• The blue glare from his screen reflected harshly on his frown. From what William found, the code affecting Janice’s functioning was a payload from outside the company. It entered from the last update of the s […]

    • Hi there! Very intriguing! I’m assuming this is an excerpt from a longer piece? In which case, I can’t say much ito short story structure etc. So my only advice would be for you to try and avoid paragraphs of dialogue. We don’t tend to speak that way, we speak over each other and interrupt each other more. Try to get the characters to talk while they do something and intersperse it with the action. I’d certainly like to read more!

  • “Ah! You do such beautiful work, my friend. It appears more beautiful than when I brought it in.”

    Mr. Fagin smiled broadly at the compliment. “I try to have that same reaction from all my customers. To tell you t […]

    • Hi, Mike Nice written. You have me interested, so I will try to go back and catch your other 3 stories. Are you planning on writing one continuous story for all 12 prompts. It sounds like you have a great start. Your writing is easy to follow and the dialogue suggests that these two men are friends that respect each other. You didn’t come out and say that, but the interaction between the two gives that impression. Well Done.

    • Hmm, interesting! So there are ‘strict review policies’ in place. The plot thickens.

      Mike, I think you are on your way to having a great story. I look forward to reading more.

    • Hi Mike,
      I came to the story cold as I have not read the first 3 stories. This does stand as a free standing story though which is fabulous.
      I did wonder about this line but it may make more sense if I had read the previous 3
       I reviewed the code and some changes had not followed the strict review policies we have.
      What code? Is it a computer app code or a security code as on a door. Apoolofgies if it would be obvious if I had read more.
      Still well written an enjoyable read

  • You never know who you might pass by. They might remember something you didn’t know they knew.

  • Thank you for your time. Next case. Many times the court system appears to be cold and unfeeling. They are just part of the understaffed and overworked government.
    Wouldn’t the statements from the plaintiffs have been given to the defendants legal counsel? Judges and opposing council don’t like surprises. Nothing like Perry Mason wheeling aro…[Read more]

  • So that’s why the boss slipped him something. Gave him time to plant evidence to frame the guy. Great short crime drama.
    Now, did he get away with it? Did the guy get caught and when?

  • Ah, the underbelly of adoption. Probably not the norm, but one that gets a lot of press. Not too many years ago some foreign countries stopped allowing adoptions. Seems it was like you described – pregnancies for cash. It’s close to home also. My wife is adopted. Through a state agency with lawyers and and a judge. Closed of course, but some p…[Read more]

  • Her father found a way to overcome her acceptance of something new, or was it the incarnation of something old from her young imagination? Great story describing the change from dislike to acceptance to …?

  • Sounds like we had three different stories going on. The guards, the the women, and the two men. The story sounds interesting – a little crime, a little magic, a little mystery. I haven’ looked back a the two prior prompts and wonder is this a continuation?
    I’ve been called on this point and there needs to be some type of separation between the…[Read more]

  • William navigated the city traffic on his way to another stop before he met Emily for lunch. To stay safe he had the car voice assist call a number for him.

    After two rings a cheerful voice answered. “Good m […]

    • I didn’t read the first two parts of your story, but I was able to figure out what was happening. From your ending, it seems that there is much more to this story. I thought it was well done.

    • Hello Mike. This is an interesting read. I like the smooth narrative and the humour. You might want to leave out the “now” in “At least now she doesn’t pinch his cheeks nowadays”. Thank you for sharing. I’ll definitely read the previous instalments.

  • Mr. Fagin tilted his hand back and forth. His gaze never left the items lying in his hand. He sighed and picked up the black velvet bag.

    “They are so beautiful. It seems almost a crime to confine them to this v […]

    • Loved the olde fashioned nature of the story.
      Loved the little bit of a surprise at the ending.
      Trying to keep the future in laws happy, all the while considering other options.
      Loved the passive-aggressive nature of Mr. Bryson and his way of giving a nod to his future son-in-law.

    • Hi Mike,
      I haven’t read your previous story, but I think I was fine without it. I like this simple, old-fashioned tale. The conversation is distinguished. The cigars were a useful prop.
      Like Mr Bryson, I was a bit surprised that the couple had discussed eloping so seriously to have brochures collected. I wonder what if Emily would’ve wanted her parents to know about that.
      Quick suggestion, some sort of visual section break would help between the MC’s encounter between Mr Fagin and Mr Bryson.
      I wonder what the scene next month will be!

