The Official Writing Challenge
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Whoa! What a twist! Way to make your readers sit up and take notice!

The first thing here that really grabbed me was "haystack"--I'd never heard of this until I got a son-in-law, but apparently it was a regular thing where he grew up.
I really enjoyed this piece. Then the twist jolted me and added a whole new layer to this. Great job.
LOVED that twist - certainly wasn't expecting it! The last line is great too. Good job of characterization, especially for Mari.
Mama J and her family sound like a hoot.

You surprised me with your twist and I just loved it.

This was fun and I'm glad it wasn't a downer!
Coooool! I really got into the story through your descriptions and dialogue. Loved the twist. So glad I read this one.
Awesome! I SO did not see that coming. :D
Wow. Such great work here. Loved it!
Ah great story! I loved all your detail and especially the sci-fi twist at the end!
Woo, didn't see that twist coming. I liked that you made comfort out of chaos. I'm not sure quite what to think of the ending, but it certianly put a new twist on things!
Loved the description of Mama J's hair...and the ending took me by surprise.
Super! I loved it up to the end, and then the twist thew me for a loop! And I still love it. ;) You really set a chaotic scene describing this home. GREAT job!!
What a colorful scene you painted of this up-side-down household. It felt familiar and cozy, though crazy, and then-the little sci-fi jolt at the end! Not expecting that at all. Good story with quite a twist on the topic.
Now that ending was mighty sneaky of you Ms Harricharan. Great story with so much wonderful description and then you zap us with a ray gun. WOW! This could go on for many, many more pages. Loved it!
Wow what an ending to a great story. I loved the twist as it fooled us all. Lovely description of a chaotic home.
You captivated me with your descriptions of a wonderful, welcoming home for a sad foster child. Then you startled me with your twist at the end. A delightful story, excellently written.
I was intrigued by the story, interested because I once had foster children. The story held my interest. But the ending couple of sentences - or paragraphs puzzled me...I'm baffled! It sounded like Mari might have been from another planet. Sorry. I am confused....Helen
Definitely an interesting ending. I really liked Mama J. She seemed like a really nice foster mom compared to many of the nightmare foster parents you hear of nowadays.

You presented an interesting offering this week, and I enjoyed reading it. Thank you for sharing.
The best sci-fi seems so natural it takes you by surprize.

Wow... this is the best!
Your foster mom reminded me so much of my Aunt Dorothy - you have their life/attitude/juggling/dialogue/ down to a perfect T. And this ending is simply priceless. Great job, Sarah, loved it. Loren
Whoa, okay you got me!

Great piece and I LOVED the pacing, the frenetic setting matched the characters perfectly. Definitely one of my favorites in a week of great entries. Great job!!!
Congratulations on Highly Commended, Sara! That is so AWEsome!!!! Happy! ;)
Glad to share the top 5 with you Sara. You did a great job with this piece. Very original and creative. :)
Sara -- Congrats on your HC with this!!
I felt very much like I was there in the story. Good job with the descriptive language.
Loved it, Sara! Congratulations!