Reply To: Monthly competition – Nov 2018

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Happy December 1st Denizens! I have to admit I spent some of November going “They hate me! I’ve ruined the comp (again) with my over-restrictive prompts!” but these stories show me very much otherwise, so thank you. Anyway – comments & results incoming…

Tony Lyttle
A short, fractured little piece that I interpreted as being – somewhat autobiographical? It certainly chimed, and I love the repeating infinite loop nature of it, much like what scribbling across the surface of the klein bottle would be like. In that regard you caught the reason I included that in the prompt. I was hooked straight in by the notion of writers block but being unable to stop. It sounds weird. It is weird, and that caught me in. Yes, it’s brief, and it would have been interesting to see what you might have done with the extra words, but it works nonetheless.

Again, you have turned the prompt – the shapes behind the eyelids – into exactly something I wanted it to be. I loved this line: “To find out that the only colour behind my eyelids was grey and I was looking into shadows.” And the opening got straight to the thing of note, of not knowing where we are. It’s quite a strange tale, and very well-described, and the contrast between the missing arm and the “It’s beautiful!” absolutely works for me. I’m wondering what the devil’s happened to your narrator. Has she meditated herself into oblivion?

John S. Alty
I see that you took a punt on the six accountants, and Luigi’s got a point: a play about six accountants is going to be a niche thing. I enjoyed the back and forth between the characters, and the way it all develops like the actual writing process – start with something, watch it evolve into something new, then edit the heck out of it. I did check to see whether there were six characters. And there were, in a way – Luigi, his agent, Maria, the auditor, the friend, and the author, which I thought was a rather neat little puzzle to be unravelled. May be just my reading of it though. Oh – “daffodils nodded in warm breezes” shows the passage of seasons beautifully, though it didn’t half make me wish for spring. 🙂

“The Flower And The Bee”
Took me a couple of reads to get a feel for it. To me, it seems to chronicle someone slipping away – the refrains of “Remember this” and “this is just the start” are less like instructions and more like pleas and acts of denial, and with this in mind, and contrasted with the simple implicit bond of the gap between bee and flower, it cuts deep. They are what hooked me in. “This is Venus raining diamonds above the black horizon in a damson sky. “; “They are each a starfall and a broken bone.”; I don’t really know what to say about some of the imagery you used, and the voice you did it in, other than that they are beautiful, hurtful things. Sublime and inspiring.

First sentence and I am in. This suggestion was prompted by an article I read about the Winchester House, where passages and doors and staircases lead every which way, or no way at all. A church works even better; what child sees a mysterious through-way and doesn’t want to explore. I loved the detail in your entry – the history, the saints, Anubis, demonism, all evoked with pointillised precision and underscoring an increasing tension. I get the sense that there is something darker here, something that is not being said, a feeling of past trauma that is quickly swept away, leaving confusion and a hole.

Xander Michael
For some reason, I get a sense of ending right from the start here if that makes sense. There’s a sadness throughout. Where does that come from? “It had always been a struggle”, I suppose. It sets the tone and we just know it’s not going to go well. I loved this line, “He was endless sky, cool air and drastic changes in light” and the contrast between that and the overpowering humidity of KL was very sensory and real. For some reason when I chose this prompt I had a sudden urge to go to some nice neighbourghood in KL, just to see, and you took me there well, so thank you. Oh – I thought at first that Kristjan had a heart attack! If not, it was certainly intense.

Great reads all round guys but I’m going to have to give it to Raine with The Flower And The Bee. Your metaphors were brilliant, and the voice and the repetitions produced poetry. I don’t know why I sound surprised. I’m not suprised. I know this is what your writing is like.

Once more, thank you all for your entries. On a day like today, when the weather is ghastly and grey, I have read well. Raine, over to you 🙂