• Yes. that’s right. I wasn’t sure if people would fully understand it. He was gaslighting her and spending all the money. She lost time one the hospital, seemingly sane and comes back to the house like it was the same day.
    Thank you for reading!!!

  • A more sober day by Trace


    Oiled with the early flow of alcohol, the guests were well on their way to enjoying the day’s celebration. After all, who didn’t appreciate a public holiday.

    I caught the men cro […]

    • This is such a sad story. If I’m correct, Elliott and his friends played a terrible trick on Andrea, causing her to end up in the hospital. The saddest part is that Andrea put the blame on herself and accepted the abuse. It reminds me of the show ‘The Twilight Zone’ or an Alfred Hitchcock movie from years ago. Thank you for sharing.

    • Yes. that’s right. I wasn’t sure if people would fully understand it. He was gaslighting her and spending all the money. She lost time one the hospital, seemingly sane and comes back to the house like it was the same day.
      Thank you for reading!!!

  • Stella,
    dang it girl. You are getting so good. Incredible description and nuance. You have described well the mind of the abuser and his victim. The loss of guilt, the blame and the self harm of the victim…the psychopathy of both. Loved the Michael addition. I thought he was probably dead when she said see you soon. The language was…[Read more]

  • Love is thicker than blood by Trace


    The park was quiet that afternoon due to rain.  After her Saturday shift at the ice-cream parlour under her black and white polka dot umbrella, Lizzy walked home. Uncle Ted […]

    • Good contrast created with the background story of the mother and the adoption story of the child. On a technical point, have a look at the grammar you use in the dialogue. I am adopted and an adoptive parent myself. This is just my opinion, but I think the format is too short to do justice to all the issues faced by the various parties in an adoption.

    • Hi I loved the story but I was confused as to whether or not you were saying that the baby was Derek’s or not. The grammer was confusing and as an adoptee and adoptive parent, I would have like more information.

    • Well for a short story you have tackled some big issues. I am hoping this is meant to be a bigger story. As so often happens, a prompt starts in one direction and ends up in another. Check grammar – ( I’m forever making mistakes and miss them even after rereading a gazillion times) and if you want to keep it simpler and redo this piece I suggest that you choose to focus on either the beginning scenes or the anticipation of getting a child. That will give you the space in your limited word count to create a satisfactory beginning, middle and end. Good luck.

  • I loved how you weaved in the magic of reading to a room full of children…the dragon coming to life. very descriptive. loved it.

  • Excellent story Stella with great dialogue and pace. You have a great setup for something longer and I would look forward to reading that story. Stockwell being her Uncle was a nice touch. I haven’t read anything of yours for quite a while and I am so impressed with the progress you have made!

  • darkness has its day in the sun. interesting.

  • the last sentence is powerful. well written

  • beautiful words full of hope. this is lovely: In the wake of one sun beam, She reached out of mourning,And clawed her way home

  • there is a fine line between heaven and hell. much is in your mind.

  • I also had a heart response to this poem. This is wonderful! I love how you went back to sleep peacefully…made me smile. Beautifully written and so thoughtful.

  • yes, we need pure and simple to do the rest. well done

  • very sober and honest words. beautifully done

  • well done. living well will likely get you hurt.

  • Deception by Trace


    I saw to the bottom of the lake

    Without silt or mud to conceal its depths

    The capacity to hold water was deceptive

    As its shores were so shallow

    Id thought there was so much more beneath […]

    • Great poem Trace. I read much deeper meanings into your words about being cautious of what one can’t see and try to get a little light in.

      Perhaps warned off of a deceptive relationship by those who could see or knew more. At first I thought moving to deeper waters is dangerous, but someone less shallow would be a good thing.

      You provide a lot of food for thought. I like that you left the apostrophe’s out of Id. It gives it the feeling of a conversation. I use minimal punctuation in my poetry normally.

      Well done and thanks for sharing.

    • Hello Trace, There are hidden depths in your poem! Mostly we think that shallow waters are ‘safe’ but, of course they are not always so, either literally or metaphorically. This is an intriguing way of looking at the dangers of wading into water, the wet stuff or something more intangible.

    • Hi Trace. I would love to swim in that pure water without silt or mud. As a metaphor it would be much greater.
      Well done and thank you for sharing.

  • lovely story. Im so tired but I really wanted to know how it ended. well written, nice descriptions.

  • ohhhh Stella! Great story. I want to know more.

  • Fathers time by Trace#Wednesday was my favorite day of the week when I was 8.  This was the day I went to my best friend’s house to play.  Beth’s mother was my mom’s best friend so we always stayed a long time.  […]

    • Great point–What parents tell kids to discourage their dreams. I was a bit confused by the year references to the Woody and to the electric windows. It seems that would be more appropriate to the 1950s. Thanks for posting.

    • I am being picky but I thought woodies were the car of the fifty not the seventies. I am not sure how the first part, the trip to pick up her friend fits in with the part about her being discourage by her father. It is kind of superfluous..

    • Hi Trace, I loved the way you weaved in beautiful imagery and the emotions underlying in your story. I am definitely happy and proud that you rose above the discouraging comments of your parents and learned to swim. Kudos on that! Keep enjoying swimming and sharing with us your beautiful stories. ~ Astrid

      • Hi Trace thank you for reminding us that we can follow our dreams at any age. It’s so true too, that the words of others can be so damaging, but that they should not shape our future. Well done.

    • Hi Trace
      I admire the message you communicate in this piece, about how a father can make or break your identity. I’m glad your MC learned better in the end. I will say, this did feel like two different stories in one.The beginning took us down one path, and then you took a left turn by shifting the focus from her relationship with her friend and the new friends they were making, to the relationship between your MC and her father. I thought you might have subverted us in making the MC’s mother the one who was jealous of the wealthy woman, especially in light of the sweeping negative assumptions she has about wealthy people. That could have been a good avenue to go down, seeing it through the eyes of her child. Though I understand this is non-fiction. The story will do better with a bit more focus, however. There was also a lot of unnecessary descriptive filler, especially during the drive to fetch Beth. I found myself skipping over that part until they got to the wealthy neighbourhood, where those descriptions began to serve a purpose a bit more. I really like how you bring your MC to life, and I find myself caring for her. Her authenticity is strong and you communicate her emotions very well. Good job, and thank you for sharing.

  • This was very funny and I had a vivid picture of the in my mind. so unexpected and I enjoyed being transported to this silly psych ward.

  • That familiar feeling of disappointment may never die. I loved that Nina had kept the hamsa.

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