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7/7/7 | Scores (1 Viewer)


First, I'd like to extend a huge thank you to the judges for this round. They certainly had their work cut out for them, and they came through like troopers. Great work, Chris, eggo and Hawke!

Second, thank you to everyone who submitted a story for this round of LM. I hope you all enjoyed the challenge and I wish you all the best with your scores.

On to the good stuff...SCORES!


From Chris Miller
Judging is always a crap shoot. There’s no accounting for taste and mood, or whether a piece is the first one I read right after my morning coffee or the last of six during my afternoon should-be-napping hours. I feel a little like I’m spewing my own tastes and limitations as a reader here as much as “judging” all your fine efforts in some hypothetical, objective, writerly, score-able way. I “officially” recommend that for the next competition, everyone who enters critique and score everyone else who enters. I think the results will be more interesting and contestants will enjoy and learn more about contest judging, and therefore, competitive writing.

Shawn: Life (Or Death) as I See it from Under a Piano – 14

Funny, maybe a little trite or shallow or something. An easy read. The erection made me think of auto asphyxiation deaths. The piano was cartoon-ish. The theme being you’re aware of everything after you’re dead, as in not much changes, was pretty common here.

Krim: untitled – 17.5

The prose and structure was rich to the point of a little self conscious. Found repeated use of “sanguine” awkward until it became a motif. It almost reads like the kind of text spammers attach to defeat spam filters. In other words, it didn’t make a lot of sense as a whole and was hard to parse. Funny in a dry, confusing, rambling (British?) way. Possibly the kind of piece that’s too deep and subtle and rich for the rushed contest venue too.

Roundeye: The Harsh Reality of Death – 16

More a description of dying. But you make your point well: there is no after you’re dead. The writing’s good, but the whole idea path strikes me as pretty well traveled.

I’ve just got to know what the hell happen.

German Voodoo: A Smiling Goner – 18.5

Nice poem. Seems well within the guidelines. Just kind of let the words wash over me to see what emotional flotsam would wash up. I may be biased, but I thought it was nice: the detached, fucked-up remorse and regret that anyone paying any sort of attention (and trying to escape) has got to take as carry-on. Good drug/pop vernacular. Beat and rap and real.

Triquediqual: Death After Life – 16

Watching one’s death and funeral proceedings is a pretty well worn idea, but there were other ideas and funny bits I enjoyed. Like his corpse having the best view! I also found the ending poignant. There are tense problems. But the biggest weakness is in the wordiness of the prose. Reading it’s like having to swim against the current. It’s like you’re under the impression that more words are better, when in fact it’s exactly the opposite. Try to get your ideas out in as few words as possible via better phrasing, possessives and conjunctions, and strategic omission of the irrelevant and flat. It’s like you’re guessing at the proper voice. Find “your” voice. Revise and refine.

Beyond the valley, we witnessed an extraordinary accident, one of which would have been avoided had I listened to my parents.
“Beyond the valley, we saw an accident.”
The “extraordinary” is never shown and so’s just a big word to wade through. The whole not listening to his parents thing is also never followed up on, so why tease?

Loulou: Rainy Day Coffin – 19.5

Great voice. Great wit. Great theme. Great hope too. I hope you’re right. I hope to see a lot of tight T&A in the afterlife. Lots of clever irony, and truth. Also the kind of fun, easy to understand and read piece that subs and competes well.

This sentence was the only one that weighed a bit too much to my ear, and so dilutes the hilarious idea and imagery.
Millie, who led the procession down the aisle, is organising the mourners into a row along the graves edge, which if I didn’t know any better goes in order of obesity.
Maybe just, “Millie’s organising mourners along my grave’s edge in order of obesity,” or something?

Frabes: Postmortem Musings – 16

Apt title. I liked the last line, even though it’s a little cliché. The tense felt funny. But this could be a problem with being dead. Sort of sad and humorless. Shit I hope you’re wrong.

seawings: It Could Happen – 16.5

I think this is already the 3rd time I’ve seen this exact opening idea almost. Was distracted by the overuse of ellipses, rhetorical questions (e.g. “Where am I?”), and multiple bangs (!!!), and wrong quote punctuation. But I liked the theme and the eggo-esque humor.

apple: (untitled) 540 words – 18.5

Enjoyed the story. Well told. Like how you focused on character and the idea/wit density. Very cool ending. The whole after death idea of nothing changing was pretty standard and a bit of a let down.

vangoghseer: (untitled) 580 words – not scored

I read that about the lethal injection drugs somewhere. So good research. Nice story idea.

