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Thread: Happy Endings

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    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Happy Endings


    Note: I had posted this story in the 2015 Annual Short Story Competition and it tied up in the finals. Since there hasnt been any update on this for a long time now, I thought it's safe to share it publically now. Hopefully, I'm not breaking any rules here.

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Happy Endings



    “And then they lived happily ever after.’ I stressed upon each word, waiting for that spark of wonder in Shana’s big blue eyes.

    Those eyes.

    For a moment, Shana did not say anything. Then it appeared, her smile growing wider with each passing moment and reaching her eyes. She raised her hands in the air and did a little pirouette on the spot all the while shouting, ‘That is so wonderful Papa! Wonderful! Wonderful!’

    That smile.

    Ever since Shana could understand my stories, she had been my first critic. She was silent for only a moment but in that time I had grown very anxious. Did she like the story? Did she enjoy it? But then with each little spin and leap of her, my heart opened up to embrace the warmth spreading around it, petal by petal, like a mexican daisy opening up to sunlight.

    Her face lit up with an unadulterated joy that was so infectious. I had begun grinning. And so had Shana’s mother Zoy who she was hugging right now. ‘Wasn’t it wonderful, Ma?’

    Wonderful. She did not know many other words.

    ‘Yes it was sweetie, yes it was’. Zoy said, running her fingers through Shana’s hair. Then she looked at me in a slightly incredulous way, more playful than mean, and mouthed, ‘Dragon marrying an elve, really?’

    I shrugged and mouthed back, ‘That’s what the kids like. Happy Endings.’ She shook her head ever so slightly, the smile though never leaving her face. Shana had settled herself on her mother’s arm and dug her head into the bosom by now, seemingly getting ready to sleep again.

    I was suddenly overwhelmed with a strong gush of love that I felt for the two ladies in white. Gosh, I was so lucky.

    So much white.

    Zoy kissed Shana’s head and said, ‘Come on sweetie. No more sleep. It’s time for school. Come on.’

    ‘But it’s so comfy here.’

    Shana...' It was gentlest of admonition but Shana straightened up immediately. She got down and went to pick up her bag. Shana could not stay quiet for long and always had to say something. As she passed by me to fetch her bag, she said, ‘Papa, it really was very comfy there. Maybe you should try it sometime.’ Zoy and me burst into laughter together. Shana looked nonplussed for a second but then chimed in with her artless laugh.

    As they were getting ready, I resumed working on my latest novel for children, ‘The Magical Storm.’ Now that I had Shana’s approval, the final chapter should be a breeze. I suppressed a giggle.

    After about 15 minutes, I showed them to the door. ‘Goodbye Papa.’ I bent down to kiss Shana on the cheeks. ‘Goodbye sweetie. Now don’t trouble your mother too much and I might dedicate my next book to you.’

    Zoy had always been modest in front of Shana. But what followed today was the best goodbye kiss I ever had.

    I was still grinning like an idiot as the two got into the white car.

    Just before entering, I heard Shana ask, ‘Maa, what’s decitate?’ The grin turned into an outright guffaw and I stood at the door chuckling until I finally saw the car disappear around the corner.

    The door closed, not to a thud but a cacophonous crash. I felt the latest bout of laughter stop midway and all of a sudden I was choking, as if someone had punched me in the throat. My coughs mixed with the reverberations of the crash that were growing louder by the second. I could feel the sound waves bouncing off the walls and mixing into each other. I felt the stampede of sound running over me. I slumped to the ground, dragged myself into a corner, closed my eyes and pressed my palms deep into my ears. ‘Oh god, please make this stop. Pleaaase.’

    In response, God laughed. No, it wasn’t God. It was this big white empty house cackling and laughing at me.

    I lay in that position for what may have been a minute or an hour. I was not only trying to keep the sound away but also trying to avoid sleep. It was only morning, wasn’t it? Hadn’t Shana just left for school? But I felt sofatigued. I slowly opened my eyes as the noises finally ebbed away. Along with the sound, the lights had gone dim as well.

    I could see the computer shining in the darkness. I needed to start writing. The novel won’t finish itself. Suddenly a delightful image came into my mind. A fat book opened in the middle, hovering in the air, with a hole in either of the pages and a geeky spec going over the two ‘eyes’. The right page held a pen in its hand. The book was writing a book. HeeHee. The kids would love this.

