Sparky and Frieda

by Joh – 9,200 words. Submission date: 29/07/2020.

Sparky is released from prison after having served thirty years for being a cowboy electrician. She makes friends with Frieda, a stranger who is very bad at speaking English.

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Joh Posted by Joh (30 Aug 20):

Thanks everyone for reading and commenting!

Brisingr Posted by Brisingr (29 Aug 20):

Interesting read - Took me a little while to get used to Frieda's way of talking but once I did I found it to be a fun read. I like how we were drip-fed Sparky's backstory throughout the length of the story and how the two main leads bonded over their shared hardships. Well done!

Aaron Posted by Aaron (2 Aug 20):

Another enjoyable entry. This one was very funny, often causing me to laugh out loud.

The absurdity present throughout the story – the mysterious ejection at the diner, Frieda’s unusual speech and thinking patterns, Ed the landlord cutting off the gas and electricity – were all very amusing, and kept the story interesting and unpredictable. There was almost a Kafkaesque surrealness to the story.

I also found the largely dialogue-only approach to be an interesting experiment. Using almost exclusively dialogue, you still managed to convey scene changes and place. Usually, I’d be a little sceptical about a dialogue-only story, but I think the strong distinctive voices in this piece made it work.

I think if War Hero and Workhorse were in the same series, this would be a third entry to that series. All three stories blend surreal elements and dark humour very well.

Falcon Posted by Falcon (31 Jul 20):

A unique entry with some strange but likeable characters. I enjoyed this story and was never sure where it was going to go even as the plot advanced. Like 'That Game', there was some strong characterisation here. This was most notable in the two leads, Sparky and Frieda, although the landowner Ed was given a fairly aggressive personality. I liked the humour that came from Frieda's butchering of the English language and her usage of several combined European languages ensures the reader is always puzzled by her backstory.

Sparky was a fairly sympathetic character who will most likely never escape her past, either by her own self-judgement or by the judgement of others, despite having served her time for her grave error. It would have been good to know a little more about the aggressors towards the end of the entry but the shadowy unknown can also be a good way of telling a story as well. Overall, I really enjoyed the friendship between these odd characters and I think that it is one of the best friendships you have written in your extensive Write Wise career. Good job with this! Although this is mostly likely a standalone plot, I look forward to what you come up with next.