JAN20 LM: "Write a death scene" - Scores


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    JAN20 LM: "Write a death scene" - Scores

    Thanks for your patience this month as we worked out some kinks with the new hosting format. It was an excellent turn out with 16 submissions! Thanks to the judges for their work as well.

    Without further adieu, here are the judges' opinions and scores-


    SueC:

    (1) Luckyscars, La Petit Mort
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 5/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18/20
    Review: Lucky, I'll be honest (and thank you for the heads up) the first word into my head as I read the last line was "yuk." Then the requisite re-read. I think you did really well with this, although with dialogue and thought process it was difficult to determine SPAGs. So be it.


    Here we have a woman, whose self-esteem is low from repeated verbal abuse since girlhood. Name-calling, the whole thing was upsetting. Do we, as we grow older, ever wonder what happened to those we bullied? Do they just get over it one day and become a functioning part of society, or do they - like your girl Hyacinth - just believe the hpye and become what they fear the most?


    This girl is so damaged and broken, she still sees her abusers appearing before her, speaking their nastiness to her and it isn't always in her dreams. The condition in which she finds herself fits her life perfectly, however, as does the state of her partner. It wouldn't be enough to just say he died, lying there on her bed. You simply had to include the more gross parts of dying that we all would rather not think about. It's all normal and expected, at least to those standing about as witnesses. The dead, on the other hand, won't care a whit about such leakage - they be gone by then.


    Again, good job. Good work on the visuals (thanks so much) and on keeping consistent with time and place. You did meet the prompt, and thanks for your submission.


    (2) Lisa Orban, My Father Will Die Today
    SPaG: 3/5
    Eval: 3/5
    Effect: 3/5
    Reac: 4/5
    Overall: 13/20
    Review: Hi Lisa. I think your piece was quite an emotional one to write. This is a path we all must walk - or most of us anyway - and you did a good job describing the feelings that accompany such a venture.


    There are some words that ring true in our writing, and sometimes repetition becomes a way to confirm their importance. I think you used the phrase my father will die today in every paragraph of this story. I would suggest limiting that number - I believe the effect of those words would be much greater. By the end of your story my father will die today had less of an impact than it did the first time I read it.


    Except for the one small paragraph where you talk about hospital staff coming in to disconnect your father from the machines keeping him alive, you don't really "write about a death scene." It might have been helpful to know what that specific moment was like - for your character and for her family, and possibly even her father.


    As far as SPAGs are concerned, some incomplete sentences and overuse of commas was about all. Thanks for your submission, Lisa. Good job!


    (3) bdcharles, Red Star Expiring
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 5/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18/20
    Review: Good job here, bd. Absolutely terrifying! I really liked the idea that initially it was thought that someone (something?) had done something wrong to incur the wrath of SPexTra, making them all seem more human. Or at least capable of experiencing the fear we readers feel as we see SpexTra approaching. The prompt was met.


    Spextra goes on a killing rampage with no apparent rhyme or reason, but at the end we begin to understand its need to grow and become more than what it was. No explanation necessary. It just happens and we are lucky to have this first-hand account of the terror as it grew, absorbing all in its path.


    The opening was a little rough and confusing. I couldn't tell if the entity was saying "aag," as its name or if it was an expression of fear. I believe this line should have had quotations marks somewhere:
    Aag!, she said, pointing up. Her comms module, still fried then. Aaaaggg!


    This was a good read. Thanks for your submission, bd.


    (4) Anon(1), The Last in Line
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 15/20


    Review: I'm sure this hits home for a lot of people. We console ourselves sometimes through life that others must go before we do, but then comes the moment when that is no longer the case.


    The opening, however, gave the impression that Darby was the observer of another's death in your story. It might be a good idea if you could work it so Darby had some kind of ownership of the room that smelled like mold and bowel movements from the beginning, that might help.


    Even the following paragraphs, describing Darcy's life-long fear of death, is written in a way that makes a reader feel as if he is just going to witness one more demise. Well, I suppose in a way he is - this time his own. I don't know if it was intentional or not, to make Darby the one who was lying in bed, awaiting death, as a turn of events in the story.


    I'm sorry to say, this piece did not really move me. Even though most of us at some point in our lives come face to face with death of family and friends, I believe we still hold a modicum of fear in our hearts at our own moment. Some handle it better than others, of course, but I feel the fear of the unknown and the surety of death is universal. I don't think it vanishes merely because we have seen too many others die.
    Otherwise, not too bad a story. The prompt was met, with few SPAG issues. Thanks for your submission.


    (5) Bevo, Final Ride
    SPaG: 3/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 14/20
    Review: I understand this is a story told by an accident investigator about a motorcycle crash. He is at the scene and after confirming some issues with a witness, goes to the home of the deceased to inform his wife about the fatality.


    I find this entire piece completely devoid of emotion. There is an attempt to explain the wife's calm reaction, but I found it flawed. The victim telling his wife this was his last ride before he left could mean many things, especially in view of his illness. In saying that, I find it hard to understand her total lack of emotion.


    At the accident site, there was a witness. This witness talked about an energetic motorcycle driver who was observed performing well on the bike. At one point, you said the witness was behind the motorcycle, and then it sounded like he was in a race with the cyclist.


    Apparently, the witness was behind him. The report stated, they met at the bottom of the canyon and raced up together, each corner he had his knee on the ground, each straight away he spun the back tire leaving on one wheel. He did not understand why he crashed as he was clearly an expert, it looked like he just didn’t turn.


    The formatting of the document made it difficult to read. I would suggest more spacing between paragraphs and a larger font size. Prompt was met. Thanks for your submission!

    (6) CyberWar, A Door to Heaven
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 4/5
    Overall: 16/20
    Review: Hi CyberWar. Here we have Marion, who at one point in her life was a person of note, but now finds herself in a prison of any enemy, where she will soon be put to death. She is defiant at the end, and sees the blood-stained door she has to stand against as her door to heaven.


    I think you handled the details well and the pace was good. I was struck by the lack of emotion, however, from anyone, but understand that starvation and lack of human need can often leave one without the ability to assimilate pain and suffering. Still, it was just too barren for me. Surely not everyone is as stoic as Marion.


    I didn't see a lot of SPAG issues, only this one sentence that was missing a word - . . . as good as shackles as any physical instrument of restraint. Thank you for your submission!


    (7) Anon (2), Joey
    SPaG: 3/5
    Eval: 3/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 13/20
    Review: This is a sad tale of a life gone wrong. You tried to pack in as much information as you could on this kid's life, but unfortunately 650 words just wasn't enough to give it justice. Because of the limited wordage, the events you describe are short and have less of an impact on your reader.