MiloDaePesdan: G’Knight Mate! – 17.5

Neat idea. The tense jumps from present to past. I liked the early metaphor for womanhood expressed via the damsel cum succubus. Or maybe I’m just a little misogynistic at heart. Good dialogue.

Rakashazun: Tuesday’s Bottle – 18

Nice, sort of literary and poetic. Some cool funny ideas like the cactus. The beginning confused me and felt too wordy, but it seemed to sharpen toward the end, which I found beautiful.

Tellervo: Stuck – 17.5

Again, a death is exactly like life theme. The elevator seemed metaphorical, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on what of. Funny how bad things happen in clumps. Funny piece.

Charlie Elanor: Holding Hands – 18

I enjoyed that. For a while I thought it was the 2nd person “you” that was dead and would live on through the narrator and their baby… sigh. Still a poignant little piece. Made me stop and think for a bit.

ebmadman: Memory Lane – 17

Nice ghost story. Boy commits suicide in playground. I thought the older couple were his parents… but then the “older gentleman” turns out to be her son. So the dead kid’s brother? Was never quite clear on whom he was waiting for. His mom (whom he doesn’t recognize)? A friend? Some good ideas but a little hard for my slow brain to figure out.

Second reference to the “frigid night air” distracted me.

Mortar&Pestle: Dream – 19

That was cool. Very surreal, but with some nice specifics, like Pixel’s piss floating up and away. A different sort of death too.

Mandax: The Afterlife – 16

Found the writing a little cumbersome. I liked the ending, her going to hell and not caring. But I couldn’t figure out what she’d done or who was speaking. It starts out kind of over descript. You could almost begin with, “There was very little room in the coffin.” I liked that line.

Dewgee: Interview with Satan – 16.5

Cute idea. Some good description. Cleverly expressed, if fairly standard, moral fare.

Defenstrator: Life’s Web – 15.5

Probably I’m too much of a hard ass, but I found this melodramatic and the poetry a little strained. Don’t try to force me cry along. The emotive life events of the MC’s were expressed too generally (though well enough) to engage me to his character. So his poignant emotional trip was lost on me. A little detail and life specifics with tears (or smiles) at the end would have impacted me more. Pretty clean writing.

my father warmth

Trap: My first attempt at Literary Maneuvers – 16.5

The only line pertinent to the theme here was, “Eternity began.” So that’s what happens when you die? The mysterious murder story itself was well told, but a little vague. Good description of the daughter. So has this tall dude been living in their walls? Weak title.

huitzil: Amazing Grace – 19

Great little story. Darkly comedic. Good characters. Fine plot. Nice grip on reality and the afterlife I thought. A little goes a long way here.

Mike: Death Travelers – 15.5

Stumbled through the prose somewhat. Even though it seemed correct. Had a little trouble nailing down the theme of the levels of death. No real feel for the plot or characters. The little exclamations (e.g. “Aw, fuck” seemed to overtax the 3rd person limited.)

Jiieden: How Demons are Made – 18

Very poetic. The beginning flows, but feels a bit well-traveled overall idea-wise. Loved the end. Works better for me without the last sentence?

…three hundred year old bones.
three-hundred-year (or it seems like he only has three bones… or maybe three-hundred bones…)

I watched the worms crawl through my bones, and I watched them turn to dust.
I thought he was underwater? Cliché imagery anyway. I’d strike.

speakerphone2: A Lack of Color – 18

I miss my brain too. And I’m still alive. Seriously though, nice ending. Very poetic. The beginning seemed a little ludicrous or gabby (e.g. “you know”) or something, but you pulled it together well at the end. Sweet and light.

