HOPSCOTCH • by Jeff Switt

I sneak down the stairs and hope she’s passed out in her chair. She awakens in a coughing fit and glares at me. “Get me a beer, girl.”

My name is Jenni. She hates me. Calls me “girl.” Whips me when she can catch me.

I hate being “girl.”

Some days I’m Ruth when I need to be naughty. Other days, I’m Zanna when I have to be brave.

Today I’m Tabatha. Just for fun. A famous ballerina that everyone loves and admires. I turn on my bare feet and dance to the kitchen. I grab a beer from the fridge and prance back into the living room. I spin, trying to imitate a ballerina jump I saw on TV.

She jerks the beer from my hand. I try not to snicker as she struggles to pull the tab. She’s fifty. Had me when she was forty. Regretted it ever since. Lets me know it every day.

Beer bubbles out and down the side. She lifts the can to her lips and licks the foam. Her t-shirt stinks of beer and sweat. She scratches a scab on her fat arm and curls a bloody fingernail to her face.

“Get me a rag, girl.”

I dance back to the kitchen and get a rag.  She wipes her blood.

“You gonna fix your momma some dinner, or what?”

“Or what?” I reply.

“Or you’re grounded for a week.”

“So what?” I taunt.

“Don’t smart-mouth me, girl.”

“Or what?” I feel “girl” building inside, ready to hurl.

“Or I’ll whip your ass, that’s what.”

She lunges. Her pudgy hands push up on the arms of the chair. Her wet hand slips, and her butt plops. The beer topples from her fingers onto the floor. Foam belches over once-pink slippers.

“Damn you girl. See what you done? Now you’re gonna get it.”

I turn to the screen door and jab it with my hand. It swings into a galvanized bucket overflowing with crushed cans and sends them scattering. I’m off the porch.

My feet dance across my hopscotch game chalked on the concrete.

1, 2, 3-4, 5, 6-7, 8, 9.

Her bellowing continues. “Get your ass back here right now, or I’m gonna call your father.” She waves her cell phone at me like a weapon.

I yell back, “He ain’t my father.” I feel Tabatha fading.

He’s just Robert. He told me that the first night he touched me. That made it okay.

My real father’s the king of some small country. Europe, I think. I looked for it on a map. His people love him. He’s going to send for me soon.

I’m standing on the nine-spot.  I turn and watch her bloated body teetering. Her tattooed leg reaches for the second step.

“Hey,” I yell. “Got you something else.” I shoot her the finger.

She looks at me, and her foot misses. She tumbles to the concrete. Head first. She doesn’t move. I stand like a statue. My finger’s still in the air.

9, 8, 7-6, 5, 4-3, 2, 1.

I skip toward her. My arms stretch like wings. I give her a bow and look at one open eye. It doesn’t look back.

“Can I get you a beer?”

“Can I get you a rag?”

I dance in circles around her body to a tune in my head.

“Ashes. Ashes. We all fall down.”

A neighbor points at me and rushes into her home.  A shiver crawls my spine. Reality sets in. My mom’s dead. It’s just me and him.

I reach for her phone and punch seven random numbers. I need to talk to my real father. A voice answers, “The number you have reached is not a working…”

I hit the red button and try seven different numbers. A kind voice answers, “Hello?”

“Daddy?  It’s Jenni. Come get me. Please?”

The voice replies, “I’m sorry. You have the wrong number.” Then, silence.

A distant siren wails. The neighbor’s called the cops. I run inside to the stairs. Two steps at a time. Then just one. My legs shake. I slam my bedroom door as I run through. It bounces back. Its latch got broken the night Robert kicked it in.

I climb through my open window onto the flat roof of the carport. It’s our private place. Jenni. Tabatha. Ruth. Zanna. Where we hide from Robert. And get away from “girl.”

I hear yelling from the sidewalk. It’s Robert. He’s home. He’s angry. He’ll hurt me. Do things to me. I have to change.

