The Official Writing Challenge
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I was "captivated" from the start (pardon the pun). :) What an amazing story that parallels the prison that confine us because of our sin. Your descriptions of the prison were chilling (vermin, smelly, gray). But then there is that glimmer with the "tease of blue sky" (love that phrase by the way). In the midst of all the horror of the condition John finds himself and the denial of guilt by "the man in the mirror" then comes the "grace and freedom" from above, the bread offered by the sparrow. And John took it! Wow! What depth! You've packed this with symbolism.
Rivetting. I was yours at the first line. My desire is to write like you do!
The further I readthrough this brilliantly descriptive piece, the less rested I felt, until that last line. It's only in honest confession and in forgiving others that we can find true inner rest. Great work, which should rate well.
Oh my goodness, I just loved this! Held my rapt attention all the way to the most wonderful, happy ending. Thank you so much for sharing this story Excellent writing and God Bless.
Excellent writing...such a fabulous and outstanding piece.

God bless~
Wow! This is a powerful piece. Your descriptions had me scratching and sniffing. Your dialog was divine--well that might not be the right word but it helped build a picture of your characters--you managed to give them such amazing depth. The only thing I noted was once you had were instead of we're though I suspect, right after you hit submit you noticed it. The ending was incredible. It wasn't at all what I expected. Great bit of writing.
Oh, wow. This is great. I got the feeling the "jail" might be "sin" and I loved the ending.
I am in awe of your talent. This is a truly outstanding piece. Wonderfully descriptive and totally captivating from beginning to end. And a timely message too. If this doesn't place 1st I'll eat my hat!
I don't hardly know what to write about this piece, it cuts to the very core of me! I tried to comment on it yesterday and I could not find the words (which I am almost never at a loss for) so I just decided to wait. I hope if you haven't already written a book, you will do so. I also think this should be part of a novella. This is extraordinary... I winced in pain throughout almost for the terror that this person was feeling; the complete isolation and the redemption needed. I can see where the jail was his own sin or I can also see where it was hell because in the Psalms God says through David that He resides even there... There are people reportedly who have "died;"the Lord would give them visions of what it would be to live in that kind of pit and then brought them back as a witness. The "communion" scene with the bird was priceless. Either way God knows the heart and will save the seeker -- the one who is repentant in the end. Your descriptions; running monologue in your own mind with your MC and that ever illusive "man in the mirror." were all placed and intoned perfectly. This piece is truly stunning and chilling in its effects. This will be one I will come back to read and reread. I just had a thought, I wonder about this or a slightly revised version with some scripture for some witnessing tracts at a Christian book store. You have a rare gift -- thanks for the blessing even though it was a bitter pill to swallow at first. Sometimes we all need that. Blessings of His joy to you...
Superb writing! I had only one place that caused me to stop. It was this place, "never seem to sleep ‘round here - accommodations bein’ what they are." I wondered if you might want to consider saying "what they is" instead of "are," because of the flow of the rest of this characters speech patterns? Might just be me. In any case, it is a masterpiece.
Wow! This was wonderful. I love the imagery that you use in this piece.
You've done a great job with this story which takes the MC from despair to salvation. I could not predict the ending. This is a deep and symbolic piece of writing.
Superb crafting; thoughtful and provocative.
Oooooooooooo!! That last line gave me chills! What an awesome allegory this story is, Loren! Once again your incredibly descriptive writing put me right in the scene! Wonderful message in this inspired piece!
I can only echo the praise the others have given, for this was truly an absolutely awesome read! This grabs the reader from the first line and imprisons them right there with John until the last line—where you then feel too, you are finally able to take a deep breath of freedom! Masterfully written symbolism and a story that needs to be shared beyond Faith Writers for sure!
Loren, I think we all knew this amazing story was a winner. I'm so pleased. Super congrats on your Editor's Choice award!
Congratulations on your EC! I'm with Danielle, I knew it would do quite well, but if you decide to make Danielle really eat her hat, can I come watch? :-) Again congratulations on the stunning job you did. You have amazing talent.
Woooooooooo-HOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,Loren! I KNEW this amazing allegory would be in the winners' circle!! :D Both Robert and I loved it! Hearty congratulations!!!!!!!!!
From the title right through the picture perfect dialogue you held me spellbound. Superb storytelling! Congratulations on your win.
Congratulations on your EC Loren, and thank you for releasing me from hat eating duties; they take some chewing these days. Your story was superb.
Congratulations on EC for this powerful story, Loren. As always, your descriptions are awesome. Your message is wonderful here!