    Joey, a young man who lives on the street, is faced with danger and hardships. As readers, we aren't really sure what exactly Charlie, a drug dealer, is demanding of him but whatever it is, Joey wants no part in it. Other than refusing Charlie, there is no reason given for the violence against him at the end of the story.


    Understanding that most kids who are living rough are usually the victims of trauma at home, I think your choice would be to either focus only on the events that brought him to the life he is living, or focus only on that life specifically. There just isn't enough to room in this comp to generate the type of emotion from readers that I think you are looking for.


    There were a couple of areas where there was a change in tense, and the beginning of the seventh paragraph is not decipherable at all. (He ell with him.He had He had enough of thiefelt the first bullet as a sharp, stinging sensation in his left shoulder.)


    I think you could do something with this beyond the word limit. Thanks for your submission!


    ( KHK, Three Days After
    SPaG: 2/5
    Eval: 3/5
    Effect: 3/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 11/20
    Review: KHK, I see you are a new member, so welcome. Good for you for entering your first LM comp. I couldn't see any spelling or grammar issues, but there is this unusual separation of sentences. Each one, in many paragraphs, is on its own line rather than put together in a paragraph format. That really isn't an acceptable technique here, unless you are writing poetry.


    Heavy headache was pulsating in the thick fog filling his skull.
    Apathy was taking over.
    Any inhibitions he might have had were now suppressed by the primal survival instinct.


    The prompt Write a Death Scene, does not really seem to fit, except for the last line where you identified the ". . . last sight of his life."


    Kevin seems to be a nasty number to begin with, and I suppose it is possible to assume that a person like that could go so far off the rails without water. However, I just don't buy it, that after only 3 days this was the result. A lot of the information in your story seems gratuitous, unnecessary.


    We know nothing about Kevin. Has he always been this angry, or has being without water made him that way? If he was so hungry why couldn't he get food? I assumed the water situation was what needed to be "fixed," but maybe not. I saw your description of Kevin's defecating as little more than filler. or maybe just shock value.


    I can't see how that enhanced the story you were trying to tell, of an angry man who - like his neighbors - had no food or water for reasons unknown.


    Thank you for your submission, KHK. Keep writing!

    (9) Ketan, A Unit of Death
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 5/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18/20
    Review: Ketan, this was very nice. There are some formatting issues - a missing word and a misspelled word, but beyond that a compelling little story.


    (She would be a magnate magnet for crooks trying to take advantage of a lonely old woman.) Sometimes it helps to read the work out loud so you can catch little things like that - spell check would not have helped here.


    I think the moment of death is special, for those experiencing it and for those "left behind." It is a unique event in a life. You did a nice job reflecting not only the grieving spouse's emotions, but also those of a young medical professional, just learning what this dying process is all about.


    Even in the future, when technology rules most of the moments in our lives, there will that one singular minute where final goodbyes are said. I liked the way you captured the silence of the moment, too, something many people live without for years. And I also liked the recognition that frequently those who assist us in our journey to move on to whatever comes next, may also feel the loss keenly.


    Good job, Ketan. Keep writing and thank you for your submission.


    (10) BornforBurning, The Ark of the Covenant
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 4/5
    Overall: 16/20
    Review: BFB, this was an interesting piece of work. I think the beginning is a little muddy, in relation to who is where. We have an Admiral in his battle cruiser, alone, but speaking to Mulu, whom he wants to take the fleet into hyperspace, so he can go down to earth and vanquish the monsters who have taken over the planet. At first I didn't realize that they were not on the same vehicle, but that did become clear later on.


    I liked this and I think shows a good skill at story telling. You had some incomplete sentences (He sucks in his breath. Closes his eyes. Remembers the fire. The stench of blood.), which I think can be handled differently, so it's not so stark. I can usually let a few go for dramatic effect, but I think there were enough in the entire piece for me to comment on.


    This smacks of bravery and the type of courage we have come to expect from Admirals and those of higher rank in the military. I thought this a good story, very descriptive - I could see pretty much everything. I think you did a good job and thanks for your submission.


    (11) Mish, Under the Scarlet Moon
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 5/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18 /20
    Review: Well this is a little different take on the prompt, but it was there. You told a good story with a small amount of words, not leaving too many questions unanswered. It was chilling, because we didn't know Mom was an "undead" in the beginning. This added to the tension.


    I didn't see a lot of spelling or grammar issues, just a few incomplete sentences.


    Here we have a mother out for revenge for the death of her daughter, at the hand of a drug dealer (?). Mom is able to find the killer through police case files and make enough of a connection with him that they schedule a time to meet. Mom has other plans than what the killer thinks and he winds up a zombie, like her.


    This was pretty well written and I liked it. Thanks for your submission, Mish.


    (12) ArrowintheBowoftheLord, Graveyard Shift
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 3/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 14/20
    Review: Oh, I struggled with this one, Arrow. I usually do not have difficulty with your stories, but this one left me out. Two people, one a "sensor," and the other the MC, are in a bunker preparing to drop bombs on a desert compound, where a man in white is talking on a cell phone. Your MC is anxiety-ridden and is experiencing actual physical discomfort from an imagined "ghost."


    Suddenly, as if the tension of what he is doing is simply not enough to keep him awake, he is dreaming he is in the desert himself and surrounded by a variety of things that are terrifying him; his ghost, the man in white and the grim reaper are included. Your visuals are excellent, I must say, and paint a picture of horror.


    Then we are out of the dream, and apparently your guy has woken up after the strike. As he rises to leave the bunker, he sees a physical manifestation of his dream on the mural of the grim reaper in the bunker. I believe you have met the prompt of a death scene, but I honestly am having difficulty seeing the story line here.


    I didn't see a lot of spelling or grammar issues. Thanks for your submission, Arrow.


    (13) Anon (3), Percy
    SPaG: 4/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 5/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18/20
    Review: Oh wow. Was not expecting that ending. You met the prompt with that ending. I saw no issues with spelling or grammar, recognizing the dialect that effected the spelling.


    Farm life is hard on many levels, and your story profiles one of the reasons why, especially for children. This may be a story that actually happened in real life and I thought very compelling. The mother was very patient with her young daughter, trying to explain the ways of farm life that she was not yet familiar with.


