The Official Writing Challenge
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02/13/06
This was dark and sad. Showed well, the hopelessness there is without God. Well-written. My favorite thing was the brakes that screamed like tortured puppies. Great analogy that fit the mood of the piece.
02/15/06
Hauntingly real images. Loved the light/dark contrast between those leaving church and those in the grips of sin. Excellent!
02/16/06
Wow--this is so good, and the "I want to go back" so heartbreaking. Bravo!
02/16/06
Excellent details and tension. (jealous muttering)
02/16/06
I really love your work - the depth, the tension, the way you can make us understand such extreme characters...all brilliant! What I don't get is the connection to the topic. It's probably staring me right in the face, but I'm missing it. Regardless, this was a GREAT read!
02/16/06
Wow. Intense stuff. Great job!
That kept my attention all the way through! Well done! I agree that I would have liked just a teeny, tiny bit more of a hint that Jason had enough time to ask God's fogiveness before his death.
Very intense! The portraits you allow our minds to paint are dark and surreal. Very well written.
Masterful storytelling! For those who need a 'happy ending' I think there is the hint of hope in the phrase 'I want to go back...' since the word 'repent' means 'to turn'. A more obvious change of heart would have killed the mood of the story. I love it exactly the way it is.
02/16/06
You masterfully described a very sad and tragic life. It is so easy to become broken when we lose sight of God. You could just about reach out and touch his yearning to have done things differently. Thanks for a great piece of writing!
02/17/06
As always, Maxx, wonderful storytelling. I confess I did have to go back and reread - I was confused with who TK was - the cellmate or the brother. Upon a second reading, it came together. Blunt, real-life writing. You never disppoint your reader. :-)
02/17/06
Oh wow -
02/17/06
Reading your work is like watching an action movie - so vivid. Your message of opportunities lost came in loud and clear: "Don't screw around with the devil." The only thing that threw me is how the driver got shot and fell out the door. Wouldn't the car crash? Did the devil slide into the driver's seat?
02/18/06
Awesome Maxx; you are in a league of your own and no one else here can touch you. Is there any way you could take all of your stories here, put the same MC's into them, and turn them into a novel? The girl under the East Bridge could be these two boys's sister etc.
02/18/06
'Ugh - shudder' (re. the blackness) and 'aaaaaah' (re. the light) - magnificent contrasts, and a sobering message. Well done!
02/18/06
Excellent, as always. Your writing amazes me.

I was confused at first at the end - "the door opened". Then I reread it and it clicked. Always having to look deeper is what makes your stories even more profound, there are so many layers.
02/18/06
Every writer must decide in which genre he/she is most comfortable - you have obviously chosen to be the Mickey Spillane of Christendom. What many might not realize is how difficult it is to conform this "gritty" style into a short story format. It depends heavily on the development of characters and setting, something better suited to a full-length work - it's nearly impossible to create a light at the end of the tunnel without first creating the tunnel. However, you do a very good job working within these restrictions and would love to hear you are undertaking a book-length project.
02/18/06
A great, if dark, story that can be read at a number of levels. Leaves lots for the reader to ponder on re the eternal fate of Jason. Strong sense of place. Packed a lot into the word limit. Yeggy
This is the first week I scored higher than you in the challenge. I was in beginner and wanting to get out so I created the worst story ever known to humankind. I hated it. It was so corny, ridiculous..gross. It got second. I was shocked and elated, but very embarssed that I stooped so low to get a placement. All that to say, you were my "bar." I kept saying, "I have to score higher than Maxx." This week I did. After reading this amazing piece (again. I've read it like 10 times) I am once again ashamed my piece scored higher than this amazing work. it really is amazing. I could see everything. Your descriptions in this story are top notch. I thought this was one of your best written pieces you've ever wrote. Many referances to light. I liked that the light was still coming through in utter darkness. Very symbolic of their sitution. My own message I took from this story was that in even the darkest places, light can still shine. Very well written. Loved the plot. loved the darkness. Beautiful.