents, by Geoffrey Willans, if that helps you find those books again – they sound like fun.)

    • This has such a nice flow. It reads like it is part of a larger novel about the life of a school child. Loud chuckles at the ending.

  • Study subject: ten-year-old female. She’s 4 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs 63 pounds. The girl comes from a lower middle socio-economic background.The social environment surrounding the family nucleus is subject t […]

    • Wow, Ana. This is a dark one, even for you. 🙂 What an interesting way to relate a story! You’ve cleverly unwrapped your character, sheet by sheet. Well told. Well done.

  • “Do I have to fold the pushchair? The child’s very sleepy.” said the woman.

    “There’s no room for it unless you do,” said the driver.

    “That child’s far too big for a pushchair,” Anna thought as she slipped past […]

    • Hi June,
      wow, way to dismantle stereotypes. Of all the directions this story could go, I never suspected it would turn out to be a thriller. And it’s so well-done, the realistic claustrophobia in the bus, the characters’ reactions. Then comes the most unexpected twist, and the gratifying resolution. I enjoyed this one a lot!

    • Gosh that was an interesting and exciting story June. I like how you unfolded your experiment with prejudice. Interesting because sometimes one’s first impression can be the truth like Anna’s impression that the child was too old for a pushchair. Lots of action throughout. Loved the turnabout ending. Well done!

    • Oh! I’m feeling very stupid because I can’t quite work out what’s going on in this story. It’s beautifully written, and I can envisage all the action, all the characters – I’m just confused. Very enigmatic June!

    • Hi, June, You have a wonderful grasp of how to write intrigue. Your story was exciting, but as a writer, you should keep in mind the information you give to the reader. I think there were too many questions left unanswered. This story would have been a great choice for a longer piece where you could have developed the scene and answered some of the questions for the reader such as:  her pupils large in her eyes. You gave an impression that Pushchair lady had kidnapped and drugged the child, but Blingy man also is expecting a child to be delivered to him. Is this the same child? Or are there two separate incidents of kidnapping? The woman kept pushing the child down the street. Was it away from the policeman or toward him? Did the child fall into Blingy man’s arms because she knew him? I’ve reread this story three times and each time I have questions. If this is an excerpt from a longer story, then please forgive all my input. Nicely written and it made me think, which is what is important. Thanks again, Sharon

  • There was nothing to be done about the offer until after the lawyers reviewed the documents. Since Christmas fell on a Wednesday that year, the Tuesday deadline I requested would be tight as it was. The only thing […]

    • Hi Art,
      wow, our hero is not doing a good job of being a hero in this scene.

      In the dialogue section “on the way home”, I struggled to figure out who said what. You might need to add a couple of “he said/ she said” tags.

      //Per

      PS Title… so hard as we don’t know the ending yet!

      • What do you mean? You couldn’t see them in your mind like I did when they’re talking? Yeah, I’ll handle that in the rewrite. Thanks.

    • Hey Art, this scene is terrific, dramatic and explosive. A couple of things. I think, when you rewrite you can allow more description of the old vs new area. Paint a picture. Then ‘The parking lot was filled with last-minute shoppers’ should be ‘was filled with the cars of last-minute shoppers’. ‘It suddenly hit me that I had not told her about the plans for the manga store’ right at the top. I think you can lose it. When James brings it up it is like a little bomb. I hate Cathy. A lot.
      In terms of title, this scene kinda suggests thinking along the lines of Written on the Face.

      • Great comments that will join the pile of work in rewrite! I was worried about not having enough material. If I flesh all the descriptions as you have pointed out here and previously,ly, I might have to worry about being too long.

  • Later that day, Fran received a frantic phone call from Bernard in Budapest. The one feature chandelier in the hotel foyer was creating problems and shorting all the ground floor power and the supplier was […]

  • “Whoa… Are you serious?” For the first time in his life, he was speechless. Well, second time. The first was when his mother told him she had set him up for a date with her best friend, twenty years his senio […]

    • Hi Astrid,

      As always, I was waiting for this part. Your story is moving at a great pace and the details you have highlighted in this episode through the dialogue exchange is really impressive. Most often I have come across murder mysteries that are gory, too violent and I think most crime writers think that’s the way to go about it. I am so pleased to see that you have adopted a completely different approach towards this story. There just a few tiny suggestions that I have

      “urgency driving at his words.” Here, I think the phrase will sound just as impactful if you remove ‘at’. But it’s your call.

      “And how in hell did he expect me to do that, exactly?” This line is out of inverted commas in the dialogue. But since the story is from a third person perspective, I believe you meant this line to be a part of the dialogue, in which case it should be within inverted commas. I might be wrong, please correct me if I am.
      I really enjoyed the camaraderie between Spalding and Sage. The strong friendship between the two had played a major role in shaping up the case and you uphold their relationship so beautifully. I really liked the humour that you have inserted in between their lines. It makes it more realistic. And what on earth is the deal with Woodrow? I am curious for more! Thank you for the wonderful read!

