The entire story in its current draft is now available. Enjoy.
I’m hoping the ending still provides some surprises even if you had already guessed the direction of what was happening. I’ll again say I was a bit overzealous near the end and revealed more than I intended, but oh well. It is a draft after all.
I’m offering this post for feedback given the restrictions on the story itself.
Please spare no feelings. Use the comments of this post to say what you will. Be critical. Be brutal. Be honest.
Talk about the story itself. Was it interesting? Was it original enough to be worth your time? Did it hold your attention? Did it provide the answers you were looking for (please note on that I had no intention of providing all of the answers)? Etc.?
Talk about the style. Was it acceptable? Was it a comfortable read (the intention being it should read as easily as you speak)? Was there difficulty anywhere?
Talk about the form. Did it move too quickly or not quickly enough? Did it just suck?
Talk about whatever critique you have. Be critical as necessary. I want honesty, even brutal honesty. I want to know whether it was worth the effort or not, why or why not, and so on.
If I intend to work this into something more than a short story or novella, I want at least some comfort from my friends in knowing it’s worth the effort. I have plenty of other ideas to work on and can spend my time elsewhere if this is a dud. I can easily tighten it and clean the draft into a reasonable short story (novella if it grows), but I’m far more interested in really working this over into a novel if possible.