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Ragdoll

by tacimaci


Once upon a time, there was a little girl. This little girl was a happy girl. She loved dancing and singing and drawing and playing. She loved chocolate, she loved dresses, she loved her friends, and she loved theatre. Her favorite thing in the world, however, was having friends. She didn't want to seem arrogant, or stuck up, but she loved attention. She loved knowing everybody, being trusted, being in the center of the social scene, and having everyone know her name. It was her life to care about others, and make sure that everyone was happy. And she thought others should feel the same way.

Now, this little girl wasn't so little, really. She had just finished the 6th grade feeling on top of the world- she had won her school's election! She was going to be well known, and was going to make a difference. And best of all, she was taking an 8th grade only class. Leadership.

The school year started. And everything was different for the girl. All of her old friends had little or no classes with her. They drifted apart. By the time she stopped chasing her old friends, it was too late to make new friends. Of course, this made the girl sad. But she could live with half friends, right? She told herself that she could.

It was fine. No big deal.

Leadership had started out superbly for the girl. She had aced the first project, and even began to make friends with some of the 8th graders. But as the year progressed, there seemed to be a point where all the 8th graders turned their backs to her. She didn't understand- had she done something wrong? She tried to continue talking to them and helping out, but she was shunned. Contributing in discussions got her giggles and snorts. Offering to lead an event got her public ridicule. Even attempts to help someone who needed help were shut down. Her help was worse than no help at all.

The main purpose of this girl's life was to know people, to care and be cared about. And this purpose was crushed. All the cliques had formed, with no room for her. The class she had most looked forward to had shunned her and laughed in her face. She could not do what her heart wanted to do.

The girl eased herself into her new life. Bit by bit, she took the mocking and the disgrace, and built an immunity. However, the more she fought it, the more it came. And the worse it became. Her resolve cracked. Her shell broke. Her heart shattered. The girl was gone, and in her place was a rag doll. She still looked the same, but her spirit and fight were gone. Time and time again she wound tape and bandages around her heart, sure that all she needed to do was rest it. So she stopped caring. She stopped feeling. She could now be tossed around, be laughed at, ignored, then thrown away like the toy she was taught to be. She took to sitting away from the others in class. At lunch, she tried to sit with the group of people she most wanted to be friends with. She tried so hard, but they never noticed her knocking at the door. The ragdoll was content to slump outside the walls, content to just be near other people.

No girl or boy ever asked the ragdoll why she had become a ragdoll. They never noticed the girl fade away to a husk. A teacher or two would ask her if she was ok, if she was sick. The doll merely replied that she was tired, and that was that. She dreaded coming to school, only to become a nobody once again. At home she was able to come back a little, become less of a shadow and more of the person she used to be. But it was at school where she fell the hardest.

The girl grew used to being a ragdoll. The weeks rolled by, and the doll remained oblivious to what she had become. However, remaining oblivious was infinitely better than becoming aware. Better than noticing what she had become. Had she noticed herself become the ragdoll, she would have felt the burning desire to get out. She would have tried to cut open the fabric keeping her trapped inside, if it hadn't been for a girl the ragdoll met. She had sandy blonde hair, bright blue eyes, and a sweet smile. She was in a few of the doll's classes, and one day approached the doll and began to speak. Talking to the girl became a habit, and soon she was invited to sit with the girl at lunch as well. The ragdoll found herself in a circle of people who didn't mind hearing her opinions, who considered her worth listening to. Perhaps they noticed her brokeness. Perhaps not. But they listened. They listened to the tales of what happened to the ragdoll every day in Leadership. They listened to her constantly thanking them for caring, for liking her. They listened to her fears, and they cared.

They cared.

The ragdoll's face began to light up a little more every day. With every squeeze hello, the blonde haired, blue eyed girl squeezed a little more life back into the ragdoll. She began to show her face to the world. She started conversations instead of waiting for them to be started by someone else. She was firm in her opinions, and didn't shirk from competition. She held her own.

Finally, she decided she would no longer be pushed and ignored and mocked. The ragdoll no longer lurched or dragged herself- she walked with a purpose to Leadership. She sat down in the center of the room, and dared them to tell her to move. They didn't. They discussed a new project, and she gave ideas. They tried to ignore her, but she filled the silences with her voice. Her voice was ignored, but the doll noticed her ideas put into action. They had heard her.

They heard her. They listened.

And that was all she wanted.

The ragdoll's features began to take shape again. Her eyes were no longer glassy marbles, but orbs alive with thought and wit. Her smile was no longer made of shards of glass, stuck together with glue. It was genuine, and no longer needed to be held together. Her heart could feel again. For the first time that year, she could feel again.

