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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: A Short Peer and a Long Walk
By Troy Manning


I got in the face in the mirror and let him have it. I was relentless as Klamath Falls in early spring. My voice rose to fever pitch and shattered the looking glass into an hundred refrains of a song of myself. Piece by piece I picked them up and began assembling what was to become a newer, better me. “This is gonna be good,” I kept telling myself--and the many replications of moving mouthparts only served to make it more convincing.

Without having stable color cues to rely on as in most puzzles, this one proved especially taxing. Though my life started to resemble a disco ball, it was unmistakably flat and lacked a certain élan vital. I attempted a few creative rearrangements, but to no avail; I knew the cubist epoch had long since ended. I threw me in the trash about noon and went for a walk.

You went to empty the bin and peered inside. It was now your life in there as opposed to mine. You never before considered your fragility. You began construction with some of the larger shards--your education, your marriage, your standing with the firm. “How did it get this way?” you ask—but you are unable to understand the answer as all of you answer at once.

I returned to find you, tweezers in hand, inserting the splinters. Your incoherence concerned me, and I suggested a brisk walk might do you some good. You nodded solemnly and headed for the door. I looked down and pondered. Clearly, it was more than a walk we needed. I hurried to the door and looked out, but you were nowhere to be seen.

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This article has been read 457 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/10
This is definitely a thought-provoking piece. I'm sure there are Many of us who look into a mirror and have so many questions and answers for ourselves. I like how your piece got me to explore my thoughts.
Lollie Hofer10/21/10
Thought-provoking, for sure. I read it three times...not because I didn't understand it but because each time I discovered another layer of truth about myself. How do I perceive myself through those shattered events of my life? That's why I desperately need Christ and His view of who I truly am.
Jody Day 10/21/10
Compelling and multi-layered. A common trash can, I noticed, from which two lives must reassemble pieces.
Noel Mitaxa 10/21/10
I liked the thought processes and the poetic imagery. A very "reflective" and positive challenge
Theresa Santy 10/22/10
Definitely a piece I had to read over and again, more out of want than need.

Deep and beautifully poetic phrasing.

"Your incoherence concerned me..." Was that ironic sarcasm? Whatever it was, it was fabulous and I loved it.

And the layers. Loved the layers.
AnneRene' Capp10/22/10
I too had to reread this out of pure awe. The self piercing reflections to the reader are genius!
Jan Ackerson 10/25/10
Lyrical and melancholy in mood, with some lovely phrases.

It left me feeling a bit empty--perhaps your intention? And I'm not sure the pun in the title works for such a moody piece.

You did a great job with atmosphere--really nice writing.
Henry Clemmons10/30/10
I love this. Usually though an event smashes our reflection and we are forced to look at ourselves in disarray. I admire this MC for doing it himself. The only wonder would be why did he do it, but then, its nobody's business, and that's the beauty and strength of this piece to me. A very honest entry, which at times are hard to understand by readers. The MC didn't even understand himself, just that he needed rearranging. Sometimes the beauty is just going along for the ride. Thanks for sharing. Great talent.