5th of November


Mummy’s home. Daddy said she’d be home today.
It’s been a long time since I saw her, and even then, she was sleeping in a very tall bed with rails at the side, just like the ones I used to have on my bed. I’m a big girl now, I never fall out – well hardly ever

Granny has been staying, to help Daddy. I like it when Granny stays. She bakes little cakes and lets me help. I’m good at decorating them. My favourite colour is pink. Granny says that’s because I am a girl, but Daddy laughs at that, or he used to. He doesn’t laugh much anymore.

There are a lot of people here today, standing round and talking and drinking. Some have tea and some have wine. Maybe they are waiting for the party to start next door. They have a bonfire in the garden. They are having fireworks. Sally, from next door, was skipping around and singing:

“Remember, remember the 5th of November”

Her mummy told her to shush, I’m not sure why. I liked the song.

There’s a long black car outside, with a big brown box in the back.

Maybe it’s for the bonfire.

© ellieg 2023
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critique and comments welcome.
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Quite a moving story provided that you suspend your disbelief about the girl not knowing her mother has died. It’s hard for a writer to differentiate between creating a narrative that’s meant to relate what has happened from one that relays the girl’s thoughts in the present as she thinks them and sees what is happening. One sentence in particular which doesn’t seem right is: ‘Some men in black coats just took a big box through the door.’ If the girl is in the house and reporting events, shouldn’t it be ‘Some men in black coats have just brought a… Read more »


I understood perfectly well that it’s about a very small child but do you want her telling us her thoughts as she thinks them or do you want her relating the events after they have happened? In either case the language needs to be very simple and not complex. For instance the phrase ‘who lives next door’ makes the child older than you say. Again, I have to say that if the child is in the house ‘took’ is wrong, so is the tense. You need the immediate perfect tense; ‘have brought.’ “Took’ is for the other direction – outwards.


That’s a very good sentence with a nice touch of innocence about it!


There is not much wrong with this poignant story apart from the format of the text with words wrapping into the next line. A simple edit would remedy this.
As for the story, the phrase that Nemo objects to could be altered to read: ‘through our door’.


Some of the sentences don’t go to the end of the line like this:
“tall bed with rails at
the side, just like the ones I used to have on my bed. I’m a big girl now, I never fall
out – well hardly ever”
You can edit the piece by going to the place where the gap begins and delete the spaces until the sentences are concurrent.
If you preview the text before publishing you can see how it will look and edit accordingly.
Hope it is clearer now.
Regards, Luigi



I liked this. It’s a neat little story. I was drawn in by it. Funnily enough I don’t like the last line. It’s too much and unnecessary for me, Perhaps that’s because I’m imposing my own thoughts upon it though. Also these things are horses for courses really, nor am at a prose writer, so probably best to pay no attention to me! Well done for a very original take on the challenge.

Rachel 🙂


I read this piece first thing on Monday morning, enjoyed it understood exactly what it was about and where it was coming from.
Read it again Monday evening, Being honest I like the first piece without the changes.
But then you can’t please everyone, I took it for what it was. A good read….Tony


Great read really quaint tale despite the sad outcome.

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