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Story Chat Summary: “Puddles” by Hugh Roberts

With 232 recent views, 55 likes, and 119 comments, Hugh Roberts has launched Story Chat Year Two into a fantastic start. One of the things that makes Story Chat so fun is the interplay between the author and the readers. Speculation, teasing, questioning, suggestions. This is what you can’t do when you read a book.

I’m trying a sleeker design for the summary post. If you want more details, be sure to read Hugh’s post and the fabulous dialogue that took place at Story Chat this month.

Record Attendance This Month

  1. Kirstin “creepy but intriguing story”
  2. Hugh Roberts “Evil children, do they exist?”
  3. Gary A Wilson “There’s room in this story for this whole group to have a story that starts with innocence that was beat or training out of them by the evil attributes of others.
  4. Cindy Georgakas “It think it would be a great story for therapists and kids that have been abused.”
  5. Cathy Cade “When she tells of Mummy calling her on her toy phone, the disturbed child becomes more disturbing.”
  6. Terri Webster Schrandt “Hugh writes some twisted tales.”
  7. TanGental “I think we need to assume some supernatural element as well as an unreliable narrator.”
  8. Norah “That little girl seems very evil, while covering her maliciousness with seeming innocence.”
  9. KL Caley “I was wondering if there was something malevolent about the toys or some form of split personality in which the toys were displaying one side of her and her story another.”
  10. ellenbest24 Sadly, Ellen’s comment got lost in one of Hugh’s puddles and I never found it.
  11. JT Twissel “Combining horror with humor is really your “bag,” Hugh.”
  12. Debbie ” I felt a real Twilight Zone vibe and wonder about that ‘magic’ puddle. I also appreciate that the mother may have had issues and the daughter is very insightful in her thoughts.
  13. janiejunebug ” I thought that pushing Daddy might have meant playing Snakes & Ladders and Daddy landed on a square that sent his game token plummeting.”
  14. Gloria “I think the new mummy needs to watch her back!”
  15. 1alonestatus “100”
  16. Marsha, that’s me, your lucky Story Chat hostess

99-Word Summary – No More No Less

When her mother disappeared, the story’s young protagonist aroused our sympathy. She built on that sympathy as she told us that her father had abused her in some way, and cheated on her mother. She did not like her new mummy.

The story’s tide of sympathy turned early on. She and her talking toys, a bear, giraffe, and phone alarmed us as they planned her father’s demise together in the same mysterious “puddle” that probably killed her mother. The police seemed unconcerned about either of the two murders as the little girl considered the possibility of a third one.

The Great Debates

  1. Was the girl evil or abused?
  2. Was she lying and unreliable as a narrator or insightful?
  3. Did the mother really die or did she abandon her daughter?
  4. Was there something supernatural going on with the toys or the little girl?
  5. Did the father die or did is game piece topple over?
  6. What was wrong with this family?

The Take-Away

  • Everyone who read this story reacted viscerally, mostly in horror, but with some initial sympathy for the eight-year-old who held our rapt attention for 843 words.
  • Nobody liked the father.
  • Some of us didn’t like either mummy or new mummy so there was really no hero or heroine in this horror story.
  • The toys might have been supernatural or possessed by evil spirits motivating the girl to do evil.
  • We were all fascinated, pulled back in by Hugh’s questions and suggestions time and time again to comment.
  • We all struggled with the “puddle.”

If you missed Hugh’s thought-provoking story, “Puddles,” you will definitely want to give it a read.

Coming Up Next Month

“Broaching the Subject” by Doug Jacquier. If you want to write an original short story for Story Chat, write a comment, or use my contact page to reach me. I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Halloween

23 replies »

  1. Marsha, what a brilliant job you have done on summing up my story for October. Honestly, it’s fantastic.
    I had a great time responding to all the comments and reading all the thoughts about what really was going on in the world of an everyday family that contained a little girl who was fascinated by puddles.
    Keep well, and keep a lookout for strange-looking puddles, especially if they’re at the top of a cliff.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hahahaha Hugh it is always a pleasure to work with you and host you on my blog. I count you as a dear friend. 🙂 Have a wonderful holiday and wait till you read what Doug has for us. It comes out in about 50 minutes. I think you’ll love it. We now have Story Chat booked until June and possibly July and August, too. Can you believe it? I ‘m so thrilled. Aimer’s story is great, and I already have it ready to go in May, I think. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Cathy. I’m opting for fewer quotes and referring folks back to the original story and comments. I am hoping it’s an easier format for people to read.

      Liked by 2 people

        • I’m sure, Norah. It’s amazing to me how little it takes for me to feel that way. It’s probably a good hour just responding to comments and emails each day, and that’s just to get me started working! LOL

          Liked by 1 person

          • I tisted my knee playing pickleball and tore my meniscus. Before I could have surgery, I developed clots in my legs and lungs and all the things on my list happened. It will probably be 5 more months before I can have the original injury repaired, but it is not as painful as it was at first. (obviously!) In retrospect, it’s great that everything happened as it did. On July 23 I fell down and hit my head. It bled, but had I been taking the blood thinners I am now, it would have meant an emergency trip to the hospital. If I’d had the surgery for my knee on the day I was scheduled, I probably would have died because all the clots that we didn’t know were there until the next day would have been loosened up and who knows where they would have gone. I probably would have died on the operating table, according to the knee surgeon. As it is, right now my knee is the only swollen part of my leg, and I walk pretty normally with no assistance. So God was watching over me and had everything happen for a reason. Sorry for the long answer.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Oh my, Marsha. Thank you for giving me the long answer. I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been going through. What a challenge and what a relief all mixed into one. I admire your tenacity. 💖💖💖

            Liked by 1 person

          • Once you get into a situation like that, you don’t have much choice. LOL. BTW, I fit into my old pants for the first time today. I’ve lost about 17 pounds since it started and feel great.

            Liked by 1 person




Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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