I recently entered my first short story competition. The narrative had to be about ‘being lost’ and could not exceed 250 words. I thought I’d share  my entry with you and would so appreciate your honest feedback as we all need constructive criticism to improve.


I’ve lost my left shoe. It’s a black leather brogue and without a doubt it’s half of my most comfortable pair. I wore it just the other day and now it’s gone, and I don’t know where. They’ll be here soon, so I must find it.

Lost 2
Photo courtesy of Chris Holdsworth.

One shoed, I clip-slide, clip-slide, clip-slide across the dusty wooden floor, searching frantically. I look under the bed but find only a pair of slightly grubby underpants. In the bathroom there’s only a single damp towel. My eyes scan the kitchen but see only foil covered dishes of tasty morsels waiting to be devoured by chatting guests … but that’s for later. Right now I need, desperately, to find my shoe!

The cat slithers its way through my legs, back and forth like a lover’s caress but far from giving comfort, it’s just a reminder of another unwanted task to be completed before they arrive. Feed the cat!

Perhaps I took it off at the front door? I catch a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror. My haggard face stares back at me. Neat hair, freshly shaved, bloodshot eyes. I’ve been drinking far, far too much of late. It must stop, soon, but not today.

The doorbell chimes their arrival … and I’m not ready. I’ll never be ready. Still sporting a single shoe I reluctantly open the door. There they are, the dark suited men, the black car, waiting to take me to my beloved wife’s funeral. I am lost. (248 words)

If you enjoyed this and would like to read another, have a look at The Painting – A short story.


8 Comments Add yours

  1. pennygadd51 says:

    You’ve asked for honest criticism. OK.
    The story has an effective twist at the end. You have some good description, and some character development. Most of what you describe is consistent with the physical environment of someone who is bereaved and can’t handle it.
    I think you could improve the story by trimming it. For example “My eyes scan the kitchen but see only foil covered dishes of tasty morsels waiting to be devoured by chatting guests … but that’s for later.” could be “The kitchen holds only foil-covered dishes of food for the guests I expect later.” Eyes scanning, tasty morsels, devoured, chatting – they actually don’t tell us anything that enhances the story.
    It’s a promising start, and your technique will improve as you write. It’s very brave of you to ask for honest criticism, and with that attitude, you’ll definitely improve.
    I would invite you to provide me with similar honest criticism on my stories!

    1. Hi Penny. Thanks so much for giving me such thoughtful, detailed feedback, I really appreciate your time and effort.
      The description of the food and guests etc was designed to create the illusion that it was a celebratory event that my protagonist was getting ready for and as such I hoped added to the surprise of the ultimate twist. Sorry that it didn’t work. 🙂

  2. Brian says:

    Hi sis, this is fantastic. If it were up to me I would pronounce you the winner. I must say I’m not too sure that Chris, whose bared but socked foot takes centre stage of the photo, would be too happy about your description of what he will see when looking into a mirror upon your demise, but, the conclusion shocked us all. Well done. And Chris, Collagen will help mate. Brian

    1. Hi Big Brother. Thanks for the vote of support, even if you are a little biased 🙂 . Don’t ever believe that what I write is autobiographical … often I just pull things out of thin air. Love you. xxx

  3. Captivating reading, I loved the twist at the end! Hope you are successful!

    1. Thanks so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  4. Daphne says:

    I have advice for you Cathy .
    Keep writing ! Please . I love reading your stories .

    1. Thanks so much, Daphne. Your support means so much to me@

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s