• My husband and I are speeding near Palm Springs, California.

    He’s driving his flaming red Chevrolet while I smoke my morning cigarette. The sky is clear and the clouds are white as milk, but I know it won’t alw […]

  • Hi Charles,
    The last line is amazing! I could follow your style a bit better this time. Still, can’t figure out what kind of accent this is, though.

  • Hi Jane,
    I haven’t read the previous parts of this, but I think it could work as a stand alone if you just gave a hint of the curse you mention, even a tiny one.
    Apart from that, though, well done!

  • Hi Joel,
    I think your piece is brief yet effect. I love the simplicity of marking someone’s sleepy face with a Sharpie You should totally expand on it.

  • Hi Tom,
    I love the association between palm trees and palm reading. I also think this would be the perfect prologue for a thriller. Your style is eloquent but rich. Well done!

  • Hi Joan,
    Wow this piece is so relatable! I think we all found ourselves in a situation of seeing things crumble before our eyes just a minute after we felt grateful for having them. To make it even better, I think you could check the punctuation in the second paragraph. Apart from that, good job!

  • Hi Beth,
    How clever to set the first lines of your story as a murder-mystery piece and then turn it into a “not my proudest fap” kinda thing.
    Good job!

  • Hi Marta,
    Damn this is a sad story. I love your last line. It gives the reader a hint of your voice on paper.

  • Hi Michael,
    I think it’s a nice short extract. Would love to read more of the story this is from!

  • I agree, actually. If we were allowed more words I would’ve certainly added more dialogue.

  • Thanks! It means: Talk To You Later Hugs and Kisses

  • “Huff!”

    I was studying in my room when I heard my sister talking on the phone.

    She was eating lunch in the kitchen while one of her friends was telling her how the last date with her boyfriend went.

    Then, wit […]

    • I love this. A hilarious portrait of teenage convos. I would have loved more dialogue, less set-up.

    • Hi Mary Lou, I think I am a bit behind the times with the things teenagers say and type to each other. I am not sure what TTYLXOX means:) A fun little piece of writing nevertheless. Thanks for sharing.

    • So not down with the kids so had to google the acronym. Gotcha. Nice lead up banter (assume her sister was on hands free?) and the flip at the end says a lot about his sis. Maybe we need a 12SS acronym. NWTHX4S

    • Sounds like great “camouflage” talk when they suddenly switched topic 🙂 So teenage-like, aware of who’s coming and going, and knowing to follow a nonsense chat too. Or did she really mean she was bored? Nah, doesn’t add up 😀
      Loved this snippet, really well played, Mary Lou! Astrid

    • Hi Mary Lou

      Not being party to that much girl talk, I still get this! Lovely little moment you capture. I like it!

      Martin

    • So retro in tone — teens talking on the phone.

  • In just a few years, our leader already had a massive following.

    That day in July 1965, my parents decided to leave our hometown and move to the countryside, where their friends were willing to host us for a few […]

    • Wow. Nice. I really like how you used the prompt. I wish that i could read this in the mind of the child as well as the adult retelling the tale. I think it would be so insightful. Great writing.

    • A cult – what a twist! I was happy considering their moving to a communal to suit the hippi times of the 60s. The pacing with the first person telling the story had me following every word as if in a trance.
      A tiny thingy, I suggest you leave only one apostrophe on the last noun in “parents’ friends’ house”, should read parents friends’ house or, even better, the house of my parents’ friends.
      Other than that, I loved reading this compelling story and it left me wondering if she was happy in the long run.~ Astrid

    • I enjoyed your unique story. The punctuation you used for “my parents’ friends’ house” is correct. I agree that it likely would sound smoother to say “the house of my parents’ friends. But both parent and house are plural and both are possessive, so the final apostrophe is correct on both. 🙂

    • Hey Mary-Lou and I must say I thought of pretty much every possible premise but that one. Reading back through your build-up, of course I recognize all the clues now. The memories described in the paragraph beginning ‘I didn’t know what to think at the time…’ set a lot of the tone in making your main character so sympathetic. The first person point of view makes it easier to ‘tell’ so much but I wonder if you considered using some device to ‘show’ the reveal moment so that the child discovers the truth at the same time as the readers do? Just a suggestion, please discard if it does not make sense. I enjoyed the story, well done. All the very best and regards, Seyi

    • Poor kid. I liked her excitement of starting first grade, that was a Nice touch. I had to wonder if that’s where you were going, the moving to the country, the friends and the smoke. This would be an interesting story to follow, especially this point of view looking back to childhood. Well done.

    • Poor kid. I liked her excitement of starting first grade, that was a Nice touch. I had to wonder if that’s where you were going, the moving to the country, the friends and the smoke. This would be an interesting story to follow, especially this point of view looking back to childhood. Well done.
      I also agree with Seyi said about the ending.

    • Very unique writing!

  • Hi Seyi,
    Although you’re describing an unfortunate situation, I think the details and the narrator’s thoughts made it sound pretty funny–especially the very last line. I’m also glad you added notes explaining the meaning of terms that may not be obvious to everybody.

  • Hi Mike,
    Although I didn’t read the previous two sections. I really enjoyed your piece. I think it’s very readable and the dialogue feels real, too.

  • Hi Astrid,
    I really liked the detailed descriptions of nature. I think they make your piece very realistic. I also like how you used short sentences to create tension in the fourth by last paragraph.

  • Hi Martin,
    I really enjoyed reading your short fiction piece. Despite being brief, I think you absolutely captured the essence of the story and managed to effectively build tension. I love the details like the Panama hat, the espresso and so on. I also really liked the ending lines.
    Keep it up!

  • Of course! Keep it up!

  • Indeed! Thanks, Alexis!

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Mary Lou

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active 22 hours, 15 minutes ago