breaking freedom by nsbnina

breaking freedom by nsbnina # “Who were you before they broke your heart?” Irene had been driving for eighteen hours with no particular destination. She just wanted to get away. She wished she had said something – anything would have been better than nothing – to Sula before taking off like she did, but what...

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1 month ago

Hi Nina
This is a sensitive and empathic treatment of woman in possibly the worst situation, and very well told.
I felt myself identifying with her more as the story progressed, and like many other commentators,would love to know what comes next, which is always the sign of a good short story in my opinion. Well done

1 month ago

Hi Nina,

Thank you for a great read.

If you revisit this story, consider more of the MC’s thoughts with less of the character movements. Clearly this story is driven by emotion.

Did you count the repeats of “just”?
Consider reducing its use to 1, in the main place for maximum effect.

Good choice with “Me and Bobby McGee”.

Now that Irene is on stage, what next?
Perhaps reflection of backstory.

Thank you for sharing.
Keep Writing.

Cheers,
Paul

Member
1 month ago

I enjoyed this story although I felt I had joined the party half way through and i now see that there is another story I need to read as well.
Some GREAT lines in here. I think you captured the atmosphere so well. I’ve never been to the Carolinas but I could picture it perfectly.
Henry sounds like a piece of work! You created a believable ‘bad guy’ in him. It is very calculating of him to ring Irene to show false worry (and keep himself in the clear) – but also to possibly check that Irene had not told all that had happened.
I don’t know what happened to Henry – or Bubba for that matter, – so I think you are going to have to follow this story for a lot of miles in order to give us closure!!
As I said earlier, you wrote some superb lines throughout, but that first line – WOW!
Oh and you nailed that prompt too!

Member
1 month ago

You have a great ear for Southern tales. I did get a little mixed up in the timeline. In the beginning, Irene is leaving her kids behind, she doesn’t think much of herself as a mother. You set the scene of the road very well. I especially liked this line, “ Didn’t matter where it went since she had no idea where she was going. It was the going that mattered.”

Then she’s thinking back to a road trip she took when she was seventeen with Bubba, the man she met at a truck stop and ended up going to Florida with. This is a great line from that part of the story, ““Who were you before they broke you?” Bubba asked her.”

This transition here from the story about Bubba to when she tells him about Henry, is what makes the timeline confusing.
“…could feel the rush of that moment.

“It was cold and snowy rainy that night.”

So “that” refers to two different events in the two different sentences, but I got confused at first. You don’t need it in the second second sentence– or you could change “that” to “the” in the first sentence.’
This was a revealing description of Henry, “He was stain resistant and unblemished by doubt or conscience. “

This is a really great summary of Irene’s feelings, here: “She guessed most people knew where they were.”

You accomplish a great deal in this story and it was quite an absorbing read. Well done!

Member
1 month ago

Hey Nina, I read this and then went back to Mama Tried to give me just a touch more context to have this story come together better in my mind. I like all the layers to this and I love stories about the American South (even though I’m a Yankee and wouldn’t fit in if I lived there). I think that a few more details to these characters would make this stand alone a little better, like Sam being the late son and Sula the daughter left behind, the children originally mentioned as babies in her belly.. It’s so clear that the protagonist is still trying to find herself as she reflects on how she got to this day, when she felt she had to flee. I hope we get to know what happens in the conversation with her mother. Thanks for this!

Member
1 month ago

Hey Nina and howzit? I hope your husband mended well? All the very best and great to get Irene’s back story. I went back to re-read ‘Momma tried’ and got reminded of what happened to her engagement ring and what a pain her mother was. ‘Momma tried’ is probably my favorite piece of your writing so it would be hard to surpass that, plus the need to give backstory made this piece slightly slower in comparison. However, I found plenty to admire in the wonderful opening line, in the story construct, (with the recurring ‘Sam and Sula thread’), in your usual atmospheric writing, and in that brilliant, leading last line. As always, well done and best regards. Seyi

Member
1 month ago

Hi Nina, Like Maria and Astrid, I really enjoyed this story. A lot woven into it:) I am left wanting to know what happened with Bubba and how many babies did she have? Also who was the always smiling Sam- a twin to Lula or an ex. You weave such a wonderful story it makes me want more:) I hope you intend to answer these questions.
Thank you for sharing.

Member
1 month ago

Hi Nina, I am now curious to know what happens next. You have an amazing way with words, weaving complex characters in enticing plots. Love it! Astrid

Member
1 month ago

Great story, Nsbnina. Very atmospheric and moving. Thank you for a great read.