Reviews from

The Baby

a desperate flight to save the child

24 total reviews 
Comment from ciliverde
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

You have demonstrated a great range in this work. I like how you sort of gently introduce that one man is of the hawk family, the other of the centaurs. Of course this mixing of clans is frowned upon, which reminds me of our own world. This precious baby reminds me of another...and the woman cries out, Jesus, Mary and Joseph...it does have a feel of that ancient tale we all know. I really like this - you have a knack for drawing the reader directly into your tale, I instantly cared about the characters. Well done!
Carol

 Comment Written 19-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 20-Dec-2015
    I couldn't ask for a nicer comment about my storytelling than: you have a knack for drawing the reader directly into your tale, I instantly cared about the characters. Thank you for this very encouraging review.
Comment from Pantygynt
Excellent
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Talk about the "willing suspension of disbelief, this one certainly stretches it. I think it has something to do with the amazing modern graphics in computer games. This sort of story would work so well in that medium. We would see with our own eyes and so we believe, even though we know in our heart's is only graphics but it looks like all the other things that Google coughs up, so we believe. It's frightening really.

I like stories that begin "in medias res" like this, you don't have to wade through great long descriptions. Again it is all about belief. With a "medias roes" beginning the mind says well, they (the characters in the story) accept it so I'd better tag along too.

This was great fun and a touch seasonal as well.

 Comment Written 17-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 17-Dec-2015
    After Greek and Roman myths, suspension of belief is quite a simple thing. I may have crossed a few genre styles here and added modern themes like gay couples raising kids, but it's all in good fun. I just wanted to create something different for this prompt. Fantasy is something I've never done so this was a bit of an experiment. Thank you for the excellent review and for teaching me something new every time you respond. 'In media res' is a new term to me and it is so appropriate. I think that allows a short story to pack far more punch.
reply by Pantygynt on 17-Dec-2015
    there are apparentle two ways to begin. Like this, in the middle thing or "in medias res" or "ab ovo" from the egg. I think the scholars go a bit carried away but there you go - one of the more seless things that I held on to from the college days.
Comment from Adri7enne
Excellent
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It's hard to picture 'evil' as a form. "The evil is relentless and following at pace." Perhaps you give it more physical form in a previous chapter? Is the evil the misma? A type of fog? If so, I might refer to it as such. Evil is such a general term.

So, a hawk and a centaur? Interesting characters. They would be different enough to want to live on a little island. Shame, isn't it? Creatures should be able to just be who they are, wherever they are. Their inability to do that is part of that miasma of fear.

Well done, mfowler. Good luck in the contest!

 Comment Written 17-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 17-Dec-2015
    Miasma is something with the appearance of fog. Yes, I have given evil a form, but since everything in this story is fantasy, I believe it works as a device. The characters were chosen for their unique abilities to cope with the maelstrom being directed at them. The prompt called for a chase from a supernatural or natural disaster and this is what I came up with. No prequel or sequel. I agree with all you've said about fear and prejudice. It's a constant in our human world. Thank you for your appreciative comments.
Comment from I am Cat
Excellent
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Hello Mark,
This is a cool entry for this contest. I enjoyed it a lot. It sort of reminded me of the movie, "Lady Hawke", have you seen it? Probably only because of the hawk transformation, but it's an old 1980's movie that is one of my all-time favorites. She's a wolf by night and he's a hawk by day, with a curse put upon them by a jealous priest... it's quite good... you should look it up. At any rate, I enjoyed this a lot and it should do well in this contest. It has my vote. ;)
I had a thought or two below... Other than that, i enjoyed the story and of course, your writing is always amazing.
Hugs to you
CAt

I know in my gut that no(-)one but us has survived the purge. (do they hyphenate this now? they didn't use to)

Us, because we belong there, but the baby(,) because it is stainless and not of our kind.

As I galloped on(,) my mind drifts to a place of memory.

Good luck in the contest
Cat

 Comment Written 16-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    The hyphenated 'no-one' is a British and Australian usage.
    I do know 'Ladyhawke' and really enjoyed it. I think it came out of that era of films inspired by 'Conan the Barbarian'. Production values, average, but storyline exciting. Thanks for your suggestions, support and lovely review of my story.
Comment from lightink
Excellent
Not yet exceptional. When the exceptional rating is reached this is highlighted

This one should be a novel! I loved the basic idea: it seemed the opposite of the biblical wrath of God stories: Here, the evil destroyed a town for the appearance of purity as opposed to God doing so for the sinful ways of people. I would enjoy a longer version that reveals layers of this imaginative supernatural world and it's inhabitants - maybe going into more details regarding the creatures - and the child's story.
This story makes the imagination and the heart soar!