    You did a good job with your telling and I liked the story. You incorporated all the rationale as to why Percy would die, why the youngster didn't understand the process, and how she wanted to save her pig. Too young to understand the concept of human death even, she was careless with her weapon and stumbled - causing her own death.


    A sad story, really but I think you did a good job. Thank you for your submission.


    (14) undead_av, What Burns Eternally
    SPaG: 5/5
    Eval: 4/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 5/5
    Overall: 18/20
    Review: Hi undead. This was good! I have two eternal fears in life - deep space and deep water. I could relate well to the terror these men are experiencing, but only in my nightmares. I'm often envious of those who have the courage to face the unknown; glad it's them and not me.


    I saw no spelling or grammar issues, but it's questionable that you met the prompt. It may have been a foregone conclusion that these two fellows were going to die out there in deep space, but the "death scene," in my opinion, was not that apparent.


    So we have two men, who oddly don't know each other, as pilot and co-pilot. One is filled with terror at the new and unique sights he is seeing and the other is enthralled. I especially liked the part about the sound of silence here. I think, especially in times of great stress or terror, that silence is noisy! There is that rush sound, especially when there is no bird song or wind interrupting, so I was glad to see that in your piece.
    You did a good job with this, undead, and thank you for your submission.


    (15) Tomkat, Withering
    SPaG: 3/5
    Eval: 3/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 3/5
    Overall: 13/20
    Review: Hi Tomkat. You used less than half of the word count allowed for this comp and the result I believe, is work that is a little incomplete. I think you met the prompt, describing the death scene of a flower. This seems like an emotional piece, maybe stream-of-conscious writing, but I do not see an actual story line here.


    Here we have a boy with his father (assumed), who cautions his son not to pick a flower they see. They boy does pick the flower and eventually it dies. Lots of commentary on life and death throughout. Couldn't always tell whose thoughts these were - some a little too mature for a child. Perhaps this is a memory, with deep thoughts from a grown child.


    The formatting is unusual and strikes me as more poetic than prose. You did not group common threads together in typical paragraph format.


    The moon shone a light that wasn’t hers.
    Life’s not about taking.
    Life’s a low flight, brushing the green blades of grass and high jump, up through the clouds, fluffy pillows made of dreams.


    Not too many spelling or grammar issues, but several incomplete sentences. Visuals were very good and I think you could have done more with this.


    Thanks for your submission, and keep writing.

    (16) anon (5) Nana
    SPaG: 3/5
    Eval: 3/5
    Effect: 4/5
    Reac: 4/5
    Overall: 14/20
    Review: Hello. Here we have a grandmother who is dying in the presence of her granddaughter. The granddaughter, Lanai, remembers a time when she was forbidden to enter her grandmother's bedroom when she was a child, and now the grandmother explains why.


    You used less than half of the word amount allowed for this comp, and I think it would have been more interesting if you had utilized some of those words to move away from the conversation a little bit; give us more visuals so it is easier to see what the granddaughter was experiencing. Like in the beginning, when the grandmother startled Lanai, where was she? Was she behind her, at the door, or in the bed? Had she followed her down the hall? How had her fear turned to respect since childhood? What kind of relationship did they have? Had her grandmother been sick for a long time? These are the kinds of things that might flesh out the story line more, and provide more interest.


    I think this could have been a special piece, but there were some issues with formatting and therefore some of the words were indecipherable. Also, there was no spacing between paragraphs, which made reading a little more difficult.


    "No, I'm just‚€’you're not going to die." Lanai said firmly.
    "Death? Well, I am going to‚€’" (This last one has both single and double quotes at the end)


    It might be a good idea to read your work out loud before sending it so you can pick up on these issues. You met the prompt. After you cut and paste your work into the private message, or posting, you can edit it before sending it on.


    Thank you for your submission.




    Ralph Rotten:

    __________________________________________________ _________
    "Title" La Petite Mort
    Author LuckyScars


    Review:
    The author in this piece was clearly shooting for something with a literary flair to it. This story had a classic flavor to it, like a modern Hawthorne.
    But the piece was also a bit confusing. The taunting rhymes took valuable words that could have been better applied to the narrative to fill out the story better.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 14/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" My Father Will Die Today
    Author Lisa Orban


    Review: Although this is technically not a death scene, I found the work to be extremely well done. I think I actually cried a little while reading this piece (I'm prone to outbursts.) There was a lyrical cadence to this story, almost as if it were a song, with the refrain at the end of each paragraph. It painted the emotions very well, and made me feel as if I were that person going to the hospital. Twas very good.




    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 5/5
    Total: 19/20


    _________________________________________________


    The Last in Line, Ralph Rotten


    This story was clearly written by an asshole.


    ________________________________________________


    "Title" Red Star, Expiring
    Author BD Charles


    Review:
    This was an interesting take on the end of a solar system through the eyes of synthetic beings. I loved the parallels to scared humanoids trying to please the sun god. However, I did have a couple of derailments early on in the story-mainly I had to reread the opening paragraph to realize they were talking about the sun (and I figured that out mainly because of the title.) It just needed some clarification in the beginning. A stronger ending would have helped as well.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 4/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 2/5
    Total: 15/20


    ________________________________________________


    Title: The Final Ride
    Author: Bevo


    Review: This was an interesting tale of a terminal patient going out on their own terms. However, the story was marred by some mechanical issues and still needed some work.




    SPaG 3/5
    T&V: 2/5
    Evaluation 3/5
    Reaction 3/5
    Total: 11
    ________________________________________________


    Title: A Door to Heaven
    Author: Cyberwar


    Review: This was a well written piece. It was mechanically sound, very clean, and painted a solid image of the dungeon where this happens. I thought it was very illustrative for such a short work. My only complaint would be the last line could have been...more? But nonetheless, twas a very good piece.

    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 5/5
    Reaction: 4/5
    Total: 19/20
    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Joey
    Author Anon


    Review:
    This was a pretty classic death scene; boy is fleeing bad guy, reflects on his life that led to that moment, then becomes a victim of a drive-by shooting and dies. The downside is that the paragraph where he is first shot is garbled and incomprehensible (possibly someone pasted right in the middle of an existing sentence??) Overall, it was a good story, but the ending needed to remind us who Charlie was again. I had to go back and reread the opening paragraph to figure out who the guy he stabs is.


    SPaG: 4/5 (lost a point due to garbled sentence)
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 16/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Three Days After
    Author KHK


    Review:
    As a fan of post-apocalyptic tales, I found this story interesting. Usually we see ravengers and raiders from the other side of the table, but in this story our POV is the punk who ransacks old ladies' pantries. The prose was pretty straight-forward, the author has good mechanical control of their writing, but I would like to have seen a bit more of the focus on the punk's death itself, maybe the bat swinging at his head, his realization that he had really screwed up, then the sharp pain of impact...


