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Navigating Warsaw

Updated: Jan 13

It's that time again - 250-word Microfiction Challenge 2022!

My entry this year as follows:

Consumed by the defeat of battle. He sat on the streets of Warsaw. To most, the man appeared as a brave survivor of the war. Down on his luck as everyone struggled out of the destruction of homes, businesses - civilization as was known. Hubert was just 30 years old. He worn a torn and tattered uniform and boots. He had a clean face but dirty hands. Pinned into war by the greed of the Nazi regime, he was lucky to survive the horrendous atrocities and not be caught for his war crimes. The murder of innocent children, women, jews - so many jews. Hubert reminded himself constantly of the life that was, life that is and what life would be like if he were caught. His wife and children were bombed by American soldiers. A daughter 12 years of age, his wife a year younger than him and his son, a newborn. 6 months old, Hubert Junior was to inherit the riches of a successful Nazi regime. The memories tore Hubert apart, yet not so much that he wished upon himself death too. Trim as destitution set in. The Nazi fallen solider barring a Polish uniform as cover, shook his food pan begging for help through the recovery after the conflict. The price some paid for their power hungry atrocities was an undignified freedom. Better than death yet not as glorious as those who made it to the fruits of war investments and safe havens scattering the southern parts of America.

Allocated to: Group 27 - Historical Fiction / Panhandling / trim.

''Navigating Warsaw'' by Marcia BNoose - WHAT THE JUDGES LIKED ABOUT YOUR STORY - {2194} I think that you capture something of the hopelessness within Europe after the Second World War. You give the reader a good sense of place. Well done! {2247} You do a good job of delving into the mind of a person most people would find despicable. The character's situation is complex; while he stood to gain from the war, he never would have gained as much as the Nazis able to flee to South America, and now that he has been abandoned by his country, he is destitute. Nevertheless, you do not shy away from the fact that he has committed war crimes and does not appear to feel guilt about them. {2201} This story deftly incorporates a string of engaging and powerful details. The historical components are very effective in contextualizing Hubert's plight; they ground the reader in a familiar (yet frightening) setting. Not only that, but the story manages to seamlessly weave the prompts as well. This was a great piece! WHAT THE JUDGES FEEL NEEDS WORK - {2194} I’m not sure if this piece works, given your main character is a Nazi who has committed war crimes. There isn’t much sympathy to be garnered from this story. I would strongly consider reworking his character. {2247} It is unclear how the character is able to hide his German identity. While he has the Polish uniform, his accent would presumably reveal his true identity. It is important to take such details into consideration and provide explanations to avoid drawing the reader out of the story. {2201} The story lacks subtlety in many areas. I would advise going against explicit statements where applicable. Instead of saying Hubert is down on his luck, what interaction can convey that information? Does he drop his last dime down a drain? Instead of saying "he wished death upon himself", how can that be imagined? Does he look forebodingly over a cliff? Try to take the clear-cut statements and wrap them in an action.


All in all, it's clear you have a strong command of language and storytelling. Best of luck with your future writing!


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