Before the Fall by SM Prasad

  • : Thriller/family drama


  1. Jan

    Hi Sudha,

    I’m late this week – apologies for that – and as Hanri say, you’re very hard on the poor girl. Jen’s really not had it easy so far, I’m not surprise that she’s unravelling and the wheels want to come off. There is something in her, a perseverance, a resilience, that I admire, that shows itself whenever she bounces back.
    I’m glad that she didn’t get fired and that her boss insisted on her taking some time off – maybe that is not a good thing, because she’ll have to come to terms with her own demons, but she can do it, I know 😉
    We’ve not heard from old Gary for a while and here he makes a comeback, in full splendour – leave it to the adults – Jen might reply, Despite everything I didn’t turn out too bad? maybe I should stay here, there’s not enough room on the stage for all of us and your ego. ;-
    Well done Sudha!

    1. SM Post author

      Hey Jan,
      No apologies, we all have so much going on in our lives at this point. Coming to terms with your demons, is a difficult task–I have a friend who often quotes her family member, “If you don’t take care of your business, your business will take care of you.”…so she’s gotta stand on that precipice and make a decision. Thanks so much for your feedback.

  2. Ben Hunt

    Hi Sudha, sorry I’m so late. I really enjoyed the old guy at bingo, it made me smile. Poor Jen, she’s in a really tough place right now. I’m keeping my fingers we’re going to see her getting herself together and bouncing back soon.

    1. SM Post author

      Sometimes you can’t get yourself together until you’ve been through the worst. She’s still got some challenges to face, unfortunately.

  3. Honey Mustard

    You’ve really been hard on your MC, Sudha. A phantom for a boyfriend and dud for a mother. Best-friend envy and failing at her job. When are things going to start looking up for her? I’m feeling rather sorry for her. Are you planning for her to unearth the YBs still? Or does that come in on the other story line?

    1. SM Post author

      hi Hanri,
      I’m committed to the Dark Night of The Soul…it’s pretty tough though.
      Thanks for that. Yes, I have plans for the YB’s.

  4. Marilyn Weisman

    Will the mysterious Mr. Al return?
    When he does will Jen still want anything to do with him?
    So glad she didn’t get fired.
    Heading down the trail toward the end…..You’ve kept it intriguing right on along!
    Can’t wait to see what’s happening next week!

    1. SM Post author

      HI Marilyn,
      Thanks so much for your feedback. Waiting to figure out Mr. Al myself!
      I really appreciate it.

  5. Martin

    Hi Sudha

    There are plenty of questions posed which all seem to need answers, yet you have time, with the senes you have left. I’m in a similar position, having painted myself into a corner of unanswered issues. The scene unfolds well and I like the direct dialogue you use to push it along.

    I’m pleased that Jen is finding the help she needs, a salient lesson in today’s troubled times.


    1. SM Post author

      Hey Martin,
      Thanks so much for dropping in to read the scene. That can be very helpful in its way and I really appreciate the effort and that you were able to glean so much story from it. I will definitely repay the favor because I think its a great idea.
      Thanks again!

  6. Peggy (PJ) Rockey

    I’m glad Jen was given a break and not fired as could have happened; she already feels like she’s at rock bottom and doesn’t need much more to break her completely. Having Gary and her mom at this church function will not be a good thing for her, either, I’m so worried for her ability to bounce back. Where is Al during all this? With only five scenes left, there still seems a lot to unfold, but I have faith in your amazing writing skills and look forward to finding out what happens next.

    1. SM Post author

      Hi Peggy,
      Yes, there is a lot to finish up with only 5 scenes left–and I really hope I can get it all in. Thanks so much for this feedback. Have a lot of traveling in front of me–hope to finish up all my reading on the train.
      Thanks so much

  7. Nina

    Poor Jen, lots going on from every direction and none of it good. Would have liked more on what’s going on with Bernadine and what role Al plays. Have we actually ever seen him? Did Nancy really not know Gary and Jen’s mom would be there? The old guy winning bingo was a great comic relief.
    I wonder if instead of later that week, you might have Jen doing nothing, or laying low or whatever which would make it easier to see her going out with Nancy?
    Coasting toward the end here. Good job keeping the mystery so alive.

    1. SM Post author

      Hi Nina,
      Thanks for the comments. Bernadine is keeping her distance since last time she was at Jen’s apartment, Jen snapped at her. Al’s role is a little mysterious. We have seen him in the first couple of scenes–we’ve heard him on the phone with her a few times but lately it has been very little. I don’t think Nancy knew that Gary and Marge would be there–she knows that Jen can’t stand them .I like your suggestion of showing Jen with absolutely nothing to do so that as the reader you root for her to just go out.
      thanks for your feedback

  8. Julie

    Oh poor Jen, she’s unravelling fast but her boss has helped her. As long as she doesn’t start day-time drinking to pass the time. I love Mr Tipps. The bingo scene made me laugh. Then the dreadful Gary turned up. So glad Jen decided to sit it out, but what is going to happen next? Al is becoming a figment of her imagination almost…I am really looking forward to him returning and loving her up. 🙂

    1. SM Post author

      Hi Julie,
      Yes, Jen’s life is pretty miserable at the moment. I’m glad you liked the Bingo scene, No doubt you’ve endured it yourself if you could relate. Thanks for the support!

  9. SM Post author

    Yes, trying my best to end by Scene 52…I put in the requested scene breaks, I didn’t realize that the upload would erase the spaces.
    Thanks for the feedback. Do you still celebrate Thanksgiving if you ‘re not living in the US?
    Just curious.

  10. Deryn

    Hi Sudha Sounds like Jen needs the well deserved break and I hope she spends it wisely. I also think you need to make the transitions a little more clear, but that’s just a stylistic thing and doesn’t affect the great story and unravelling. Almost time to start putting Jen and all the pieces back together again!! Well done.

    1. SM Post author

      sorry about that. The spaces between got erased when I uploaded. I put some scene breaks in. Yes, still figuring out how the pieces go together…Thanks for your feedback!!

  11. Kathy Sanford

    What an unfortunate surprise for Jen. I did think of her parents, though, when she had the internal “reflective peacenik shit” thought. It reminded me of them and how they must have influenced her thought patterns despite her best attempts at resistance. Al couldn’t be any more mysterious. I hope his return is a good thing!

    1. SM Post author

      Hi Kathy,
      Yes, I did think of that briefly with the peacenik line. I wondered whether she reacts in a more negative way when her defenses are down. I hope his return is a good thing too.
      Thanks for your feedback!!

  12. Becky

    Gary is scary, and he’s making the whole church be cast in an unfortunate light. The Bingo event is realistic and draining.
    THis was a great line: “Feeling very much like I was being called to the principal’s office, I dragged my tail down the hall.
    “For the rewrite I suggest adding some transitions or section breaks, such as before she puts her pajamas on, and after her nap with Mr Tipps.
    Well done! Are you close to The End? I’m worried more heartbreak may be in Jen’s future…