She had a purpose again. She was rebuilt, brand new.

And the sandy girl didn't even know what she had done for the ragdoll. One day, she noticed the doll she had befriended seemed to come to life. And she liked that.

It would take months for the girl to look back and realize what she had become. She was horrified at what she had been so close to doing. She was ashamed of not doing something to help herself. She was thankful for the sandy girl.

One day, years later, the girl noticed her friend had changed. Her movements slowed and seemed forced. Her smile was painted on. She jerked along as they walked. The girl dismissed it as a phase, or a mood. But as time went on, and her friend continued to act as though pulled by invisible strings, she faced the truth. The girl she had once known was now a marionette, with no control over herself or her life. Her strings were being pulled, with nothing she could do. The marionette was aware of what she had become, and considered cutting her strings to feel free again. But she wasn't a fool- to cut her strings would leave her with no way out.

The sandy girl who had saved the ragdoll switched places with her. She became the marionette who needed to be saved.

And the ragdoll hoped that she could.


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Sun Aug 04, 2013 6:04 am



This is beautfiul, even though it's sad at the same time. I love this work.
I'm intrigued to write a short story or poem about my life too now, very inspiring.
I hope you can check out my new book that's coming out soon called 'Good Ol' Days' I hope you get the chance :) xoxo

-HiddenUnderAMask




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Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:09 pm
ArcticMonkey wrote a review...



Hiya taci!

Firstly, wow. I thought this was an extremely emotive piece and you've managed to handle such a sensitive topic really well. Depression is one of the worst things out there and I think everyone's been affected by depression, even if it wasn't them who felt depressed themselves. The ragdoll metaphor is outstanding and works so well- and the imagery you used for it around the middle was amazing, well done!

My suggestions to make this piece even better lie in the way some parts are written. If you look at the first and second paragraph (and other parts too, but primarily those paragraphs), then you'll notice that almost all of your sentences start with 'she does this' and 'she does that'. It gets a bit boring and becomes rather tedious. I know you're probably trying to go for the story-telling genre here, however I still think you need to vary your sentences. I suggest trying to start with an adverb or rearranging your sentence so it doesn't have to start with she. It will become bags more interesting.

Although you do already have some really strong emotion about what she's feeling after the mockery at school, I still think you could go into more detail. Maybe you could go into a snippet of her thoughts, and really talk about how she feels. This will create a more sympathetic characters which the readers will feel even more sorry for than they already do, and it can add some more emotion to this.

Lastly, you might not want to take this suggestion on, it might sound a bit cheesy but I think it would be really sweet. At the bit where she realises it was having a friend that made her get out of depression, maybe you could go more into detail about friendship and just how important friendship can be for getting out of tricky situations like that.

I think I'll leave it that, this was seriously an emotive piece with some great imagery so well done! Remember, if you're ever feeling depressed, or know someone who's feeling this way there is ALWAYS someone to talk to. Always. That's the most important thing. I hope this review helped, PM me with any questions you have or if you'd like another review.

Just keep writing!
-Arc x




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Fri Jul 26, 2013 3:31 am
ellaskye says...



haunting! i love how you put the situation in real life into a beautiful, symbolic poem ish thing! mad props to you




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Mon Jul 15, 2013 2:58 pm
Cheetah says...



Wow. That...that was amazing. I loved the ragdoll metaphor- it really gave a good description of what your life was like. Welcome to YWS, thank you so much for sharing, and keep writing!!!




tacimaci says...


Thank you so much! And thanks for the welcome, I'm so glad I found this site. It's truly wonderful.



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Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:56 pm
ScribbleBug says...



Wow! This is an amazing piece!! So emotional powerful! Really good job, it tugged at my heart!




tacimaci says...


Thank you c:



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Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:43 pm
FatCowsSis wrote a review...



Wow! Great job. It was very emotional to me! That always seems to happen with personal stories. Your story is kinda similar to mine...
Ignored, seems like you have no friends. But then someone comes along. Turns you around. Only problem with me is, I'm still quiet and shy. At school at least. This year, I don't think I'll be with any of my "friends". I don't even know if they are friends anymore. :-(
So I wrote this poem, just to express kind of what it's like. It's entitled Lost.

Sometimes I feel
Like I'm wandering alone
Surrounded by others
But no more than a bone

Sometimes I feel
Forgotten and ignored
In need of comfort
So my spirit will soar

Sometimes I feel
Like a wave in the sea
Tossed around helplessly
Like a pitiful, powerless flea

Sometimes I feel
Like just giving up
Because honestly;
Who would notice a lost, wandering pup?

