• “Your Excellence,” Mike turned to see Randy standing behind him. “The royal dog has been walked.” He handed the leash over to Mike ceremoniously.

    Mike checked Walk Dog off his list.

    “Ok, now he needs a bath,” […]

    • Haha Jennifer, I love the vision of Mike directing his siblings but that he is not the actual commander in chief !! Great story!

    • Good dialogue. I especially like how you keep it a surprise till the very end that Michael is not the one truly in charge. Good story!

  • I enjoyed your story. I love the way they handled the task and how Jane knew to use the tweezers. I did notice what I think was a typo. “Tell you what, go her mum’s tweezers,” I think you meant get and not her. I also loved the bit about don’t tell mum about the tweezers the conspiratorial vibe is so sisterly.

  • Thank you for the heads up. I will go fix that.

  • Marni washed the last spoon and placed it in the strainer. She wiped down the counter and headed downstairs to do the laundry. She pulled the fluffy warm towels from the dryer, folded them and placed them in a […]

    • Hi Jennifer,
      I like the subtle irony of your piece, given by the repetition of the question “Seriously?” I also like this sort of domestic feel to it.

    • Hi Jennifer, this is a very well crafted story and an enjoyable read. Clear and vivid visuals and a great build-up of tension towards the inevitable ending 😉 I would have been more than just ticked off 😉
      Just a heads up: Your story is posted for the wrong prompt – this is for prompt 60 ‘excellence’. You may want to go back to editing and put it in for prompt 59

    • Brutal! Well captured a too common occurrence.

  • Your writing is so poetic. I especial loved this sentence: “A finch tries to match the play of its tail with the amplitude and frequency of the oscillating paddies.” For its poetry. I also loved how you described his mother pleading outside his door until she lost her voice. “Ma pleaded till her failing voice could.” One phrase that I didn’t quite…[Read more]

  • Thank you for reading.

  • Peggy pulled the snack plates out of the cabinet. Four of them as always. She placed one beside each spot. She pulled the chips out of the bags on the counter and placed them on the sideboard. One bag of potato […]

    • I’m hungry now. Nice read.

    • Fun read; your dialogue and description brought me right into the kitchen. It felt realistic for good friends to be able to predict each other so well. Very clever use of the prompt.
      I initially got angry with Peggy’s friends at the end because they seemed to be trivializing her grief, but I forgave them because it worked for her. Each of us is different. Good friendship requires and survives honesty, but also sensitivity. Peggy’s friends’ struggle to find the right balance and their hesitancy to speak up reflects what happens in real life, especially if it’s the first such loss within their circle. They’ve faithfully been there for her week after week, bit still don’t know the right words because no one does. This is a difficult topic to explore with a low word count, but you got all that across. Good job!

    • I like where this went at the end. I was wondering where it was going but I like that it ended up being friends helping her grieve and then coming together to work her into a new phase of her life. I am wondering if you could sneak in hints earlier how this tradition got started. It’s clear in the beginning that there is a way this always goes, but I’d like some hints as to a larger reason for this tradition. I have friends too that keep me going, I can relate to how these friend connections save us in the darkest of times 🙂 And such a fun way of bringing up their boredom. Thanks for sharing.

    • An amusing read – it pulled me in and made me feel like one of the girls. Every woman needs her posse, and you did a good job of highlighting an important aspect of true friendship; that sometimes you have to be ‘cruel’ to be kind. I want to go dancing with them next week! Well done 🙂

    • I liked the reading and description. I amuse myself with the way things seemed to be some special occasion rather than a repetitive event.

    • What a great story. I loved how the monotony grew throughout the piece and then it smashed open with laughter taking the reader from dull to excited. Well done.

    • This was such a good read! I giggled at the comment about the twins and relate so strongly to food and how it speaks to our traditions – but sometimes traditions are a burden and you capture that so well in this piece. I would add perhaps a bit of foreshadowing or maybe a bit of backstory earlier in the piece, maybe a comment about since Marty was gone or something to that effect. (And I used to work with a Doug who always left early, so that also made me giggle – bonus points!!)

    • Nice take. Traditions can be fun but can also get onto you. As Lenore mentioned, knowing a little about Marty would be nice. Glad the friends continue to have a good time. Thanks for sharing.

    • I loved the way the scrabble game worked into the story and the message the girls were trying to send.

    • The words in the Scrabble game story made me think of my quarantine entertainment! I enjoyed reading this.