Himani: untitled – 16.5

I assume they fired him from the catapult to spread disease among the enemy? You employ two after death theories: 1) nothing changes and 2) blackness. Both are pretty well traveled here. Well written, perhaps not overly engaging back story or character development.

IrishLad: Last Surrender – 18.5

I enjoyed that. Serious and musing, and some nice personal observations. Just enough story. Nice feel and character.

kenewbie: The minds eye – 16.5

Like the 2nd person POV. Starts like a text book, but then gets fantastical. I liked the notion that death is like waking up. The prose flows a little stilted is all. Like you’re answering a question on a test.


Tarantula: Lye still – 16

Without the pun of a title, I’d never have got it. A little light on character and plot, but a cool way to die I guess.


eggo: Plan Ahead to Be Dead – 17.5

Like your style man. The journey’s always the thing. Agree about the pope. Not sure about the Disney robot though. I mean you’d have a long, long time to see what’s up her skirt. And she’d have to get around to you sooner or later. But in the end you wind up in front of the TV with your wife nagging you. I guess no matter where you spend eternity it’s going to seem like hell eventually.

Hawke: Misconceptions (not scored)

Love the pace of this. The imagery. How the story emerges from a stream of statements. Also like the ending. In a way it doesn’t really address the contest theme of what happens after you die… but then I guess in a way it does: the ever popular, nothing happens. I dearly hope you’re right. Strong writing.

Foxee: Iced – 19

So the MC wrote some character’s death (while waiting in an airport?) and then somehow got switched around with him (via a cell phone transfer?). Had to read a couple times to appreciate that it’s all sort of taking place on the page. Interesting idea, a writer changing places with a character, nice literary metaphor. The after death part’s well described (though kind of leaves me hanging (get it?)) but seemed a little incidental, or maybe the main idea just overpowers it. This pulling of the page into 3 dimensions made me a little dizzy in both a bad and a good way. Cool outside-the-box thinking.


From eggo

Shawn- Life (Or Death) as I See it from Under a Piano

Nice idea. You really should have expanded it and this could have been killer (no pun). You only used 130 words and if you had used the other 350, it wouldn’t have seemed rushed.

Krim - no title
This idea was excellent. Some mechanical problems pulled me out of the story (not the semi colons). The use of the Chinese comparison was great, but a little overused. I would have introduced a gentleman style from a different county for compare/contrast foil.

Roundeye-The Harsh Reality of Death
Good bones here. You painted a good picture and set up the frame work. I just had the feeling that this didn’t go anywhere. A bit of the cliché, missing that touch.

German Voodoo- A Smile Goner
No problem with poetry German. I unfortunately suck at it.
based on my ignorance,

Triquediqual- Death After Life
I really liked this. Could use a bit of cleaning up with the tenses. The “we witnessed” at the beginning threw me.
The plot resolved itself quite nicely even though I didn’t quite get what caused the accident.

Lou Lou- Rainy Day Coffin
Btw. I love your ever-changing pictures.
Great story. I got the feeling I was reading about the seven deadly sins. Each portrayed in the incarnations of her family. I thought the foreshadowing of her change in religion was masterful and really gave me an indication of which way this story would run.

Frabes- Postmortem Musings
You took the idea and laid down a good template with nice musings. This story didn’t move past the ideological thoughts that all the living have about dieing. I was looking for that leap to give us your idea of what happens after death.
Good writing, just a little thin on the plot side. 500 words is very tough for an idea to come to fruition sometimes and I think it got you here.

Eggo- Plan Ahead to be Dead
What an utter piece of crap. Did you write this perhaps while sitting in the bathroom one morning and hurried to finish it in time with the movement?
An unintelligible, load of proverbial manure, lightly sprinkled with lop-sided ego.
My only regret is that I cannot score in the negatives.

Seawings- It Could Happen
Good laugh. I think you are right about hell being a golf course. Everyone wearing checkered Dacron and those silly hats.
Reminds, me of a joke I heard. A fisherman dies and is sent to hell. Much to his surprise, the Devil leads him to a waiting boat on a pristine pond with all his favorite tackle waiting in the boat.
The fisherman goes out and fishes all day long in the blazing heat and doesn’t get so much as a nibble. He brings the boat to shore and sees the devil waiting.
“How was it?” the devil asked with a smile.
The fisherman replied, “ Fine.”
“What,” said the Devil,” you fished all day and caught nothing!.”
“Yeah,” said the fisherman, “but I was fishing.”
Sorry, to point,
The story read as a joke to me and although a good one, the writing here should move the story as much as the plot. You could have used that extra 100 words to color this a bit more.

