|Hello, I'm StephB and I am reviewing your story for Thanks for entering.
My review is based on professional editing points. It is meant to be honest, encouraging, and respectful in accordance with WDC guidelines.
Unnamed narrator holds a dinner party with a specific intent in mind.
WHAT I LIKED
The story built suspense nicely. At first I was annoyed by not learning the narrator's name, but by the end, it worked perfectly with the theme and direction of the story. The ending was dark, but perfect for the story.
This is told in the first person by an unnamed narrator. Good job with narration. Past tense is used appropriately.
There's a blend of dialogue and narration. I find the dialogue accents the narration. I would suggest an edit for dialogue tags. Use only "he said" or "she replied" in tags to identify the speaker only, if you have to. Put action in a separate sentence. Put the action first, then the dialogue.
FOR EXAMPLE, AS WRITTEN: "Only the best for my guests," I replied with a smile, patting her hand with mine.
MY SUGGESTION: "Only the best for my guests." I smiled, patting her hand with mine.
There's enough to set the scenes. I especially liked: When shaken with thinly-veiled irritation, a whiskey on the rocks sounds like a rhythmic sharpening of knives. As the opening sentence, it grabs the reader's attention, induces curiosity, and hints at what's to come in a very slick way.
TIME: unsure. The 1920's is referenced, but I'm unsure if the time of the setting or the theme of the dinner party.
PLACE: a luxurious mansion
This is something that I might clarify a bit better for the reader.
There's enough here to understand his motivations. He appears to be raised like his guests, a good education, vain, vapid, but as the story continues, his layers peal back to reveal a deep hurt.
I did not spot any spelling/punctuation mistakes.
Suggestions as mentioned above. The opening engages the reader. While dark, I enjoyed the direction of the story. Word count was listed in accordance with the rules. Good luck in the contest.