I had some trouble thinking up who or what would be my literary criticism for "B". Then I remembered. Didn't Jeff Hargett of Strands of Pattern have a short story called "Barnabas" published in Spells: Ten Tales of Magic?
He most certainly did.
It took only three paragraphs to sympathize with the protagonist, Barnabas. He's been looking for his magic for years to no avail. That he knows of. Can you find the gun on the mantle?
The reread value is high. Everything is clearer once you've gotten to the ending on an initial read. It doesn't lose much even after knowing.
I'm not from the South, but from what I could tell the dialect is perfect. It's a little tough to understand at first because of that, yet it's definitely not a "deal-breaker".
(Actually taken from an email I sent to Jeff): Quite near the middle of the story I was surprised to find Barnabas' thoughts italicized for the first and last time in the story. On at least one other occasion the character spoke his thoughts aloud at a whisper. While the italicized thought did not derail me fully from the story, it broke my focus for a moment. (My biggest criticism)
Overall, it's a great story and break-in for the soon-to-be-famous Mr. Hargett. If you like literary fantasy, you'll like this.