The Official Writing Challenge
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Wow, great writing...vivid pictures...makes me want to know the rest of the story.
Excellent descriptions and raw emotion in this well written story.
In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” Portia reminds us that… “the quality of mercy is not strained – it dropeth as the gentle rain from above, it is twice blessed, it blesses he that gives and he that taketh away.” Yet, I have often wondered why some must abide such unbearable pain for the redemption of others. It can only be for God’s unfailing, relentless love for each of us equally.

This story brings to mind a scripture “He has sent me . . . to comfort all who mourn . . . to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes…7: For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.”

This story, beautifully, but achingly told reveals this simple yet perplexing truth.
Superb writing--I love, as always, the tiny details you include: the dead insects, the constricting turtleneck. Moody and atmospheric--just excellent!
Incredibly vivid and engaging. I was right there. Powerful
This has so much realistic detail that it feels like memoir, not fiction. And the resolution is a call to service in His name.
I felt as if I was watching this. The details were superb. I could even smell the odors in the apartment. Very well done.

This is an incredible piece, very true to life. It always seems like there should be a happy ending to our stories, but when it comes right down to it, happy endings are rare. Great job, loved this.
No sugar coating here! I was completely taken in by the descriptions and the emotion and the sense of hope amidst hopelessness...beautifully done.
Oooh Lisa, this just "took over" as I read it. I was there with the MC, could feel her pain, anger, confusion, disgust. Dilemma.
Your writing is so perfect for the piece, nothing but bleakness. Even the flowers .
Powerful and dynamic.
Superb writing, as always, with raw emotions and minute details drawing your reader into the story.
I like the way that God moves from being a distant dispenser of justice and wrath to someone unseen but offering grace and forgiveness.
An engaging story of mercy ... I found interesting mix of grit and tenderness in this piece. I know it might sound strange ... but I kept visualizing this 1940's black and white film ...

Is it "There were none" or "There was none"? That is one of those grammar points that keep confounding me.
Excellent writing. You brilliantly portray the ugliness of fallen man, and the amazing-ness of grace.
Excellent writing--as always. You have a great talent in putting the reader in the middle of the scene. Excellent job with the topic.
Truly wonderful! Thanks for the message of good and bad, of mercy, and grace and forgiveness.
This story broke my heart. I'm grateful for the bit of hope at the end. Your descriptions put me right in the middle of the action. Very good!
Once again, I am eating up your chewy, sometimes smelly descriptions. The writing was crisp, hesitant almost, totally suiting the mood of the MC. Gripping and so engaging. I totally love how you can capture an entire scene with one short phrase "The deterioration of human existence." Wow - sigh.
I want to write like this when I grow up. Awesome!!!
Oh, WOW, this is GREAT!! :) You have such a gift of storytelling!!

Your descriptions were superb, and I especially like the following two:

"The exotic colors and shapes did all they could to make places like this habitable to the heart."

"He groaned so low it reverberated in Mallory’s boots."

The ending was excellent, as well, with the contrast between the two men and the suggestion that good will triumph over evil!
Lisa, as always, your stories are absolutely great, complete with a message, tiny details, well-chosen words. This one really hit me dead-center. No red ink here!
Congratulations, Lisa! I'm so glad to see this place so highly in the ratings. It is a very remarkable piece of writing and so deserving of the recognition.
CONGRATUALTIONS ON YOUR EC for this excellently-written story! It was one of my favorites this week! :)
Congratulations! A well written, NO! An EXCELLENT written usual. Kudos!
Congratulations on your EC. So glad to see this place--it is definitely one of my favorites.
Good job Lisa! Congratulations!
Very well done! I could feel the emotion; sadness, surpise and disgust as the daughter walks through this story, from childhood memories to now a motherless daughter. Very sad piece but stirred with mercy at the end. Congrats on your win hon! God bless.
Well, all the words have been used. So I'll just say "ditto".