The Day I Met Hugo’s Parents by SM Prasad

Sixth grade was not turning out as I had hoped, but then Hugo joined our class...

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Seyi
1 year ago

Wow ! I had ZERO idea which way this was going. Love the premise and the delivery is pretty cool, too. I loved the line about Greta, the collie. The conversation between Mike and Hugo is very well handled, provides context though I still have questions about Aunt Olive and her predilection for dressing Hugo up in such technicolor garb. The reason for Hugo’s parent’s transformation and his means of contacting them also remain a puzzle. 200 words would probably make this perfect. Liked it enough as is, though, thanks for sharing.

Seyi
1 year ago

Wonderful. Looking forward to it. Regards

Natasha B-Jackson
1 year ago

Hi!
I liked your story – it is very unusual and intriguing and I hope you write more on this plot. I foresee many different directions this adventure could take Mike and Hugo on.
Well done!

Elaine Dodge
1 year ago

I definitely want more! Well done. very original. Absolutely loved it. One or two grammar issues. Greta the collie – hahahahahaha!

Tapan Mozumdar
1 year ago

What an ingenious story! These are the kinds that take the readers on a ride and readers suspend their disbelief altogether. A bright piece of writing. What’s happening may be in the real or an imaginary domain for Hugo, but the narrative made me go ‘wow’ at least twice.
Thanks for sharing

Jane
1 year ago

I really enjoyed your story, very clever and different. It reminded me ever so slightly of Harry Potter:) Just a bit magical and mysterious. Well done:)

Elaine Dodge
1 year ago

Hi SM,
As you asked;
The dashes.
You might want to think about reducing the number of them. You don’t need so many. Ditto excessive use of ellipses (…)
If the dash is at the end of a line, someone is being interrupted, the dash should be an em dash as opposed to an en dash. In Word on PC you find it by going to Insert/Symbol/More Symbols/Special Characters, then once you’ve selected it, Insert/Close. It’s a long dash. In Mac, I think you can only do a double en dash like this — but I could be wrong. Don’t know mac all that well.
At one point you have a dash and a full stop. If the dash is at the end of a line it should be and em dash as said before and there’s no other punctuation needed.
An en dash is really only used in a multi-word combination. Like that one. Or as in stay-at-home-dad.
The ellipses.
When you use ellipses, be consistent. Mostly you go…like this…and then write more in your sentence. You have one place where you go …like this…and then that’s not consistent. Ditto when you use en dashes. Often you have a en dash when a comma or even a full stop would have been a better choice. Try not to have … – or — in the same sentence. It makes the page look like it’s suffering from a contagious disease, same applies to an overuse of exclamation points. Also, too many -, –, … in a story slows it down and makes everyone just sound like they forgot their lines. Use judiciously would be my advice. Rather under use than over use, that way they have more punch when you do use them.
Hope that helps.
Elaine
Card-carrying Grammar Protection Officer 😀

HoneyMustard
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Dodge

This is really useful to know. And delivered with such humour!

Kim
Kim
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine Dodge

?? you and Paul would make a fine couple??

Athina Antoniou
1 year ago

Hi there, this was a fun story that I really enjoyed reading. The way it went was totally unexpected which made it all the more interesting. Good use of the prompt. Thank you for sharing.

Amrita Sarkar
1 year ago

Hi Sudha,
This was a such a delightful story! A departure from your usual style and you rock at it. ? I was hooked right from the start. I love children’s books and stories related to witches, wizardry, and all that stuff (before you ask, yes! I am a Harry Potter fan). Hugo came across as such an intriguing character. He was like this weird friend people have, the kind who hides a secret superpower. Hugo’s house, and his aunt reminded me of Sabrina. It seems to be a fun ride. I agree with what Mike says in the end. Sixth grade seems like it will be fun. Btw, I want to know more about this part – “Sixth grade was supposed to be a big deal. A different bus, a new building and changing classes for every subject. But it wasn’t working out.” Kids have to change classes in sixth grade? I have no idea how school syllabi and things work over there. But it seems like marked departure from how we attended classes here in sixth grade. Would be glad if you can enlighten me a little. ?
This seems to be a part of a bigger story. I am hoping for more episodes with Mike and Hugo. Great writing! Thanks for sharing!

