Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
- TITLE: Red Ink
By nicole wian
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It was her first time in a writing group and tonight had been a blind critique. Her eyes darted across the innocent looking faces in the coffee shop. Who was the culprit? Who had possessed the audacity to rip her writing to shreds? She had been overly kind in the critique she’d done on someone else’s piece. It hadn’t even been that good what she’d read, but encouragingly she’d pointed out all the promising parts of their story and ignored that which lacked. So, she hadn’t been totally honest but if this is what honesty felt like, she was glad she’d held back. She certainly wouldn’t want to make someone feel the way she was now feeling.
Every writer was reading their own work and she tried to read their faces but no one seemed as upset as she was. She gathered her notebook and shoved her piece inside before getting up from her seat. She mumbled something about having to go, even though the meeting wasn’t over. Avoiding questioning gazes, she hurried out the door.
Then the tears came. “Clichéd,” they’d written. “The dialogue could have been more realistic.” The red words screamed in her mind, flashing before her. She ripped the piece from her notebook and in a quick moment, crumpled it, tossing it in the garbage can with emphasis before making her way to her car.
She couldn’t think clearly, the whole way home. All she knew was how pleased she’d been with the way the story had turned out. She’d been sure that it would touch the reader, that it was good. Really good. Maybe she’d been deluding herself, been wasting her time. All the hours after work she spent at her computer, typing away, wanting to compose brilliant, novel works, and it turned out it was all rubbish.
Her dad had been right. When she’d been a young girl, he’d constantly told her to get her head out of the clouds, quit reaching for fantasies. He’d never been interested in even reading her writing, viewing it as a silly hobby.
She pulled into her driveway, her tears now dry. She unlocked her door and deliberately strode toward the computer. She opened up the file with her story, her labor of love and clicked delete. When the computer asked if she was sure, she clicked yes. Blinking, she stood frozen for a moment, letting sink in what she’d done. New tears formed as she sank into her desk chair, a pit in her stomach. These tears, hot, sorry tears. She had no other copy. What had she done?
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