Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

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Alison Rome Alison Rome
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Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

Synergy
By
Alison Rome (500 words including title)

Lieutenant Antony (Ant to his friends) was worried. This was the second time this week that heavy rain had started to fall. If the weather continued in this vein, then the whole village would need to be evacuated. Men, women and children. It would be no easy task; lives might be lost, including his own. But he was a soldier, a good soldier, and as a soldier his job was to protect all of his people and not just his Queen. There had been many instances in his lifetime when he had worked and worked until he was so tired he felt he could not move another inch. Only, whenever the battle cry went out, somehow he found the strength along with the others to shift whatever obstacle might have happened to bar their way. Dig deep, work together and the enemy shall be conquered. A motto so ingrained, it was instinctual. Survival was everything.

        He hunkered down, hiding under a bush and waited for the clouds to blow themselves out and for the skies to clear. But it didn’t. Drop after drop after drop pitter pattered down, relentless and unmerciful. Water may be life’s saviour in the desert but here in the jungle, in monsoon season water spelled mudslides, rivers bursting banks to flood everything in their path. Water was no saviour. Water was death.

       After several hours there was no alternative. Antony gave the order to begin the mass movement of their people to a land north of their present location.

       They had been travelling for several hours, thankful that the rain had now stopped. A youngster had started to scurry back towards home. He was halted by the rear guard. Of course, he would be disappointed. No one likes starting over. But that was exactly what they must all do.

      Suddenly he heard a familiar clicking noise, the coded sounds used by the forward scouts to warn of impending danger. He stopped walking and everyone in the line immediately froze. Was this the end? Would they all perish? The scout came up to Antony and gave his report. A river had swollen so much it was oozing water up and over the banks and headed their way. Behind them was the flood that had caused them to flee and now in front of them too, water threatened to drown them.

      We must cross the river, get up to higher ground,’ Antony clicked, aware that the enemy was never far away and code was the only way to communicate. ‘Everyone get as close to one another as you can. Make a bridge with your body. Join up with your neighbour. The water will carry us along to safety.’

     One hundred thousand men, women and children were saved from the rising river that day, including the Queen. They survived. Not one single soul was lost. Antony and the rest of the colony finally drifted to drier land and promptly built a new home up on the highest hill.
     
         
Bea Bea
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Re: Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

Hi, Alison. I'd be happy to critique your piece, but I can't right now. I'll save it to my computer (in case access to SPP is more difficult later), and read and comment on it as soon as I can, most likely later this afternoon or evening. If I can't get back on the site, please feel free to send me an email if you can.

Bea Bea
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Re: Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

In reply to this post by Alison Rome
Alison, what an interesting story. The idea of the people making a bridge with their own bodies holds a lot of meaning. And the title suggests it too. Bravo!

I made some comments on the file I’m going to try to attach here. If you have trouble seeing it, please let me know, and I’ll figure something else out.

My only other comment would be that I’d like to have an idea of where this is taking place. And maybe a general idea of when, as otherwise, because of the word ‘colony’, some might think it’s in colonial times. And maybe it is, but it’s hard to tell. I think this could be done in a few words. And my suggestions, if taken, cut a few words, in case you’re up to your limit.

Synergy_AlisonRome.rtf
Alison Rome Alison Rome
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Re: Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

Hi Bea,

Thank you so much for your comments. It was so comprehensive and the story reads so much better with the suggested corrections. Sadly, I had to submit it before I read your advice, but I will keep the newly corrected piece to send on elsewhere.

I must hold my hands up and confess that this story was actually taken from a longer piece I wrote sometime ago, so it may have suffered from the flash fiction cutting. And now to the twist in the tale. Antony was actually a soldier ant (the 'colony' one of the many clues throughout the piece (knowing me, probably far too subtle, or maybe in fairness the cutting lost the flow of them). I originally wanted to write about how man's destruction of the rain forest, oil men and how it (they) destroyed everything. I originally had fire as the enemy not water.

For this piece, the 'bridge' was the army of ants on top of the water and reaching higher ground as they were carried away en masse. I obviously watch far too much David Attenborough for my own good.

Thank you so much for your feedback. It was so helpful. Life is all about learning from others.
Best wishes
Alison  
Bea Bea
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Re: Hi I wondered if spp members would critique this piece I have done for a local library comp. The brief was write a 500 word prose on anything to do with a bridge (actual bridge or dental bridge; anything)

Allison, I think water is the better enemy for ants.

I'm so glad the feedback was helpful, though sorry it wasn't in time for the library contest. How lovely to have local contests! Alas, since I don't live in an English-speaking country, I don't have those sorts of opportunities. Thank God for the internet!

Let us know how it goes with your story, please. And thanks for the thanks; it's so nice to feel appreciated.