• Thank you so much for all your comments. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort. Eish, but this writing this is not for sissies!

  • What a moving meditative story. I also enjoyed the intimacy and detail – and the privilige of being the beneficiary of such a sad final whisper. You captured the youthful drama of gender roles so well. Goodluck.

  • What a sad, lovely, and beautifully written love story. You’ve written it with such tenderness and insight into the human condition. I’ve spent two years grieving for different people at different stages and so your story resonates with me. I loved all the references to taking pleasure in the simple things. Great job. Goodluck

  • What an imaginative idea. The story was cool and as always your writing and descriptions are funny and on point. Great story. Goodluck.

  • Great to see another entry this year. Your story was wonderfully atmospheric, which elevated the tension and kept me interested. It’s remarkable how you managed to incorporate so much detail into a well rounded story using a skinny 1200 words. Impressive. I enjoyed the story and would read the longer version of it. Superb writing. Goodluck.

  • I enjoyed this gem. The restricted word count helps keep us on track, but also removes nice bits that would add so much depth to the characters. I loved the start of the original story, it gave me more insight into the narrator. The discovery of the tumor was an interesting twist and the ending was devasting and well-done. I’m all for realistic -…[Read more]

  • Even though this isn’t a genre I’d ordinarily read, the characterisation of Mirabelle sucked me into this dimension immediately because of her gritty authenticity. I liked the contradictions between the two main characters. The humor and whimsy was great and it’s wonderful to see such liberal use of profanity. My soul has been redeemed. Well-done…[Read more]

  • Cool story. I enjoyed the twist at the end.

  • Great storytelling in 1200 tight words. Enjoyable. Well-done.

    “Thanks for your email. Sorry to learn of your troubles. It’s a bit crazy with the new baby at the moment. I’ll try call soon so we can make a plan to catch up.

    Love Dad

    Two lines? Was that […]

    • Oh my word, this feels raw and authentic. You did a great job relaying a lot of background history with so few words, and setting the tone and the tension while building empathy for the MC. Sad story, but great writing! Well done.

    • That was a hell of a ride. I can’t say I enjoyed this story, but it was really well done and I thought the bird metaphor was nicely managed.

    • Hi Delrae

      Well, this was a gritty little tale! I loved the way you interspersed the dysfunction with the love of and focus on the little bird’s survival as a contrast. It tells us that whatever the challenges we face, we can make a valuable contribution to others – if we choose to stick to out own principles.

      There are lots of messages in this and to get that out there with such a small word count is great work.

      Thank you for sharing.


    • Delrae this was a terrific read albeit a sad ending – I felt bad for Mom. The imagery was very good and I really enjoyed the idea of the bird leaving the nest in the end which you used as a metaphor. Well done – I have no critique.

    • Hi Delrae,

      This was a rollercoaster with imagery to accompany the ups and downs.
      The play on the bird’s entanglement like a marriage with its challenges and betrayals added to the fever pitch.
      If I have any critique, it might be that too many sentences start with a pronoun, but it’s no biggie.

      Well done and Good luck.

    • This was amaaaaaazing! I can’t add anything that hasn’t already been said by other commenters. I too loved the bird metaphors. You handled this so deftly. Best of luck in the competition! I really hope that you do well – you deserve to! Your writing is superb!

    • Thank you so much for all your comments. I sincerely appreciate the time and effort. Eish, but this writing this is not for sissies!

  • What a fun suprising change of direction in your writing Sudha. This younger, whimsical genre really suits your writing style. Hugo is such a great name for a character and the brocoli description was great. Wonderful tone. I look forward to learning what mysteries these boys will unearth together in the next few installments. Hope the pooch…[Read more]

  • A very evocative story and an interesting take on the prompt. I assume you’ve done gliding yourself because you capture the experience so well. I valued your use of the Raven in the story and the dread it aroused. While I expected a bad ending, I’d hoped he would have managed to evade death and have the warrant voided. Well-done.

  • Fantastic to read more of your writing and witness your evolution as a writer. The story had a gripping tone and great tempo. I loved the symbolism of the Handmaid’s tale. The story made me think this country he is applying to go to school at (I’m guessing which) is ironically similar to the Republic of Gilead in many ways – abuse/manipulation of…[Read more]

  • Absolutely loved this. In my first submission ever I wrote about a similar character/situation – a streetchild turned prostitute who kills his abusive older “lover” – as part of a much bigger story, so this resonnated with me. I loved what you did with this story and envy some of your marvellous descriptions and depictions, which capture the rage…[Read more]

  • What a sad and beautiful story with some Irish sensibility that reminded me of Marion Keyes. I felt her anguish all the way through. I had to google Arab’s tackie. (Going to use it to describe my mouth after a night on the town.) One suggestion: use more white space to make it easier to read. Well-done.

