• Leona,
    Very different use of the prompt. A read that kept me enthralled from start to finish by the premise of what you are saying. I would break up the larger paragraphs to make it easier to read.

    Well done though

  • Reine, a great story. I have read a few of the other Ambrose and I should maybe take an hour and do all of them justice. This one was well written. Your punctation is superb.
    Just check though, if you are talking about the UK then it is NHS not NHC.
    Brilliant use of the prompt though.

  • Sarah I was intrigued from the start about this story. You took me in in the first couple of paragraphs and couldnt stop.
    There are some typing typo’s and I agree with Hanzo47 about using I
    All in all a thoughtful use of the prompt with an unexpected end.

  • Stick with it Jane and JM always provides positive, helpful feedback. I missed him last year

  • Jane an interesting story. I enjoyed the description of the approach to the fishing club and the intrusive body search. What I didn’t like is the use of We. It repeats a lot, and it detracts from the tale making it for me, a bit stilted. I think you could have used whispered conversation between Jemima and James to push the story along.
    That…[Read more]

  • Warning: some sexual content

    I dry my ears with the warm, white fluffy towel while admiring my body in the bathroom mirror. A firm body, thanks to my private trainer, for a woman in her forties, wrinkle free […]

    • A great story, Mark. It was interesting to see the plot thicken and the truth come to light! Instant Karma! 🙂

    • Hi Mark, this was a great story. Just a few points. There are a couple of unnecessary lines:
      “What then?” snaps Grace her eyebrows lifted. – This line: ‘A cold shiver goes down my spine as I stop writing and lift my head to see all the board members united in staring at me, venom in their eyes.’ implies that the board already knows making the ‘”What then…”‘ line feel a bit odd.
      ‘“Nothing will come of this,” I say overturning the chair as I storm out.’ The story is stronger without it.
      The ‘“Why do you believe I should resign?”’ line needs a speaker tag. I had to read that section a few times as I thought it was Fancourt talking.
      other than that. Yay, she got her comeuppance!

    • This was fun to read; what intrigue! I could feel undercurrents in the board room from the very beginning, but was still surprised by the twists at the end. The only glitch for me is that I’ve heard of Whatsapp but have never used it and don’t really know what it is, so the sentence “I have received a Whatsapp” doesn’t mean much to me. But I could still follow the story and enjoy the ending. Well done!

    • A lovely twist, Mark and I liked that my inner logic was confused because she had dressed in such luxurious items, yet was a secretary. Then I thought, “OK one of those secretaries who are on the board as an accountant’ and then BOOM. I should have known when you wrote about her clothing: a woman who can afford Jimmy Choos wouldn’t wear Eau de Parfum, she’d have the real deal. 🙂 Clever hint.
      Two notes: one is to be cautious with unnecessary tense changes, especially within the same sentence/paragraph. It is distracting and confusing.
      Also, must admit that I would have liked a tighter ending. It seemed a bit of a throwaway after you so cleverly built up the tension.

    • A wonderfully layered character, built up perfectly before revealing the final twist. A great read! Thank you.

    • Hi Mark, I enjoyed your story, full of power and a bit of intrigue. I liked your take on the prompt. Also your descriptions were well done. The suspense near the end was great. I agree with Karin though that the ending felt a little flat after the great build up. Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • Nice one, Mark. I chose your story to read this month. I suspected that you’d do a sterling job of a prompt like Coalition and I was not disappointed. The way you built the story to a surprising cliff hanger at the end was masterful. Well done! Thanks for submitting.

    • My first thought when I started reading was dang, I want to work where she works if she can afford Saint Laurent on a secretary salary, but then that reveal! Wow, great job setting up the clues to foreshadow what was to come.

      I love how real this felt, like we were all sitting in the courtroom with them. But so much more dramatic and exciting than a usual meeting! I LOVE your characterizations. Your paragraph introducing Grace, in particular, was amazing. I LOVED “She will not be the one to open the debate but more likely close it in her vitriolic style.” Man, that’s perfect. We get a complete sense of who she is in just one line.

