Very interesting piece! I'll sleep on it and see if I come up with anything useful to say.

Also, very happy to see Springcrest Transitional Living set up their HQ down the street from my house. :-)

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This is so good, Maegan. Hits the bull's eye on so many different levels. I laughed out loud on more than one occassion. I felt profoundly sad at others. I felt so many different emotions throughout the story, (and I am usually what my wife refers to as a stone)!

Your metaphors and symbols (if I have interpreted them even close to how you intend them) are vividly clear. And the honesty! A narrator (letter writer) we can all understand. This piece has really connected with me.

It took me three attempted readings. First two there were other distractions and I couldn't get into it, couldn't focus. Waited until night and peace and quiet to go back in. Absolutely got it from the beginning. I can see the work and the level of thought that has gone into every sentence, too.

Well done, Maegan!

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This is a step above!

The choice to ground this story in the format of a letter works perfect. I think it gives the reader a base point while they work their way through what’s going on (if that makes sense.) For me, it clicked about a third of the way through, and once it did I was sucked in.

Also by using a letter, you’re able to filter Lily’s feelings through someone else. (I also just realized Lily is also flower...nice.) We feel her emotions without ever hearing her speak.

It also gives me “Spiderhead” vibes. Awesome job!

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The voice is great and has a good rhythm, I suspect it was fun to get into and write. The director’s true feelings are revealed cleverly and funny and I think you do a wonderful job. It feels honest.

If (and I don’t know that you need to do this) you want to bring Mrs. Freehling into the story more as a character with competing desires and agency, you could have a few sections of the letter start: “let me address the concern you expressed…”

If somewhere early on, maybe during your explanation of the procedure part of the letter, you mention an earlier Supreme Court case that paved the way for the procedure, you can make the aside that “of course on a court where every justice has great-grandkids they would rule in favor of allowing…”

Or something that picks up the theme of the previous generation enforcing their will on the younger one

Earlier talk of a Supreme Court would also be another reminder for the quick-readers to realize this bee talk isn’t because they’re bees, but a euphemism

I really love the “And even then, sure maybe… you are only hurting yourself” paragraph and wonder if you could repetition-with-variation-and-escalation it a couple times more? For example, director wanted to step into upcoming traffic; mother questioned whether her underwear was clean, it wasn’t always when she was younger, what will the EMTs think of her?

Last paragraph is perfect. Great velocity, great reveal this silly scifi story contains another previously unsuspected layer of coded words…

Which, ideally, sends the reader back again to see what they might have missed

More notes: “you look like a trout” is a great line; Also, great, the trout callback looking at hallmark cards a little later; Also great? “Like, ten seconds tops, can fiddle your flute.” Lol; Also great “needle is not as large as it looks in the trifold pamphlet” - I love how it both address and doesn’t address the concern by bringing in a picture; Honey bee vs. killer bee? the ambiguity here is great.

I hope this helps. It reads like a very polished piece. Language is great. Tone is great.

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This is amazing. It's a shame I needed so long to read it!

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Awesome roller coaster of a read. Loved how I went from feeling perplexed, to mystified, to feelings of concern and sadness, then BAM to raging horniness and then a full speed head on crash into a terrifying twist ending. The artwork of the Bee Stamp at the end is absolutely fantastic too! Did you draw that?

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Dude. Thank you so much for sharing your reading experience. Really, really happy about all you went through. :) :) :) I'll take that shot of motivation you just gave me and try to use it on my current WIP which had been a real pain in the keister. Can't take credit for the artwork (I frequent Adobe Stock)--I wish I could draw!!

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Put old meat into the meatgrinder, fresh meat comes out. What cool slaughterhouse art, a bloodbath of transcendental themes, very nice, kudos, my last thumb up ! I see that worse-case scenario through my PTSD in the thick fog of war ! It´s like one is giving an ultimatum, the very last warning, hands up where I can see them, you´ll make me shoot you, I don´t want to do it....and then the trigger goes off....

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