  • What a lovely story. My curiosity about Mildred was aroused from the start. Great descriptive lines ” spokes on a wheel” and “sad racoon eyes”. Well-done.

  • Thanks for reading and commenting. Terrymac – I agree that my story is somewhat of a cliche. I am lazy. I only started it late yesterday afternoon. So no arguments there. ” Girly magazine” is slang for “porno magazine”, so no ouches there. The rest of your comments were spot on. I appreciate your feedback. It’s always great to get candid…[Read more]

  • [ 1000 words excluding the glossary ] The old man and his nephew paused in the doorway of the policeman’s office.“Good Afternoon, Sir,” the nephew said.The policeman didn’t look up from the girly magazine he was r […]

    • This is such a powerful story. You managed to bring each of your characters to life without a lot of description. I thought it was a very moving story, Great job.

    • I really enjoyed this story. The fathers conflict is so clear from the start. The struggle is very human. Thank you for sharing

    • One has to be careful with the tales of incompetence authorities and black people. There is no doubt that this situation exists but it can become a cliche. The “old confused man” but who still has strength and is from a rural background and is not wise in the ways of the world is a very old theme. No reason not to use this theme but retelling it can make a reader tired.
      Some things:
      “girly magazine”…… Ouch! Why not a “so called Men’s magazine”?
      “annoyed by the intrusion” : Rather “seemingly annoyed by the intrusion”. The narrator does not know what emotions are in his head.
      “Mandla left and didn’t ever return.” Rather “Mandla left and didn’t return.; Ever is implicit.
      Also… um, Mandla. Too close to the icon. Another name I think.

      • Suspension of disbelief, that’s what such stories do to the readers like us who would like to spring up and hold some authorities by their collar and make them accountable. This genre never gets old.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting. Terrymac – I agree that my story is somewhat of a cliche. I am lazy. I only started it late yesterday afternoon. So no arguments there. ” Girly magazine” is slang for “porno magazine”, so no ouches there. The rest of your comments were spot on. I appreciate your feedback. It’s always great to get candid “reviews”, even if they sting for a while, otherwise what’s the point?

    • Hi Delrae,
      Yes, many stories are repeats. Some say that every story has already been told so it really all about the telling. If we focus on the way your story is told, I would say that your story captures the anger, frustration, and helplessness the old man feels while he is trapped in this no-win situation. The cold policeman is really a plot device, we don’t know much about him. His towering anger at the end was a satisfying expression of his feelings finally being released, but I anticipated a terrible price for it. I think there is a good story brewing here that holds interest. This line told us more about his contact with the outside world: “He sighed and signed the form, inscribing each letter of his name as flawlessly, as the nuns at the mission school had taught him.” It was an opening to see another side to him. You may want to follow that.
      A good read!

    • A very powerful story! I loved reading it.

      I especially liked the part where the old man reclaimed his power and the policeman
      (sign of authority) crumbled. His arrogance was replaced with terror and humility.

      “In that moment the old man managed to straighten his crumpled body to its original height. The policeman was caught off guard by the old man’s size and rage. He stumbled and fell. The old man swooped in and hovered over the policeman like a Goliath, waving the knobkiere. He was ready to smash the policeman and rip him apart like the wild dogs that tore apart his sheep on the farm. The old man bore into his eyes and saw terror and humility in place of arrogance. Humility men like this would only show if old warriors took back their power.”

      Keep up the Good Work!

    • The story made me mutter under my breath in the end, yesss! It may be a simplistic end, but it is high time that disparity and racist slurs are dealt with directly. The spirit of his son overtakes the older man and truly, the child becomes the father. I liked the speed, tone and heartfelt, on the ground, scenes displayed. And all this is 1000 words only, bravo!

    • The title immediately grabbed my attention – once were warriors is one of my favourite books and I’m a sucker for a title that references other literature. Loved the story and was hoping the old man would revolt and stand up to the policeman. Your writing style flows – you make all this look easy 🙂 And I agree with a previous comment, even though the story is anything but new (is any story?), this one doesn’t get old and it’s the telling that makes all the difference. Good job!

Delrae Goodburn Lurie

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