    ‘Isn’t that a lovely image, Shana?’ I thought to myself. But I may have said that out loud, because Shana had appeared besides me and was doing an amazing little pirouette in her shiny white dress and was saying, ‘That is so wonderful Papa! Wonderful! Wonderful!’

    Wonderful.

    ‘Aww sweetie. Come on, give Papa a hug’. But Shana didn’t respond and walked away. Walked through the door. ‘Shana…’ But she was gone. I wanted to go after her but couldn’t really get up, only managing to half stand. My lower half was dragging me down. I looked down and saw a faceless labourer squatting on his legs near mine, wearing a torn vest around his chest and a white torn turban around his head, holding a brick in each of his hands.

    ‘What are you doing?’ I asked him in half amusement, half terror. A lipless hole on his featureless face moved, ‘Why, filling in your legs with bricks of course, sir.’

    ‘Of course… Of course. Carry on.’ I could hear my voice trailing off. The room seemed even darker now. The only source of light was the computer. I could hear it beckoning me in that silky voice of a seductress. I had to finish the novel.

    Just two more pages.

    My eyelids very getting heavy. They were made of lead. Each time they closed, instead of seeing that absolute nothing, I could see a faint light, more vivid than anything besides me. But then I would quickly open them again. I did not want to sleep. I knew the consequences. Nightmares as vivid as reality. Terrible horrible nightmares.

    I beat my head against the wall. ‘I would not sleep.’

    Bright light.

    ‘I wouldn’t sleep.’

    White light.

    ‘Wouldn’t sleep.’

    Blurry light.

    ‘Sleep…’

    Vivid bright light.

    I was lying on a bed. It took me some time to realize that I was in my room. I had a terrible headache but that would soon be the least of my worries.

    Even through the half open eyes, I could see the room brightly lit by the beaming rays of sunlight that marched in through the windows and bounced off the plethora of beer bottles on the ground. I had slept for majority of two days. I looked at the clutter of capsules on the side table. Eight triazolams hadn’t killed me. Maybe ten would.

    Why not take all of them?

    Even through the pain (ugh, this pain - someone was drilling iron rods into my brain. Who? That worker in the torn vest?)

    Even through the pain, that thought had a strange allure to it but was marked by a bad aftertaste. Like a medicine (Triazolam?) left in the mouth for too long. Or a smooth wave crashing up on a rock.

    Crashing.

    I jumped in my bed, sitting upright now. Spilling the tablets off the side table in the process.

    It wasn’t the wave crashing on a rock. It was a white car. And then it wasn’t a rock. But a big monstrous truck that banged into the car headfirst, dragging it across the road, sending off mad sparks and dust flying off around it.

    I had just closed the door and then opened it again on hearing the crash. Even as I ran towards the remains of the car, I knew. Shana and Zoy were gone. Just like that. Poof. Gone.

    A couple of workers from a nearby construction site were drawing their bodies out by the time I reached the crash site. Even though I knew, I hadn’t expected to see what I did. They weren’t only dead, they were mutilated. Features wiped off their faces.

    Those blue eyes were all red now. The fair faces, all purple and bloody.


    The headache was overwhelmed by an absolute emptiness. Someone had thrown off all my entrails off a cliff but not without stepping and stomping on it before. I had begun to shiver and sweat. I wanted to bury my head under the pillow, close my eyes, shun off the silence. The air around reminded me of their laughs.

    But their was an easier way out. I dragged myself off the bed and let myself fall on the floor. The capsules were littered all over the floor. Five of them hadn’t killed me. Neither had six. Nor eight now.

    Why not take all of them?

    I took a sachet and started tearing out the capsules.

    One.
    Yes, why not? I could have taken the whole sachet in the first try.

    Two. Three. Four. Five.
    But I wasn’t thinking of killing myself then. Not at first. I just wanted to sleep… for a really long time. I wanted to avoid the world, to avoid the look of pity in their eyes.

    Six. Seven.
    Then I had seen Shana and Zoy while I slept. I was living with them again. My realities had switched. I could not imagine them when I was awake, no matter how hard I tried. But they always waited for me in the dreams. The dreams had become my truth and my life a nightmare.

    Eight. Nine. Ten.
    Then the dreams turned rogue and life only got worse. I wasn’t living in either of the worlds, only suffering in both. That is when I wanted to kill myself.

    Why not take all of them?