“Hi, Robert,” I taunt, as I dance along the edge of the roof. I am now Ruth. If I’m nice to him he buys me presents. I lift the hem of my dress and show him what he likes.

“You little bitch. What did you do?” He turns toward the front door and begins to run.

It didn’t work. He’s going to hurt me again. I know it.

White clouds float high in the blue sky. If I can reach them, I’ll be safe. I shed my dress and stand naked, now Zanna, the fairy warrior. My winged horse nuzzles me. Her anger starts to show. Her eyes glow red as I mount her back. Fire shoots from her nostrils.

Heavy boots echo across the hardwood floor, up the stairs.

I nudge my horse to the far corner, and we turn. I grab her mane with both hands and give her my heels. Sparks fly from her hooves as they strike the metal roof. In four steps we are at the edge. At the fifth, we fly.


Jeff Switt is a retired advertising agency guy who loves writing flash fiction, some days to curb his angst, other days to fuel it. His words have been featured online at Every Day Fiction, Out of the Gutter Online, Dogzplot, Boston Literary Magazine, Shotgun Honey, and several other sites.


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 average 4.2 stars • 15 reader(s) rated this

Every Day Fiction

  • Paul A. Freeman

    Excellent voice. The mother’s especially well drawn. I did have a couple of problems with Robert. As soon as he was mentioned I knew he would be sexually abusing his ‘stepdaughter’. It seems a prerequisite these days in stories about girls living in poverty, and I hoped you wouldn’t go down that road, Jeff. Physically abusive would have sufficed, I felt. Also, Robert would probably have been restrained by the policemen (or were the flashing lights from an ambulance?). I was hoping for a more optimistic ending, but then that’s just me. Thanks for an excellently written story.

    • Hi Paul: thank you for your lengthy commentary, perhaps a record length for you? I didn't consider physical abuse on it's own to be enough to force a multiple personality/living imagination persona. Robert beat the police to the scene. There was a lot to cram in 1000 words. I debated with one of the editors about the ending. He questioned whether a fall from a flat-top carport would kill Jenni. I had unexpressed hope that the fall would only injure her, and when the police arrived they would find her naked and likely unconscious form on the ground and encounter a raging Robert thus escaping her dilemma. But that would have taken words beyond the limits. Thank you for your positive words. You aren't easy to please. Jeff
  • Paul A. Freeman

    Brilliant, well sustained voice. The mother is an especially well drawn character. I did have a couple of problems with Robert. As soon as he was mentioned, I knew he would be characterised as sexually abusing his ‘stepdaughter’. It seems a prerequisite domestic situation these days in stories about girls living in poverty, and I hoped you wouldn’t go down that road, Jeff. Physically abusive would have sufficed, I felt, since the main point of the story was a child inadvertently causing (though debatable) her mother’s death. Also, Robert would probably have been restrained by the policemen (or were the flashing lights from an ambulance?). I was hoping for a more optimistic ending, but then that’s just me. Thanks for an excellently written story.

    • Hi Paul: thank you for your lengthy commentary, perhaps a record length for you? I didn't consider physical abuse on it's own to be enough to force a multiple personality/living imagination persona. Robert beat the police to the scene. There was a lot to cram in 1000 words. I debated with one of the editors about the ending. He questioned whether a fall from a flat-top carport would kill Jenni. I had unexpressed hope that the fall would only injure her, and when the police arrived they would find her naked and likely unconscious form on the ground and encounter a raging Robert thus escaping her dilemma. But that would have taken words beyond the limits. Thank you for your positive words. You aren't easy to please. Jeff
  • My favorite part. and there are leigons, is the reference to her real father the king. I sure wanted Zanna and her steed to be real and get away, but the story is so much stronger because I know they don’t. Great work.

    • Hi Michael: and thank you. This story has been in various drafts for over a year. Jeff
  • My favorite part. and there are legions, is the reference to her real father the king. I sure wanted Zanna and her steed to be real and get away, but the story is so much stronger because I know they don’t. Great work.

