Forgotten by Peggy Rockey (Final)

I’m a little wobbly on my skates following after Mommy and Charlie down the driveway and onto the sidewalk. I’ve only skated a few times since Daddy gave them to me on my fifth birthday last month. It doesn’t take long for me to get the hang of it, though, and soon I’m relaxed and...

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Charles R.
11 months ago

Good one Peggy. Your story flowed well – and it kept my interest. Couldn’t stop reading. The ending had a nice punch too – tied the title to the story neatly. I had a lot of empathy for the characters. I especially liked the child’s pronunciation of “xasperated.” This story makes me want to read a sequel to it!

SM Prasad
11 months ago

Your story was quite absorbing. I liked the ending, it caught me by surprise. I couldn’t figure out the “Melanie” part though. I read and re-read it a few times. I did like the pace of your story a lot, I read the happy parts, but I just kept waiting-so the overall narrative builds up tension slowly. You capture the fear and dread that Nancy feels very well and I feel that the perspective is quite authentic. Great story.

SM Prasad
11 months ago
Reply to  Peggy

Hi Peggy, I thought that the confusion and amnesia came from the head trauma from the skating accident itself. I’m not sure that you need to get into the melanoma and the tumor removal to achieve your end of the mother having amnesia. I ‘m guessing that you want a long memory loss from the scars of surgery instead of head trauma but I think you can make it work with just the fall. The story has a great premise and I really enjoyed it.

Adam
11 months ago

Hey Peggy, I think this piece works best from the point where the skating gets out of control and the accident. Suddenly the reader much more is emotionally invested, and you have licence to take us on your journey. I agree with your comment above that you need to tighten the skating (and preparation for it – feels very much like you are writing your way into the story to begin). The other observation is around the narrator. It feels like there is a slight blur between the narrator voice and the actions and words of the child. If you want to bring the full impact of Nancy’s innocence, would it make the piece stronger to make her the narrator ie first person, present tense? That would make it tricky to get the tone and point of view right. Too young and we struggle with the sophistication of language, too old and you lose some of that springy innocence. But might be worth considering. Otherwise, I think you need to watch out for the narrator slipping into a child-like voice. Re the ending – I don’t reckon you need Melanie – the softball in her head worked.
I wonder if you are better to paint two scenes – one immediately after the accident and pending surgery, then a later scene where Nancy comes to see her mother, her mind full of contradictions (they seem a little fast to be in a child’s mind straight after a traumatic incident) and let the action play out more gradually. Some food for thought – as usual, ignore any and all of it, if it doesn’t help you get the story out that you want to write. Look forward to reading your finished work.

Adam
10 months ago
Reply to  Peggy

Awesome – look forward to reading the final work.

Hyle Bathurst
11 months ago

Hey Peggy!
Oh my goodness, my poor heart! You tugged my heartstrings hard with this story!
I will say that I felt like the beginning was slow moving. Getting Nancy ready to walk with Charlie and ‘Mommy’ could be shortened to focus on the accident and the cancer. Which, if I hadn’t read SM’s comment up above, I would have assumed the woman had amnesia rather than cancer. When Nancy said Melanie, I thought she was referring to her mother’s real name; which when children are really young, don’t realize their parents have actual names. lol
This was very good and like I said, crushed me emotionally. That poor little girl!
Thanks for sharing!
Hyle

Seyi
11 months ago

Hello Peggy and I really enjoyed the fluid way you built the story. I always enjoy alliteration and “flip flops flapping” made me smile. I also liked the idea of Charlie howling in tune with the ambulance. Little to add considering the input you’ve already received except that I also did not “get” the melanoma allusion. I agree the softball reference is plenty strong enough to carry your message and explains the amnesia as post-op side effect. Great writing and well built story. Regards Seyi

Assunta Cicalese
11 months ago

Great story, Peggy! It was very effective to hear it from Nancy’s perspective and to see how scary and heartbreaking it was for a child to experience!

Delrae Goodburn Lurie
10 months ago

I enjoyed this gem. The restricted word count helps keep us on track, but also removes nice bits that would add so much depth to the characters. I loved the start of the original story, it gave me more insight into the narrator. The discovery of the tumor was an interesting twist and the ending was devasting and well-done. I’m all for realistic – untidy – endings. Goodluck!

Paul J P Slater
10 months ago

Hi Peggy,

I take it, the skating accident was unintentional resulting in mum going to the hospital which leads to the surgery to remove a tumour resulting in a memory loss with the mother not recognising her daughter.

You paint an emerging picture as the story unfolds suggesting there are consequences for every action; some good and some not so good.
Ultimately what is better a mum who may not have long to go or a mum who does not remember you?

I thoroughly enjoyed your story.

Good luck,
Paul

Georgiana Nelsen
10 months ago

Peggy,
How sad! I wasn’t confused at all…so you apparently fixed whatever glitches you had. I especially liked the scene in the chapel. Great story…good luck!
Georgiana

Assunta Cicalese
10 months ago

I love how you told your story in snapshots through a five-year-old’s eyes. You did a beautiful job showing us her point of view and the heartbreak she and her Daddy experience when Mommy is in the hospital. Great job!

Martin
10 months ago

Hi Peggy

This is such an interesting way to write. I really appreciated the way you did it especially capturing the young emotions that sought to explain what took place – as so often happens – taking the blame for the damage caused. An excellent shift in point of view using perspective is such a powerful way.

The lives we all lead are so different.

Martin