An old man goes in search of restoring his son's spirt, and in the process restores his own.

This content is for 12 Short Stories in 12 Months members only.
Log In Register
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
1 year ago

The title immediately grabbed my attention – once were warriors is one of my favourite books and I’m a sucker for a title that references other literature. Loved the story and was hoping the old man would revolt and stand up to the policeman. Your writing style flows – you make all this look easy 🙂 And I agree with a previous comment, even though the story is anything but new (is any story?), this one doesn’t get old and it’s the telling that makes all the difference. Good job!

Tapan Mozumdar
1 year ago

The story made me mutter under my breath in the end, yesss! It may be a simplistic end, but it is high time that disparity and racist slurs are dealt with directly. The spirit of his son overtakes the older man and truly, the child becomes the father. I liked the speed, tone and heartfelt, on the ground, scenes displayed. And all this is 1000 words only, bravo!

Valerie Ciolek
1 year ago

A very powerful story! I loved reading it.

I especially liked the part where the old man reclaimed his power and the policeman
(sign of authority) crumbled. His arrogance was replaced with terror and humility.

“In that moment the old man managed to straighten his crumpled body to its original height. The policeman was caught off guard by the old man’s size and rage. He stumbled and fell. The old man swooped in and hovered over the policeman like a Goliath, waving the knobkiere. He was ready to smash the policeman and rip him apart like the wild dogs that tore apart his sheep on the farm. The old man bore into his eyes and saw terror and humility in place of arrogance. Humility men like this would only show if old warriors took back their power.”

Keep up the Good Work!

SM Prasad
1 year ago

Hi Delrae,
Yes, many stories are repeats. Some say that every story has already been told so it really all about the telling. If we focus on the way your story is told, I would say that your story captures the anger, frustration, and helplessness the old man feels while he is trapped in this no-win situation. The cold policeman is really a plot device, we don’t know much about him. His towering anger at the end was a satisfying expression of his feelings finally being released, but I anticipated a terrible price for it. I think there is a good story brewing here that holds interest. This line told us more about his contact with the outside world: “He sighed and signed the form, inscribing each letter of his name as flawlessly, as the nuns at the mission school had taught him.” It was an opening to see another side to him. You may want to follow that.
A good read!

1 year ago

One has to be careful with the tales of incompetence authorities and black people. There is no doubt that this situation exists but it can become a cliche. The “old confused man” but who still has strength and is from a rural background and is not wise in the ways of the world is a very old theme. No reason not to use this theme but retelling it can make a reader tired.
Some things:
“girly magazine”…… Ouch! Why not a “so called Men’s magazine”?
“annoyed by the intrusion” : Rather “seemingly annoyed by the intrusion”. The narrator does not know what emotions are in his head.
“Mandla left and didn’t ever return.” Rather “Mandla left and didn’t return.; Ever is implicit.
Also… um, Mandla. Too close to the icon. Another name I think.

Tapan Mozumdar
1 year ago
Reply to  Terrymac

Suspension of disbelief, that’s what such stories do to the readers like us who would like to spring up and hold some authorities by their collar and make them accountable. This genre never gets old.

Nonie McElroy
1 year ago

I really enjoyed this story. The fathers conflict is so clear from the start. The struggle is very human. Thank you for sharing

Sandy Menarek
1 year ago

This is such a powerful story. You managed to bring each of your characters to life without a lot of description. I thought it was a very moving story, Great job.