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 16/20


    _________________________________________________


    Title: A Unit of Death
    Author: Ketan Desai


    Review: First the good: The ending of this story did a great job of making me feel the pain of the people watching this man die. I almost got a little misty as I finished the piece. The author did a good job of imparting the emotion of the moment. However, the story was marred by mechanical failures early in the story. The first paragraph was clumsy and verbose, and there was a sentence about the old woman becoming a 'magnate for criminals' that was made confusing by the homonym error. Had this story been edited better, I would have given it much higher marks.


    SPaG: 3/5
    T&V: 4/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 5/5
    Total: 15/20
    _________________________________________________


    "Title" THE ARK OF THE COVENANT
    Author Born for Burning


    Review:
    The writer told a surprisingly in-depth story for only 588 words (although they misused the term TRANSPONDER). There was a lotta story packed into this short. The opening paragraph still needed a touch of work, but I could see where they were going with the analogy between a spear, and how the ship was a long, slender weapon of death. Overall I thought the story was well-written and showed good, mechanical control by the writer.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 17/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Under the Scarlet Moon
    Author Mish


    Review:
    This was a straight forward revenge story with a great twist. But I was not a fan of the unattributed dialog at the beginning, and I never really felt the mother's anger as she reflected on her target. I was confused by how the mother seemed to not really be bothered by being hacked by a machete, but as we find out later, she is supernatural. But it caused a bit of a disconnect because as a reader I was thinking the whole time "Shouldn't that hurt more??"


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 2/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 13/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Graveyard Shift
    Author ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord


    Review:
    This was a well-written little piece, with some great allegory and symbolism. My only complaint was that the illustration of the world was a bit fuzzy; I initially thought there was actually a reaper in the bunker with them, but it was only a painting, and I did not understand the passage where the two men looked each other in the eyes--symbolism? Overall I liked the piece, and it told a good story.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 14/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Percy
    Author Anonymous


    Review:
    This was some pretty prose. The dialog and illustration gave me a solid image of their muddy, rural world. I could see the Momma, and the little girl, and the pig pens just outside, all so clearly. My only complaint was that the ending felt rushed, like the author had created this gleaming opus, then just ended it when they ran out of words. I would have liked to see relief from the mother as the daughter agrees to give back the knife without harming herself...then a twist ending as she falls and accidentally stabs herself, and maybe a little more of the emotion surrounding that event. Twould have been hard to fit it in with this word count, but I got the impression that this author had the skill to do it.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 4/5
    Total: 18/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" What Burns Eternally
    Author Undead_AV


    Review:
    This story showed good mechanical control, and painted a colorful world in the void of deep space. But the story itself was underwhelming. The pilot has a 'Wilson' moment, but there is no clear sign that anyone has died? Possibly the other pilot? Or maybe the first pilot was already dead...? Twas not clear who did the dying.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 3/5
    Evaluation: 2/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 13/20


    _________________________________________________


    "Title" Withering
    Author Tomkat


    Review:
    This was a very flowery bit of literature from Tomkat. It felt like I was looking at a painting by an impressionist as I read this piece. Although it was eloquent and flowed well, the only death was of a flower? With skills like this I had really been expecting...more...from this tale. Twas quick and succinct, but did not wow me.


    SPaG: 5/5
    T&V: 5/5
    Evaluation: 3/5
    Reaction: 2/5
    Total: 15/20


    _________________________________________________


    Title: Nana
    Author: Anon


    Review: This was a very short piece that gave the reader a glimpse into the mind of a young lady as she watches her Nana die. Although it demonstrated that the writer had solid skills as a writer, I was distracted by possible file corruption? Dunno, "just‚€" and similar truncation's appeared throughout the story, and I wasn't sure if they were a way to accent the dialog, or just a glitch from copy/pasting the story. I felt like this was a rushed piece.


    SPaG: 3/5 (was just‚€ intentional?)
    T&V: 4/5
    Evaluation: 4/5
    Reaction: 3/5
    Total: 14/20



    Clark:

    title: La petit mort
    author: luckyscars
    review: the piece evoked memories of Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn. . .similar unrelenting assault of smell and filth . . .her confused emotions and sense of time/events. . .revulsion/arousal. This tone well-done. . .the simulated sounds as isolated text was more distracting than effective. . .spatial placement of characters a bit difficult to follow, which disturbed continuity. Mood wonderfully filthy. You wanted a shower after reading it. Needed some prep for Tommy’s hatred of her. Big question mark there. Did he murder Norman? that endnote ambiguity well-done.


    spag: 4
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 14
    __________________________________________________


    title: My Father Will Die Today
    author: Lisa Orban
    review: A bittersweet immediacy here—feel the writer sitting up in bed, writing the piece before breakfast—future tense effective. The impression is that of an emotional rush, but the short paragraphs segment the memories, producing a structural hesitancy that mirrors her emotions—repeated ‘my father will die today’ as anaphora is overdone, IMO—the dying father we learn at the end was weak, exploitative, whiny, probably a lousy father and it’s a struggle for her to keep up the pretense—most of this at very end. Some faint hints earlier would have produced greater impact of confirmation at end. Overall, a well-crafted story.


    spag: 4.5
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 4
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 15.5
    __________________________________________________
    title: The Last in Line
    author: Ralph Rotten
    review: Fulfills the prompt. After the first para, which actually could be deleted without loss to the theme, good flow re staying with the theme—serenity of the last facial expression—throughout. Interest in the story might improve with intro of some source of tension—there isn’t one here, really. In memory, Darby says—this happened to all these others, now it’s my turn. Re style, you might want to have a look at wordiness. Para 5, for example is 98 words. Tightening it up, still providing the same information but deleting the end generalizations, could be rendered something like this--There had been many others—he was the last of his generation. Friends, parents, siblings had all long since passed on. He had even seen that still look on one of his own daughters. Like her mother, she fought death courageously to the end. Darby smiled bitterly at the memory. Death always wins (53 words). Since that “still look” is the theme, his anticipation of it happening to HIS face should have been mentioned in the conclusion