    • Hi Michael: and thank you. This story has been in various drafts for over a year. Jeff
  • JD Evans

    STRONG strong writing. The abuse was handled well, not explicit but with enough danger to impart fear to the reader. Excellent crescendo closing. Not all stories have happy endings.

  • JD Evans

    STRONG strong writing. The abuse was handled well, not explicit but with enough danger to impart fear to the reader. Excellent crescendo closing. Not all stories have happy endings.

  • MPmcgurty

    Style-wise and diction-wise, this is impeccable. The description of Tabitha dancing around like a ballerina while taunting her mother is fabulous. The reference to her father the King was wonderful and I would have loved for the story to have stayed in that vein. Although I did not like the message, I loved the last 3 lines.

    The random phone calling was a bit strange. I also thought the mother was painted a bit too much as a caricature.

    Unfortunately, the story itself was a disappointment. As soon as we hear “He ain’t my father”, we know the little girl’s situation, an increasingly common theme that more and more makes me cringe as soon as I read (or see on tv) that a child has a stepfather or a mother’s boyfriend. Also, especially in a flash piece, I think we owe the issue more than just a child splitting her personality into fantasy characters and jumping off a roof. Do some children withdraw and perhaps create their own worlds in response to abuse? Likely. Do they create personalities, one of which is a smart-mouthed ballerina and another is a “naughty” Ruth who lifts her hem up so her stepfather can see “what he likes”? And consciously at that (“I have to change.” and “It didn’t work.”)? That’s creepy to me and not in a good creepy way. I doubt most abused children break into such assertive or forward characters.

    • I debated halting that line at that point. To answer your closing questions, apparently this one did. Jeff
  • MPmcgurty

    Style-wise and diction-wise, this is impeccable. The description of Tabitha dancing around like a ballerina while taunting her mother is fabulous. The reference to her father the King was wonderful and I would have loved for the story to have stayed in that vein. Although I did not like the message, I loved the last 3 lines.

    The random phone calling was a bit strange. I also thought the mother was painted a bit too much as a caricature.

    Unfortunately, the story itself was a disappointment. As soon as we hear “He ain’t my father”, we know the little girl’s situation, an increasingly common theme that more and more makes me cringe as soon as I read (or see on tv) that a child has a stepfather or a mother’s boyfriend. Also, especially in a flash piece, I think we owe the issue more than just a child splitting her personality into fantasy characters and jumping off a roof. Do some children withdraw and perhaps create their own worlds in response to abuse? Likely. Do they create personalities, one of which is a smart-mouthed ballerina and another is a “naughty” Ruth who lifts her hem up so her stepfather can see “what he likes”? And consciously at that (“I have to change.” and “It didn’t work.”)? That’s creepy to me and not in a good creepy way. I doubt most abused children break into such assertive or forward characters.

    • I debated halting that line at that point. To answer your closing questions, apparently this one did. Jeff
  • Alie Bell

    The writing was solid. Using sexual abuse as a plot device is disgusting and cheap. No vote.

    • S Conroy
      No disrespect, but I have to disagree with this. I think it's better to write about the dark side of our society than to brush it under the carpet.. It's a very difficult theme to tackle and I admire anyone who tries.
      • Alie Bell
        No disrespect, but my childhood shouldn't be entertainment material.
        • S Conroy
          It's a very sensitive topic. No offense was intended.
      • MPmcgurty
        I agree with you that it shouldn't be brushed under the carpet, but it's something that should be written about with care. Not everyone can do that.
      • Carl Steiger
        As for me, I just don't feel the need to read more about this particular dark side of our society, so I'll recuse myself from the voting.
        • Carl: I appreciate your dislike of the subject not tainting a vote. Jeff
    • Hi Guest: I took great effort to minimize the sexual abuse aspect with just enough indication to give interest/concern in the child without going overboard or being explicit. There is a popular TV show - Law and Order SVU - which also addresses the subject. Do you view this program as disgusting and cheap as well? Jeff
  • Guest

    The writing was solid. Using sexual abuse as a plot device is disgusting and cheap. No vote.