    Another Satchet. Rip. Eleven. Twelve. Thirteen. Fourteen.
    There was that allure of being with them again, for however short a time before the dreams turned into nightmares. But was that it? If only I could just take all of them, I would be with them forever.

    Fifteen.
    I could end this right now. All the pain would be gone. Forever.

    Sixteen. Seventeen.
    I was lying to myself. There was something fundamentally wrong with this.

    Eighteen. Nineteen.


    Twenty.
    And then, even in that state of disharmony, with my mind and body oscillating between dazzling pain and nothingness, I had my answer. I heard my voice call out in the distance, ‘That’s what the kids like. Happy Endings.’

    I felt a level of clarity that I had not felt ever since their death. I knew what I had to do. I looked at the computer. I had never managed to finish my novel. Just two pages left and I never managed to finish it. Shana loved my stories. She loved this ending. An ending that I never actually managed to write. My thoughts had become too muddled all this while, too blurry.

    But right now, I knew each and every word that would go on those two pages. I dragged myself to the chair and opened the file. My fingers fumbled. My vision a little foggy. But after half an hour of turmoil, I completed it.

    I had closed my eyes several times after their death, hoping that I’d see the two when I opened them. But was never successful. That is why I started with the pills.

    But something deep down told me this time it would be different. I closed my eyes. After a while, I could hear a few joyous squeals. When I opened them, sure enough, I could see Shana doing that little dance of her, her radiant smile reaching her blue eyes. ‘‘That is so wonderful Papa! Wonderful! Wonderful! Would you tell me some more stories now?’

    ‘Of course sweetie, of course. But first, I need to change a tiny little something.’

    I went back to the beginning of the novel and added the dedication.

    Decitated: to my wonderful daughter Shana and my wonderful wife Zoy
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

  2. #2
    Maybe YesNo's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the story. The happy ending theme in the midst of an unhappy ending was nice.

    Although I suspect it is possible, I wonder if a car accident off a residential street would have been so fatal. It would make more sense if this occurred at higher speed.

    Also it seemed like the family got along too well together initially, but this may have all been part of a flashback where things are exaggerated.

    Some editing details: (1) I think "mexican" should be "Mexican". (2) I think "My eyelids very getting heavy." should be "My eyelids were getting heavy."

  3. #3
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Maybe the good stories are the ones that are able to produce a reaction in the readers. This story made me feel anguish. The to happy margarine family beginning Yes/ No already pointed out, makes you feel that something bad is coming. The story is able to convey the tortured feelings of the narrator. It is a very short text but you get the feeling it is much longer because of this and also because sensations and revelations come by bits and pieces.
    "Decitated" in the last line. Is this on purpose or is it a typo?
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 05-04-2016 at 10:11 AM.
    "You can always find something better than death."
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  4. #4
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YesNo View Post
    I enjoyed the story. The happy ending theme in the midst of an unhappy ending was nice.

    Although I suspect it is possible, I wonder if a car accident off a residential street would have been so fatal. It would make more sense if this occurred at higher speed.

    Also it seemed like the family got along too well together initially, but this may have all been part of a flashback where things are exaggerated.

    Some editing details: (1) I think "mexican" should be "Mexican". (2) I think "My eyelids very getting heavy." should be "My eyelids were getting heavy."
    Thanks for reading the story. I'm glad you liked it. The idea behind saccharine filled beginning was to show a very happy family. And when we see happy memories from the past, I believe we have a tendency to glorify on how amazing things were.

    Thanks for the edit suggestions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Danik 2016 View Post
    Maybe the good stories are the ones that are able to produce a reaction in the readers. This story made me feel anguish. The to happy margarine family beginning Yes/ No already pointed out, makes you feel that something bad is coming. The story is able to convey the tortured feelings of the narrator. It is a very short text but you get the feeling it is much longer because of this and also because sensations and revelations come by bits and pieces.
    "Decitated" in the last line. Is this on purpose or is it a typo?
    Thanks for reading the story and taking the time to comment on it. Really appreciate it.

