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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Locked Out.


“Geraldine! Open the door, please, let me explain.”

“No, go away, Mother, I don’t want to talk to you.”

“Please understand, Geraldine, I had to do it.”

“That’s just so lame, Mother. You’re pathetic,” she spat out the words and rolled her eyes.

Geraldine’s cell phone played her favorite Red Hot Chili Peppers song: ‘Nobody Weird like Me’. She picked up her iridescent purple phone from the bed, where she’d tossed it earlier, and checked her caller ID. Crystal’s photo appeared on the screen. “Hi, Crystal, I’m not really in the mood to talk.”

“Geraldine, what’s going on? I was about to knock on your front door when I heard you yelling.”

“Where are you now, Crystal?”

“I’m at your front gate. Where are you?”

“In my bedroom, but…”

“OK, I’ll come round to your window.”

Geraldine was about to argue but realized Crystal had rung off. By the time she opened the window, Crystal was outside waiting.

To Geraldine’s relief, Crystal kept her voice quite. “So, are you going to tell me, or what?”

Geraldine threw herself on the bed. “I can’t believe she did it.”

“Do what?” Crystal said, raising her voice to a hoarse whisper.

“She threw Daddy out.”

Crystal climbed through the window. “Oh… he’s been drinking again, huh?”

“Just because he likes a drink after work… it wasn’t his fault he hit her last night,” Geraldine began to cry.

“Hey, girl, you can’t possibly think he should stay if he’s hitting her.”

“But, he’s my dad… and it’s his home too.”

Crystal sat beside her best friend and put her arm around her. “Do you remember when my mother threw my daddy out?”

“That’s different, Crystal; he was beating you and your brother. I remember going to the hospital with you when he broke your arm.”

“Like, before that, he was hitting my mother. She used to hide out the back until he fell asleep, but then he started beating us instead. Yes, Geraldine, that’s why she threw him out, but do you think your mother's going to wait for that to happen to you? Your mother knows what we went through.”

There was a gentle knock on the bedroom door as Crystal handed Geraldine a tissue to wipe her eyes.

Her mother’s voice was croaky. “Geraldine, can we talk?”

“OK, mom, just a minute.”

Crystal gave her best friend a hug and climb back out the window. As she waved goodbye, Geraldine took a deep breath before opening the door.

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This article has been read 1032 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 06/14/07
A very real scenario with a poignant message that will tug at many hearts.

I hope it's heeded. This was handled and written very well.
Esther Gellert06/14/07
This is a tough topic to write about, but one that is relevant to so many teenagers. I think it is well written, easy to read and has a good message.
Amy Michelle Wiley 06/14/07
Very realistic dialog and great message. Well done!
Angela M. Baker-Bridge06/14/07
Powerful! Critical message for young women to understand BEFORE they're in an abusive relationship.

The writer portrays the conflict teens battle when sorting facts from feelings. That far outweighs any typos. Thanks for having the courage to speak out... Angel
Kate Grey06/14/07
Great dialog, good details. I really felt a part of the story, which indicated skilled writing. :)
Ruth Neilson06/15/07
Please note that right now I am so tired that I can barely think straight and as I am imagining characters voices this is where this remark is coming from.
I think my biggest complaint about your story is the usage of 'daddy' in this sentence
Crystal sat beside her best friend and put her arm around her. “Do you remember when my mother threw my daddy out?”
It almost sounds like you shifted into a little girl's voice there.
But other than that, it is a story that is sadly happening too often.
Take it or leave it...
Dee Yoder 06/15/07
So many teens and kids suffer from this kind of domestic upheaval. It's sad. Your story brings focus to the conflicting emotions children with parents who have addictions experience. This story can appeal to teens who have been in a similar situation, and help those who haven't understand what their friends are going through. Thought provoking topic and message.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/16/07
A good way to explain "domestic violence" to a young person. Very helpful in educating them to the true facts of life. A couple of errors ("quiet" and "climbed") - but didn't take away from the excellent message. Nicely done.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/16/07
PS: Regarding the word "Daddy", I called my father Daddy until the day he died - and I was over fifty. So I don't see that as a problem which is mentioned here. (just a matter of opinion) lol
Steve Uppendahl06/18/07
Excellent story and a vital topic. Too often this happens in the real world. Too often the abuser gets sympathy.

Great realism in your storytelling.

David Butler06/19/07
That took a bit of guts to write on such a touchy subject, and I liked the way you brought the misunderstood parent issue to a satisfactory conclusion.

I also agree that the "daddy" title is ageless, hearing it on the lips of many teenagers, including my own.
Well done.
Jan Ackerson 06/19/07
Oh, how sad! It's fortunate that the two friends have each other to lean on. Teens will really relate to this story.
Edy T Johnson 06/19/07
Since I started writing stories before I was a teen, I know teens relish this sort of description:
"...She picked up her iridescent purple phone from the bed...."
[I know a lot of that sort of detail seemed essential to my early writings (^8^)]
Dittos to all the above comments, too. It isn't easy to journey through all the trials of teens, especially when they are too close to avoid. Good and sensitive writing, Friend!
Edy T Johnson 06/19/07
Sorry for the confusion. I see I didn't write what I intended to convey, which was that I remember being a teen and what I seemed to NEED to know in a story, before I could enjoy it fully.

In short, I just loved the addition of the "iridescent purple phone," and I think teen readers will like the detail, too.

Verna Cole Mitchell 06/21/07
You wrote an excellent story on a difficult subject. You got the teen voice just right. (Just one additional note. My daddy went to heaven 12 years ago; he always was and still is my daddy in my heart.)
Sara Harricharan 06/22/07
This was nice! It was a tough subject, but you made it real and easy to talk about. The names were especially intresting. I also like the bit with a purple cellphone. ^_^ Good job, Chrissy!
Sharlyn Guthrie06/23/07
I'm so glad that I came here to read your story, Chrissy. I mistakenly thought that I had already read yours. You broached a difficult but very real subject. I like the fact that Geraldine had an understandiing, supportive friend, and it was typical teen for her to show up at her window! And you made the top 15 in level three! Nice job.
Pam Carlson-Hetland06/23/07
This is excellent, Chrissy. I, too, agree with the comments above. It is a tough topic that you handled well. I liked the dialogue, very realistic. Indeed, teens can hear truth from other teens quicker than parents. It was a good example of how teens can be good support for their friends.
Lisa Holloway06/23/07
Wow--tough topic, but I think you tackled it well. Congrats too on your placing!
Shari Armstrong 06/25/07
Heartbreaking -and happens all too often. Hopefully it will help some to understand.