- Ashes to Ashes — Grahame Wilson
- The Good Doctor — Wendy Greeff
- The Last Laugh — Gary Kuyper
Adjudicator: MICHELE WRIGHT
As always thanks to the South African Writers’ Circle for inviting me to have a glimpse into the minds of its writers.
With this particular topic I can’t say it was an “enjoyable” task—the work was disturbing with its topic slanted towards the horrors man has inflicted upon each other in the past. The themes of guilt, forgiveness and vengeance were skillfully woven through the stories, some touching on redemption and peace and others, judgement and punishment.
The writing was of a very good level and I thoroughly enjoyed the cast of characters brought forth by the tales.
Ashes to Ashes—Grahame Wilson
Wonderful descriptions and effective use of dialogue—you transport us immediately to the time and place. The backstory unfolds bit by bit, revealing a disturbing course of events and I was captivated.
You casually introduce the theme of predator and prey (“Is this the same man who would issue… scatter into the air.”) even as she asks if he never felt guilt, seeming to search for signs of redemption. We are left to wonder whether, if he had in fact shown any sense of remorse, she might have changed her course of action. His words seem to show that his pity is all for himself, not for his victims.
I like your vengeful wife and the play on his lack of faithfulness to the ‘right cause’ which would lead a ‘ghost’ back to serve the justice he thought he had managed to avoid. Even though you know she isn’t a ‘good’ person, you do feel sympathy for her as the neglected wife as he continues to argue that he “tried to be a good husband” to her.
She is such a fascinatingly appealing personality—a blend of strength, determination and feminine weakness—despite being so evil in her own right.