But then I realize
Giving up is admitting defeat
So I let tears fall, staying strong
And let the process repeat

I'm not the best poem writer. But if I'm writing from my heart, then I can create a beautiful "picture." I'm thinking about uploading it to YWS. Because here, I actually have friends. Your story moved me. Thank you.




tacimaci says...


I'm both glad and sorry that you could relate... I wish no one had to feel ignored. It's such a terrible feeling. I've never been the shy type, so it absolutely killed me. Stay strong hon <3 I'd love to see your poem published. It's wonderful, and I'm so happy that everyone is so kind and supporting here. It's a great place to grow as a writer.



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Sat Jul 13, 2013 5:21 pm
Questio wrote a review...



Welcome to YWS!
I am reviewing as I read each paragraph, so stick with me.
"She loved her friends" seems unnecessary, as you say in the next line, "Her favorite thing in the world, however, was having friends." It is not really a mistake, but that just kinda stuck out.
In paragraph two, the word "Leadership" stood out as well. I personally don't think you really need it there. Also, change "..on top of the world- she had just..." to "...on top of the world; she had just..." or even "...on top of the world: She had just..."
The fact that you say she won the election and THEN the school year started sounds weird to me. In my school, the election is AFTER school has started.
See if you can find a way to combine the third, fourth (meaning that little, two sentence line), and fifth paragraph. Put in that she was doing well, and then everybody, including her friends, started to drift away.
Try combining the first two sentences in paragraph six, without just putting in a comma and conjunction. Try something along the lines of: "The girl's one purpose in life, to help and care for people, was being [or 'had been', or 'was'] crushed. Also, take out "had" in the fourth sentence.
The first sentence in the seventh paragraph could be taken out and sound good, but leaving it is okay, too.
Paragraph eight: You use "the ragdoll" twice, which sounds a little funky. Try substituting the first use of it with "her." Instead of saying "No boy or girl" just say "No one" or "None of the other kids". "She dreaded coming to school; only to become a nobody once again" might sound better if you took out the "to" after "; only". That way you are saying that she dreaded becoming a nobody just as much as coming to school, which is the message I got. The last line might sound better as something along the lines of: "But at school she fell the hardest."
The first two sentences in paragraph nine counteract each other. How can she grow used to being a ragdoll when she is oblivious to it? You might want to cut the first sentence, because the rest of the paragraph goes with the second. The third and fourth sentences could be joined with a semicolon. Also, wouldn't the burning desire to get out be a good thing, because she could solve the problem with enough determination? You might want to separate this paragraph into two paragraphs where you begin to describe the sandy-blonde girl. "Speak" sounds a little dry in the next sentence. Try "talk to" and it will sound warmer, more like she's becoming a friend. Oh, now I understand the use of "Leadership." in paragraph two! See, that's what comes from reviewing paragraph-by-paragraph.
Repeating "They cared" in a separate paragraph was a good idea to convey the emphasis that it had on the girl, but it seems a little awkward.
Paragraph eleven: Squeeze hello? You mean a hug?
The last sentence in paragraph twelve seems unnecessary. Or at least take out "had".
The next two paragraphs could be combined and it would read well, but it is just as good to keep them separated.
Nothing on paragraph fifteen.
Paragraph seventeen probably shouldn't start with "And". I'm good with starting sentences with conjunctions, but not paragraphs. Also, the first sentence seems like a run-on. Try something like: "The sandy-haired girl didn't realize what she had done for her new friend."
In paragraph eighteen a conjunction would sound good connecting the last two sentences.
The rest of the paragraphs are superb.
This story was extremely captivating, and is easily one of my favorites that I've seen in a while. Anywhere, not just at YWS. The ending with the marionette was excellent. I find myself holding back tears. I was planning on wrapping up with saying that you need some names in this story, but with that kind of ending, names would be pointless and damage the beauty of this wonderfully inspirational story.
I hope I didn't come off as trying to take over your story with my suggestions. They are only suggestions, and the story is amazing without any change.
I really hope to read more from you. You have real talent for captivating, inspirational stories.
~Questio~




tacimaci says...


Thank you so much! I skimmed most of this, but I'll go back later to find specific edits to make. This was a story I wrote pretty late at night after trying to comfort the friend who is the marionette in my story.

Also to address the election question: at my school, the election for the next year is held that year. So the election for 2013-2014 would be held before school ended 2012-2013.

Again, thank you so much for your feedback! :)




The words you speak become the house you live in.
— Hafiz