    __________________________________________________ _

    title: Red Star Expiring
    author: bdcharles
    review:The Voice of a robotic AI Being consistently well done throughout. He earned my sympathy! The reader FEELS the inexorable advance of SpexTra, a malignant force bent on the destruction of his own creations. The crushing irony of the speaker’s GUILT is not felt until the reader looks back at the title and sees the comma—SpexTra is a naturally dying star. The speaker’s guilt for some u/k wrongdoing is entirely misplaced. VERY well crafted. I think the sentence beginning “The Mesh went down , , ,” thru to the end of that para might have been a better beginning re build-up of suspense. Well written story.


    spag: 4
    T & V: 5
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 5
    TOTAL 17

    __________________________________________________ ______
    title: Final Ride
    author: Bevo
    review: Scene is set well . . .sequential development clear . .tension would have increased had you provided more detail about the kind of person he EXPECTED to find, so that her relaxed response would have seemed even more incongruous (let the reader think SHE might have been complicit in her husband’s death . . .the ending is rather flat. Main problems throughout were mechanical: sentence splices, run-ons, incorrect and misleading punctuation, numbers instead of words, no quot. marks . . .these mechanical problems seriously impeded the reader’s ability to keep the story line straight.


    spag: 2
    T & V: 3
    evaluation: -3
    reaction: 4
    TOTAL 12


    __________________________________________________ _

    title: A Door to Heaven
    author: Cyber War
    review: Excellent description of the prisoners’ appalling state. Made my skin crawl at the brutality zealots can and have imposed on others. Well-written. Describing their conditions, however, becomes the focal point of the story, rather than her DEFIANCE. Such courage! there’s the story, don’t you think? But it assumes a secondary role to their hardships which, however well-done here, have been described in exhaustive detail elsewhere.


    spag: 5
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 15



    __________________________________________________ ______

    title: Joey
    author: anon
    review: Quite a few typos, missed compound adjectives, 1st sentence of 7th para. can only be guessed at thru context. Believability a problem—Joey is a homeless loser, a nobody, so why would Charlie kill him so dramatically? And when he is positively FULL of bullets, he still has the strength to kill Charlie—seems unlikely. Memories of his parents flashing thru his mind as he dies, this is well-handled, except the mother lying still and, tho she seems to love him, never contacting him after she leaves, seems a little thin. A great idea here--. .maybe trying for too much detail in such a short span?


    spag: 3
    T & V: 3
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 4
    TOTAL 13




    title: Three Days After
    author: KHK
    review: The story doesn’t really fulfill the expectations of the prompt: a death SCENE. The main character is simply killed in the last line. Sustained depiction of this brutish, egotistical lout is VERY well done. By the end the reader has zero sympathy, clearly the intent of the writer. Plot needs work: if the police can be called, and repairmen are in the wings, the apt. building is in a developed community, but it seems everyone is out of food, and the building is falling apart. Why? An event of some kind needs to be the cause. The style is often wordy, and the actions of the character stand as implicit meaning. The writer does not need to step in with “Oh, Kevin was so angry” and “Any inhibitions. . .instinct”. As I suggested above, justifying the plight of this building, a little more attention to the prompt, and working on some wordiness or unnecessary writer-guidance, would be advisable. Love your power of description.


    spag: 4
    T & V: 3
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 13




    __________________________________________________ _________

    title A Unit oF Death
    author: Ketan
    review: Interestingly for such a common but understandably TENSE situation, the story itself doesn’t really have a pivotal issue of tension to quicken the reader’s interest. Old people get ill, they die, partners grieve. Ordinary scenario, Ity would be more vital if, say, the young doctor has seen a lot of Alzheimers and is bored with it. . .but he’s never had to deal with partners. This woman moves him and in the end he opens himself. OR The wife has been dealing with his disease for years, she WANTS him to die, confesses this to the doctor, suffers from guilt. . . and the doctor is able to help . . .something like that will ramp the commonplace up, give the story more depth. . . .


    spag: 4
    T & V: 3
    evaluation: 4
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 14

    __________________________________________________
    title: The Ark of the Covenant
    author: BornForBurning
    review: A powerful tale well-told. Excellent detailed descriptions, strong but not excessive. Description of the “things” especially powerful .The first para. needs some work—the ‘cathedral’ image is a bit misleading re the ‘spear’. The two don’t go together too well. The guns etc. under the ship, since never used and irrelevant to this final mission, might be omitted. And perhaps there could be a bit more ‘journey’: when the warp gate opens Earth is right there. One other detail—the Admiral tells the Captain to ensure the people continue living on their drifting structures. So does he sacrifice his life solely for revenge? That could be made clearer. All in all, though, a satisfying story well-told.


    spag: 5
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 4
    TOTAL 16
    __________________________________________________ _
    title: Under the Scarlet Moon
    author: MISH
    review: Excellent build-up of tension thru action and incongruity (the woman seems hacked to death standing up, but continues to fight—the revelation that she is a vampire comes at just the right moment to carry the revenge thru to the end). That part is very well-paced for a short piece. Set-up. . .clarify they’re on the phone at the opening. The close needs work, lacks the energy and passion of the rest of the piece. The last line breaks the spell: that is the WRITER stepping into the story. Style is awkward at times. Clichťs pepper the text, calling attention to themselves rather than serving the action:: “whole life ahead of her”, “got away clean”. collapsed like a house of cards”, “had the upper hand”, “tricks up his sleeve”, “moved mountains”—and a clustered description, essentially a mixed metaphor: “house of cards. . .spineless worm. . .squealing pig”. This is a bit excessive. You might also consider editing a couple of points where a formal level of language creeps into this visceral story: “the gravity of his situation” and “ . . .of his passing” , a Christian term for passing from this life to the (presumably) better one awaiting. I very much liked what you were aiming for here and admired the energy flow of the piece.


    spag: 3
    T & V: 3
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 12
    __________________________________________________ ______


    title: Graveyard Shift
    author: Arrow in the Bow of the Lord
    review: Whoof! (my more elegant critical style. . .). I read it three times, not because it was obtuse, but to make sure I caught as many nuances as I could. Tension well-sustained throughout., transitions appropriate to the action and believable in this imaginative context. Flow between dialogue and description smooth. A few quibbles—the speaker places great importance on his drone in one paragraph, but then the drone is dropped from the story. Also, the Grim Reaper carries a scythe, and so does your character’s ghost. I looked for some symbolic necessity for this but didn’t really find any. Found it a little confusing. My only real problem was one of balance re the DRONE. It is introduced as an object of mystery and profundity, but only because the writer states it is so, not because he twirits mystery and profundity arise from the story itself. . .then dropped. Not to be mentioned again. The only major flaw in an otherwise dark and creepy vision well-told and well-written. Two typos cost a mark.