    • S Conroy
      No disrespect, but I have to disagree with this. I think it's better to write about the dark side of our society than to brush it under the carpet.. It's a very difficult theme to tackle and I admire anyone who tries.
      • Guest
        No disrespect, but my childhood shouldn't be entertainment material.
        • S Conroy
          It's a very sensitive topic. I hope my comment wasn't offensive.
      • MPmcgurty
        I agree with you that it shouldn't be brushed under the carpet, but it's something that should be written about with care. Not everyone can do that.
      • Carl Steiger
        As for me, I just don't feel the need to read more about this particular dark side of our society, so I'll recuse myself from the voting.
        • Carl: I appreciate your dislike of the subject not tainting a vote. Jeff
    • Hi Guest: I took great effort to minimize the sexual abuse aspect with just enough indication to give interest/concern in the child without going overboard or being explicit. There is a popular TV show - Law and Order SVU - which also addresses the subject. Do you view this program as disgusting and cheap as well? Jeff
  • S Conroy

    Disturbing and very well written.

  • S Conroy

    Disturbing and very well written.

  • Scott Harker

    I just couldn’t get myself to buy the voice as that of a 10-year old. It was a well-crafted voice, but more akin to a precocious 15-year old I think.

    The snapshot in time was perfect, and the mother (although a bit of a caricature) was quickly developed and easily hated. That’s difficult to do in such a short space.

    I’m still undecided about liking it or not, so a vote wouldn’t be fair from me.There’s a lot to consider. At the very least, it was thought-provoking and emotion-inducing. And isn’t that a hallmark of good writing?

    • Frank Schulaner
      For Oprah it wasn't even 10, but 9, the theme of her TV special, "Nine."
    • Hi Scott: thank you for the insightful commentary. Re voice, I find children have two voices. The primary voice is that of their thoughts and emotions. The second their child-speak. Children are able to grasp thoughts and emotions beyond their ability to express them verbally. I tried to keep the thoughts in words or concepts that would be familiar to her. I think the story would have been ruined if her thoughts were expressed in a 10-year old spoken vocabulary. I draw a similar line with the problem of thinking and speaking in a regional or ethnic dialect throughout a story. If you have a specific example where I failed I would be interested in hearing of it. Jeff
  • Scott Harker

    I just couldn’t get myself to buy the voice as that of a 10-year old. It was a well-crafted voice, but more akin to a precocious 15-year old I think.

    The snapshot in time was perfect, and the mother (although a bit of a caricature) was quickly developed and easily hated. That’s difficult to do in such a short space.

    I’m still undecided about liking it or not, so a vote wouldn’t be fair from me.There’s a lot to consider. At the very least, it was thought-provoking and emotion-inducing. And isn’t that a hallmark of good writing?

    • weequahic
      For Oprah it wasn't even 10, but 9, the theme of her TV special, "Nine." Not the recent one; I mean the one from 1992. (Original title: "Scared Silent")
    • Hi Scott: thank you for the insightful commentary. Re voice, I find children have two voices. The primary voice is that of their thoughts and emotions. The second their child-speak. Children are able to grasp thoughts and emotions beyond their ability to express them verbally. I tried to keep the thoughts in words or concepts that would be familiar to her. I think the story would have been ruined if her thoughts were expressed in a 10-year old spoken vocabulary. I draw a similar line with the problem of thinking and speaking in a regional or ethnic dialect throughout a story. If you have a specific example where I failed I would be interested in hearing of it. Jeff
  • Jeff, you have a knack for writing in those dark corners.

    Thanks for the story.

  • Jeff, you have a knack for writing in those dark corners.

    Thanks for the story.

  • I knew this would not be a popular story across the board. It certainly could have been written in “safe mode” with a happy ending.