    • I’m interested to see where this goes given the clandestine nature of the conversation in the first half.. they were like dastardly villains making a plan. I think he’s not all he seems…

      Poor Emily, she’s just a footnote to his plans at this point.

      I was a little confused by this bit:

      ‘”Soon the ring will be on display every day. At least it will if she says yes.”

      The pieces were back in the bag and Mr. Fagin turned to his safe. “Well, why would she do such a thing? You are quite the catch if I read the press correctly.”’

      It read like Emily would be daft to say ‘yes’, but followed with the fact he’s a good catch, unless that’s sarcastic (which I sent with and think is part of why I think they’re dastardly)…

      I also liked the old worldliness and couldn’t place the time, but that didn’t matter at all, although I felt his speech style changed a bit when he said ‘I’m not one of those guys’, for me that line didn’t fit with his other speech patterns… unless he’s a conman giving away his real voice….

      I liked Mr Bryson, very old-school and stubborn hiding away with his cigars! I’m curious as to where this goes next…

  • I remember those years. Not many wanted an all-expenses paid trip to a small southeast Asian country. Sucked in by our alliance with France and unable to gracefully exit, because there was no exit plan other than winning.
    I imagine this scene played out in many neighborhoods. Earl had someone waiting for him. Maybe he wouldn’t suffer the PTSD,…[Read more]

  • Sounds like a great game concept. How did they gain the dark armor? Where are they – on the moon? They worked well as a team to defeat the enemy.
    Always wondered what would happen to the tardigrades that were sent to the moon. They did survive.

  • When dealing with grief there are many things you can keep doing as always. There are other things that sneak up to you and trigger such a strong emotional response. And you may not know why. Fifty-four years plus a few months with my wife and I’m sure there will be times like those you described.

  • Oh, those students are going to be so unhappy and the price for anything else, well, let’s not go there. Happens all too frequently unfortunately. She’s probably on to another property. And has already taken the money out of that account.

    Not sure why the first paragraph is repeated. Hope it wasn’t needed to make the word count.

  • Great story line. Dead guy doesn’t realize he’s dead and on another spiritual plane. Maybe since this is an area for being recreated he can return.
    A bit hard to read in places with missing or incorrect punctuation.

  • Always interesting to discover the backstory of something found by accident. From Ancient Rome to Africa. Quite a journey through several hands.
    When Vanessa stood , closed her eyes, and stretched out her arms – with her eyes closed how did the ring catch her eye? Not a large thing, but since you mentioned her eyes closing her eyes opening would…[Read more]

  • Take the names from the classics so they fit. Maybe. I have a habit of starting a series, so maybe there is more to come. If I can get a good idea for prompt 2. Of course, I also have the habit of missing a few.
    Looks like we both made it to exercise 8 on WTC.

  • And Fagin’s artistic assistant, Mr. Dawkins? Jack Dawkins aka Artful Dodger.

  • Mr. Fagin hadn’t finished moving the items from the safe to the brightly lit display cases when the bell for the front door rang. He glanced over through the case to see who could be there that early. Not many p […]

    • I love your story. I think it is well-written. I felt that I was in the room with your characters. How I wish it didn’t end there. I feel there should be a couple of paragraphs more. In fact, I scrolled to the bottom thinking there could be more.
      Great job. I hope to read more from you.

    • Your story flowed very nicely with your use of dialogue and description. I loved the names of your characters and the interaction between them. I’m not sure why I kept expecting something insidious to happen, but in the end I found it to be a delightful story. Thanks for sharing!

      • Take the names from the classics so they fit. Maybe. I have a habit of starting a series, so maybe there is more to come. If I can get a good idea for prompt 2. Of course, I also have the habit of missing a few.
        Looks like we both made it to exercise 8 on WTC.

    • I also expected something insidious to happen based on the mention of checking security and the name of Fagin (the character in Oliver who leads the ring of thieves). Your writing has an easy flow to it and is very clear. Well done

    • To be fair, I read your story for Prompt # 2 and then when I was scanning through this prompt (#1) I realized that #2 was a continuation of this one. At any rate, I enjoyed the style of writing for these pieces and now I hope there is more to the story following Prompt #2. The characters fit the scenery and there is a slight air of mystery as to the acquisition of the jewelry. I must know if the fiancé is appropriately impressed!

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Mike Cipolla

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