Apple- No title
Awesome. Some problems with the transition when the money came in. I did expect the light at the end of the tunnel to be the mall, but that’s me.
Good read

Vangoghsear- No title
Well dude, you did go way over in the word count of 500. 584 by my count.
I think you tried to do too much with this. The plot twist and all made this too compact to appreciate.

MiloDaePesdan- G'Knight, Mate!
Laughed at this. Online gamed to death. The Knight’s ignorance of the damsel and his current situation was great. The dialog was well done and entertaining. Good job in 500 words

Rakashazun- Tuesday's Bottle
Heart rending, sad and very good. A child lost in death with no one to find him, only to watch as one by one people forget him leaving him only with his memories. A few nits about word placement and choice.
Had to read it twice to appreciate it. Excellent

Tellervo- Stuck
A little unsure as to what caused the MC’s death. The ideas here are covered ground and very difficult to expand on and make new. Showed some promise.

Charlie Eleanor - Holding Hands
Nice solid story. I like the fact the wife can’t wait to see the husband again and starts on this diatribe even though he may or may not hear her yet.
The only thing I thought that was lacking was character development, no mean feat in 500 words or less. If we can come to know these people better, then we can feel their loss more.

Ebmadman- Memory Lane
Man, You guys make my life tough. Another solid entry. I thought the dialog was wooden in places. It may have been written grammatically correct, but you have to ignore those rules sometimes as people don’t speak like that.

Mortar&Pestle- Dream
Interesting twist on the falling in a dream as a prelude to what death becomes. Nice way to tie in something we all know into something we do not.
Time and word count limited this and you might have rethought the number of characters due to time constraints.

Mandax- The Afterlife
One of my phobias is being buried alive. Of course being burned to ashes doesn’t rate the high either. I much rather be left in my shed with a can of raid.
This resonated with me. I liked the confinement and the bodiless presence. I think this needed a touch of foreshadowing as to her self centeredness. Finding out she was self centered to the point of hating her own baby was a little much to digest in one gulp at the end.

Dewgee-Interview with Satan
Funny. Nice picture of Satan with the reference to the History Channel.
Some typo's (spelling) and I missed the reference to the tooth jumping out of his mouth.

Defenstrator- Life’s Web
Nicely done. The allegory of the spider web was good. I needed a bit of something else to break this out of the Cliché’.
Good solid writing.

Trap-My first attempt at Literary Maneuvers: (neat title)
Nice cerography. The only thing that bother me, was if the tall man was on the top stair and the mc was three steps below him in a lying position , how did the man stab him in the eye? The man would have to almost bend over to stab him.
Being forever frozen in the last moment of your life not a bad idea at all, unless you go like this. Good character building with the little girl.

Huitzil-Amazing Grace
Very short, but a well done compactness. I like the foreshadowing of the father strangling the singer and also the thoughts on cremation vs. burial.
and alter boy = an alter boy,

Mike- Death Travelers
Damn Mike. Good story here strangled to death by the word count. This idea deserves another couple of thousand words easy.
You had to rely almost totally on the dialog to get your story across and it was good. Seriously think about a rewrite on this.

Jiiden- How Demons are Made
Awesome. Almost Dickensonian in meter. Picked me up and carried me through the story.
No nits to speak of.
Excellent job

Hawke- Misconceptions
Awesome read Hawke. Reminds me of the disassociate stuff Chris was playing with. A bunch of random facts , when taken up together , produce a story .
Some great images and smooth writing
The scoring on this goes beyond points

Speakerphone2- A Lack of Color
A very cool angle to thought after death. Each body part has a semblance of awareness unto itself.
If they were just eyeball, whose to say they didn’t into the glass upside down? J/K
A few problems ,
My brain has been removed
Not really their brain per se, but the brain they were connected to. Maybe “my connection to the brain”
And a couple of minor details
Good stuff

Himani- No title
Personally, I would have cut the hard, cold , impact line and left it with him flying. Perhaps to meet the lord who abandoned him. Just musing.
I like the simple direct voice here. It works very well in this genre. The idea that closing a corpses eye, which we do by tradition, is the worse thing we can do was excellent insight.
One of the main problems here was you had a good idea and weren’t sure of the direction you wanted to go, which you already knew.
Nonetheless, good writing and an enjoyable read.

