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The first word is definitely an excellent way to pull the reader in. Shells are not explained fully until a couple of lines into the story, which helps build the intrigue considering the story is so short.
The idea of the shell explained by the mother is an interesting concept that can apply to many other things. It successfully introduces the idea that things (or people) can exist and that could simply be enough to justify their existence. The piece is definitely thought-provoking in the last few lines.
I don't think there was too much left unsaid. You explained the idea without explaining it fully, so the reader is left thinking, but not confused.
I think it's a fantastic piece. Flash fiction can be difficult to write as writing is not easy to condense, but the story is short and full of meaning.
Wonderful writing! I hope you'll write more pieces like this because it's incredibly well done with such a restrictive word limit. Keep up the good work! :)