The Official Writing Challenge
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Leanne's reality check. Nicely done.
Perfect title for this piece as Leanne realizes what illusions she has allowed herself to believe. Good job.
Your mc's conversational tone is just right to tell this sad story with her illusions.
Ooo, I wanted to smack her and hug her at the same time! Great characterizations...well done!
This is AWESOME--that next-to-last paragraph about the torch is so perfect, and thank you for trusting your readers to "get it." Excellent application of the topic words.
You can stop being unsure - this definitely works! I wanted to shake your poor, clueless MC. I was sure she had seen the "light" when she said, "It's not real, is it?". But alas, she was just talking about the torch. Love that the ending wasn't what I expected.

One bit of critique - up until "I wonder idly if Tom chose this restaurant because he was thinking about her," I was picturing Tom & Leanne in the Caribbean, because of the restaurant. Then I clued in that they were home, where ever that is. But that could just be me. :)

Supergreat entry!
This is superbly written and so engaging. Wow! I, too, am so glad you didn't spell it all out for us at the end. Perfect title, too.
I felt like I was right there, witnessing this scene as it unfolded. Very nice build-up. Great ending.
Oh I just LOVE this dialogue and the one sided strain of the conversation. Makes me mad at him for his "cool" manner, while she stews over whether or not they have a future.

Unsteady and mysterious relationships can hold someone captive until just the right revelation removes the veil. The ending is just fabulous.
Others have said what I want to say, so I'll just add that I really, really like this. Very well done.
What a great title for this story, and a great way to show that Leannes life with Tom is nothing but an illusion.
I agree it works. It leaves me hating both Tom and Leanne and feeling very sad on behalf of the deceived wife. You have done an excellent job of portraying the subtle attraction of sexual affairs and the excuses people make for them, and then at the end you turn it all around and hint at the truth which is emptiness and bitter diappointment. Lord, keep our eyes open!
Wow. VERY well done. The part about the torch and its illusion (great title, too, btw) is perfect!
Excellent. I was cringing while reading, but your ending is perfect. You leave the reader wondering if she 'got it' or was just referring to the torch. Either way, you do show the reader that it IS an illusion... as are all affairs. This really does work.
I love the delivery of your message...subtle, but impossible to miss. Brilliant!
The last two paragraphs are very convicting--for so much more than just the alluring sin of an affair. It speaks to so many pleasures in life. Excellent writing.
I've already read about several Hot & cold marriages, but this one was different. I wanted it to be a little longer so I could be sure she got it, and would walk away instead of trying to cling. But it was actually better this way, makes us each think about it more.
Gorgeous writing. (natch) Creative delivery and natural flow. Excellent 'pow' realization at the end.

I'll be re-reading.

Love it. Great job! (natch) :)
Congratulations on your EC. So glad to see this one placed.
Wonderful all the way through, from the title to the end. You have a great command of words and the reader benefits from it. Truly a deserved placement in this weed's EC. Congratulations - Loren
CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR WELL-DESERVED EC!! :D It was excellent all the way through, and the ending was icing on the cake!
Carol, this was a tremendous piece, packed with a powerful reminder of the consequence of sin. Great job!
Great story and title. Congreatulations and good job!
Wow! The heart can be so deceptive with hot passion and cold convictions.
This is an awesome slice of life story, with fabulous symbolism. The atmosphere was perfect, and your descriptions vivid.