Irishlad- Last Surrender
The end here finished very strong. The beginning for me was cliché’. IE, The loss of the family, the images of them surrounding the dead body. You should have really concentrated on the thoughts in the end to bring some real power to this.

Kenewbie- The minds eye
Nice take on the prompt. I don’t know about you, but I would take off in a second knowing how incredibly boring I can be. Nice way to invoke some thought into this. Voice seemed a little off to me or maybe it’s just me.
Good read.

Tarantula- Lye still
Not really sure what’s going on here. It sounds like a mortuary perhaps or perhaps someone disposing of a body, hence the title. Was confused by him saying,
Overhead the ancient ceiling fan circulated stale air causing dust motes to drift as if in a current. This would be the last thing I saw.
And then,
Yeah, I see you, you prick.

Foxee- Iced
Water in your phone lines? Are Larry, Moe and Curly driving the repair truck around?
Great story, rich with color. I might have changed a couple of sentences around for flow and the analogy of him and the Kitten was excellent.
Very good read to finish this thing off.


From Hawke

Prompt: My Life as a Dead Body - You've just been killed. Most would say this is the end of your life, sure, but what next? In no more than 500 words, tell us about your life within the confines of the chalk outline. Kudos on the super prompt, speakerphone2.

I’d like to applaud the excellent turnout and the high caliber of entries—you’ve made my job extremely difficult. Kudos to you all. I’d also like to thank valeca for running this challenge and give kudos to my fellow judges, who may or may not be wrong depending on if their scores differ from mine.

Just a reminder to everyone that my opinion is just that—my opinion. One opinion. Please take it as such. Thank you.

If I could hope for one thing in any reply given, it would be to have each of the authors tell where their ideas came from.

Right, so let‘s get to it…

Life (Or Death) as I See it from Under a Piano
Score: 14Nits: hoagie = Hoagie.

I wish you had used the remaining 384 words to address some of the things left open. For instance, was this a little kid (and if so I can understand why he was eating a Hoagie under the piano, and maybe even the crushed part as well, but I definitely can’t see the stabbed part… unless he refused to clean his room once too often) or an adult (and if so I can not understand why he was eating a Hoagie under the piano, but can maybe see the crushed/stabbing part even though I don’t know why). See what I mean? Thank you for the read.

Score: 17Nits: This (is) the manner; blue-chested = crested (?); perserve = preserve

This was a hoot. Quite clever as well. It reminded me of those crazy laws, like: Elephants cannot be parked in the street. Super read, this. I quite enjoyed it. Thank you.

The Harsh Reality of Death
Score: 14

You don’t really need italics and quotation marks for thought. Also, you might want to take a look at sentence structure here and there.

Great imagery and tons of potential. It’s just missing… something. Maybe I didn’t know this character enough to be able to feel for him. Perhaps if he had thought of his family or a girlfriend or the loss of a his dreams, etc. Was he speeding because he was late for a date? Angry at a parent? Just some thoughts. Thank you for the read.

A Smiling Goner.
German Voodoo
Score: 14I admit that what I know about poetry couldn’t fill the corner of a postage stamp, but I do, however, know what I like and what sounds right to me. Though the majority of this did work, other parts came across as forced, as in to force the work together. Then again, perhaps that’s why I’m not a poet. Thank you for the read.
Death After LifeTriquediqual
Score: 14Nits: bended = bent

There is a lot of potential here, but a few things could be reworked to make them clearer. For example. “... they look at me filled from the crown to the toe top full of sorrowful tears” meant that their eyes were filled with tears, and not that the main character was filled with something, right? (Wording.) Also, they were carrying him with utmost care and precision, then threw him into a corpse filled automobile. I don’t know, but that just seemed wrong to me. Lastly, in the beginning you mentioned an “extraordinary accident, one which could have been avoided had I listened to my parents.” I was just wondering what the extraordinary accident was, if there had been more than one accident (by the amount of bodies), and what the parents had told this person that he should have listened to. Without the answers, I feel like I’ve been gypped. Just some thoughts. Thank you for the read.