    spag: 4
    T & V: 5
    evaluation: 4
    reaction: 4
    TOTAL 17
    ________________________________________

    title: PERCY
    author: anon (647 w)
    review: The prompt required a death SCENE. There is no “death” here until the last line. Good set-up. . .mother’s love for Jenna . . .explaining why Percy had to go . . .maybe a tad more detail showing child’s deep love for Percy to justify her appalling suggestion that she’d offer herself as sacrifice (a short sentence re her clumsy walking would help AND I’d suggest her AGE should be stated, somehow. Maybe 3? 4?). The close needs a little work. The penultimate phrase—"the edge kissing along Jenna's neck when she fell hard upon it”—a knife blade KISSING would be gentle, barely touching. . .but then we learn the child “fell hard upon it”. Enough to kill her in “a river” of blood. Seems incongruous. The words and the action could mirror each other better. I’d also suggest that VOICE re a couple of problems with POV, needs to be more consistent. For example, the para that begins and ends “Daddy . . .handle” is presented as straight backstory, rather than put in Mama’s mouth, and the critically important final line is from the POV of the WRITER, who has stepped into the action intrusively. The close needs a bit more detail re this cut actually killing the child. Regardless of these suggestions, the shocking story is well-conceived and holds the reader’s attention.

    ________________________________________
    title What Burns Eternally
    author: undead_av
    review: An interesting idea—two individuals assaulted by different senses, one by sight, one by sound. The one energized by the experience, the other terrified. Si it has promise, but does.t really offer anything of any depth—at the end, it ends with a whimper rather than a bang,---NAME the principal pilot. ‘Pilot’ and ‘other pilot’ gets awkward as story unfolds---the writing itself is clear and well-structured—contrasting points of view handled well. the CLOSE needs work. The story just slows and then stops.
    spag: 5
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 15
    __________________________________________________

    title Withering
    author: Tomkat
    review: The story essentially tells, in dialogue form, a clichť observation about life and death. The two characters are mouths—neither comes alive as an individual worthy of our sympathy and interest. And you denied yourself the opportunity to achieve that—note that the story is 304 words, less than HALF the allowable length. You write well, but the piece just doesn’t have enough depth to be of much interest, which is rather a shame because the writing ability shown here suggests it could have been taken further.




    spag: 5
    T & V: 2
    evaluation: 3
    reaction: 2
    TOTAL 12
    __________________________________________________

    title NANA
    author: anon
    review: Pulling off seamless dialogue is damn hard work for most writers, but you seem to do it with ease. . . so it’s frustrating to have to mark the piece down severely for two proofreading errors at key lines . . .and I could NOT figure out meaning at those points (tip—proofread BACKWARDS. You’ll catch 100% of typos, guaranteed). Lanai’s character is but thinly drawn: main problem, she borders on near-hysteria at the mention of death. But we don’t know why. The character needs to be fleshed out . . . and since this story is less than HALF the allowable length, you had room.


    spag: 2
    T & V: 4
    evaluation: 4
    reaction: 3
    TOTAL 13





    velo:

    luckyscars, La Petite Mort
    SPaG: 5
    T&V: 2
    Eval: 2
    Reac:2
    Overall: 11


    This felt expositional to a large degree. If "seefuh" was intended as onomatopoeic I did not get that it was intended as snoring/wheezing/breathing/something until it was later alluded to with other text.

    This feels like a montage of bits and pieces that never fully coalesces into a whole. The appearance of Tommy as a seemingly corporeal being instead of an imagined flashback took a couple readings to fully sort out. The voice is indistinct and disjointed.

    In the end the thing that makes or breaks a story for me is if I care about the characters, did I have an emotional reaction to them? In this case, I did not. It was a bit too chaotic to form any sort of connection with.






    LisaOrbanAuthor, My Father Will Die Today
    SPaG: 4
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 1
    Reac: 1
    Overall: 10


    Some awkward comma placement and grammar issues. "I will remind him of the times he made me laugh, and the last lunch we had together, the times he stood up for me and the times he made me proud." The 'and' in the second phrase throws the cadence of the entire sentence off and seems to require a colon instead of the third comma as written. Better yet, the 'and' should have come after the third comma.

    Overall, it feels like every sentence is at least a partial repetition of the title. This is a laundry list of actions or happenings or thoughts. There is no real movement or narrative. There is no character development or presentation. While it was lovely, in a maudlin way, I don't see much here that qualifies as a 'story,' which is what I'm looking for in a fiction contest.






    The Last in Line, Ralph Rotten (judge's entry)
    SPaG: --
    T&V: --
    Eval: --
    Reac: --
    Overall:


    I didn't connect much with this. It was mostly a clichť reminiscing from a death bed and I'm not entirely sure it's a 'death scene' in that sense. I feel like I've read this many times before.





    bdcharles, Red Star, Expiring
    SPaG: 5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 4
    Reac: 4
    Overall: 17.5


    Nicely done, bd. There were a couple moments where it felt like the voice broke- 'must have been pretty angry that day' and 'A right sight we must have looked, with all our rear ends in the air.' These had a casual, flippant tone that didn't jibe with the rest.

    A hive-mind of sentient tech that outlived their (presumably organic) makers to see the death of their star and be engulfed in it, I like the idea. I picked a couple nits on the distance to the exanding sun...a red giant's surface temp is 5000K or more...nothing we are currently aware of can withstand that temperature as a solid so getting within 10 yards (also you switched from metric to Imperial) of that seems highly unlikely.

    Despite the nits I liked this and it worked. At a couple points early on I was confused as to what was happening and what SPexTra was...I had to rely on the title for that which isn't ideal.






    Final Ride, Bevo
    SPaG: 2.5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 2.5
    Reac: 2
    Overall: 11


    'canyons' should not be capitalised in 'California Canyons' unless there is a specific place I am not aware of. "I saw the body covered and a large blood stain" works much better with 'covered body.' The noun/adj order had me expecting more description about the covering.

    "As I then looked at the motorcycle, I saw the tires were new, but wear marks were to the edge." Super awkward starting with 'As I then...'

    "Yes, did he suffer?" This only makes sense if it's two speakers, but you have it as one.

    The last line is superfluous and unnecessary.

    Some big grammar issues that really took away from the story. Obviously you ride motorcycles, as do I, but most people aren't going to know what it means to have wear marks to the edges. (my chicken strips are very wide, btw ) I think adding these details to achieve verisimilitude can often be counterproductive since it's only a subset of your readership (unless you are writing specifically for that demographic) that will understand what you are talking about. Even as someone with tens of thousands of miles on two wheels I felt the added details about knee pucks and tire wear distracting.

