#1
Thank you Steve for the help. Thank you for forgiving me Carmel. so uhh yeah.



The Sun was slowly reaching the highest point in the sky that lonely spring day. The children were splattering about the fresh puddles left by last night’s rain. Their soft shoes would squish and squirt around the mud and muck bringing looks of disgust to the gossiping mothers sitting at the porch of a house across the road. There were three of them, for six children. Mary Ann, Samantha and Nons. They chattered away sipping on freshly squeezed orange juice prepared by Samantha’s maid. It was enjoyable for them to be sitting on those comfortable chairs taking in the sun, talking about everyone’s everything. Nons had never really cared for this type of conversation her two best friends engaged in. She found it tedious and mundane, but seeing them smile and giggle was all she needed to join it. It made her feel warm inside.

Nons was a house wife. Her daughters Michel and Mary had the day off from school and were playing with their friends. She never had days off, but to be honest, she never had days on either. She enjoyed her life, her children, her house, her lawn and her duties. She adored making love with her husband on Tuesdays. Sometimes on Thursday as well. Life was wonderful. Life was perfect. Taking another sip’ of her orange juice she became aware of Paul’s presence behind her. It was like a sixth sense. “Yes, my darling?” she asked as he touched her neck softly. “Nothing much really, I was going to go for my walk into town but I decided I should check up on you ladies just in case I was under fire!”, “Oh! Not at all you foolish man.” Mary Ann said playing along with Paul’s game. “Enjoy your walk, Paul” added Samantha. “I can take a hint, see you later.” And with that he was off.

Just after midday, the sun was warm on his body and Paul thought it would be good to walk then before the weather went awry. He loved that word. Striding commandingly down the road he would say hello to every neighbour he crossed. There was Mrs Feltwich, with her lovely flowers, lining the bottom of all of her windows. “Oh, what lovely flowers Mrs Feltwich, they truly look stunning today!” There was also Jack, the local police officer. He bumped into Steve and Carmel as well. He was good friends with them. They were both published writers, something he had once aspired to but gave up for studying law. He thought it was the sensible decision. Dylan was around and about as well. He was never sure what Dylan did. He dressed like a sociologist but talk and behaved like a poet. He hoped he wasn’t the latter. He had a morbid aversion to poets, as if one had kidnapped him when he was a kid. Or maybe it was a psychological consequence of his failed attempts at writing.

Before he knew it he was arriving at the bridge. The mighty and powerful bridge, standing in all its glory above the river; connects the suburbs and the town. Its long red legs stretched down deep into the river and its arms stretched far away into the sky. He had never been interested in architecture but the sheers size of the bridge had always moved him. He continued onto the pavement, cars on the road zipping by, joggers behind him shouting: “LEFT! LEFT!” with all their might. They should be banned from the city he would often think on his walks. He also came across other commuters like him going to buy the afternoon papers and the first drink of the day. It was just after half past twelve when he arrived at the middle of the bridge. He always stopped there, to look. Always at the same place.

He looked down into the river, he couldn’t see the fish from there but he knew they had to be down there. Those fishermen over to the right bank wouldn’t have come if they weren’t there. He looked on towards the bay. There was a ship in the distance. It was a very large ship if he could see it from there. He could distinguish two colours. Red and dark blues. He liked to look at ships like that from the distance. The dark blue would face in and out of the sea making it look like the ship was constantly sinking but always afloat. Maybe it was sinking. He didn’t care in the slightest, he just felt it looked good. There was a beautiful young blond lady standing beside him looking out at the ship as well. Maybe she was a wife whose husband had been lost at sea. She certainly looked the part. Wearing everything black except for her green eyes, she seemed to have just been to a funeral. She looked over at him. “Do you think the ship is sinking, sir?” He didn’t bother answering. He just walked on and let her drown in her own misery.

He walked a few steps onwards but stopped abruptly. He looked back at the lady. She wore a ring. Maybe her husband wasn’t lost at sea after all and she was just grim by nature. He chuckled at his silly behaviour and was going to continue walking when she called out: “He’s dead. He died last week, out at sea, fishing. I thought you might want to know, you seem like quite a thoughtful man.” Petrified he stood looking at her. He glanced down at her wedding ring and then looked at his own. What would happen if he lost all that he loved in this world? Nons, his children... He looked over into the river below him. What would happen if they lost him? He looked over at the woman. Her eyes were red around the edges and old tears were being replaced with new ones. He wondered if she could read his mind. She smiled. “Don’t ever lose what you love, keep it in your sights at all times. Make sure you put the children to bed early. Be sure you make love to your wife more than just twice a week. Be sure that you don’t arrive home drunk at night. Be sure you walk with your head high and you heart clean. Be sure you don’t envy gossip or say harmful things about neighbours and friends. Be sure you don’t judge people on first appearance. Be sure to always say thank you and goodbye. Be sure that you won’t tell anyone about me…


Paul walked past her, back towards home to see his wife and kids. As he walked by her he mumbled a thank you and goodbye so low that only she could hear it. She was truly a hero. He wondered how many heroes there were in the world. The bridge funnily enough was empty. Everyone else was too far away to be seen or to see anything. The fishermen were having a break for lunch. The boat was fading away slowly into the distance. A splash broke the silence that haunted him. He kept walking. He wasn’t a hero. She didn’t want a hero. He wondered what they would be having for lunch as he looked over at the sun’s reflection in the water. There was a slight refreshing drizzle. It was a good time to head back. Maybe he wouldn’t go out for drinks at the pub tonight. Maybe he’d go and buy some champagne later instead. Time would tell. He took on last look at the bay. “Isn’t everything so horribly perfect?” he wondered as he walked away…
#2
Wonderful. This is one of the best pieces of prose I've ever read on this site.

The only thing I disliked was it was just after half past twelve when...; it makes it seem too much like you're saying some time later, which doesn't fit the walk from the beginning to the middle of the bridge in my mind (regardless of the bridge's actual size). That's the one (minor) thing I could pick out. All and all just excellent writing. The first couple paragraphs were engaging - with some very nice sentiments- and the rest grew even more interesting from there (and though I didn't enjoy the third paragraph as much as a few people will, interesting). The last two paragraphs were beautiful.
On the eight day we spoke back...

let there be sound.
#3
I loved the imagery in this...
But I hated the way you wrote like 'they did this, then this, then this' or 'he did this, then this, then this'. You made this much, much better in the last two paragraphs, but that didn't stop the first few from being sloppy.
And I thought that not spacing out the conversations properly made it messy.

Story, great.
Tone, good.
Imagery, wonderful.
Overall execution... the last two were great, before... could be improved upon.
There's only one thing we can do to thwart the plot of these albino shape-shifting lizard BITCHES!
#5
Although its very hard to avoid a very regimented method of writing when opting for prose as your prefered technique, I believe the length of this added a little too much repetition. Just a little.
I was a little disappointed with the ending, I was hoping for something a little more exciting, but I'm guessing thats the whole point, so its not a big deal at all.

I really enjoyed reading this. It was quite perfect in its portrayed imagery and your articulate words are well above-par. Your characters had a sweet simplicity to them that you developed quite well. You also touched on predictability and standard lifestyles, which was very effective as it added a slight sense of disgruntled frustration and disapointment. But it never went too far like so many pieces do. You still allowed the reader to respect someones simple life and it was very easy to let them enjoy those simple pleasures you refered to.
Watch out for the lengthly descriptions though and the narrative repetition.

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