    • Hi Jennifer – I also loved this – the friends’ conversations re work, kids, cats reminded me in a way of my book club – we call then nail varnish conversations – the dialogue was very natural. The last part where you reveal where the tradition came from felt a tiny bit repetitive – it comes out in the dialogue then you tell us again, so you could liberate some words there and use them as suggested for dropping hints about Marty but overall great job! And I loved the Scrabble word choices!

    • “Didn’t occur to them they’re not identical and are opposite genders.” A gem of a line in its unraveling of mundane into funny.
      Enough has been written above this story. I will not add. This story can feature in a story writing class as it has everything right. Almost copybook in its structure (start to evoke curiosity, middle to settle with a device like Scrabble and end with unexpected twist), yet such a witty take on the aftermath on departure of a loved one. It was so enriching for me to read this story. A perfect story, this is.

  • Tansy looked around her apartment. Mr. Whiskers was sitting on the counter like a castaway. He let out an angry meow before repositioning himself with his back to her. He was not happy about being stranded.

    The […]

    • Ooh what a nightmare and very descriptive! I like the angry castaway cat 😂. I wonder if the forgetfulness is a symptom of a larger issue? Hm.

    • Hi Jennifer – your MC seems more happy with having cleaned her sink than upset at having flooded hers and her neighbour’s homes!! I can relate totally to the list making – maybe she needs one on the front door that reminds her to switch all appliances (and taps ) off before leaving the house!
      On the topics of taps, that would have been more natural than ‘knobs’ (or even faucets in US speak!) when she switched them off and maybe
      ‘ stopper’ is more common usage in the US than ‘plug’ but the latter sounds more correct to me! But fun story all the same!

    • Good writing! I like your build-up to her figuring out what was going on (ie left her taps on and caused flood). She was a lot calmer than I would have been in that situation—wish I could be so chill about the mess and how to make everything okay again, hopefully, with her landlord and neighbour.

    • Enjoyable, and very visual and descriptive. I love that she doesn’t have a panic about the Neighbour downstairs.
      Love the cat been brought into the scene, they always make a place complete.
      Nice!

  • Loved the tension you built up. I was both eager and hesitant to see what Spud was going to find. A murder weapon is a horrible thing to find. What a story must be connected to that.

  • Screwdriver

    We called Anthony “Screwdriver” because he was the guy who could fix anything. Something broke, you took it to Screwdriver. He had one of those toolboxes without a lid. You know, the one’s made out of […]

    • I was thinking that the screwdriver will something special at the end. But it developed as a sad story that screwdriver wanted to fix something beyond the capacity of his toolbox.

    • Wow Jennifer this is excellent. Packs a real punch at the end. I LOVE these real short pieces, they can be so impactful, and yours is just that.

    • Hey Jennifer. Really well done with this. The reveal is softly slipped in but it changes a lot about the preceding words. Very best regards, Seyi

    • Great job writing “screwdriver” character. The twist ending was impactful; that the one thing he wanted to fix he couldn’t even find.
      Good writing!

    • Wonderful story.
      Evoking emotions beautifully in such a short word span.
      I loved reading it.

  • The Stranger

    Dressed differently, she was new to town not just at school. She had hoped sitting at the best table in the lunchroom would attract people so she wouldn’t have to eat lunch alone.

    Alisha and her […]

    • At last someone has stood up to the windbag! I remember that type at High School. That’s my kind of protagonist. A story with a strong message.

    • I always enjoy a story when the underdog comes out on top! Thanks!

    • Well done, Jennifer- love how your MC observes the scene and then moves in, emboldened by Cori. And let’s face it anyone called Coriander needs to know how to stand her ground!!

  •  
    The Lawn
     
    Big Ed prepped his mower in anticipation of another year of lush green lawn. Blades had to be sharpened and the motor had to be primed to ensure dependability. His fuel cans were lined-up in his s […]

    • Nice piece, Jennifer. You cana see that he knows what he is doing. You are right he will have a battle with neighbors that don’t care. Thanks for sharing.

    • Your Big Ed would certainly side with the older woman in my story. I like how you set this story up. Without any description of him, I have a complete picture of Big Ed.

    • Ha, so much showing of this dude’s personality. I wonder what his day job is! Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Jennifer,
      You painted a beautiful character description through your detailed wording. So much to absorb in such a little count. Loved it 🙂 Astrid

    • I don’t think Big Ed would like living next to me. His passion or obsession with his lawn was well described.