    I want to thank the slush readers and editors for their suggestions and criticisms of the initial draft. They encouraged developing readers’ care for Jenny and extending the story past the original ending which was the death of her mother.

    I also want to thank my editor/mentor for the encouragement given to cut excess words and stay true to the story.

    I was fawning for some words for this reply and they came to me in this morning’s Flash Fiction Chronicles article. This site does not permit links so I will cut and paste part. It is written my Jeremy Szal and the title is WHAT MAKES A GOOD PODCAST.

    “Tip #2: Don’t Play it Safe

    As a writer, you’ll be bound to upset people with your fiction (I’ve received hate mail in the past). It’s inevitable. Writing is not an activity for people who value security. Worrying about what other people may think of the fiction you write (or what genre, for that matter) should not be your primary concern. In fact, it shouldn’t even come into the equation.

    Don’t let political correctness censor or dampen your artistic integrity. At the same time, don’t go out of your way to upset or offend anyone, because you can sniff those stories out from the other side of the galaxy. But I do encourage authors to push the envelope and see what they can accomplish without fear of upsetting a blogger. Don’t be afraid to write from an alien perspective with a truly warped view of the human race. Don’t shy away from killing off or maiming your characters. Don’t restrain yourself from creating moral gravity or making your protagonist commit atrocities. I want to see more people take more risks and see what they can cook up. Don’t be afraid to shake up the recipe a bit and experiment. (Note I will not be held accountable if your kitchen goes up in flames.)”

    The entire article is worth looking up if you don’t receive it via email.

    Jeff

    • MPmcgurty
      I have no problem with authors pushing envelopes, making their protagonists commit atrocities, or being politically incorrect. I also have no problem with child abuse being addressed in fiction if it is done in an original manner and if it is believable. In your comment to me above, when I questioned an abused child's ability to turn her "naughty" personality on and off at will, you quipped "apparently this one did". We're not talking about a horse who can "apparently" fly off a roof. We're talking about an abused child with a mental issue. The "don't be afraid" philosophy is a good one for authors to follow, but I'm always disappointed when fine writers use it to defend their work.
      • I established at the onset: "Some days I’m Ruth when I need to be naughty. Other days, I’m Zanna when I have to be brave. Today I’m Tabatha. Just for fun." I wasn't making Jenni a warped psycho kid more than needed. She was able to role play when she needed or wanted to depending on her situation. So, I stand my my comment, "apparently she did." I'm sorry you didn't care for my premise or my response.
    • Jeremy J Szal
      Hey Jeff, thanks for referencing me on the matter. It's not an easy topic to discuss, and there are lots and lots of ways you can screw it up, but ultimately we need to kill the angel sitting on our shoulders, wringing their hands that something we've penned might, just might, offend, annoy, disappoint, enrage, or irritate, someone. I would never approve or encourage someone writing offensive material for the sake of controversy or rocking the boat. However, I do think that fiction should be unrestrained. Nothing should be off the charts - it's the matter in which it's handled should be of more concern, and in this case I think it was well handled and with nuance. Besides, what's truly the better option? To pretend that such matters like sexual violence, abuse, drugs, etc, don't exist, so they should be ignored? Or acknowledge that these terrible things exist, and use them as points of discussion through the medium of fiction? For some people (including in the comments, it seems), portrayal equals endorsement. That couldn't be further from the truth. Fiction should be fearless and without limits. Try to curb that, and you'll have people breaking through that barrier in protest. - Jeremy
  • I knew this would not be a popular story across the board. It certainly could have been written in “safe mode” with a happy ending.

    I want to thank the slush readers and editors for their suggestions and criticisms of the initial draft. They encouraged developing readers’ care for Jenny and extending the story past the original ending which was the death of her mother.

    I also want to thank my editor/mentor for the encouragement given to cut excess words and stay true to the story.

    I was fawning for some words for this reply and they came to me in this morning’s Flash Fiction Chronicles article. This site does not permit links so I will cut and paste part. It is written my Jeremy Szal and the title is WHAT MAKES A GOOD PODCAST.

