• Oh I remember those moments with the blue sliver, and I can still recall exactly where on the road one would see it – then we started singing “Ek sien die see” on that universal tune that every child in the world seems to know instinctively – na-nana-na-na.
    I suspect you’re going to get a lot of reminiscing in your comments, Kim, because you’ve…[Read more]

  • Hi again,
    So that’s why they were staring at the pond in the pictures?
    I’ve obviously met Laouise here in the middle of the middle, but I want to check out with you – the way she repeats what she says in different words (“I have nothing that I own. I am penniless and have literally nothing.”) – you made that intentional, didn’t you? Because I…[Read more]

  • Hi Martin, it seems you’re holding quite a few balls in the air here – is it intentional that you’re writing both from Helen and Adele’s POV? (Helen “decided”, Adele “thought”)
    Man, this lady can’t get her story to the point. Is she histrionic or something? Does she crave the attention? I can feel all the characters glancing at their watches…[Read more]

  • Hi Michael! What’s with the pond – I’m curious to know. Will quickly head over to the next scene to see if the mystery resolves itself…

  • Oh. My. Word. I can see why this had you shaken. I would’ve cried all the way through, if I was the one writing this. It’s good, Jan. It’s really good. But I want more closure on Viv. Are you going to let us know how the curious case of her HIV status resolves itself?
    Trying to put myself in her shoes, with that husband of hers and his…[Read more]

  • Hi Sudha,
    a “good” scene in terms of content and delivery. But hard to read – gender-based violence is a bitter pill.
    I was quite struck when learning that Gary’s relationship with Jen’s mother has been going on for nearly a decade, or thereabouts. It tells me there’s a seriousness there that Jen might not want to face at all.

  • You’ve really been hard on your MC, Sudha. A phantom for a boyfriend and dud for a mother. Best-friend envy and failing at her job. When are things going to start looking up for her? I’m feeling rather sorry for her. Are you planning for her to unearth the YBs still? Or does that come in on the other story line?

  • Shedding a Skin by Honey Mustard

    They wanted to take the brand-new SUV on a road trip, into the Karoo, during the winter holidays. 

    “They’re going to frack that territory to hell and gone,” Chris said. “We’d […]

    • This took my breath away
      one of your best pieces Hanri .

      the daughters comment ‘ are you allergic to yourself’ – so profound it made my heart stutter.

      I think one has to have visited the Owl House to understand the surreal-ness of it – like some alien ship that forgot to beam up the last of their citizens ( that’s about the closest I can come to describing those statues with their marble eyes ) – and I so relate to the oppressiveness of the house, even after all these years ,the frenetic desperation clinging to the walls and floors.
      you captured it perfectly.

      but more than that – I enjoyed your counter-thread of your MC’s internal monologue , trying to understand how it is she feels so ‘other’ in her own birthplace. Sensitively portrayed, vulnerable. just beautiful.

      two minor points :
      not necessary to say ‘to ease the itch’ – all your action shows that clearly.
      I took on my shoes again – I put on my shoes

      Thank you for this journey through the soul – I found it mesmerizing 💗

    • I agree with everything Kim said. I loved this piece and it tore at me. Beautiful. And the writing is so clean and very piercing.

    • Hi HM,
      That was a really interesting tale! I like the creepiness that you build little by little. Your protagonist seems like she’s hiding something. I couldn’t quite figure out but it seems that she has some repressed or unpleasant memories of the place she has gone on a trip. I also wonder if she’s human? I don’t know if I am correct or not, but is this a part of a larger series? A very intriguing read! Thank you for sharing!

  • A scene that shows up Jen’s state of mind very clearly. I like the characters you’ve sketched here. The bartender, the barfly, the girl holding up the wall – it’s a great backdrop for her mood too. I also liked how the barfly was an annoyance and nothing more – they usually are, nothing profound comes from there. (Have a look, though, at the…[Read more]

  • Tick… Tick… Tick… 

    The brown plastic wall clock in Mona’s kitchenette counted off the excruciating seconds with its red finger. A lifetime happened between each of the ticks.

    Tick… Tick…

    It was pointing its […]

    • I don’t feel sorry for Peony, but she’s sort of pathetic here. You hinted subtly at a Daddy issue that Peony may be suffering from which may help to explain the attraction and desire to be with Michael, or at least with men who abandon her.
      I am curious to hear about the recording. Although we got to see visually what happened, I’m curious how the incident would come across on a recording –and whether Peony’s or Michael’s words could be twisted one way or another.
      I liked the interplay between Emma-Leigh’s eyes and her own. Perhaps a slight manifestation of her guilt?
      Excellent scene–I’m hoping that Mona will listen to the recording, but I’m afraid that she will erase it if she goes back to her own apartment first!
      Great tension as we wait to see what will happen here. It seems that we are gearing up for something that will topple Michael.

  • Oh my, I’m quite surprised by this twist. Here was I, all the while thinking Tom is a nice villain to hate, and now I find out he’s a subversive too!
    As usual, there is little to crit, Leona. The scene will need another once-over for typos, but those are minor things.