Rainy Day Coffin
Score: 19Loulou, you delivered again. This was sadly hilarious and excellently done. I loved it. Only suggestion: write out the numbers. Thank you for the read. By the by—thirty, huh? Do you watch/read Sylvia Browne?

My Life As A Dead Body
Score: 1This would work great in a ‘last thought’ challenge. Unfortunately, this isn‘t a last thought challenge. Plus, any comments I could give would add up to a larger word count than did the story.

Postmortem Musings
Score: 15That was a good read. Stayed true to the “reality sucks” motif which kept it sad throughout, though I loved the James Earl Jones reference and them checking their watches, among others. I do think it needed a little something more to lift it. Suggest ditching the last sentence—it’s not needed. Thank you for the read.
Plan Ahead to Be Dead
Score: Judge - N/ALove your sense of humor, eggo. I think I’d know your work even if it were posted anonymously. Fun read. Good stuff. Thank you for sharing.

It Could Happen
Score: 16Nits: “biggest sand traps he(=I) had ever seen”

Space after ellipses throughout (reminded of that one via WF myself). And darn, I knew the ending before I read it. Maybe if Lucifer hadn’t given it away, instead simply saying something like:

“You’ve shrugged your mortal coil, to coin an old phrase. Welcome to the afterlife. By the way, that was mine, you know.”

“Actually, it was—”

“I gave him the idea.”

And then maybe let the reader figure it out as your character does… or don’t let the character figure it out at all, just get more and more frustrated and have Lucifer grin at the end and maybe snap his tail as he walks away. Oops, sorry for letting my mind wander. Good read. Thank you.

Score: 16Favorite line: “Looking ugly, but well-dressed.”
Missing a title. This was fun. Freaky too. I enjoyed it. Thank you for the read.

Score: 1This might be your view of death/the afterlife, etc., but one word doesn’t make for much of a story. Especially when my comments are longer than it is.

Score: 14Whoa. Goddamned is right, and in more ways than one. Though he’s not technically “dead,” and I’m not sure how much realism there would be in something like this—an ethical prison warden wouldn’t do such a thing, would he?—the work held me. As for the curse word which would be appropriate for this situation and this character. I wouldn’t have blanked it out, just hiked up my britches, took my stand and let ‘er rip. Nice work here. Thank you.

G'Knight, Mate!
Score: 14A Knight of the Realm, a dragon, a Succubus, Samurais, thieves, and what sounds like a Valley Girl. Umm, I’m not sure I get this one. AI = artificial intelligence, I take it—right? So this is a computer game/s and the player (you) is overly tired. Gotcha. It was definitely interesting. Thank you for the read.

Score: 14Nit: space after ellipses. Also, you need to separate the speakers by using a different paragraph for each.

I’m glad someone used the old myth and wrote it pretty well too. I only have one quibble. Technically, the majority of your story has your character/s alive and dreaming, not dead. Only in the last two paragraphs are they “dead.” None the less, I enjoyed it. Thank you for the read.

Tuesday's Bottle
Score: 17Nits: grew = grows. Flashbacks might work better if they were all and consistently written in present tense.

Nice work here. Very real with a nice surreal feel to them. Thank you for the read.

Score: 15This felt a little rushed and missing things. Like why would she poison him if she was leaving him and hadn’t been afraid to tell him? Perhaps what’s missing is background—the main character’s mean streak or something. Ah, but you had plenty of wiggle room to add that, what with your word count at only 270 and all. Don’t mind my musings. Thank you for the read.

Holding Hands
Charlie Eleanor
Score: 14

Nit: cafateria = cafeteria

Had a moment of confusion figuring out male or female and who was who. I shouldn’t have though since I write mainly in the male POV myself. Good job, this. Nice hope piece even though it was very sad. The thing is, the main character is not “dead.” Super read though. Very emotional. Thank you.

