• Dear Kathy, this sure is an action-packed drama! Comas, framed murders, family, suspected affairs – this has the perfect soap-opera feel to it! 😉

    I really enjoyed your dialogue, it flows well and conveys the mood of the characters so well. The tension created between the characters is vivid and convincing.

    I also love all the sensory d…[Read more]

  • Dear Karisa, you have quite a knack for creating a vivid atmosphere – I could almost feel the humid heat hanging in the air! I also love the images you use to achieve this with, such as “the kind of air you could almost swim through.”

    This is quite a tragic tale. You portray so well the brokenness that people carry along with them for so long…[Read more]

  • Dear Jennifer, you managed to create a very gripping story that kept me enticed all the way through. You managed to create intrigue and suspense without being vague and me ever being confused about what is going – something that I haven’t found in a lot of stories, so well done! You create a very vivid atmosphere of prison life on the ship wit…[Read more]

  • Dear Melissa,
    Your characters are so delightful! You have portrayed this office crush on the cute immature manager so exceptionally well and the flirting between them is so enticing and realistic (don’t we all know people like Tracy?!) 😀 There was one thing that I might have understood wrong; it almost seems as if Vera has a crush on both T…[Read more]

  • Dear Melissa,
    I really enjoyed the characters that you created and the way you described their thoughts. Their inner conflicts were portrayed in a very relatable and vivid manner. Your dialogue also flows naturally and pleasantly.

    I liked the “cold” theme you used throughout. Even the gloves that the warm-hearted Jade wears make one feel tha…[Read more]

  • Dear Polina, it was really enjoyable to read your story. Your writing is polished and reads very naturally. I really enjoyed the intrigue that was created and the space theme. I’m guessing the dad of one of them works for NASA? Your story is everything but stale – two eccentric friends taking off on an adventure with Dad’s NASA car! You manag…[Read more]

  • Dear Renee, this is such an excellent and unique interpretation of the prompt! Loved it! I really enjoyed the angle and perspective from which your story is told, and unfolding it in such a mysterious manner worked so well! The story is intriguing and makes you put your thinking cap on!

    Here and there I thought you might have been a bit…[Read more]

  • Waiting for the Bust by Riana N


    I play and play this Russian game

    It’s one more lie, and one more chance

    no more I want to play this round

    but now it’s far too late to stop

    roulette might seem a dumb pur […]

    • Very scary! Russian roulette is such a horrible idea, just like duels. Thanks for posting.

    • Hi Riana, I have not come across someone using the idea of blank with the lack of bullets in a gun. A very clever take on the prompt. I believe Russian Roulette would be one of the scariest games to participate in.

    • Gosh! This took me straight to that scene from the Deer Hunter…so scary. Well-written and observed.

    • I’ve read this a few times and still can’t decide how I feel about the abrupt change of rhythm In the last three lines, the rhythm having worked so well until then…I think I like the change. A wonderfully evocative poem.

    • This is an original take on the prompt, if a little disturbing. But then poetry is not all about being in your comfort zone. Thanks for sharing the poem.

    • Great poem Riana. I loved the rhythm and the change at the end with the shorter lines wishing for possible absolution by bullet.

      I liked the different take on the prompt albeit disturbing, but I got the message of a desperate seeking for the weight of a sin to be lifted and the only way the person can see is through death.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Anjum, I really enjoyed this sketch of life and the manner in which you weaved wisdom into it. I love the image of the tea in the mug: so often we hold on to “stale” things simply because we think we are doing the right things.
    I like how you combine story and reflections – there is dialogue, backstory and context, but still the aim of the…[Read more]

  • To Dennis, his uncle’s workshop has always seemed like a miserable place. Cluttered with parts, spares and tools, it was like a graveyard of used machinery and appliances. Broken record players, tumble dryers t […]

    • A very lovely tale of Dennis’s transformation. Beautifully told. Almost has a fairytale quality to this.
      I liked the contrast from where he lived with everything bright, shiny and disposable and his Uncle’s workshop. A workshop
      full of love- love for the broken things or the abandoned ones. You tie in these themes so well. Seamless.
      A very enjoyable read.

    • Riana, the timelessness of the story proved lovely; as did the moral. It’s clear that a lot of thought and imagination went into the creation of this tale. There are a few technical issues though, that might tighten it up a bit. In several paragraphs, the tense jumps between present and past; “has” vs. “had”, or in one case “have”. Also, the perspective jumped a couple of times between Dennis and his uncle. In short stories, consistent tense and focused perspective, are key to holding the reader’s attention. One last tip I will pass along as I struggle with this in my stories and constantly get reminders from my commenters: try using less “to be” verbs (was, would, had been, could be, etc.) and sense words rather than putting action to the objects. It’s the difference between “telling” vs. “showing” and makes for a more inclusive experience for the reader. For example: “Dennis felt sad – …” tells the reader that Dennis is sad but something like, “Melancholy overwhelmed young Dennis…” shows the reader the level of sadness and gives action to the sadness itself.
      It’s a lovely concept! Keep writing. You do have a gift.

    • I’m so glad I chose your story! Like one of the other commenters said, it does have a fairytale like quality to it. You also have a beautiful arc in such a short amount of space. (Also – yay kittens haha) I don’ t know if it’s because you named him “Uncle Roon” but he reminded me of Uncle Iroh from Avatar the Last Airbender. (If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it!) Anyway, wonderful job and please keep writing!

