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  • Thank you Monica.

  • Thank you. So hard when people go half-way round the world and you feel something is missing from your life. The real story – or the kernel for the idea- had a better ending.

  • Well how lovely to read something positive and uplifting. Magical Christmas read. Of course perhaps the only thing I would comment on is that it is a very predictable piece so if you go back to it and edit it some more I would suggest that you insert some doubt as to whether this will have the happy ending you lead it towards. Maybe there isn’t…[Read more]

  • Yes the would benefit from being a longer piece. I struggled with a lot of the terminology which I felt wouldn’t have been the case if there had been more time to expand and explain the story. Nicely written and I do hope (if you have interest in going on with this) you expand it into a larger piece. I feel I would like to know more about the…[Read more]

  • Indeed your story is very concentrated, full of philosophy and therefore I found some of it hard to understand as you were trying to cram so much in such a short word count. I think you may have found it easier if you had outlined one philosophical premise rather than over complicate the story with so many. What came alive for me was the story…[Read more]

  • This is lovely. So nice to read your piece peppered with those languid, slow words and to find the power in those words to relax. You use them well in your piece and the effect of reading them certainly affected me as reader. It made me love all over again the power of language. Lovely creative use of the prompt. Very enjoyable read.

  • Definitely reads as a longer piece and you capture the drama of the moment well. I read the whole thing though thinking that the main character was a woman until I got to the end and read the name Solomon. I know we’ve had conversations like this before but I wonder if you could add a hint of maleness in the character before the end. There is…[Read more]

  • Yes, liked this very much with the book within a book twist. Well written and drew me in completely. Particularly liked this next bit, which had me laughing outloud Nicely done.
     
    Penny didn’t ask why she called herself Nix with an ‘x’ which presumably she had chosen herself as a cute diminutive of the more pedestrian Nicola. Penny could…[Read more]

  • Yes, I like the way this conversation between the maintenance man and Olivia reveals all you need to know about Olivia’s life and her need for Independence. Also the fact that she gets convinced to try again and by accepting Rodney’s glowing reviews of the ‘friend with the house’ she lets herself go back into the fray, one to discover yet again…[Read more]

  • Flying Home by Gold#‘Did you see how old he was?’Rick was lying next to me in the dark, but his eyes were open staring at the ceiling.‘That was the strangest evening I’ve ever witnessed, ‘he said.‘He has to be, […]

    • Hi Gold – this is a sad tale -I loved the early part – imagined those letters and the family poring over them, and then their disappointment. It seems a little improbable that there was never a visit in either direction, or a better pic of the husband but that was part of the suspense. The opening lines refer to a specific evening but that is never described – their very first meeting with him and their reaction would have been very revealing, and what of the parents? Did they die without ever knowing, or should they perhaps feature here? Just a thought. Otherwise I liked the premise of this…Lidia’s unfulfilled potential – and all those children!
      A couple of edits every weekend dad, my brother and I would sit around the breakfast table to hear mum read aloud the letter that was the—I lived vicariously through them —and even though I longed to have her home again, I knew I would miss these snapshots of her backpacking life.– this needs revising ‘ and ‘two twins’ should rather just be twins.
      D

    • What a strange tale.
      One has to stop and wonder.
      An entirely different life than the rather exciting one Lidia had written about.
      Intriguing. I remember the Air Mail envelopes that are pictured.
      What a different world back then.
      I want there to be more of this story, for certain.
      The only change I would suggest is that which Deryn has already made….a bit hard to understand.
      This touches me on a personal level as I have a daughter who left home and still is unpredictable and troubling.
      A seriously good entrance to a longer story, for sure.

    • Thanks for sharing. I felt the piece was true to life, drawing the lines between mates and sisters, mothers and fathers, mothers and daughters. I felt the disbelief and resentment of the narrator, the fear and shame of the sister, trapped in her decisions half a world away. The clipped, clean tone works well for your story. It resonated for me as a reader, having been more often myself in the position of the sister in Oz than the one in England. There’s just so much shame, and the trap of the partner who lured her far away only to deceive her – or did she deceive herself the more? Thanks for showing both sides.

      One minor suggestion – the last line might really pop as the first line, if you plan to submit this anywhere. Move it all the way up.

      Your skill and warmth as a student of human nature shines through as always. The authenticity of your character’s emotions and your writer’s compassion for them really gives this tale its heft. The reader feels the feelings of the characters, even though they’re 2D and on the page. They seem to walk out of the story and into the space with the reader.

    • That was a lovely, sad story. I could relate to Sally’s feelings because I also knew of someone who moved away and got married, but the story didn’t have a happy ending. It’s always difficult to know what to do in such circumstances, and the guilt is always there in the end. Thank you for sharing.

      • Thank you. So hard when people go half-way round the world and you feel something is missing from your life. The real story – or the kernel for the idea- had a better ending.

  • Gold commented on the post, Area 52 by Gold 2 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks so much for pointing these out. Very helpful.

  • Gold commented on the post, Area 52 by Gold 2 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you, Michael,

    Very kind words. I think the pressure from Arabella gets to my MC. And in the world of dating ( I watch my daughter go through these protocols which in m day seemed so much easier) what is the right way to find someone?…. Probably she thinks she will just go and that will keep Arabella off her case for a while. I wanted…[Read more]

  • Oh, dear. How true this story feels. Good use of a prompt and well-told story that seems to be what we are forced to live through right now. Thoroughly enjoyable writing though I can’t say I enjoy what you are describing. I guess this is what happens when you elect a malevolent narcissist for President!

  • Great piece of concise writing for 500 words that tell a great scary story. Beautifully written. Great last line packs the punch. So enjoyable to read. In 500 words I felt I could be reading a longer piece and wanted to go on reading.

  • What an inventive way to respond to the prompt. I can see that there is a likelihood that this poor woman is about to be defrauded out of a lot of money!
    I loved the part when your MC questions how bathing can ignite her fire energy ( I laughed out loud at that one). Comic and enjoyable read.

  • Great fun to read this. Divine retribution for all that bullying. Good use of prompt. So many of us are doing supernatural or spooky things with this prompt that it was refreshing to read something with a bit of comedy tinged with menace. Nicely done.

  • You have tried to pack a lot in with only 500 words which may be why I was confused by the last scene. But now I see that Tim has come back to see what
    Nicole had done. It may have been better to have some transition so we know that Tim is planning to go back to the old place. I imagine you might have been
    happier to have at least another 50…[Read more]

  • Great ! This ticked all the boxes for me in such a short word count. You set up an interesting relationship at the beginning and tell us all we need to know about these reporters covering a story and you end with the menacing twist from Earl T. What a great scary last sentence.’ Young and curious, just the way you like them…’ it sets chills d…[Read more]

  • I really enjoyed reading this and I particularly like the way you write. Simple telling of a story. Great twist at the end of making you main character go from a nobody into the biggest celebrity in town by virtue of his disappearance. I love that.

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