    The misspell was on purpose. It was a throwback to how the narrator's daughter misspelled the word dedicate earlier in the story.
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

  5. #5
    Registered User prendrelemick's Avatar
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    I'm going to be a bit harsh to begin with. The opening was too clichéd for my taste It's been done so many times and was too obvious, everything was so perfect and happy, and then Wham!.. To be honest I would've been more suprised if Shana and Zoy hadn't been killed that morning. That is why I didn't vote for it. OK, this is just my taste, but I think you need to be more subtle here, you need to deflect the reader away from the coming tragedy. I understand it is a backflash from a drugged narrator who is wallowing in grief, but perhaps a normal day unfolding, the dog being sick, Shana screaming, burnt toast and so on, or a sleight of hand so we think the story is going to be about something else, then Wham! Because that is what accidents are like, they are not set up.
    After that I thought it was excellent, the drugs, the mind in turmoil, the pill count and the ending, like a drowning man spluttering back up to the surface. The play of thought was complex, but the writing was good enough to cope.
    Last edited by prendrelemick; 05-06-2016 at 11:50 AM.
    ay up

  6. #6
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prendrelemick View Post
    I'm going to be a bit harsh to begin with. The opening was too clichéd for my taste It's been done so many times and was too obvious, everything was so perfect and happy, and then Wham!.. To be honest I would've been more suprised if Shana and Zoy hadn't been killed that morning. That is why I didn't vote for it. OK, this is just my taste, but I think you need to be more subtle here, you need to deflect the reader away from the coming tragedy. I understand it is a backflash from a drugged narrator who is wallowing in grief, but perhaps a normal day unfolding, the dog being sick, Shana screaming, burnt toast and so on, or a sleight of hand so we think the story is going to be about something else, then Wham! Because that is what accidents are like, they are not set up.
    After that I thought it was excellent, the drugs, the mind in turmoil, the pill count and the ending, like a drowning man spluttering back up to the surface. The play of thought was complex, but the writing was good enough to cope.
    Thank you for reading the story and the critique. Your criticism about the opening is really valid and is something that everyone on this thread has commented about. I'll definitely take care of it. I'm glad you liked the rest of it though.
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

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    Snowqueen Snowqueen's Avatar
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    Hi Nikhar. Thanks for stopping by and for the updates.

    I wasn’t expecting an unhappy ending when I started reading it, but soon guessed a tragedy as the story progressed.
    I have to agree with prendrelemick on the point that it lacked originality.
    Still it is a nice story, and you’ve beautifully portrayed the emotions of the protagonist who lost his family.

  8. #8
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Hi Snowqueen.

    The issue with opening is a recurring complaint and I'll try and see how I can improve upon it. I'm glad you liked the rest of it though.

    Thanks for reading it and for the critique.
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

  9. #9
    running amok Sancho's Avatar
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    Hey, Nikhar

    Sorry this took so long - my busy time of the year.

    I liked the idea and I thought it was an ambitious topic to cover in 2000 words or so.

    (When I read the title my initial reaction was: Woo-Hoo, a story about a sailor in port, going to a rub-n-tug.)

    Okay, now that I've got my innate inappropriateness out of the way, I'll move on.

    So tell me if I've got this right:

    - We've got a happy family
    - Mom and Pop love each other
    - Pop (as fathers do) has boundless love for his daughter
    - Pop is writing a children's book for pay but also for his daughter
    - Mom and daughter get killed
    - Pop deals with the loss poorly
    - Pop goes into a deep, clinical depression
    - Pop contemplates taking the long sleep by way of pharmaceutical adventure
    - Pop achieves redemption through the strength of his love for his family
    - The daughter, from beyond the grave, brings him back from the brink
    - Pop finishes the book with a happy ending
    - And goes back to the beginning for the "Decitation" (nice)
    - The story finishes with a bitter-sweet ending
    - Full circle

    I liked the story, Nikhar. I didn't mind the fairytale beginning. I thought it complemented the structure, although as others have noted, it perhaps could've been a little more subtle.

    Yes, well, so anyway, everything from here on out is strictly El Sancho's opinion. And you know what they say about opinions: they're like arseholes - everybody's got one and they all smell.

    For my money the weakness in that story was that the father told us everything he was thinking and feeling and doing rather than letting us figure it out for ourselves. You wanted to get at his sorrow, but you sort of shoved it on us. I know it's a cliche, but "show don't tell" is good advice. If it were me, I'd try rewriting it as a limited third person narrative from the point of view of the father. The acid trip-like despair the father goes through could be managed with Free Indirect Discourse, which can be a challenge for a writer to do well, but then writers welcome challenges, eh?

    My other question, I truly do not have an answer for. It concerns human emotion. The kind of grief the father felt; is that the sort of thing someone gets who lost a loved one through accident, or is it the type of grief, the depth of emotion, felt by someone who lost a loved one - and somehow blames himself? I don't know.

