The Official Writing Challenge
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I absolutely loved this. I thought it was a great take on the topic all the way to the name of the town. I admit it seemed to perfect of a name, but sure enough there in Google was Cross Keys PA. :-)

I don't think you needed the first line. It set the wrong tone for the story. I thought it was going to be more like an essay. Instead I might suggest something like this: Crawling on my belly, I held my breath to prevent the dust from assaulting my lungs, suddenly my eyes spotted the enemy. I reached around and lobbed an old pigeon egg into the air. Once it exploded, the old tom cat ran out of the barn.
Something like that would grab the reader's attention, paint a picture and pull them into the story.

I think many people can relate to having a set of keys around and imagining all kinds of delightful adventures. There are definitely interesting and boring keys--much like most things in life, I suppose. I think your fast forward to South Africa was a fantastic way to bring your story full circle. This was a charming read.:-)
02/22/13
This was so clever and so entertaining at once. I really enjoyed it. Thank you.God bless~
02/24/13
I loved your description of the barn/castle. It really drew me into your story, and I could see myself as a child playing in the barn with the keys you described. I liked the last paragraph, but I wanted to read more about how you came across the new keys and the revelation or the reminder of your childhood keys. Just my 2 cents, hope it helps. God Bless and thank you.
What a clever take on the topic. Nice and straight forward but one I had simply forgotten, a "childhood fascination of keys." I think everyone has them which is why this story is so relatable. The picture you create early on of you in the barn with the keys is great. I am with Shann, I would loose the first line. I would also loose most of the second to the last paragraph with the exception of the line that talks about the keys in your imagination looking ornate and like they were made of iron, that is important. I would then take the suggestion of Richard and continue this very intriguing read about these "new found keys" that remind you of the ones in the barn. Very different piece, I liked this a lot. Blessings