  • “You’re stepping on my radishes.” I tried to sound menacing, adding a growl to the timber of my tone, but it only made you cry harder, fat tears rolling down chubby cheeks.

    You looked down to where I point […]

    • Charming. This is a beautiful, moving prose poem and I thoroughly enjoyed it, Hyle. My only comment would be to suggest you nip back in and edit that apostrophe from ‘we’re normal’ to ‘were’. (Wretched automated text thingies, no doubt.) My favourite phrase was ‘watering my vegetables with your sorrow’, but there were so many gems…. Well done.

    • Hi Hyle,
      That was such an imaginative and interesting story! I love how you create this forest of unspoken, undeciphered words and bring this recurring character into the scene. It seems like this character is looking for something. I wonder who the caretaker of the forest is, the one with fix ears. I have a feeling that I am reading a chunk out of a bigger story? It will be really awesome to have a foreword or follow up to this. Great writing! Thank you for sharing!

  • It was a typical boring Saturday night. Translated: I was too exhausted to get off my butt and do something that required any effort on my part.

    So I thought I’d just tool around on my cell phone, and nurse a […]

    • Hi Charles,
      I always look forward to your stories! This was such a fun read and I love the everyday humour you inject in your tales. A puppet can be so important to a child, I would not have believed it unless I read the antics of this boy. I think it’s time you published an anthology with all these funny tales. It will a splendid collection! Wonderful read! Thank you for sharing!

    • Charles – well done once again. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Easy to follow and funny and then it his you with some repercussions and loss of innocence. Always a joy to read! Thanks for sharing! I agree with Amrita – its time for you to get all this stories in one collection! – Matt

  • 24 Roy – Sunday 6:30pm
    “Roy, I’m so glad I reached you!” Helen’s animated voice came over the speaker as Roy drove to the Eastern Pearl. “I just heard from Magera. Shiva Patel is dead. He crashed while chasing the […]

    • Hi Peggy – what time is it in your part of the world when you post?! I’ve been meaning to ask, as we’re always amongst the first!
      Poor Charles, but that’s what getting mixed up in all of this is going to cost you…almost certainly his licence if not his freedom, even if he did think he was helping. I guess he could make a case for that…
      This is much tighter writing than some of the earlier scenes and I have little to offer in terms of pick ups – although I do wonder why there is no other police person to go and bring Minsang in – after all she is a living witness to everything that happened and she is still just languishing in the flat. Asking her father to go there might also be considered a little irregular but as I said last time, though, I could have been watching too many police shows!!! Well done and good riddance to Shiva Patel…

  • Haemon Valeri draped himself in the flowing tunic of a high ranking Solarin and crossed the lavishly furnished bedroom to gaze at his reflection in the mirror. The dark red cloth made his pale skin seem […]

    • Hi Peggy,
      The suspense is great and the story is looking absolutely stunning! I loved how diabolical you have made Haemon. He is the true definition of a narcissist. What happened to Aram is alarming and I hope his plan works out. I wonder how Haemon will get his die. The suspense and pacing of the story is topnotch and you ended on a powerpacked cliffhanger. Awesome writing! Thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Peggy. I love how you bring the simple longing for a domestic pleasure – laundry, into your story. Although the fact that he longs for clean clothes doesn’t detract from the monster Haemon. I’m still sitting on the edge of my seat, waiting for the next instalment. Keep going.

  • # PREFACE

    Dearest child,

    When anyone used to ask you what you wanted to become when you were all grown up, you just stared at them. Blank expression in those steel-blues. 

    “I’m not growing up,” you’d say. 

    A […]

    • Oh man. I felt every word. The charm of it. The perspective. The kindness, generosity, familiarity. Beautiful.

    • I love this advice to a child! Not speaking down to the younger person, more on an adult level. So full of experience, common sense and understanding. Thank you for sharing your story/letter.

  • Week 23
    Doctor Vihaan Reddy’s house.
    Grizelda had asked Bessie to drive her to Vihaan’s home, and told her about the message Robert had sent her.

    “It doesn’t make sense.” Bessie had shaken her head in protest, […]

  • This is the last bit of the backstory I think. I’m still not 100% sure where I’m going to put this but I hope it makes sense. As always, thanks for reading and all comments welcome.

    =====

    Suddenly I realised […]

  • CHAPTER 39The entrance to the stables was nearly a mile away. Chandler brought the car to a halt outside a small double-story house. It wasn’t a small house, but after Wedgecombe Manor everything looked small. T […]

  • @The constant chirping mixed in with an occasional trill gingered up the thumping in his head. “Why did I build wooden houses on the trees and buy a water fountain?” Spalding rubbed his throbbing head while lying […]

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Amrita Sarkar

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@amrita_sarkar

Active 52 minutes ago
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