The Official Writing Challenge
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Who wrote this? It's quite magnificent. Did you notice your mc "strode to the widow." Still, excellent work!
wow. So much to this story. I think I could read it fifteen times and uncover another hidden truth weaved meticulously inside this piece. Cleverly crafted. The butterfly was such a beautiful metaphor. Beautiful job with this piece. I think it should do well.
Let me add another WOW! So perfectly human in all of the emotions it evoked from me. I could see every bit of it. Very powerful.
Excellent! It is a shame that the word limit is 750 - I could have kept reading!
Super. I especially loved this line: "A crumbling began inside me, an almost audible crackling… " The ice melting from a frozen heart. Nice.
I agree with Susie, pure magic. Powerful message! Still wiping my tears.
Magnificent! I too love the metaphor of the butterfly being trapped and then freed at the end. Your descriptions are just perfect, even down to the potato chip on the floor.

If it were me (but I recognize I'm writing to a real master here, so take this with a grain of salt!), I'd have left out the line about 'Release the joy you've buried.' It seems to me to be trying a little too hard to fit in with the theme. Your phrase, '... a smile blossomed' says it all.

Quite brilliant.
Very well crafted. An excellent portrayal of deep emotion in a mere moment in time. Great job.
This is soul stirring stuff.
I love this story. I was reading this story and I didn't want to stop. Great Story! This one is one of my Favorites.
You have truly captured the desolate soul of regret. From the first line I found myself in his shoes. My heart aches. Excellent piece.
Awesome. I love the butterfly (once cocooned) trying to get free of the room, just like the man needs to be freed. Everything about this piece is marvelous. I love the potato chip. I wanna grow up and write like you! Oh wait...I am grown up... :-)
Excellent story! I liked the repetition of the line "as if I had pulled the trigger." Wonderful!
Beautiful work, but should I expect less?
I agree with this being beautiful work. I could see the whole scene played out before my eyes. Vivid! That's what I like about reading and your writing is worth the read.
'A constricting weight lifted from my chest and I stood, hoisting my open palms toward heaven.' Good visual of a butterfly - released.

'Somewhere within, a smile blossomed.' Good tie-in and contrast.

A beautiful, beautiful piece.

[size=9]Not sure where the widow fits in though.[/size]

My favorite paragraph is the third from the end, with the crumbling and crackling. A wonderful metaphor which I actually prefer to the butterfly symbolism. As always, written with superb skill.
I have no words. Everyone else took them! :)
Beautiful story. We just had our Mother's Day Banquet a few weeks ago and our theme was butterflies. What a beautiful instrument you used to bring this man home. God bless.
Beautiful! You portrayed all the emotions perfectly! thank you!!
Exquisite in every way! Thank you again, Maxx, for such powerful beauty from the pen of a true master!