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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Critique/Review (for writers) (05/06/10)

TITLE: Red Pen
By Sara Harricharan


Scarlet cape billowing out behind, Red Pen hurled another ink bomb towards the fleeing X-Gram. “Stop!” The heroine dashed through the trashed city streets in pursuit. “How dare you mangle the proper grammar of the everyday folk? It’s cruel to twist around everything people write to each other!”

Swallowing the remainder of her rebuke, Red Pen grabbed more ink bombs from her utility belt and threw them as far as her super-strength would allow. She successfully resisted the urge to click her shiny red heels together as one lethal ball smacked into the deserving villain, rendering him immobile.

“So there!” She panted, pausing to rest beside the downed fellow. He moaned from beneath the sticky, gooey redness, but willingly relinquished his loot of antique dictionaries as the police arrived to cart him away. “And stay there!” She called after him, accepting a cup of hot cocoa from a nearby EMT. “Thank you…er, everyone will be fine. The missing…grammar, will be fixed by tomorrow.”

“That be wonderful, say you.” The EMT blushed.

Red Pen patted his shoulder. “I’ll fix yours first.” She drew a pen from her messy ponytail-bun and scribbled a tiny red x in the right corner of the EMT’s forehead. “That should do the trick, cheerio!” With a wave, she bounced up from the street and onto the top of a nearby building.

One finger pressed to her ear. “Frosty, Red Pen, everything quiet in quad four. Any other disturbances?”

A few annoying crackles came through the communicator. Red Pen moaned, wearily building-hopping her way to the other side of the city.

She arrived as the exemplary twins, I.E. and E.G. were shoveling money from a busted ATM into striped backpacks.

“I have a lot of work to do tonight, couldn’t you have waited until tomorrow?” She griped, jumping from the rooftop to land gracefully in the street. “With no example and in no other words, you are under arrest!” Ink bombs held threateningly in her hands, she gave them a glare punctuated with her best eyebrow. “Shouldn’t you be writing your final papers or something? The semester doesn’t end until next week!”

“It was only because Mr. Noun dared us.” E.G. whined as the heroine whipped out a pair of industrial-strength hair-ribbon, tying them to the light pole. “He said no one else could show people what it took.”

“In other words, he made us do it.” I.E. obediently held out his hands, holding the fingers apart so the ribbon could be interwoven. “And we wanted to go see the new White-Out movie, but we’re broke…again.”

“I knew the Alphabet Mafia was involved somehow! Next time, don’t listen to Mr. Noun! Work in your grandpa’s ice cream shop…again.” Red Pen tied a neat bow in the center, to highlight her cocooned victims. She sighed, dreamy. “Besides, even I haven’t seen the new White-Out movie…”

“Not helping!” E.G. pouted. “I hate working!”

Her communicator beeped and Red Pen offered a snappy salute. “Duty calls…please don’t escape…and don’t be mean to Sergeant Nichols when he comes for you.”

With another leap into the air, Red Pen streaked away. Thankfully, the call was not another villain on the loose, but rather, mention of a more pressing matter. Jumping over to her own rooftop, she climbed through the window and into her apartment.

Frosty, the long-haired, blue-point Persian held a pert nose in the air. “You’re late.”

“More mail?” She moaned, slumping into the desk chair and reaching for the stack of red pens. “This’ll take forever!”

“You should have started earlier, good critiques take time.” Frosty scolded, padding over to jump into her lap. “White-Out called. He invited you-”


“-I said you were busy.”


“Editors throughout this entire city are counting on you and you’re going to the movies?”

“I know.” Her head hung. “Why can’t writers just write good stuff?”

“Then red pens would be useless.” Frosty sniffed. “Shall we?”

“What do we have?”

“A few saving love types-”

“I wish she’d never started that trend.” She winced. “Yuck! Next!”

“Some forgotten epics,”

“Like the left-be-”


“Yuck.” She wrinkled her nose.

“A monster-thing-” Frosty shuddered. “A bad monster thing…and I think a zombie-something.”

“A zombie?” She perked up. “No vampires? Let’s try that one.”

“You’ll die on the first page.” Frosty twitched his tail at the correct manuscript. “Their spelling is atrocious.”

“I’ll take my chances.”

“The bold, fearless Red Pen dies by-”


“I’m being quiet.”

She pushed him off her lap.


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This article has been read 721 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Author Unknown05/13/10
I loved this! And a fresh take on the idea of critque-- she's not a villain, but a hero!

Nicely done. My brain is too tired tonight to bring out my own red pen. Hope you're okay with a compliment tonight.
Kimberly Russell05/17/10
Ah,Sara and her super heroes!

This was a cute take on the topic--you have quite the imagination!
Joanna Stricker05/17/10
Very cute and imaginative...like the image of: Here comes Red Pen to "Save the day!"

I learned that I don't know as much grammar as I thought because I suspect I missed some of the subtle humor. But what I did understand was funny.
Lyn Churchyard05/18/10
And the Scarlet Fury strikes again!
she gave them a glare punctuated with her best eyebrow. This just cracked me up! A red pen as a super hero, if only we could always see it that way. Well done Sarah, I loved your MC, you made her seem so real. Great job!
Beth LaBuff 05/18/10
Sawa, your creativity always leaves me breathless… what an adventure this was! Such fun here!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/19/10
Delightfully creative personifications here! I enjoyed them very much.
Rachel Phelps05/20/10
Ah! Too funny! Loved it.
Ruth Stromquist06/02/10
Outstanding humor and fun, and a great take on the topic. Way to go, Sera!