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  • She stands for a moment by the door to the tall cupboard, one hand on the small of her back, arching her neck backwards. Fronds of grey hair escaped from the scarf wrapped tightly around her head are clagging […]

    • A strange woman indeed, but well rounded and described. There was one sentence in the middle that I struggled with, starting “What has been tugging at her all day…” but I got it in the end. Perhaps a less clumsy version would make the paragraph flow better.

      Other than that, I enjoyed it very much.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Nice story. Your descriptions are vivid and the mood is tangible. I like your little twist at the end.

  • “If I tell you, you have to promise not to laugh.”He looks over to the window where the fug from our breath has steamed up the panes.”Only I don’t think I could bear it.””Of course not,” I say.I’d love to laugh of […]

    • You have built the suspense very well and left us with a cliff hanger. What is he about to reveal? The last paragraph tells us it is not going to be a trivial revelation.

    • great ending .

      From the description of the older brother I assume the narrator doesn’t look on him too fondly – its not very complimentary.

      Perhaps split your writing into paragraphs, create some white space to allow the reader some breathing room. it also helps with pacing.

      nice family intrigue, have no idea how the ‘promise not to laugh’ ties in with the chink in his armour and the whole narration suddenly turning serious and not laughable at all? really creates much intrigue that begs you to carry on with the story

      You’ve captured some great minute details

      Nicely done!

    • ps- check spelling in your title

    • Hi Wendy, thanks for the read. There’s fantastic tension here.
      I love the details – vinegar and newspaper, breath steaming up the panes, tiny rivulets on the glass, delicate paper knife. There’s a lot of history here, and all tied up with unspoken emotions.
      Maybe it’s a personal preference but I would’ve loved that the description of the setting come in a bit earlier. I really liked the window bit, can you establish that we’re in their childhood home a bit earlier, what it looked like briefly? Just a thought.

  • Blue

    When I was a child, blue was my favourite colour. My sister had a blue dress but mine was red and I coveted hers. By the time she grew out of it and our mother took up the hem once more, the colour had faded […]

    • Beautifully descriptive, thought-provoking and anguished. I love the statement that the opposite of love is apathy. I felt the “yawning sense of hopelessness”. A powerful warning. Poignant last line. Well done!

    • You certainly took the blue to every element of your story well done.

  • Hi Christine, I loved this. Such great depictions of office politicking. The guy in the blue suit is deftly drawn and we get the type of guy he his just from a fewe brushstrokes. Good on josie for sticking it out, but i have a feeling Mr Blue Suit won’t learn anything! Well done.

  • Hi Christine, Thanks for your great feedback. i’m glad you were able to follow the timeline as my husband it was too confusing!

  • I should perhaps explain first.

    Mother was horrid. I can’t say that I hated her, who could say that about their own mother? But every step of my life has been dogged by her, the raised eyebrow (penciled in with […]

    • Great story, Wendy. I really liked the narrator’s no-nonsense voice and how you structured this, using the narrator’s age to clearly signpost the timeline. I wondered what it was working up to and wasn’t disappointed – satisfying ending.

    • Hi Christine, Thanks for your great feedback. i’m glad you were able to follow the timeline as my husband it was too confusing!

    • Hi,
      I liked the twist at the end. It was not what I expected. I am uncertain if the pov is the best pov used as the story start with ‘perhaps I should explain first. Who are the MC explaining it to? It might give more credibility to the story if the story was told to someone specific or there was someone there to witness or if it was a confession written or if the MC was having a mental breakdown at the end and they were telling the story to an imagined audience. These are only a few suggestions. Good story and thank you for sharing.

