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I Hope this is Okay to Publish

by MoonlightForest


Catatonia seems to be the only fitting word to describe the years of my childhood. I blanketed myself in the pallid sweetness of catatonia from the moment I first discovered how to hang upside down on the monkey bars at my local elementary to the beginning of seventh grade. It started largely with the uproar between my parents, much like two political parties: two different ideologies pitted against each other in their respective sordid affronts. My mom based her articulations out of a consideration of humanity, the breath of human collaboration where she derived much of her maternalness and comfort. My father, on the other hand, took to beating when it suited him, a fact that fired up my mom to something beyond human.

I hated my father; I truly did. I hated him most of all because his reflection stared back at me in the mirror: same ugly, hooked nose, same eyes veiled with suspicion and malice. I especially hated the fact that he took to makeup to conceal those vicious eye bags which plagued his youthful mirage. Admittedly, he taught me a lot about the real world with his parenting style: the collective doesn't give a damn about you, so get used to hunting for real solutions. I learned this as early as twelve when I began sneaking out of my father's house. The sounds of bodies slapping and slamming against each other, supplemented by discordant pop rhythms drove me out the front door with the housekey buried in the sole of my shoe. I would leave for hours, connected in heart to my iPod nano, the scratchy tunes of Jack White filling my ears with nostalgic impulses.

Try to imagine a twelve year old dribbling a soccer ball between her skinny legs at 4 am as she crossed desperate, winding sidewalks, dipping under construction signs and bulldozed asphalt around a little red school called Sand Piper Elementary. Luckily, I never ran into any trouble, but a few black sedans lingered longer than necessary as they followed my erractic trajectory. Those shabby knees of mine with legs connected to flat feet would not have made it out in time. I also made a habit of ordering my own food, since the only remnants of my father's fridge were spoilt mayonaise, a half-empty salsa container, and chocolate liquer that stank of post-recession divorce.

It wasn't half bad; because after age four I transcended the spankings in favor of a new phenomenon: heavy-handed neglect in the most ironic sense. I remember my small hands probing the gold doorknob that seperated me from my father, who was far too busy spooning his equally small Asian wife, watching the same old episodes of 24 with Keifer Sutherland as he munched on stale tortilla chips. This occured in the same manner, day after day. On school days I would get up as early as 5:30 am to make the commute from San Jose to my middle school in San Carlos, a more, affluent suburban neighborhood at the time that assured civillians they wouldn't get double crossed on the streets.

My twin brother slept on a deflated air mattress in the times we spent at our father's house. Of the two of us, he was the least favorite.

I don't know what's become of my father now. Frankly, I wonder whether or not his heart palpitations have finally swelled into maddening bursts, with those blood pressure pills a tad too weak for his middle-aged body. I wonder if the toupee of patchy, mystery hair on his balding scalp had wilted flat on his head. I wonder if he's yellowed out like old papyrus, his body finally matching with his rotten insides. A part of me hopes that he is dead, because at least he will have a convienient excuse for missing out on my wedding, the birth of my first child, the birth of his grandchildren. 


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Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:32 am
Liberty wrote a review...



Hello Moon! (Hope that's an okay nickname! ^^)

Hope you're doing well today or tonight, depending on what side of the world you're on, obviously. I'm here to give you a review! Let's get started, now, shall we? Yes we shall! Alrightyo.

The sounds of bodies slapping and slamming against each other, supplemented by discordant pop rhythms drove me out the front door with the housekey buried in the sole of my shoe.


The bold word is actually supposed to be two separate words. So house and key. Separate. :)

Luckily, I never ran into any trouble, but a few black sedans lingered longer than necessary as they followed my erractic trajectory.


Erractic is supposed to be erratic. You just added that extra c. (:

I also made a habit of ordering my own food, since the only remnants of my father's fridge were spoilt mayonaise, a half-empty salsa container, and chocolate liquer that stank of post-recession divorce.


It's actually spelt mayonnaise with two ns. Not one. :P

I remember my small hands probing the gold doorknob that seperated me from my father, who was far too busy spooning his equally small Asian wife, watching the same old episodes of 24 with Keifer Sutherland as he munched on stale tortilla chips.


The bold word is actually supposed to be separated. The first two vowels are e and the second to vowels are supposed to be a. :D

This occured in the same manner, day after day.


It's actually supposed to be occurred with two rs.

On school days I would get up as early as 5:30 am to make the commute from San Jose to my middle school in San Carlos, a more, affluent suburban neighborhood at the time that assured civillians they wouldn't get double crossed on the streets.


Civillians is supposed to have only one l so then it'd be like this: civilians.

A part of me hopes that he is dead, because at least he will have a convienient excuse for missing out on my wedding, the birth of my first child, the birth of his grandchildren.


The bold word there is supposed to be convenient, actually. Also, this last bit struck me like a sword. It made me go: gasp, Moonlight really caught me there!