Memory Lane
Score: 19Nice, nice, nice, nice. Loved it. Thank you for the read.

The Afterlife
Score: 15Nits: space after ellipses.

Just a thought here. Because of the inclusion of “her elementary school,” I truly thought for a moment that this would be a story about the death of a little girl, which really jarred me when the work mentioned “delivery room” and “son.” I think inserting the word “old” would have helped to clear that up, as in “her old elementary school.” Thank you for the read.

Interview with Satan

Score: 16Nits: frighenting = frightening; maintence = maintenance

Oh, aint that the truth. Entertaining read. Nice work. Thank you.

Life's Web
Score: 14You know, this is one of those cases where I dislike having to stay within the guidelines of the prompt (“You've just been killed. Most would say this is the end of your life, sure, but what next? In no more than 500 words, tell us about your life within the confines of the chalk outline.”) because this work was so beautifully done. But with your character technically alive throughout… Argh! I hope you see my dilemma. On a personal note and aside from the guidelines, I have to give you kudos for the excellent work here, defenestrator. Know that the score does not reflect my personal opinion of the story. Thank you so much for the read.

Score: 14
Very good write, if “good” can be said about a violent murder. Again, and like several others, this is another good work that just misses the prompt (“You've just been killed. Most would say this is the end of your life, sure, but what next? In no more than 500 words, tell us about your life within the confines of the chalk outline.”), most written with the character technically alive. Thank you for the read. Must go check my locks and windows now.

Amazing Grace
Score: 17Cute, cute, cute. I’m still grinning. Thank you for the read.

Death TravelersMike
Score: 14Certainly an inventive work. My only quibble might be to have gotten to know the characters a little… which is hard with such a short word count—I know. But since I didn’t, I didn’t feel much for them. Thank you for the read.

How Demons are Made
Score: 19

Well done. Thank you for the read.

Score: Judge - N/A

Good God woman, this is nothing but a convoluted, tripe-filled, lame piece of… Oops, this is mine. Never mind.

A Lack of Color

Score: 14When I go, I hope I don’t remain with my body parts—that would seriously suck. Unless I’m an organ donor and my bits were given to good people who will do things in their lives that I can only dream of, maybe. Thank you for the read.

Score: 17Ah, the black plague. Nicely done, and with depth and enough personal background to make me feel for the character. Good job. Thank you for the read.

Last Surrender
Score: 16You know, this had some really good parts in it that touched and/or twigged with this reader on a personal level. Curios to know if you actually feel this in your own life, much like I think everyone does. Good job. Thank you for the read.

The minds eye
Score: 13Nits: minds = mind’s; face = faces

About the only quibble I had with this work was that it was more of a “this is what will happen to me” (the reader) instead of a story about a character (Prompt: You've just been killed. Most would say this is the end of your life, sure, but what next? In no more than 500 words, tell us about your life within the confines of the chalk outline). Good read though. Super imagery. Thank you.
Lye still
Score: 12I’d like to have seen what you could have done with the remaining 322 words. The idea that the “dead” can smell onions, chemicals and even himself, kept me from connecting. Thank you for the read.
Score: 17Ah, the character gets revenge! That’s neat. At the risk of giving anythng away, I’d better watch my own from now on. *grin* Good stuff here. Fun read. Thank you.


Here are your winners for this round of LM! Please check your scores and let me know if I’ve made a mistake. It happens.

In First Place: Jiieden 19 average

In Second Place: LouLou 18.8 average

In Third Place: A tie! Foxee 18.3 average & Rakashazun 18.3 average

Congrats to our winners!


Senior Member
Thanks for the time, effort and critique. This is my first entry, ever, into any type of writing competition. This isn’t a reply to critique the critics, I think it was job well done. Yes, the thought of death does leave us hanging for the answer of why. I don’t know about y’all, but I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting somebody that has died and lived to tell about it.

If we should write about what we know, then I guess my life is a cliché. Around 1983 I was on the back of a motorbike with a friend, when we hit a pickup truck head on. Obviously I didn’t die and I still have all my teeth, but I was in the hospital for weeks. I need to learn how to turn my life events into something to write about, that is not a cliché.