    This was definitely a death scene but the nuts and bolts of the piece need some attention.





    A Door to Heaven CyberWar
    SPaG: 4
    T&V: 4.5
    Eval: 3.5
    Reac: 3
    Overall: 15


    Overuse of commas in a couple places.

    This was a very bleak piece, as grey as I imagined the entire Soviet world to be back in the Cold War. It was also very expositional through much of it. We know nothing about the MC until the end which limited the engagement I had. I did, however, like the use of the 'door to heaven' as a set piece.






    midnightpoet, Joey
    SPaG: 4
    T&V: 3.5
    Eval: 3.5
    Reac: 3
    Overall: 14


    "He ell with him.He had He had enough of thiefelt the first bullet as a sharp," Looks like an error in editing but had to take off for it.

    The snow changing to sleet in the middle of a barrage of bullets changes the pace in a very unworkable way.

    I really caught "as his life's blood slowly ebbed from his body" because you'd just described the MC being hit by many bullets in vital areas. I would think 'slowly ebbed' doesn't accurately describe the most likely flow of blood from being hit by that many projectiles.

    By all appearances Joey appears to be homeless and of no serious account. Why would he be the target of a drive-by like this? If it was random I'd like to know that...it's too big of a question left unanswered.

    Overall it kind of works but there are gaps I noted that impacted my reaction and evaluation.







    Three Days After, KHK
    SPaG: 3
    T&V: 4.5
    Eval: 2
    Reac: 2
    Overall: 11.5


    Second sentence is incomplete. "there wasn't much of those" is also incomplete and should be "weren't many"

    Excessive(!!) use of line breaks.

    I like that whatever societal collapse event that took place isn't explained.

    Given Kevin's state of weakness I'm wondering about breaking down the door...even if Kevin was a big guy that isn't as easy as they make it seem in the movies and for someone weakened by hunger it seems less likely.

    This isn't really a 'death scene,' per se, it's more about events leading up to a death...a death that is told to us and not shown. I feel like in a death scene there should be no doubt that someone or something is going to shuffle off the mortal coil whereas this is written almost as if Kevin's demise is intended as a partial surprise. I don't think this worked very well for the prompt.





    Ketan, A Unit of Death
    SPaG: 3.5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 4
    Reac:3
    Overall: 14.5


    "with cascading white hair a veil over her face" Awkward. "with a veil of white hair cascading over her face."

    "She would a magnate for crooks trying" - "She would be a magnet..."

    Several instances of comma overuse.

    "But absolutely no skills on how to deal with death." Personal note- excellent comment on the immature views re: death of Western medicine.

    Overall this is well-written and hits some key emotional points. It lacks something in originality, though, in that the scene is a well-established trope. In such a scene I'd like to see something a bit more individual to set it apart. Not that it was bad, I just knew where it was going the entire way.






    BornForBurning, The Ark of the Covenant
    SPaG: 4.5
    T&V: 4.5
    Eval: 4
    Reac: 4
    Overall: 17


    "firing bile and bio-missiles" distracting alliteration

    "They swarm up from its surface, firing bile and bio-missiles, screaming their insectoid hatred, their bodies spattering across its shimmering surface." 'Surface' twice in the same sentence.

    Maybe this is how Starship Troopers would have ended if Vice Admiral Holdo was in the cast?

    The Ethiopian references (march forward dear mother, the claim that the ark resides there, Selassie, Zewditu, Mulu) are interesting but I can't say I fully understand the relevance to this story. If there is a deeper meaning, please let me know.

    Lots of familiar elements here but you pull it off well. It appears the Earth was destroyed as as the Insect 'Borg Queen' which is a dark break from the norm where the sacrificial hero saves the planet for the rest of humanity.

    Other than a couple wording nits I picked above I quite enjoyed this and found it well done.





    Mish, Under the Scarlet Moon
    SPaG: 3.5
    T&V: 3
    Eval: 3.5
    Reac: 3.5
    Overall: 13.5


    Ok, that turn of events was entirely unexpected!

    I had some issues with some phrases feeling overly melodramatic and '1940s radio serial style' such as "It was a trap!" "You will die, bitch!" and I've always hated using "Yes!" like this. The language was often unnatural, melodramatic, and somewhat formal for a piece that is high-intensity from start to finish.

    I also felt like a lot of words could have been cut with no ill effect. "I saw the frozen terror in his eyes, it was the look I was after." You could lose everything after the comma in that one because the rest of the story makes it clear what she is after.

    This has a lot of potential but the use of phrasing was a huge challenge for me. For a story like this the language should be more primal and simple, with much less overt explanation.

    Now, the real question is...did anyone actually die in this?






    ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord, Graveyard Shift
    SPaG: 5
    T&V: 5
    Eval: 4.5
    Reac: 4.5
    Overall: 19


    The imagery in this was extremely well done and it was also a great take on the prompt. There was a NYT article a couple years about about drone pilots dealing with trauma from their work and the article asked if it was 'moral trauma.' You really nail that idea here.

    The only nit to pick is the dialogue when the narrator is having his vision, the way it's formatted with paragraph breaks when it appears to be the same person speaking could have been a constructed a bit more clearly. Other than that, I can't find any faults with this. Well done.

    Still haven't taken any points






    velo, Percy

    This story was clearly written by an asshole.






    undead_av, What Burn Eternally
    SPaG: 4.5
    T&V: 5
    Eval: 2.5
    Reac: 4.5
    Overall: 16.5


    "Vast, stretching for eternity, yet so near that one could almost reach out a hand and touch it." The previous sentence was talking about stars and this switches to singular...I'm guessing it's referring to the darkness but the transition is not clear.

    "Like being inside a song at the part where your heart breaks" Brilliant.

    The 'death' in this death scene is not obvious. I'm not sure anyone died...did the MC find himself transported someplace and both pilots are still alive? It's a valid conclusion given the way this is written. I also think a death scene needs to have the idea/experience/process of death a bit more prominent. This didn't really touch on any aspect of death much at all. If the entire story is a metaphor for the process of death, which I though about as I was writing this, that doesn't come across strong enough for me to be confident about that being the case.

    Other than that, the story as a whole was deliciously vague which, perhaps ironically given my previous comments, I am learning to enjoy in my old age. I don't want to be spoon-fed every damned detail and you leave a LOT unanswered here. It's a dangerous game though that can easily slip into being too vague and leaving the reader with a "WTF?" look on their face. You skirt that line quite well here, giving us just enough to understand and no more.