  • A great story Barbara! I’m not usually a fantasy fan, but your tale had me gripped throughout. You have a vivid imagination and draw a believable setting. I loved how Gadriella tended the flowers and the crescendo at the end as the seeds themselves find their own way down to Arutha. I’m not sure what Ryker’s motive was for deceiving her, but I…[Read more]

  • Thanks for your kind feedback Melissa. I tend to agree with you on the ending. It could definitely do with a little more exposition before the final scene, but I ran out of words! A bit of a metaphor for, life with the climate crisis upon us! The point that is not clear is that she has let the donkey into the meadow (having said earlier that she…[Read more]

  • Thanks for the kind feedback Barbara. It is a sad world, imagining how things might be once the sea levels have risen and people have been forced to change their way of life radically. Yes, she decides to give in to him because he has shown some humanity, but also, she’s just let the donkey into the meadow to eat as much as she can before both of…[Read more]

  • Hi Wailana, what a great read! It’s a tantalising story with rich imagery. I love the uncertainty and sense that everything is at a tilt. One line really struck me: ‘I’d worn those nice wool socks I’d taken off some homeless man’. It really brought me up short and spoke volumes about the MC and her state of mind. Brilliant!

  • Dear Martin,
    Such a touching story, full of pathos and compassion. Thank you for sharing.

  • HimI remember this place, even though it’s so altered now. The track is scorched earth, barely a blade of grass showing despite the recent deluge, and the corrugated iron roof of the old barn is upended, beached […]

    • I really like the juxtaposition between his and her view points at the beginning, it worked early well to hear or see both sides. I thought the way you then switched perspective but still moved the story along was really nice as well. The description and tone were lovely and consistent throughout and the pacing was just right. For me, the ending was a little easily won for him. It was like she just gave in, which seemed really unlikely based on the early paragraphs. But, that said, the world was intriguing and the setting was really well developed and I’d definitely read more!

      • Thanks for your kind feedback Melissa. I tend to agree with you on the ending. It could definitely do with a little more exposition before the final scene, but I ran out of words! A bit of a metaphor for, life with the climate crisis upon us! The point that is not clear is that she has let the donkey into the meadow (having said earlier that she won’t let the donkey eat the flowers.) She has taken the decision that both she and the donkey are not going to survive much longer anyway and she would rather Josephine gets to eat the precious flowers than the Ministry gets to put them in their musem.
        That’s a very long reply to your feedback. Sorry!

        • Thanks for clarifying, the word counts can be such a challenge but you’ve managed to create and describe a whole world within the short story! Thanks again.

    • I loved the way the story was revealed gradually and the different perspectives made this possible. Beautifully written – quite lyrical in parts and very evocative. There was a lot of pain in the backstory. A sad world where the flowers are needed for a museum. Unlike Melissa I found the ending plausible because to me it seemed the old woman had found someone she could trust to guard the seeds and look after the flowers once he had revealed the boy he’d once been was still there.

    • Thanks for the kind feedback Barbara. It is a sad world, imagining how things might be once the sea levels have risen and people have been forced to change their way of life radically. Yes, she decides to give in to him because he has shown some humanity, but also, she’s just let the donkey into the meadow to eat as much as she can before both of them inevitably perish.

  • “How about it babe?”
    His hand was on her thigh, warm through the denim of her jeans.
    He was leaning across the table, his other hand holding down the stem of his glass like someone might come and whisk it […]

    • Hi Wendy. This story reads well. It’s just a pity about the word-count as I really wanted to see how this story would develop. The ‘meadow of flowers’ image suggests new, happy, and perhaps, beautiful beginnings. Your story is full of possibilities and I would love to read more if you choose to expand on it at some later stage.

    • Great use of sensory description to give depth to this story. I kept expecting her to push his hand away so was intrigued to try to guess why she was tolerating him. Lots of great undercurrents that could be open to different interpretations. I’d love to read an expanded version.

    • I love the richness of the MC’s thoughts set against the stark reality the bar — and the guy — offered. Your descriptions were beautifully written. This story was a pleasure to read.

    • Hi Wendy,
      Great Story! Two things I learned from your well crafted technique:
      1. Sometimes a small gesture/ act/ expectation can hold the tension in the story.
      2. There is abundant value in deepened descriptions of the character’s wants/ needs.
      Well done! Thank you!

  • Wendy Ells posted a new activity comment 7 months ago

    Hi Beth,
    This story was an experimental piece and I’m not sure it’s worked, judging by the comments. It’s meant to be post apocalyptic, as in after the extinction of the human race. Some of the animals – the fox and the deer especially – carry a recollection in their DNA that this was a species that was a danger to them. The only animal to…[Read more]

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Wendy Ells

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@foxygwen

Active 1 week, 6 days ago
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