Lol, anyways, I love this so much! And to answer your title that I am sure is a question that is not meant to be answered since it isn't a questions... Oh god, I'm babbling. What I mean to say is that this short story is definitely okay to publish! Actually, this is way more than okay! This is brilliant, outstanding, fascinating, eye-opening, outstanding! (I could continue on forever with the words but I have to get movin'. ;))

Anyhoo, I love this short story so much so much! It really has that power to maybe even move your reader to tears of pity for the main character. I honestly would have cried, but I didn't because I was in a bitter mood (personal stuff) before I was reading. :P

Hope this review helped! Of course, if you've got any questions, feel free to ask me anytime. I can't wait to see mor eo fyour stuff around here, Moon!

And as always...

Keep on writing!

~Liberty






Thank you so much for your kind words! :) I had a bit of trouble spelling, especially words with double consonants. For some reason my spell-check wasn't enabled this time, haha.



Liberty says...


Sure thing!



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Tue Aug 27, 2019 3:28 am
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jster02 wrote a review...



Man, this hit me hard. I doubt anyone's going to object to your publishing this; writing is one of the best ways to work out these sorts of things. It's brave of you to share this here, for all to see. I'm happy I read it, as it helps me to understand you, and your story. I think that's important, even if we'll never met in person.

But anyways, on with the review. This felt a little more like a prose poem than a short story, which I rather liked. The whole thing was absolutely loaded with beautiful imagery, so that it felt rather well thought out. The way it ended was particularly powerful, as I got the sense that you still had hope that, despite your past, you might have a better future. A few parts I particularly liked:

I hated him most of all because his reflection stared back at me in the mirror: same ugly, hooked nose, same eyes veiled with suspicion and malice.


This line is quite interesting to me because it gives us a glimpse into your insecurities in a rather clever way. You not only hate looking like your father, but also fear you might turn out like him as well. After all, the eyes are the windows to the soul, (even if what you see in them may be different than what's really there, affected by your fear of becoming like your father).

I would leave for hours, connected in heart to my iPod nano, the scratchy tunes of Jack White filling my ears with nostalgic impulses.


This line shows how you turned to music for an escape. Perhaps you were trying to escape to a better, simpler time. Maybe that music was from before everything got bad, (if there were any good times before that), and it helped you pretend, if only for a moment, that you were back there again.

A part of me hopes that he is dead, because at least he will have a convenient excuse for missing out on my wedding, the birth of my first child, the birth of his grandchildren.


This is pretty straightforward. You want to leave the past behind and move on to a better time. Your father is, to you, the embodiment of that troubled past, and if he stays away, you feel it won't revisit you.


Of course, there were a few parts I thought needed a little polish. I'll list them here:

My father, on the other hand, took to beating when it suited him, a fact that fired up my mom to something beyond human.


I especially hated the fact that he took to makeup to conceal those vicious eye bags which plagued his youthful mirage.



For whatever reason, these lines just didn't seem to fit. They just felt a little awkwardly worded, (though the message was clear). Maybe there's a better image that could be used here?

...dipping under construction signs and bulldozed asphalt around a little red school called Sand Piper Elementary.


The bolded text feels a little unnecessary. Usually, it's best to get rid of anything that isn't needed to get the desired image across. The sentence would be just as effective if it ended after "a little red school."

Anyways, this is a really great piece, I really enjoyed it. I hope you are able to move past this tragedy, (as it is, indeed, tragic that such a thing might have happened to any child), and that you find you have a brighter future in store.






Thank you thank you thank you! I agree with your edits. :)

It's a bit rough on the edges because I didn't plan on going back and reworking it, but I appreciate your feeback and kind words.



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Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:58 pm
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Em16 wrote a review...



This is really good! I loved it. The descriptions and the details of this piece just blew me away. I loved in paragraph 4, the way you said, "spooning his equally small Asian wife... munched on stale tortilla chips". It's such an unusual word, "spooning", but it's food related, and that somehow connects it to the tortilla chips. It's like his wife is a tortilla chip, which is really disturbing. I also love the way you wrote "stale tortilla chips". It's a small detail, but it has such a big impact on the mood of the sentence. There are so many small, specific details in this piece that add so much. However, I didn't feel the theme of this poem was consistent enough. You start off talking about "catatonia". I thought, when I read the first paragraph, that "catatonia" was a theme you were going to be touching on a lot. But after the first couple of sentences, it's never mentioned again. I would suggest either incorporating it into every part of the piece, or leaving it out. By the end, it seems like the theme is all about the father's incompetence. But the first three paragraphs are about the incompetence of both of the parents. Why doesn't the girl hate her mother? Is her mother kinder? If her mother is kinder, why doesn't she stay with her all the time? I would suggest adding a little more explanation there. I would also suggest either leaving out the twin brother, or mentioning him more. You only mention him once, in paragraph 5, and he does not seem to add much to the story. Still, this piece is amazing and I really enjoyed reading it.






Thank you so much! :D I definitely see some gaps in areas that I touched upon little, but at the same time, this was largely the product of free-writing. Also, it's not a story so much as a memoir. I would build upon the idea of my mother but I love her to death and it's not super interesting to read about harmonious relationships, in any case. Haha



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Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:57 pm
Em16 says...



This is such a good piece!





Noelle, you can lead a writer to their computer and give them coffee, but you can't make them write.
— CowLogic