|Ok, Shannon, where do I start?
I’m so captivated by this piece, I hardly know where to begin. I've been so short of time lately that I haven't dropped a review in here for months. Even so when I do, it's usually because I'd stumbled on something that left me inspired, moved... both from an enviable demonstration of literary skill as well as superb content and theme. As such, your Sister Justice reeled me in which compelled me to bow to your literary brilliance. I've seen your stuff before, and you've never disappointed, but this one was a WOW, a BIG WOW from every angle.
Your opening hook and subsequent first couple/three paragraphs are some of most effective techniques I’ve ever seen in literature, even the classics. You not only NAILED the prompt, but did so in such a way as to really set the stage and then so effectively drove home the theme─ opening with a bam, bam, bam like pops from a 9mm, you unveil the whole enchilada, for example:
<< I observe. I eavesdrop. I follow. I confirm. I insinuate myself.>> followed by the brilliant way you slide your character to the forefront, allowing her to quantify her “innocent” driven motive behind such a powerful role; <<It all comes down to the shoes, you see.>> BRILLIANT!
Moving on, the manner in which you justified the character's intent on cleansing the nation of parasitic bastards that we all secretly want to expunge likewise, yet cleverly distinguishes herself from the true pathological “CRAZIES” is another example of genius.
There is a difference, however perplexing! Your readers will identify with the theme─ as why Charles Bronson’s “Death Wish” series became such a big hit, or how moviegoers cheered Dirty Harry who defied the establishment and did away with the “punks” who dared challenge his logic vs the real nemesis of society.
I could go on and on but don’t need to. However, if I had to offer anything in the way of constructive critique, it’s only with your apparent need to feel you had to insert an Author’s Note at the end. After such a powerful and superbly delivered read, the Note let me down though I sensed it was coming (the ol' PC caveat leaked through, I guess?)
Nevertheless for what it’s worth, I’d suggest you delete the Note. Your effort is so strong, so effective as a literary piece, I say let the readers who truly know you’re an accomplished author; who know that its clearly driven by a deliberate prompt; and that there’s no doubt it’s a FICTION and not a personal essay… to let them enjoy the read, its theme, its empathetic tone to its fullest.
We can see that Sister Justice is NOT a WDC Bluecase expressing latent desires, but merely a character who has successfully exposed the degradation of societal integrity since The Great Depression… the emasculation of a once proud, hard-working people filled with hopes and dreams of a future, yet instilled with an unshakable moral character and dignity no matter their fate or level of poverty (such as portrayed in two classics: The Grapes of Wrath and The Cinderella Man) of only two generations past.
I’d venture to guess this piece will indeed stir a basket of inner frustrations shared by the majority, fearing the nation has morphed into a bloated society trying to stay aloft on stubby wings flailing against the headwinds of rising PC bullshit. But, once again I say, let them enjoy the literary high and screw the mindless idiots who may amble by with naive indoctrinated comments smothered in socialistic crap that has never worked in the history of any nation.
I LOVED IT! And for my money, I’d say 99% of those who “can read”, will feel likewise. It should win the contest, by far, as I remain...
forever one of your biggest fans,