      And I also love how well Miss Wilson knows everyone – she’s got all the details, who wears what, who knows what, everything. Her little asides about the characters really aid the piece and give the whole world a lot of depth.

      My main critique is 100% just my opinion, but I could’ve done without the “A firm body, thanks to my private trainer, for a woman in her forties, wrinkle free skin. I smile to myself as I watch a drop of water run down my smooth belly towards my legs.” If I’m honest, that almost made me stop reading. (I’m very glad I didn’t, because dang, the rest of this piece is so good!) I’m just tired of the scenes where women look in the mirror and describe how sexy they are. It just seems weird/a bit uncomfortable for me to read. But hey, that’s probably just me. I figured I’d mention it though! I don’t tend to read romance novels, so I’m probably not the target audience for that type of line. I do, however, love a good drama, which the rest of your piece definitely is!!

      And then the little hint of a thriller – I loved your line “The chairman had to go. He was getting too curious about me.” Because it flipped the switch on the ENTIRE story and just brought so much intrigue into it. Great imagery, great characterizations, and great, natural dialogue. Great piece all around!!

    • Hi Mark
      I thoroughly enjoyed this story. This isn’t the subject matter that will usually capture my attention, but you held my attention well. You created your rising tension very well, though I feel that very last line could have been left out. You could have ended with”The police want to talk to you”. It says more than enough for what you wanted to convey here. Well done on another wonderful story. Thank you for sharing.

    • Great story Mark. You kept me hooked and I loved the twist.

      Be careful of close repetition of words unless intentional. I know they are in separate paragraphs, but close enough to echo when reading –
      I know the General item is often heated,
      but not over-heated as often happens.

      I also felt the ending went a bit flat. She is quite a schemer so I would expect her to have some ammunition.

      You have good foreshadowing that raise questions and then you twist us around wonderfully. You have developed Miss Wilson very well.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Karin, a great twist at the end. Yes the beginning was slow but when the dialogue with oupa started I raced through it. some may criticise the adverb or 2 but it didn’t detract from the story. Well done. 11 to go.

  • Great use of the prompt and a great story. Clearly there is something more and I hope to read it in future submissions.
    Being picky “While the Italian chain restaurants near the cinema were packed with students more interested in price than flavour the clientele here were mostly her age.” I would put a comma after flavour just to put in the right…[Read more]

  • Deryn,
    A great paced story.
    I wouldn’t worry about Tinder usage. As Karin said it is in general use.
    I would make it a smaller amount of money though. I am not sure how many people have that much just sitting around in case of emergency. These guys also tend to start with small amounts.
    Look forward to more from you in 2020

  • SM a brilliant use of the prompt. The story zipped along at a great pace.

    Loved every word of it

  • Yes, Much better than the previous brick wall

  • Jane it seems you have a growing fan base. Great story that is worthy of more attention in months to come

  • Irene,
    A lovely trip down the memories of your mind. I pictured the faces and the hard times that faced all our ancestors in those days. A few grammar errors this one I had to read twice “On an ordinary days a bombshell suddenly hit the household”
    Lovely story Irene.

  • Kim, I think Maria summarised how I felt about it.
    A great tale well written with careful choice of words.
    One thing to look at is this “She emphasized each word forced out between clenched teeth with a jab of her pointy finger striking Hiro’s chest like an anvil.”
    One would not normally hit anything or anyone with an anvil.

    That said it h…[Read more]

  • Elaine Morrigan I did know and just looked up Cernunnos. You crafty author you.

  • Marilyn,
    Firstly a cracking story that had me glued from start to finish.
    The use of the ice cream bell sound is very clever.

    The violence I think you did very succinctly.

    Well done on your first “violence ” related if the facebook post is to go by

  • Karin,
    A delightful read that had me smiling. I loved the use of the fonts.
    I aprticulalry like what this sentence conveyed “His letters from the navy contained the catalysts of our ending.” so much said in 10 words.

    Clearly the rain proved inspirational to you

  • Rachel,
    A fabulous story with a glorious twist.
    Like Susan the description of the phone call is my favourite and I think it sets up the final twist.

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Mark Patterson

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