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
- Kirstin “creepy but intriguing story”
- Hugh Roberts “Evil children, do they exist?”
- 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.
- Cindy Georgakas “It think it would be a great story for therapists and kids that have been abused.”
- Cathy Cade “When she tells of Mummy calling her on her toy phone, the disturbed child becomes more disturbing.”
- Terri Webster Schrandt “Hugh writes some twisted tales.”
- TanGental “I think we need to assume some supernatural element as well as an unreliable narrator.”
- Norah “That little girl seems very evil, while covering her maliciousness with seeming innocence.”
- 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.”
- ellenbest24 Sadly, Ellen’s comment got lost in one of Hugh’s puddles and I never found it.
- JT Twissel “Combining horror with humor is really your “bag,” Hugh.”
- 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.
- janiejunebug ” I thought that pushing Daddy might have meant playing Snakes & Ladders and Daddy landed on a square that sent his game token plummeting.”
- Gloria “I think the new mummy needs to watch her back!”
- 1alonestatus “100”
- 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
- Was the girl evil or abused?
- Was she lying and unreliable as a narrator or insightful?
- Did the mother really die or did she abandon her daughter?
- Was there something supernatural going on with the toys or the little girl?
- Did the father die or did is game piece topple over?
- What was wrong with this family?
- 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.