As far as why I still ride or street race sometimes, I wish I could tell you why. I don’t drive fast because I’m trying to kill myself, I think that cheating death is my way to enjoy my life as ironic as it seems. The closer I come to death, the more I feel alive. That’s why people jump out of airplanes, the thrill of cheating death when that parachute opens. Until that chute opens and your feet touch the ground, you have no clue if you breathing your last breaths or not. Asking why I race is like asking a man “why would you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?”. All I’m trying to do is have fun in life and avoid the sudden stops during the process.

Thanks again,



Senior Member
I feel I should make a mumbling of appreciation to the judges; it looks like you guys had to wade through a record (or near record) number of pieces. Well done to all three of you. And, of course, thank you for being so kind to me.

Chris Millar, as always, your suggestions are perceptive and accurate. Looking back on the piece, I think you are spot on.


Senior Member
And it looks to me like there is a record of high scores. I don't recall this many people scoring 16+ in a single LM.


Senior Member
Thanks for the fantastic judging from all of the panel. I'm actually quite surprised that something I typed off the fly (the prompt) could be so inspiring to so many. [/feelingwarm&fuzzyinside]


Senior Member
Thank you for taking the time to read through all of this and give meaningful feedback. It is much appreciated.



Senior Member
My overall average score turned out to be 15, which considering prose isn't my forte, I'm very pleased with it. I'm especially pleased since people who write more prose than me got less which I was shocked but pleasantly surprised with.

Overall, for my third piece of prose, I did very well to score around 15....



WF Veteran
WF Veterans
Thanks to all the judges for wading through so many entries. Sorry for the length of mine. I did whittle it down from a first draft of nearly 1000 words. Oh well. Thank you for commenting on it anyway.

Hawke said:
I’m not sure how much realism there would be in something like this—an ethical prison warden wouldn’t do such a thing, would he?

Since you asked. I occasionally do engineering work for prisons. From what I've seen and heard of how the warden and guards would like to treat some inmates, and the fact that these drugs are in use for this purpose, I would say, ethical or not, it is highly possible. Especially for use on an inmate who thought he was getting away with additional deaths he had caused. I'm not sure that the warden could get away with using them if they didn't already in their prison, but it's just a story.

Thanks again judges for your comments. Next time I will stay within the word constraints. #-o
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WF Veterans
Congrats to Jiieden, well deserved win. Congrats Loulou but I think you should stop sleeping with the judges now and write the story yourself next time. Congrats Foxee and Racashazun, liked your stories too.

Thanks to the judges. I don't think I could do what you do. Chris, shhhh, don't make suggestions about competitors doing crits on all the others, I'd be crap at it! Your comments as always were helpful and inciteful. Eggo, I get bored with the avatar very quickly. Thanks for your positive comments. Hawke m'dear thanks also. I know a little of Sylvia Browne - I've always thought that I'd like to stick at 30. Oops, didn't write out my number! Look how crap I am at taking advice! :)

PS - Just told my daughter that I'd come second. She asked what I won. I said, ahem, the possible respect of my fellow writers. She said that a light sabre would be much better. I tend to agree.


Thank you, Chris, Eggo, and Hawke for wading through so many entries! Impressive job. I really appreciate the comments. :D


[ot]vangoghsear, just so you know, the quote should be credited to Hawke, not me. I just post the scores the judges send me.[/ot]


Thank you hawke, eggo and chris for the critique, I appreciate the nits and feedback. Congrats to Jiieden, loulou and foxee. I enjoyed reading each story.


Senior Member
Thank you to all the judges for their time, critiques, and feedback. This site has some excellent talent. Congratulations to the the winners!



WF Veterans
Thank you, judges, for your time and input on my story. It was fun to write. Congratulations winners! Your stories are great.


Senior Member
Thanks to all the submitters...great reads and thanks to the judges for all your had work...a lot to deal with this month. As usual I enjoyed reading (which I don't do until I've written mine) and writing my entry. I still have a long way to go...but will keep learning and trying. So...looking forward to the next one.