Family

Family

A Story by steve
"

Family are for life.

"


The little girl heard him coming up the stairs. She was petrified. There was nowhere to hide. The girl ran to her bedroom to escape him. She closed the door, then hid behind the untidy bed. Footsteps echoed as the man proceeded down the landing.
"Where are you, you pathetic child?" he yelled.
Please don't find me, daddy, she thought, knowing she'd been in this situation many times and it always ended badly.
The door to the room was pushed open as it hit the wall noisily. The child closed her eyes and said a little prayer.
The man stumbled to the bed, then kicked the side of it, while saying in a raised voice, "When I find you, you're in big trouble, girl."
She put her hands over her ears trying to ignore him. Suddenly a huge hand grabbed her hair and yanked her up. The girl screamed. She opened her eyes and saw him standing there with an enraged look on his face.
"There you are," the man slurred, his breath stunk of sewage. He clenched his fist.

..............................

Gemma awoke. She got out of bed, then put on her thick dressing gown. Downstairs Gemma heard her parents in the kitchen while mother prepared breakfast. Being a Saturday mum always cooked a fry up for her father, as he'd worked hard all week and enjoyed it at the weekend. Her and mum liked to eat more healthily, usually a bowl of cereal would suffice. Next week was her sixteenth birthday, she couldn't wait. Father had promised her something special. She loved him so much.

.................................

The girl wept for ages once he'd left. She sat on a chair near to a mirror. She was too scared to look at herself, in case there was more bruises, which he would blame her for after he'd sobered up. Once she'd found enough courage the girl of six peered at her reflection. Two dark bruises were observed, one on her forehead and another below her left eye. "Why, daddy, why?" she cried, thinking of her mum and wishing she was still there.
From the bedroom next to hers loud snoring was heard. For the timebeing the girl was safe.

.................................

On the landing Gemma peered at all the photos on the wall of her family. Such happy memories, she felt so lucky to have them. Her older brother had recently moved out to attend university. A few years ago he'd suffered from bad anxiety, but had now overcome it. Gemma was so proud of him. It'd been hard for them both.. If it wasn't for mum and dad, things could've been so much different.

..................................

A knock from the front door made the child jump out of fright.
Who could that be?
Daddy was still asleep in the adjoining room. As quietly as she could, the girl crept to the top of the stairs on the landing, then carefully made her way down. Once she'd reached the bottom, another loud knock was heard. Nervously the child walked to it, then got hold of the handle and opened the heavy door. Her daddy always forgot to lock it after being in the pub. In front of her was a tall man in a uniform. Beside him was one of the neighbours. The woman looked at the child clearly upset, then asked, "What happened to your face, sweetheart?"
The girl knew she couldn't say anything as she would get in trouble with her dad.

When the policeman entered the house he found a boy of eight unconscious in the living room, then called 999. After the father had been arrested, the girl stayed with the woman for the foreseeable future.

....................................

A few months later a foster family gave the children a loving home. The father went to prison for a very long time.

....................................

When Gemma entered the kitchen area she was surprised to see a big pink cake on the dinner table. She laughed, not understanding what was going on. "Mum, dad, it's not my birthday until next week?"
Her parents smiled. Her dad then said a little teary eyed. "I know you was only a young girl when you and your brother came to us ten years ago on this day, but the moment you entered our lives, all I'm trying to say is, me and mum love you very much, and we couldn't be prouder. Mum decided to make you a special cake on this anniversary, because we're so thankful."
Gamma ran to them and hugged them tightly. "And I love you too, mum and dad."

The End.
















© 2021 steve


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Featured Review

• The little girl heard him coming up the stairs.

This makes perfect sense to you, because you already have context. But look at it as a reader, who has none of your context, has no idea of your intent, can’t hear the emotion you would place into the reading, and, has only what the words suggest, based on their background. Then, take it one step further, and add that if the reader has no context as-they-read, the words are meaningless. That’s a problem because there is no second, first impression.

So, to that reader? An unknown “little girl,” who could be three or nine, who lives in an unknown country, in an unknown century, heard an unknown male who could be of any age, situation, and disposition, climbing stairs leading to an unknown place, in an unknown type of building.

The girl could be at the top, and near the steps, or in a room where she can only hear the footsteps. So…while it makes perfect sense to you, to a reader the line is meaningless.

• She was petrified.

So this unknown female is very frightened, for unknown reasons? Perhaps the male is coming to comfort a girl who just had a bad dream? That fits the two lines. Perhaps, having pushed the dog off the balcony she’s terrified because the man noticed and is coming to take her to her parents? Perhaps...

All of them are equally likely, given the words so far. She knows what’s going on. You know. The man knows. But…the one you wrote this for? Not a clue, because you’re a victim of The Great Misunderstanding: Because you learned a skill called writing in school, you, like everyone else, assumed that all those reports and essays you were assigned trained you for any style of writing, not just nonfiction. And because of that, you’ve not yet looked into the writing skills the pros take for granted.

It’s a problem you share with pretty much everyone who turns to writing fiction, so you have a lot of company, and, it’s not a matter of talent or how well you write. It’s that you face two killer problems.

First, is that as you write, because it makes sense to you, you’ll leave out what seems obvious, but which the reader requires, then fill in the missing context as you read and never notice the problem. That's why you never noticed the lack of context in the opening lines.

