This is a tale that is all too familiar to South African readers having lived through a war era on our borders and beyond. It is obviously autobiographical as the mind under duress is so detailed and real. It has fantastic suspense if a bit disjointed - perhaps that is the fear and loneliness coming through.
Read the story now
I do feel that the writing needs a hard edit and I generally find reading in the first person is hard going. It is one-dimensional and it takes the death knell suspense out of it, after all you are still alive to write the story.
It is a powerful story, gives one plenty to think about and of course the reader is rooting for your protagonist all the way. This is a good job and any editor worth his salt would be able to polish it up.
I do wish you well with the competition.