So this might be totally hypocritical considering the timing of this post, but the deadline for commenting on the second draft of ELIZABETH has ended (52 hours ago).
Thank you for reading and (some of you) giving helpful suggestions.
Re-reading the second draft, I have come to the conclusion that a different ending is needed. For those slowpokes or lazy people or internet spambots who have not yet bothered to read the story as posted previously, I will not spoil it, because the Lord of this Blog is a merciful Lord. However, I think it is a bit of a deus ex machina, John's actions and character not really contributing to the course of the story.
Therefore, before I finally submit ELIZABETH to the Paradox Books Short Story Contest, I will completely rewrite the ending. I have finally hit upon one I think works with the overall theme of the story, and with John's personality. I will have to change some things earlier on in the story to accommodate this change, but I don't think it will upset things too much.
I will not be posting the resulting third draft on this blog. Once I have completed it I am going to submit it to the gods of Paradox Books for their all-knowing judgements.
Meanwhile, stay tuned for further exciting announcements from this endlessly chaotic world composed of Life! The Universe! and Nothing in Particular!