    • I agree with the others as it does have a fairytale quality. I really enjoyed the story.

    • Hi Riana,
      Thank you for sharing this wonderful story. I was caught suddenly with the passing of Dennis’ father In the very beginning, but it made sense to have it be quick, since the relationship is mostly about Dennis and Uncle Roon.
      The pace of the story felt slower in the beginning but seemed a bit rushed toward the end; maybe because of the word count? There may be room In There to expand it into a longer story?
      It was charming that they have a cat with kittens come into their life and you gave good details about them. Another aspect that you should explore adding to other parts of the story. For example; how is Uncle Roon’s soup the best tasting? Maybe add more descriptive taste to a specific one that Dennis likes?
      I wish you luck with future writing and edits. Thank you again for sharing this lovely tale.

  • Thank you Debbie, I appreciate the feedback and reading. I had trouble fitting the story into the word count, so I agree it doesn’t flow quite coherently enough. 🙂

  • Thank you Anusuya, I appreciate your reading and feedback. Yes, I had some trouble ending the story, but it is part of a bigger story I’m working on. 🙂

  • I have taken the high road

    many times and more.

    I have partaken in the team

    and taken less than my fair share.

    I have been taken to dinner,

    taken for a ride.

    I have not been taken seriously

    for my […]

    • I like the way you’ve included so many different phrases to do with the prompt word. The poem tells a story – a lesson in not allowing oneself to be taken for granted! I particularly like your line: ‘I dare not to take advice without salt.’

      I hope you won’t mind me suggesting that you change the line ‘Were not taken by surprise’ to Was not taken …

      Well done

    • Hello Riana and what a clever idea for a poem! One word that can be reused over and over to create tension on a subject, I really enjoyed your creativity. When you changed it to ‘angst took its toll’ it lost a bit of its momentum but then I thought how that was so apt with the meaning of your line and perhaps it was deliberate? Then the ride started up again and the regret, as a finale, was fantastic!
      ‘Haunted by the things I could not take in my stride’ gave me goose flesh.
      Such a powerful line. Beautiful poem!

    • Great poem Riana. I like the way you’ve used taken in so many different senses and the message of not being taken for granted and not taking anything for granted. I like the flow and the ideas that are given to think about.

      Thanks for sharing.

    • Such a powerful message here! It feels like full catastrophe living and that we could be facing catastrophe either way and that maybe we should take more and just grab more with both hands. Hold on tight to take a good grip. Thank you!

  • Sebastian was a steak-and-chips kind of guy. Sure, he enjoyed the occasional burger and he liked toast with his eggs. But he sure as cheese sticks couldn’t tell a sourdough from a rye, or a Florentine from a m […]

    • Looks like Sebastian will turn over a new leaf! I liked your descriptions of the guy and the change in his attitude over time. The ending appeared a little too sudden…are you going to continue this story with the next prompt? Good story!

      • Thank you Anusuya, I appreciate your reading and feedback. Yes, I had some trouble ending the story, but it is part of a bigger story I’m working on. 🙂

    • Good story Riana. I liked Sebastian’s character arc and his acceptance of his circumstances to the end where he is making the most of stale muffins. It leaves me hopeful that he will make a good go of it and succeed.

      I also felt that the ending was a little sudden and I would have liked to find out why his uncle had left the bakery to him – unless I missed it.

      Thanks for sharing.

      • Thank you Debbie, I appreciate the feedback and reading. I had trouble fitting the story into the word count, so I agree it doesn’t flow quite coherently enough. 🙂

  • Hi Abhineet, your story summed up so well the conflict that is often created when men have to balance their career and family lives – and often discover that they can’t. This situation was laid out so cleverly in your last two lines, where the wife ask a simple question about what is feared about the disease, but in actually asks such a much…[Read more]

  • Hi India, I really enjoyed your story and the intrigue you created with the nervous women getting ready for here wedding! You cunningly set the stage for so many possibilities and made me really want to read more. Hope there will be a sequel! 😉

    I liked your vocabulary and your sense of humour with wordplays such as “coming back to bite…[Read more]

  • Hi Lionel,
    You story provides plenty of intrigue and it does so with vivid descriptions and just the right amount of humour. I like how you described your characters. You summarized the pains of AGMs very fittingly.

    I did feel like you got caught up in descriptions quite a lot, and it overshadowed the storyline just a bit. I thin plot-wise you…[Read more]

  • Hi Nonie, I enjoyed the details you put in about the characters’ personalities and attitudes, and the intrigue is quite enticing. Sounds like a very interesting plot that I wish I could read more of.

    Personally I think you should be careful that you are not so mysterious about what is happening that it leaves the reader confused. I read your…[Read more]

  • Hi Debbie, thank you so much for your kind feedback. I am glad to hear that the humour and seriousness blended well. Yes, I think routine and sleep patterns are a challenge for everybody at the moment! Thank you for reading, I appreciate it! 🙂

  • Hi Martin, thank you so much for reading and your feedback! Yes, I also thought the repetitiveness of the villanelle fits well with the cycle of sleeplessness … 🙂 Appreciate the comments!

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