The Official Writing Challenge
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Well done
Nice job with the topic, good ending...
This was touching. Brought me to tears. Well done!
This was touching. Brought me to tears. Well done!
This is a compelling story. You have some great characters and a wonderful conflict.

Be careful about the POV shifts. You jumped into both of their minds. Instead, focus just on the MC. The reader can only know what he sees, hears, or thinks. Some of the dialog didn't sound natural to my ears. I'd urge you to really listen how people speak, if they are okay, maybe even record some conversations so you can mirror that in your writing. For example, I might edit it like this:
Ben walked through the door and tossed his bag on the counter. "I'm home."

Janet jumped, grabbed her book, and yanked it open. After inhaling deeply, she looked up. "Did you have a good time?"
<i>Does she really think she's fooling me? I'd bet anything she hasn't been reading all night.</i>
Snorting, Ben shrugged. "It was okay. Not sure if I'll ever totally get how to play. Chess is complicated, and I'm sick of losing.”

I know I took liberties, but I wanted to show you what I meant. It's not perfect, but the body language and thoughts help show instead of tell and avoids the shift. Also notice I added actions to show the emotions, break up the dialog a bit, and to show who is speaking. Also, limit the exclamation points. Instead, let your great word choice do the exclaiming for you.

I think the ending was delightful. I'm sure most didn't see that coming at all. It left me with a warm fuzzy feeling and a big smile. You really did an outstanding job and with a bit of tweaking, I think it could be upped to brilliant. Your topic was there, but you didn't overdo it. I think it was on topic, relatable, and powerful.
Great on topic story! I was holding my breath until the end. The ending was a total surprise. Thank you.
God bless.
I didn't know where this story was going at first, but it sure reached a great ending!