    Anyway, just my opinion, and you know they say about opinions...

    You know who we need here? - Aunt Shecky. She's good at this sort of thing. I sure hope she's feeling better.

    - Sanch'
    Last edited by Sancho; 05-29-2016 at 10:08 PM.
    Some people call me Maurice
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  10. #10
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sancho View Post
    Hey, Nikhar

    Sorry this took so long - my busy time of the year.

    I liked the idea and I thought it was an ambitious topic to cover in 2000 words or so.

    (When I read the title my initial reaction was: Woo-Hoo, a story about a sailor in port, going to a rub-n-tug.)

    Okay, now that I've got my innate inappropriateness out of the way, I'll move on.

    So tell me if I've got this right:

    - We've got a happy family
    - Mom and Pop love each other
    - Pop (as fathers do) has boundless love for his daughter
    - Pop is writing a children's book for pay but also for his daughter
    - Mom and daughter get killed
    - Pop deals with the loss poorly
    - Pop goes into a deep, clinical depression
    - Pop contemplates taking the long sleep by way of pharmaceutical adventure
    - Pop achieves redemption through the strength of his love for his family
    - The daughter, from beyond the grave, brings him back from the brink
    - Pop finishes the book with a happy ending
    - And goes back to the beginning for the "Decitation" (nice)
    - The story finishes with a bitter-sweet ending
    - Full circle

    I liked the story, Nikhar. I didn't mind the fairytale beginning. I thought it complemented the structure, although as others have noted, it perhaps could've been a little more subtle.

    Yes, well, so anyway, everything from here on out is strictly El Sancho's opinion. And you know what they say about opinions: they're like arseholes - everybody's got one and they all smell.

    For my money the weakness in that story was that the father told us everything he was thinking and feeling and doing rather than letting us figure it out for ourselves. You wanted to get at his sorrow, but you sort of shoved it on us. I know it's a cliche, but "show don't tell" is good advice. If it were me, I'd try rewriting it as a limited third person narrative from the point of view of the father. The acid trip-like despair the father goes through could be managed with Free Indirect Discourse, which can be a challenge for a writer to do well, but then writers welcome challenges, eh?

    My other question, I truly do not have an answer for. It concerns human emotion. The kind of grief the father felt; is that the sort of thing someone gets who lost a loved one through accident, or is it the type of grief, the depth of emotion, felt by someone who lost a loved one - and somehow blames himself? I don't know.

    Anyway, just my opinion, and you know they say about opinions...

    You know who we need here? - Aunt Shecky. She's good at this sort of thing. I sure hope she's feeling better.

    - Sanch'
    Thanks a ton Sancho. Really appreciate your response. Yes, you are more or less correct with the plot of the story. And I agree with your, 'show dont tell' philosophy. I consciously make an effort to improve in this regard with every story I write. Still a long way to go I believe.

    Thanks again.
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

  11. #11
    Vincit Qui Se Vincit Virgil's Avatar
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    The writing is very good, but I can't say I felt engaged with the characters. There wasn't any character development, or not enough to make me care beyond the initial emotion. Hope that helps.
    LET THERE BE LIGHT

    "Love follows knowledge." – St. Catherine of Siena

    My literature blog: http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Registered User Welcheren's Avatar
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    Hi Nikhar
    The quality of the comments so far leaves rather little space for to add anything substantial, but even so I would like to add a few quick thoughts as an outsider to the genre. For the sake of (super brief) context: I have only recently joined the forum, to please rebuke any lapses in decorum gently. Secondly, up until now I have spent my online literary activities in a forum dedicated to sci-fi. Perhaps for that reason, your plot did actually throw me for a loop. Much has been said (rightly) about the predictability of the opening, but the crash caught me off guard.

    A very quick explanation, which I hope will speak to some of the earlier critique: the first interaction between the mother, father/narrator and daughter suggested to me that a very subtle conflict was present. I formed the impression that the mother lacked the creativity of the narrator/father, mainly as a result of having been absorbed into an adult world with strong Western conceptions of what counts as success and as maturity. In my mind this suggested a break between her and the father/narrator, which also accounted for the close relationship between him and the daughter. I expected that this distance would grow from a minor crack to a fissure, and become the main driver of conflict in the story.

    So imagine my surprise when the bang went off.