    I enjoyed this and think it was well done but I'm not sure it hits fully within the spirit of the prompt.






    Tomkat, Withering
    SPaG: 5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 1
    Reac: 1
    Overall: 11


    To be blunt, this feels much more like a freeform poem than prose. There isn't a strong narrative here. There are some lovely phrases, with some glaring clichťs, but no real progression. There is an overall tone and intent, but no clear 'story.'

    As lovely as it may be, in the specific context of the LM this does not work for me in any way.





    Nana, BigBagOfBasmatiRice
    SPaG: 2.5
    T&V: 4
    Eval: 2
    Reac: 2
    Overall: 10.5


    ""No, I'm just‚€’you're not going to die." Lanai said firmly."
    "I wanted to die here. Like a handmade coffin‚€’"
    "Death? Well, I am going to‚€’"
    "Nana, I‚€’"
    Unknown characters and what seems to be missing text.

    It's always a bit of a risk to submit an entry that's significantly below the word limit and I think it takes either the perfect story or very adept execution to pull it off. Unfortunately, that risk did not pay off this time.

    There's simply not enough here. I didn't care about the characters or the setting at all. There was plenty of room to flesh out the history or the scene more. It read quite dry and I was not at all engaged.







    Title Author SueC Ralph Rotten Clark Velo Average Score Placing
    La Petite Mort luckyscars 18 14 14 11 14.25
    My Father Will Die Today LisaOrbanAuthor 13 19 15.5 10 14.38
    The Last in Line Ralph Rotten judge's entry
    Red Star, Expiring bdcharles 18 15 17 17.5 16.88 1st
    Final Ride Bevo 14 11 12 11 12.00
    A Door to Heaven CyberWar 16 19 15 15 16.25 3rd
    Joey midnightpoet 13 16 13 14 14.00
    Three Days After KHK 11 16 13 11.5 12.88
    A Unit of Death Ketan 18 15 14 14.5 15.38
    The Ark of the Convenant BornForBurning 16 17 16 17 16.50 2nd
    Under the Scarlet Moon Mish 18 13 12 13.5 14.13
    Graveyard Shirt ArrowInTheBowOfTheLord 14 14 17 19 16.00
    Percy velo judge's entry
    What Burns Eternally undead_av 18 13 15 16.5 15.63
    Withering Tomkat 13 15 12 11 12.75
    Nana BigBagOfBasmatiRice 14 14 13 10.5 12.88


    Taking the top step on the podium is the recently deposed defrocked defunct retired host of the LM himself-
    - bdcharles with Red Star, Expiring -

    I see now why he wanted to give up the reigns- so he could finally earn an LM winner's badge, the cheeky bastard.

    In close second is
    - BornForBurning with The Ark of the Covenant -

    And in third, with less than a point separating all three, we have
    - CyberWar with A Door To Heaven -


    Thanks to everyone who participated. The monthly LM returns in March, hosted by SueC, and in February we have the annual Grand Fiction Challenge which will soon be announced by Harper J Cole.
    Last edited by velo; February 1st, 2020 at 08:35 PM.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  2. #2
    Congrats to bd, his was my favorite of the bunch as well. Surprised KHK's wasn't rated higher, I really liked it. But maybe that's just because it's similar to my own style.
    Dead by Dawn!

  3. #3
    Congrats to the winners, great jobs; also thanks to everyone for their comments; since this is the first prose piece I've tried in over two years just writing it was a winner for me. Part writer's block and part stress from family matters (taking care of a sick wife), I've only managed some poetry so far, but this gives me encouragement that I haven't completely lost it. Hopefully I can try again soon.
    "Self-righteousness never straddles the political fence."

    Midnightpoet


    "The bible says to love your neighbor. It's obvious that over the centuries it has been interpreted as the opposite."
    (sarcasm alert)

    Midnightpoet


    Hidden Content Hidden Content

  4. #4
    Supervisor velo's Avatar
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    Not to be overly defensive because if it didn't come across in the story then I didn't do a good job, but I was writing from the perspective that the entire story (Percy) revolving around the slaughter of the pig, though unrealised, was the death scene.
    "Don't fuck with writers, we will describe you." -unknown

    My blog- Hidden Content thoughts on trauma and healing through psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy

    "When a child is abused, he or she will often internalise that abuse as deserved. It is a cruel reality that a child needs the parent so much, is evolutionarily programmed to trust them so implicitly, that when a parent is abusive the child will take the blame rather than completely upend their world and blame the person they depend on for survival." -velo

  5. #5
    Congrats to all of the winners! And thank you to the judges once again for your great feedback! It was another first person perspective experiment. I'll keep working on it.
    I threw a glance at humankind and saw them treacherous and feeble.
    Severe judges, cruel, unkind and fools who are always close to evil.
    Before their frightful, anxious mob, indifferent hate forever rages.
    Not learnt the lessons from the ages!
    What use are wise and tempered words?
    "Sometime, in my sweet blindness" - Pushkin

  6. #6
    Wɾ°ʇ°∩9 bdcharles's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    In a far-distant otherworld.
    Posts
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    Wow thanks guys. Some cracking entries Thanks judges for your comments and time, and to velo for taking the reins so smoothly


    Hidden Content Monthly Fiction Challenge


    Beauty is nothing but the beginning of terror which we are barely able to endure, and are awed,
    because it serenely disdains to annihilate us.
    - Rainer Maria Rilke, "Elegy I"

    *

    Is this fire, or is this mask?
    It's the Mantasy!
    - Anonymous

    *

    C'mon everybody, don't need this crap.
    - Wham!





  7. #7
    Member Tomkat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Location
    Here & There
    Posts
    79
    That was awesome! Thank you!


    Congrats to the winners!

  8. #8
    Congratulations, everybody! This month's entries displayed a wide host of enviable talent. Great job! bdcharles, your prose is impeccable, I can't wait to read more of your work. Velo, love the formatting: thanks for so masterfully taking over the LMs and keeping them running. See everybody next month!

  9. #9
    Velo -- in retrospect, I agree. The ISSUE of death did permeate the whole piece and that should have been considered more fully in assessing the story as a death "scene"



    ________________________________________________

    "I believe in nothing but the holiness of the heart's affections and the Truth of the imagination". Keats, ​Letters

    "No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main . . . any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind. And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls -- it tolls for thee. " John Donne, Meditation XVII

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