Chantel
1 year ago

I love the premise of this story, and Mike and Hugo are simply adorable. I think it would be incredibly interesting to see this story from Hugo’s perspective, though stumbling into this world with Mike works well. I also wish there were more questions answered, or at least the same amount of questions answered as there were raised. I hope to read more of this story in the future. Well done, and thank you for sharing.

HoneyMustard
1 year ago

A real original this one! I can see a Steven Spielberg type movie coming out of this, pink quill and all. Oh, I can just imagine the dilemma this 6th grader will find himself in if his friend disappears too and he has to disclose what he knows and then he falls into oblivion. (I think you should call the book Oblivion). I’m so curious to know now – why did the parents disappear?

Martin
1 year ago

Hi SM

This is an excellent story and take on the prompt. I really had no idea where it was going, and the introduction of Hugo with his weird and wacky outfits did not help me at first. I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure you to consult in the story and the way you fit the prompts in the end.I particularly enjoyed the way you told the story almost completely by dialogue, which may find it particularly easy, as well as compelling.

Great job.

Martin

Martin
1 year ago
Reply to  SM Prasad

Sorry. It must be a typo and I can’t remember now what point I was trying to make!

Peggy
1 year ago

Hi SM,
I loved your fun, wacky story. I can see this being made into a full series of kids books, with illustrations and all. I didn’t realize at first that your MC was a boy, until he got home and his mom called him Mike. I can just imagine the many adventures Mike and Hugo might have together! A fun, enjoyable read. Thanks for that.

Becky
1 year ago

I enjoyed your story. Liked this line, right at the beginning: “… But it wasn’t working out.” Be careful of your use of the dash, most places didn’t need one. Clever use of the bell (at the beginning and again at the end)!

Srivalli Rekha
1 year ago

Oh, man! This was such a cool story. I was wondering where it would go. I loved the twist you gave to the story. Can we a sequel, please? 😀

Kim
Kim
1 year ago

Hi S-? (please tell me your name – I dislike addressing someone who has been on the group for years , still by their initials only…after all this time, it feels ridiculous)

An intriguing beginning – of course you hooked us right at the start and I am now compelled to keep reading every month to see what this story is all about.
still too vague for me to really understand what is going on so I await with curiosity to see this unfold

a small note : you mentioned his older sisters talking all at once – and I couldn’t figure out where/when they came into the story – possibly a remnant of your heavy editing, but in this version, I would delete the reference to them entirely.

I love your pic of the creepy house and the weird aunty who could be a witch and of course, Greta just has to become a regular feature in the story – I would also glare at over-done broccoli!

Thanks for sharing xx
Kim

Kim
Kim
1 year ago
Reply to  SM Prasad

its my pleasure Sudha ?

Debbie Gravett
1 year ago

Loved the direction this took. Greta the collie and broccoli is priceless. I totally agree with her reaction…hahaha.

Give me more, give me more! Please! You created great intrigue and characters which I must know more about.

Look forward to reading more.

Well done.

Delrae Goodburn Lurie
11 months ago

What a fun suprising change of direction in your writing Sudha. This younger, whimsical genre really suits your writing style. Hugo is such a great name for a character and the brocoli description was great. Wonderful tone. I look forward to learning what mysteries these boys will unearth together in the next few installments. Hope the pooch accompanies them on these adventures.

Olga
11 months ago

Sudha, a lovely name, I would suggest that after you wrote an outline for the prompt, finding you are hugely over the word limit, 900 are a lot of words, that instead of cutting out sections, you re-write the story. As already mentioned there now are unexplained gaps in the story. Leaving it a bit incoherent. The premise for this is lovely and a re-write would do it much justice. Thanks for sharing. ?