    Anyway, I would not gainsay any of the earlier voices, nor would I presume to suggest how you should deal with said critique. However, as you have been advised to consider a "slight of hand" to distract readers, it occurred to me that such a distraction was already there. Perhaps you would consider flagging it a more salient manner? Of course this is all up to you, but I though I'd add my two cent's worth.

    Cheers
    W
    And as I pass through the first gate, I know that the better part of my soul will remain behind - forever.

  13. #13
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virgil View Post
    The writing is very good, but I can't say I felt engaged with the characters. There wasn't any character development, or not enough to make me care beyond the initial emotion. Hope that helps.
    Hi Virgil,
    Thanks for taking the time to read and critique on this. I'll try and put in more efforts in character development next time. I'm glad though that you liked the writing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Welcheren View Post
    Hi Nikhar
    The quality of the comments so far leaves rather little space for to add anything substantial, but even so I would like to add a few quick thoughts as an outsider to the genre. For the sake of (super brief) context: I have only recently joined the forum, to please rebuke any lapses in decorum gently. Secondly, up until now I have spent my online literary activities in a forum dedicated to sci-fi. Perhaps for that reason, your plot did actually throw me for a loop. Much has been said (rightly) about the predictability of the opening, but the crash caught me off guard.

    A very quick explanation, which I hope will speak to some of the earlier critique: the first interaction between the mother, father/narrator and daughter suggested to me that a very subtle conflict was present. I formed the impression that the mother lacked the creativity of the narrator/father, mainly as a result of having been absorbed into an adult world with strong Western conceptions of what counts as success and as maturity. In my mind this suggested a break between her and the father/narrator, which also accounted for the close relationship between him and the daughter. I expected that this distance would grow from a minor crack to a fissure, and become the main driver of conflict in the story.

    So imagine my surprise when the bang went off.

    Anyway, I would not gainsay any of the earlier voices, nor would I presume to suggest how you should deal with said critique. However, as you have been advised to consider a "slight of hand" to distract readers, it occurred to me that such a distraction was already there. Perhaps you would consider flagging it a more salient manner? Of course this is all up to you, but I though I'd add my two cent's worth.

    Cheers
    W

    HI Welcheren,
    Welcome to litnet. Thanks a lot for reading the story and commenting on it. Each and every critique helps a lot. And yours is as valuable as the others.

    I hadnt exactly planned on the conflict that you saw there. But I'm glad that you were caught off guard. Did you like the story overall?

    Also, since you're into sci-fi, here's one sci-fi story that I had written in case you are interested:
    http://www.online-literature.com/for...ana&highlight=
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

  14. #14
    Registered User Welcheren's Avatar
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    Thanks for the sci-fi link. Will give it a read asap.

    Overall, I really did like the story. Again, perhaps my lack of familiarity with the genre should be factored in, but I thought the twist was well executed.
    I guess the happy family+loss+depression+redemption plot line has been deployed in this format very often, but I still enjoyed it... probably because it is fairly timeless. Like I said, I expected something very different from the start and, for that reason, the plot line worked for me.

    Perhaps - and this falls exclusively in the IF I WERE YOU category of advice - you could flag a theme like the father's nostalgia for his own childhood at the beginning as a way of inclining readers toward a different set of expectations.

    Anyway, that's just a thought from someone who has not yet shared a story with this kind of setting. Hope it helps, if only to spark other ideas.
    And as I pass through the first gate, I know that the better part of my soul will remain behind - forever.

  15. #15
    Have a nice day! Nikhar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Welcheren View Post
    Thanks for the sci-fi link. Will give it a read asap.

    Overall, I really did like the story. Again, perhaps my lack of familiarity with the genre should be factored in, but I thought the twist was well executed.
    I guess the happy family+loss+depression+redemption plot line has been deployed in this format very often, but I still enjoyed it... probably because it is fairly timeless. Like I said, I expected something very different from the start and, for that reason, the plot line worked for me.

    Perhaps - and this falls exclusively in the IF I WERE YOU category of advice - you could flag a theme like the father's nostalgia for his own childhood at the beginning as a way of inclining readers toward a different set of expectations.

    Anyway, that's just a thought from someone who has not yet shared a story with this kind of setting. Hope it helps, if only to spark other ideas.
    Thanks a lot. I really appreciate the time you took to reply again. I'll try to incorporate your advises. Grateful for it.
    People laugh at me 'coz they think I'm a fool...I smile because I made someone laugh
    Nikhar Agrawal

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