The Official Writing Challenge
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Brilliant writing. While the events are more real than not, it was still a shock to have him whip his father. I liked the ending.
This was so sad. A very good piece of writing. I felt each harsh word fall on the boy along with the whip.
Oh, wow. Such a powerful piece. I could almost feel the whip. I don't like this father very much, but I love the story. Very well done.
Excellent writing.. I could FEEL this line..."Despair swelled in Eli�s chest, expanding, pressing against his ribs until he couldn�t breath, then bursting out, like a bird taking flight."

I even resented the father saying Son at the very end!
I am in awe...this was magnificantly written. You described the cruelty so poetically, it made it ironic. I can't point our a specific line, there were too many; instead, I loved an entire paragraph: One step, two steps, ten thousand. Sweat ran in fiery streams down the centre of Eli’s back, and grit stung his eyes. The sun was an inferno, and then it fell, a luminous eye of heaven, staring, watching. Dragging the pitiful mule, Eli staggered home, the burden of congealed sweat heavy on his half-formed frame, the odour of fatigue tightening his nostrils. Yet, it was a soothing smell, fusing clay and cloying perspiration, warm and humble and upright.
Completely awestruck.

Catharsis indeed! This'll do it!

I love the details like the beetle, the swirling dust, the porcelain ornament--these are the things that put your writing on a whole 'nother level from the rest of us.
Oh, what a story! The emotions are raw and the descriptions vivid. I was glad the son took the mule when he left, perfect touch.
Excellent! I love the ornament imagery and also the change in the boy's spirit. The ending is superb.
For many reason this was difficult for me to read, I could hear the "voice" almost too well. One of my favorite lines was this "They walked down the lane, following the pace of the aged mule." It is so very telling of the MC's true character. Great writing!
If your story was meant to bring tears to the eyes, you were successful. This story made me so thankful to God for giving me the father I had. What cruel treatment! I commend you for the way you developed your story. The ending was as it should have been. I was glad that Eli took the mule, who was also mistreated. I didn't feel sorry for the father, who deserved the whip, and deserved to lose his son...I am presuming the mother was not in the picture. She would have defended her son. I know she would have...Very good story telling...Helen
Just powerful. Amazing. Frightening. Wow. Masterful.
Wow. So many good things in this story and so many brilliant details about the characters! Excellent.
So very sad. I felt more sorry for the father than the son. I wish I knew what caused the bitterness that reflected down to his son. It was sad the way it ended. Good job with emotions here.
I have you on author tracker and decided to treat myself in reading some of your formet pieces. WOW, starting with "jutting, rusty nails, places to suspend accusations and excuses" and going on from there. It is a GRABBER. Thank you!