    Here with this exchange, I’d like to propose an alteration:
    “‘Okay, o…[Read more]

  • Another great scene – I’m suspecting this is the moment of enlightenment after the Dark Night of the Soul – where Amanda has clarity on what needs to be done. Now I’m curious as to what she is going to sacrifice. She’s held her own life so firmly in grip, that I wonder if she’d relinquish anything at all!

  • Honey Mustard commented on the post, Jump – by Kim 1 week ago

    Knowing when to let go… a life lesson in so many ways.
    This is wonderful writing, Kim. Trimming it down to the exact word count is an art in itself and a great exercise – I should do it more too.

  • Honey Mustard commented on the post, Guarded by Seyi 1 week ago

    Hi Seyi – well this is the beginning of a new journey for you! It feels like Men In Black but with something more substantial beneath it – I hope you’re going make the “police brutality is alive and kicking” theme a strong one in next instalments – it’s going to be a profound commentary on the issues of race of our time. So last month you said you…[Read more]

  • Yoh! Seyi, you’re taking your trademark style to the Big Apple. I’m sure we’re in for some great fun!
    So many questions. There’s a schizophrenia dimension here and I want to know how did you do it?? Toeing that line between reality and imagination the way your MC does… that really takes some kicka$$ writing.
    For now, I’m not going to assume…[Read more]

  • Oh – pressed send too quickly – just to say again – damn good writing. Especially from Shuvie’s POV. Look what this year has done to us!

  • OK, Jan, first of all, you’re a damn good writer, so don’t shoot off your erotic writing. It’s natural to be shy of it – it’s sex, after all. But a good erotica-writing friend of mine once explained to me that a sex scene is good when it communicates the emotions, and fits the purpose of the story. And on that basis this scene is really, really…[Read more]

  • Note to regulars – this is just the beginning of the end part. I need to tell this from three perspectives, so it is probably going to eat up my word limit for a few weeks. 

    Sorry – as is it is not really a […]

    • Hi Hanri,

      I am a big fan of scenes that weave into one another like this where first we are in the court room and then we are with Alma and EL in the kitchen, watching the proceedings. There’s the power of writing to give an almost magic and really personal quality to these ‘circumferences’ that film fails to achieve (in my opinion).

      I appreciate that here you are laying the table (and making the salad) while the main course is being prepared, and from what you have put out, I know it will be sumptuous and spectacular.

      The descriptions of the room where Mike has his interview are really well done, to show a classic constrast with the modern, I really liked that. One observation – the example of the minister “because when you zol” (which is both hilarious and terrifying at the same time) is from last year so everyone would be masked and sitting far apart in this setting, non?

      Then I like the change in EL – it is a natural change for me that people like her evolve into once they learn to manage their sensitivity. The quick wit, the interest and curiousity in things around her make complete sense. And her calming down seems to have had a positive impact on Alma as well. Not that I’m surprised that EL’s vibes would do that 😉

      Well done on Nr 47! Can you believe it!

    • The juxtaposition makes for a very balanced scene:
      a tense hearing vs. the mundane task of making dinner
      Emma-Leigh and Alma’s previous struggles vs. a more peaceful mother-daughter relationship
      beginning vs. end
      Old Emma-Leigh vs. new Emma-Leigh
      Old Alma vs. new Alma

      The concurrent scenes work well here, and although Michael doesn’t know where to begin, the reader gets the start of a sense of closure and just a smidge of tension as we wait to see how the hearing goes.

      Very well done.

    • Hi Hanri
      I agree, the juxtaposition, sits well in this scene bringing together Michael’s life, his hopes and his vulnerabilities. But will he be vulnerable? We get to see some of his inner anxiety and this makes me, as a reader, very curious as to what he will say next given how his world has come undone (or nearly). I wondered about the shift in E-L and agree that is the nature of teenagers; acting 23 years old one minute and then 3 the next. But it did seem a bit strange that Alma was indifferent. Was she feigning that? Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

    • Hi Hanri,
      Putting these scenes together is a great way to keep our interest. Michael is overwhelmed by guilt, maybe, and other conflicting feelings. Is it enough to throw away this opportunity? One that has been presented to him for a second time? You’ve raised the stakes here a lot and we’re on the edge of our chair waiting to see how his inner thoughts will sort as he faces this committee interview.
      You’ve been writing some parts out of sequence, so I’m not sure what EL knows at the moment about her parents’ issues. Does she know about the affair with Peony? Does she have mixed feelings toward her father?
      Very interesting to throw all of that conflict into this scene. You’ve got the threads of a really engaging scene.

  • Well, Luke got exactly what he deserved. I had such a sense of vindication at the end of the story, because the betrayal of the dream/promise was so stark between the roses scene and the sicko scene. And such a sadness that this is actually a thing we’ve got to keep writing about if anything in our society is to change. Because that experience is…[Read more]

  • But isn’t it such a joyride, that in writing we get to be all those potential alternative “we’s” our lives might not allow us to be? So in real life you’re a planner. As a writer you’ll let yourself be surprised. I think that’s a pretty balanced way of being.
    (Dare I remark that there’s a little bit of that same dichotomy in reverse in Sara…[Read more]

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Honey Mustard

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@honeymustard

Active 4 hours, 8 minutes ago
Short Story : 12
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Flash Fiction : 0