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Based on true life. A struggle for identity.

by mr.j.hopkins 

Posted: 15 July 2009
Word Count: 533
Summary: The main protagonist has had a rocky start to life, facing physical abuse by his father, dealing with identity and sexualitly and also mental health. The ending I don't really know what to do.

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They say that there are three sides to a story. Your side, the other personís side and there was the truth. Iím not going to pretend and say that this is a true accurate representation of my past; Iím not an omniscient protagonist in a fictional novel dreamt up by its author. This is the raw truth of my side. Memory becomes golden as we grow old and age is against us, from day one every breathe we take is numbered; the tragic truth that we may lose the grip on our memories we collect that keep us safe and sane is enough to terrify me.
At a young age I sat in the school courtyard reminiscing good times with my friends, even at a young age I wanted to escape.
When I sit down and think hard the very first memory I have, it is not one that I want to remember, but as habits die hard, so does this particular memory. I didnít understand it at first. It was normal.
The exact date is unknown but I remember my father had come home from working away. Ironically I donít ever actually remember my father ever working, but I was told that he used to work away in a demolition firm. I think he made the demolition job his whole life; he destroyed everybody around him, slowly.
My mother always prepared us meals, cleaned and looked after us. We were stuck in a time-loop. The motherís work was the family. It was late evening and my father had come home to a Pasta Bolognese meal on the table waiting. Still piping hot, I remember the steam rise. He didnít look the faintest pleased. The famous words ĎGer upstairsí meant I knew what to do, and what was coming.
As I lay on the floor of my box bedroom I heard a loud smash against the wall that didnít follow the usual pattern of noise, at the time I didnít know what it was until later that week. My fatherís oval plate, the only oval plate in the house and he had it, had been hurled across the room. My father shouted at my mother and I heard my mother being choked and strangled. The sound of her oesophagus being squeezed so tightly that only a gurgling noise was heard. The sobs and shrieking is what I remember the most, harrowing for a first memory eh.
It was always uncomfortable to go downstairs the morning after. As if I had dreamt what happened. Looking back in hindsight this Ďnormalí routine was always kept within the house. My father used to say when I was younger, Ďwhatever happens in these four walls, stay in these four wallsí and he was right. It did.
Did my father know what he was doing was wrong? The brainwashing and the physical, violent outbursts did he see this as the day-to-day task of a husband and father?
They were not exclusive to my mother. His violent streaks breathed fear into my sisters and even me.
I canít speak for my sisters, but the thought of telling somebody didnít cross my mind. I donít know why but I didnít.

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Comments by other Members

NMott at 11:35 on 16 July 2009  Report this post
Hi, Jonathan. I'm not sure what sort of feedback, if any, you are looking for. If you are starting on a memoir, then you would be looking at writing at least eighty thousand words. If this is a short story, then two to three thousand words is a good range to aim for. In both cases you would need to expand on this extract. As it stands it reads like a chapter outline, waiting for you to fill in the gaps with 'Show', ie, fuller descriptions of the people, the place and longer snatches of dialogue.
Think of writing as more of a marathon than a sprint, and this is your first step off the racing blocks. Keep going and you will get to the winning line. All the best with the writing.

- NaomiM

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