Can you believe we’ve had a chance to meet twelve authors online and nearly in person already? Hugh Roberts started this project off last year with a spooky Halloween story, “People Under the Stairs.” True to form this year’s Halloween story may set your teeth on edge and keep you awake at night. There are plenty of clues. I’m still searching in and around that crazy puddle for one of them
Grab some an autumn snack like black cat or skeleton cookies, pumpkin cheesecake or Halloween cake pops. Please join me for this twisty horror surprise as Story Chat #1
Puddles – by Hugh W. Roberts
I wanted to be like my daddy and be a lifesaver until I heard Mummy say that he’d made her life a misery.
Mummy said that Daddy was horrible to her. But I never understood how he could be nasty and be a lifesaver.
Aren’t lifesavers meant to be nice?
Daddy has always been kind to my friends, but not to me. But he never saved Mummy’s life. Do you know that she left home one night when I was fast asleep? I woke up, and she was gone. The nice police lady asked me some questions while others helped Daddy look for Mummy, but they never found her.
Now I have a new mummy.
I don’t like her very much, though.
She’s the one that brings parcels to us and who I saw in Mummy and Daddy’s bedroom with Daddy before Mummy left. Daddy told me not to tell anyone, not even you! Please don’t tell him I’ve told you; otherwise, he may do nasty things to us.
My friends Teddy and Giraffe told me not to trust Daddy or my new mummy. Do you like Teddy and Giraffe? They’re my best friends and always tell me the truth.
One day, I decided I wanted to be like Daddy. Not nasty, but to save lives. I rescued Teddy and Giraffe from a big puddle at the top of the cliff. It was left by a strange storm that Daddy said Mummy had sent to come and get me. He really scared me when he said that to me. I started to cry. Teddy and Giraffe were not pleased with him. They told me to tell Daddy that I had just saved them from the puddle.
I know; I saw you save them from falling in. It’s a strange puddle that Mummy’s weird storm left, isn’t it? Why don’t we go home and play our secret game again before your new mummy gets home?
But I didn’t want to play the secret game with Daddy because I don’t like playing it. I want to play with Teddy and Giraffe, not play Daddy’s secret game.
Aren’t you a bit old for Teddy and Giraffe? Daddy asked. You’re 8-years-old tomorrow and shouldn’t be playing with soft toys anymore.
NO! I shouted back. My real mummy said Teddy and Giraffe are my best friends, and they’ll look after me. They tell me everything. I do whatever they tell me, and they said no special games today with Daddy.
Daddy was very angry when I shouted at him. He tried taking Teddy and Giraffe off me, but I bit him on the arm to make him stop.
YOUR REAL MUMMY? he shouted at me. YOU HAVEN’T SEEN YOUR REAL MUMMY FOR MONTHS, AND YOU NEVER WILL!
YES, I DID, I shouted back. I SAW MUMMY IN THE STRANGE PUDDLE YOU SAID SHE SENT TO GET ME. She’s in there. Go look, Daddy.
At first, Daddy didn’t believe me, but he eventually went over and looked in the puddle.
There’s nothing in there. You’re seeing things, you silly girl. Now, come home with me and let’s play our special game, he said angrily.
NO! SHE’S THERE! Look closer, Daddy. Mummy, show Daddy you’re there.
That’s when Teddy and Giraffe told me what to do next.
Thank you for saving our lives, they whispered. Now push your nasty daddy into the puddle. We’re here to save you.
While Daddy continued to investigate the puddle, I put Teddy and Giraffe down, went behind him and pushed him hard and waited for the splash. But there wasn’t one. The only thing I saw when I looked was Daddy’s face looking up at me from the puddle. I thought I heard him calling for help, but Teddy and Giraffe said to go home and call the nice police lady.
They told me to tell her what Daddy was doing to me.
I tried calling the nice police lady on my toy phone, but she won’t answer. The only person that speaks to me on my phone is my real mummy. I love it when my phone rings, and it’s my real mummy.
My new mummy will be home soon. I don’t like her. Did I tell you that I saw her in Mummy’s and Daddy’s bedroom?
Would you like to play the secret game Daddy and I play? I know I said I didn’t like it much, but it’s got a funny name…Snakes and Ladders. That’s a funny name for a game, isn’t it? Snakes can’t climb ladders, can they?
We’re not allowed to play it when my other mummy is home, so we’ll have to play it quickly. Did I tell you that she’s scared of snakes? I heard her say she’d die of shock if she saw a snake. That’s funny, isn’t it?
Oh, look. It’s raining again. Do you think my real mummy will send any more puddles and send Daddy back? I hope not, but maybe just one more puddle that I can push my new mummy into.
Differences Between Countries
- Snakes and Ladders is a board game that contains 100 squares. Players shake a dice and move along the squares. If a player lands on a square containing the bottom of a ladder, they move up to the top of the ladder. If they land on a square that has the head of a snake, they slide down the snake. The winner is the first one to reach square 100. It’s a fun game played by more minor children. It’s more commonly known as Chutes and Ladders in the U.S.A. Here’s a link to the British version. Wooden Toys | Crafted Wooden Toys and Gifts | WoodenToyShop.co.uk
- I struggled with wanting to put American quotation marks around everything that was said by each character, but I try to be true to grammar rules from the country of the writer. This is what Hugh said about quotation marks. “We do use quotation marks, but not around quotes. Here, we highlight quotes either in italics or by making them bold.”
Food for Discussion
So what did you think of Hugh’s twisted story? I don’t know about you, but this story kept me going back for more clues to answer my questions. For some of them I never did come up with suitable answers. For example.
- I wanted to feel love and sympathy for the little girl whose Daddy had treated her badly and who had lost her mother. What did you like or dislike about the little girl. How would you rate your sympathy level for her?
- How do you think the father drown in such a small puddle, or was it really something else? If so, what?
- Who do you think killed the mother, and why was there so little police presence?
- Might the mother still be alive?
- Why did an eight year old use a toy phone to call the police?
What’s New in Story Chat Year Two?
First of all, thank you all, both authors and commenters for making Story Chat such a success in Year One. Thank you to Cathy Cade who hosted for August and September and introduced us to Wendy and Val. I want to continue to honor your work and build the welcome Story Chat feel.
- My goal is to assemble an anthology of all the stories and Story Chats in year one. Unless you have any objections your comments will be included as stated in the summaries. Let me know if you want your comment excluded from the summary.
- The same rules go for Year Two as for Year One the story must be 500-1,000 words submitted on a Word or Google Doc.
- No erotica.
- It is best for bloggers to have websites so that Always Write can link to your site.
- The story remains your property, but must be unpublished at the time I publish it on Always Write. However, I would like your permission to republish the story, as it appears on the blog, in a simple anthology, should I decided to publish one for Year Two.
- Story Chat is always looking for new authors,. If you or someone in your writing group might be interested in participating, let me know.
- For more information check out my Story Chat page.