The Official Writing Challenge
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That last line is perfect. Well done.
Unless I'm reading this wrong, I find very little redeeming features in Annette, other than possibly she stayed with Arlen despite the unflattering sag of his britches and the puckering at the cinched waist. I'm rooting for Arlen; glad he's outlived his undeserving wife, who tried - at the last moment - to graft herself back to her creator. I have to give her credit, too, in that she did give him a family and an unexpected love for roses and the care they require and the sweet (if only imagined) memories they might awaken. All else aside, you made these characters come alive - provoking earnest feelings about them from, at least, this reader.
Can I shake Annette, or is it too late? I like your use of this phrase, "last-minute grafting" especially after your mention of "roses" and "hybrid teas." You are a master at character development and symbolism, "He was the type of husband who would tend whatever needed tending."
You surely have a gift for making your characters come alive, though it's kind of hard to regret that your MC's heart gave out. The contrast between her and her husband is striking. Maybe he'll find someone to appreciate him and how he takes care. --an excellent story.
Brilliant. Perfect wording, subtle and yet slam-punch. I don't find Annette "dislikable," but honestly human, coming to (eternal) terms with regrets and mortality. A warning. Genius, as always.
Wow. I can't believe you packed all those layers and lives into 750 words.
Fantastic work!!
As always, well written and an interesting slice-of-life story with believable characters. Well done.
Your last lines gave me chills. As usuual, your characterizations are flawless and pointed and make me want to squirm a little. Excellent!
A gripping story that made MY heart pump! I just knew she wasn't going to make it, but happy-ending person that I am, I so hoped she would come to her senses sooner. (Everytime I read "Arlen", I was startled--LOL! And MY Arlen likes to garden, too.) Setting, characters, plot: perfect.
Reliving the past in age old frailty is quite a take on the story. This is not only an exceptional writing but also an exceptional take on the topic!
Wow! So much here. Poor underestimated, dependable Arlen.

It is easier to not worry and keep on with the bad habits. Ouch and ugh...
Wow. It amazes me how much story you have packed into the word limit, plus makin' us think, to boot. I could really picture your description of Arlen's gait and clothing because I had an uncle who could have been described in just those terms. Very well done!
As usual, you have done a great job. Your descriptions are spot-on. I was riveted to the scene. Too bad I couldn't do CPR. Thanks for writing.
Wow--you certainly get a whole lot of story in only 750 words. You truly have a wonderful gift. Only problem I had was I couldn't get Dee's husband out of my head. LOL
Yes, you do have a remarkable talent for setting scenes and evoking mixed emotions so subtly as to simply creep up on the reader. Extremely good writing here!
Loved how you portrayed temptation as physically as well as mentally gripping. Though we know God promises a way out, it often feels impossible to take it. While I'm not sure there was enough to commend Annette as a particularly sympathetic character, thinking we're above her frailties is certainly a dangerous mindset.
Congratulations on your HC. My favorite story of the week. Your skills are off the chart and your writing moves people, involves their senses, stirs opinions, makes us think all in a very comfy-safe enviroment. Your MC is a reminder, a jolt, we all need. This story touched a lot of lives and will continue to do so.
Know that anyone who took "heart" to your message, will live longer and more productive lives for the Lord. Bravo!
Lisa, I'm going to feature this on the Front Page Showcase for the week of October 10. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!