Second, because the only writing techniques you own are nonfiction, any fiction you write will read like a report: A narrator, whose voice can’t be heard, and whose performance can’t be seen, provides a lecture on the events of the story, focusing on plot events.

But fiction? As E. L. Doctorow put it: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” And no way in hell can the report-writing skills we're given do that, no matter what your talent or writing skill.

The answer? Pick up the tricks the pros take for granted, practice them till tjhey’re as intuitive as the ones you now use, and there you are. The library’s fiction-writing section is a great resource, but personally? I’d suggest Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer, which recently came out of copyright protection. It's the best I've found to date at imparting and clarifying the "nuts-and-bolts" issues of creating a scene that will sing to the reader. The address of an archive site where you can read or download it free is just below. Copy/paste the address into the URL window of any Internet page and hit Return to get there.

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

Give it a try. If you’re meant to write the writing will be fun, filled with, “Damn…so THAT’S how they do it. And if you're not, you’ve learned something important. So, win/win.

I know this is far from what you were hoping for. But you can't fix the problem you aren't aware is one, and since you're investing the time to write a novel, I thought you would want to know,

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/




Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

JayG

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for your review, means a lot. Not really sure what you mean though. I've posted this story.. read more
steve

3 Weeks Ago





The girl of 6 stood at the top of the stairs and heard her father sl.. read more
JayG

3 Weeks Ago

The problem you face is the classic: if the only tool you own is a hammer, everything will look like.. read more



Reviews

• The little girl heard him coming up the stairs.

This makes perfect sense to you, because you already have context. But look at it as a reader, who has none of your context, has no idea of your intent, can’t hear the emotion you would place into the reading, and, has only what the words suggest, based on their background. Then, take it one step further, and add that if the reader has no context as-they-read, the words are meaningless. That’s a problem because there is no second, first impression.

So, to that reader? An unknown “little girl,” who could be three or nine, who lives in an unknown country, in an unknown century, heard an unknown male who could be of any age, situation, and disposition, climbing stairs leading to an unknown place, in an unknown type of building.

The girl could be at the top, and near the steps, or in a room where she can only hear the footsteps. So…while it makes perfect sense to you, to a reader the line is meaningless.

• She was petrified.

So this unknown female is very frightened, for unknown reasons? Perhaps the male is coming to comfort a girl who just had a bad dream? That fits the two lines. Perhaps, having pushed the dog off the balcony she’s terrified because the man noticed and is coming to take her to her parents? Perhaps...

All of them are equally likely, given the words so far. She knows what’s going on. You know. The man knows. But…the one you wrote this for? Not a clue, because you’re a victim of The Great Misunderstanding: Because you learned a skill called writing in school, you, like everyone else, assumed that all those reports and essays you were assigned trained you for any style of writing, not just nonfiction. And because of that, you’ve not yet looked into the writing skills the pros take for granted.

It’s a problem you share with pretty much everyone who turns to writing fiction, so you have a lot of company, and, it’s not a matter of talent or how well you write. It’s that you face two killer problems.

First, is that as you write, because it makes sense to you, you’ll leave out what seems obvious, but which the reader requires, then fill in the missing context as you read and never notice the problem. That's why you never noticed the lack of context in the opening lines.

Second, because the only writing techniques you own are nonfiction, any fiction you write will read like a report: A narrator, whose voice can’t be heard, and whose performance can’t be seen, provides a lecture on the events of the story, focusing on plot events.

But fiction? As E. L. Doctorow put it: “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader. Not the fact that it’s raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.” And no way in hell can the report-writing skills we're given do that, no matter what your talent or writing skill.

The answer? Pick up the tricks the pros take for granted, practice them till tjhey’re as intuitive as the ones you now use, and there you are. The library’s fiction-writing section is a great resource, but personally? I’d suggest Dwight Swain’s, Techniques of the Selling Writer, which recently came out of copyright protection. It's the best I've found to date at imparting and clarifying the "nuts-and-bolts" issues of creating a scene that will sing to the reader. The address of an archive site where you can read or download it free is just below. Copy/paste the address into the URL window of any Internet page and hit Return to get there.

https://archive.org/details/TechniquesOfTheSellingWriterCUsersvenkatmGoogleDrive4FilmMakingBsc_ChennaiFilmSchoolPractice_Others

Give it a try. If you’re meant to write the writing will be fun, filled with, “Damn…so THAT’S how they do it. And if you're not, you’ve learned something important. So, win/win.

I know this is far from what you were hoping for. But you can't fix the problem you aren't aware is one, and since you're investing the time to write a novel, I thought you would want to know,

Jay Greenstein
https://jaygreenstein.wordpress.com/category/the-craft-of-writing/the-grumpy-old-writing-coach/




Posted 1 Month Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

JayG

3 Weeks Ago

Thank you for your review, means a lot. Not really sure what you mean though. I've posted this story.. read more
steve

3 Weeks Ago





The girl of 6 stood at the top of the stairs and heard her father sl.. read more
JayG

3 Weeks Ago

The problem you face is the classic: if the only tool you own is a hammer, everything will look like.. read more

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Added on September 15, 2021
Last Updated on September 15, 2021
Tags: Abuse, children, dad, voilence, foster parents

Author

steve
steve

Norwich



About
Hi, I hope you enjoy my short stories. I've been writing for sometime now, and thoroughly enjoy it. To be honest, I find it quite addictive. Even when I'm at work I am thinking about the next story.. more..

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