Write It Sideways

Excerpt Critique: “If: An Allegory”

Please welcome today’s aspiring author, Jonathan Byrd, ready for a peer critique.

Take a moment to read the excerpt, then please leave some thoughtful feedback in the comment section below.

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If: An Allegory

Literary Fiction

Please note: This excerpt is not taken from the beginning of the story. 

The southern United States, like most other regions, is full of flora, fauna, traditions and oddities specific to the area. Sweet tea and invulnerability to hurricanes are examples of the latter for those living along the Gulf Coast. A curious plant known as kudzu is an example of the former. The oriental plant was originally planted as an erosion control measure. Like so many other imported plants, it became a nuisance almost overnight. The most often repeated story about its importation states that it was first planted on a Sunday in South Carolina, and that by Wednesday it had entered Louisiana. No one has ever claimed to kill it, but a lucky few have been able to keep it trimmed back. As Joel went back to his writing, a vine outside began growing on the backside of the house. While its growth would not be a record for kudzu, likewise it was about to perform a miraculous event.

The storm was less than an hour from coming ashore on the opposite side of the lake when Joel fell asleep again. He had not noticed the thick covering of kudzu over the south-facing window. The sun was still shining brightly in advance of the storm, yet the kudzu gave the cabin shelter from its blistering heat. It would ease the discomfort of the coming storm for Joel. The vine grew, as the storm got closer. As the storm rushed violently ashore, the vine insulated Joel’s cabin from noise, light, and damage. He slept soundlessly while all around destruction rained down.

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