    • Deryn replied 1 week ago

      Hi Jennifer – suburban competition is FIERCE! Love this meticulous determination to win the unspoken contest!

    • Hi Jennifer! Great job with this one. At first, I thought Big Ed was a military officer (maybe because of the word ‘subdivision’) but he works great as a suburban resident. I wonder what it is with guys and their lawns, though?! 😉

  • Final Exam Day

    Final exam day happens every year and the students in my class shuffle in. Anxious glances and nervous laughter travel around the room as supplies are gotten out and seats are taken. The room is […]

    • Hi Jennifer – I love this – took me right to the ‘silent’ exam hall – all those nervous tics!! Really well described and of course the names are great!! Presume your MC is a collar sucker? ! Great take on the prompt!

    • Hi Jennifer, cannot but agree with Deryn – grrreat take on the prompt! Also, well structured and beautifully cinematic. I did not catch the alliterating until Johan Johansson, but I guess I was too engrossed in all the different sounds in the classroom. But what is a collar sucker?!

    • Hi Jennifer,
      Excellent use of onomatopoeia with your piece. It got so loud in my head while I was reading. 😀 Definitely distracting. I laughed at your student’s unconscious collar sucking. Funny. Thanks for sharing.

    • Linda replied 1 week ago

      Good job describing the “silent” exam room, with all the fidgeting of students trying to write the exam. I felt like I was in the room—vivid description of the scene. I was a little confused at the end though.

  • Jennifer Bozarth changed their profile picture 1 week, 1 day ago

  • Contrary

    Contrary is how I feel about writing today. I know I should write a piece with a really good arguing character who disagrees with everything. But then part of me is tired and just wants to sleep. That […]

    • Nicely written. I think we all have ourselves as our own favorite argument partner. (These prompts provide good fodder for that!). Glad to see the writer win this one! Thanks for sharing!

    • You were able to convince your internal writer for skipping this part of writing. The way you talked to the internal partner produced good writing obviously. By the who is the winner internal or external writer for writing this piece?

    • Hi Jennifer …oh I could so relate!! Well done on a contrary piece!!

    • I ofter have this argument with myself.
      Of course, I talk and think out loud so my wife always knows what I’m thinking.
      Thanks!

    • Hi Jennifer! You pretty much summed up what I felt last night when ideas eluded me and I had already used up all my excuses to not write… Very well done!

  • Jack

    Jack arrived home and walked up to the door. He opened the door to polished marble floors the color of the sea. Maggie, her skin polished to a sheen greeted him at the door, her hand waiting for his coat. He […]

    • Hi Jennifer,
      What a menagerie your Jack has surrounded himself with. I like how he thinks that metal and cloth are not alive but his statues are alive to him. Quite an odd duck, this one. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Gosh, Jennifer, this is an amazing read! It boggled my mind for a while, though I understood from the onset that they were statues but the imagery you painted shoved it and real people came to life. Then the ending had me baffled for a second and then remembered, just statues. His beloved creations. I was wondering if perhaps you could use another word for polished in ‘Maggie, her skin polished to a sheen’, as it repeated itself twice, but that’s just a minor thought.
      Again, I was thrown by the intricate details of each character. Beautifully done! Astrid

    • Hi Jennifer – this was excellent I loved all the inanimate objects – this guy clearly has issues!! Well done

  • Marble

    Jack stroked her smooth cheek and looked into her eyes. “You are a beauty, my love.”

    She said nothing. None of his ladies ever did.

    He began to clean up his tools; chisels and hammers and rasps, placing […]

    • A nice contemporary take on ‘Pygmalion’!

    • Hi Jennifer, I like the way he kicked the foot of the model to rouse her and saves his tenderness for the statue! Nicely done.

    • Hi Jennifer

      Nicely done. Beautifully connecting the relationship between the artist and the work. I love the way he relates to his piece better than his model!

      Martin

  • I have had jobs like these. It’s hard when you don’t want to be there. I loved her physical checks for a reason not to go and also her description of the misshapen biscuits which sounded as appealing as her job. I felt the misery. Well done.

  • I like the detail of her shoes being under the bed and how she crawled down the ladder so as not to wake her sister. Nice anticipation. And even with the chatter of the birds and crickets I could hear the quiet breathing of her family asleep. Nicely done.

  • I like how it’s the absence of a clock going home that is disruptive and not the arrival of a new one. Reminded me very much how the missing of someone is more disruptive than the arrival of someone. Your message is very well said.

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Jennifer Bozarth

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@dahlia47

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