 Comment Written 16-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    It certainly has huge potential for expansion, but as always the limited attention span of reviewers influenced my choices. It's probably a bad excuse but that's how I think when I write prose purely for FS. Thank you so much for these comments. They are very uplifting. Novel? eek! I'm not sure I could concentrate past 5,000 words. LOL.
reply by lightink on 16-Dec-2015
    Sign up for the "start your own novel class" in January! I am planning to attend! :) I would love to take the class together. Also, I am terrified of this class! :)
reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    I'll give it some thought.
Comment from flylikeaneagle
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Mark: great story of good vs evil. Love of a parent to a child overcomes the evil. I like the creative animal people who go ahead to save the child and town from the evil cloud. I like how the woman prays in tears to Father God. Her prayers are answered. I pray that this touches hearts for Jesus. Have a blessed Christmas!
flylikeaneagle

 Comment Written 16-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    I love how you find the spiritual in my stories. Barely a critic has noted the elements you've picked up on yet they're there for all to see. In fact I think this might be the most perceptive review yet. Your sixer is terrific and very much appreciated but it's your deep reading of underlying meaning that is most telling.
Comment from Annette Gulliver
Excellent
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I love you poetry, but now that you have retired, I see that you have spread your wings and written some excellent prose. I wondered what 'miasma' meant, and looked it up in the dictionary - 'noxious exhalation from marshes, putrid matter'. Looked up 'transmogrifying' as well. Got it! So they are running from it. Love the way hawk transforms into human form, and Joachim the Centaur as well. What an unusual love combination. They want to save a baby they wished to raise, and return it to a church, where the power of love overcomes the power of evil. Great fantasy story, Mark.
Good luck in the contest.

 Comment Written 16-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    I wanted to created fantasy characters that had skill sets which might help with the big escape. I think that's the first time I've ever used 'transmogrifying' and 'miasma' in any kind of writing. It just seemed to fit. Thank you for this wonderful summation of my story and I am so pleased you like my prose. It is my first love but poetry has taken over this year.
reply by Annette Gulliver on 16-Dec-2015
    I'm looking forward to reading more of your prose
Comment from Gloria ....
Excellent
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Mark, what an extremely interesting story. Right off my attention was captured by the talking Hawk and even more so when the bird shook its feathers and transformed into a young man.

I don't know why exactly but the story seemed like Sodom and Gomorrah to me. I think it must be the town cursed by the Evil One who promised the denizens they'd be okay unless purity entered its walls. The difference being that no one in the town was innocent, and I guess that is shown with the union of the hawk and the centaur.

They weren't really evil at all, they were just different.

There's a lot more to this story than can be gleaned in a single read, but the one thing I do know is it holds together very well, and is extremely interesting.

Great work, Mark.

Gloria

 Comment Written 16-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    One guy gave me 3 because I didn't use enough big words like they does in real novels. You should read it. I was too flabbergasted to be mad.But, you've given me hope in this piece with this wonderfully affirming review. I wasn't to sure about the fantasy elements but once I went with a supernatural problem I said, what the hell and went on with transmogrifying beasties. I played with the idea of calling the town Soddah or Gommon, but thought that might be missed. LOL. Thanks again.
reply by Gloria .... on 16-Dec-2015
    Oh that guy's not real. He just joined today as a free member and wrote exactly one review--yours! Ignore him, although it is frustrating when that happens. You should block standard members, Mark.
reply by the author on 16-Dec-2015
    I wrote a rude reply, deleted it and said simply I didn't know what he meant. I'm learning the art of not biting too hard. Most of these standard members know zilch so they don't bother me. Recent reviews like yours have affirmed the story enough to give a bit of confidence. I couldn't believe it but only three of us put an entry in although seven paid up. Amazing. Thanks again.
Comment from Green Lake Girl
Exceptional
This work has reached the exceptional level

Wow! Just when I think you're firmly in the "poet" category you go and write something like this. I've said it before, but you've an amazing knack of writing so differently from time to time. I'm not sure I would've guessed this was your writing. Anyway, enough about that.

What a wild story. Fantasy, danger, good and evil. You crammed a lot into a very short story. Bravo--decent writing here. I gotta believe you'll win this contest.

Marietta

 Comment Written 15-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 15-Dec-2015
    You should see the reviews. What a mixed bag! One guy gave me a three because I didn't use big words as in real novels. Eeeeh! Of course, I've read this as you did. It was me putting my prose toe back in the water. I've been devoid of ideas up till now. Thank you so much for this great confidence booster. I know you tell a great fantasy story so your appraisal is very much authentic. The sixer lifts my spirits too. Many thanks. Appreciated always, 4.7.
reply by Green Lake Girl on 16-Dec-2015
    I did read the reviews before I even wrote mine. I noticed the clown that gave you a three star rating is a "standard" FS member. You can set up your profile to exclude reviews from standard members. I suggest you do that. For some odd reason, standard members seem to be an odd collection of people.
Comment from Shirley McLain
Excellent
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I liked your story. It was full of tension and action. It was a nice read. I also like the fact it had a happy ending. I didn't see any problems. Great job. Shirley

 Comment Written 15-Dec-2015


reply by the author on 15-Dec-2015
    Many thanks for your lovely review, Shirley.