    “Tip #2: Don’t Play it Safe

    As a writer, you’ll be bound to upset people with your fiction (I’ve received hate mail in the past). It’s inevitable. Writing is not an activity for people who value security. Worrying about what other people may think of the fiction you write (or what genre, for that matter) should not be your primary concern. In fact, it shouldn’t even come into the equation.

    Don’t let political correctness censor or dampen your artistic integrity. At the same time, don’t go out of your way to upset or offend anyone, because you can sniff those stories out from the other side of the galaxy. But I do encourage authors to push the envelope and see what they can accomplish without fear of upsetting a blogger. Don’t be afraid to write from an alien perspective with a truly warped view of the human race. Don’t shy away from killing off or maiming your characters. Don’t restrain yourself from creating moral gravity or making your protagonist commit atrocities. I want to see more people take more risks and see what they can cook up. Don’t be afraid to shake up the recipe a bit and experiment. (Note I will not be held accountable if your kitchen goes up in flames.)”

    The entire article is worth looking up if you don’t receive it via email.

    Jeff

    • MPmcgurty
      I have no problem with authors pushing envelopes, making their protagonists commit atrocities, or being politically incorrect. I also have no problem with child abuse being addressed in fiction if it is done in an original manner and if it is believable. In your comment to me above, when I questioned an abused child's ability to turn her "naughty" personality on and off at will, you quipped "apparently this one did". We're not talking about a horse who can "apparently" fly off a roof. We're talking about an abused child with a mental issue. The "don't be afraid" philosophy is a good one for authors to follow, but I'm always disappointed when fine writers use it to defend their work.
      • I established at the onset: "Some days I’m Ruth when I need to be naughty. Other days, I’m Zanna when I have to be brave. Today I’m Tabatha. Just for fun." I wasn't making Jenni a warped psycho kid more than needed. She was able to role play when she needed or wanted to depending on her situation. So, I stand my my comment, "apparently she did." I'm sorry you didn't care for my premise or my response.
    • Jeremy J Szal
      Hey Jeff, thanks for referencing me on the matter. It's not an easy topic to discuss, and there are lots and lots of ways you can screw it up, but ultimately we need to kill the angel sitting on our shoulders, wringing their hands that something we've penned might, just might, offend, annoy, disappoint, enrage, or irritate, someone. I would never approve or encourage someone writing offensive material for the sake of controversy or rocking the boat. However, I do think that fiction should be unrestrained. Nothing should be off the charts - it's the matter in which it's handled should be of more concern, and in this case I think it was well handled and with nuance. Besides, what's truly the better option? To pretend that such matters like sexual violence, abuse, drugs, etc, don't exist, so they should be ignored? Or acknowledge that these terrible things exist, and use them as points of discussion through the medium of fiction? For some people (including in the comments, it seems), portrayal equals endorsement. That couldn't be further from the truth. Fiction should be fearless and without limits. Try to curb that, and you'll have people breaking through that barrier in protest. - Jeremy
  • Overall, I think there’s a lot about this story that is great. One thing I liked in particular, as opposed to the commenter who said he didn’t, was the random dialing to reach her father. I saw that as something very realistic, that a child, or even an adult in a panic, might do. The drive to reach the father is so great but the mind cannot function well enough at the moment to produce the number. I also think the ending was fine, stating something horrible through metaphor. The story has an excellent, gripping pace and the writing is even and consistent.

    Of course I’m coming to one question of not so good? And that is the voice of the girl’s thoughts that referred to her “multiple personalities.” If this is a case of a real MP Disorder, I question how it’s presented. I think there’s something too conscious about it, in this case, i.e., the person with MPD doesn’t decide Ok, well, now I’ll be Ruth, or, now I’ll be Jenni. I think it happens less consciously and with less control. Other than that, bravo!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comments. It looks like I was trying to sound smarter than I actually am in my comment. In the setup of the story Jenni states what her other "personalities" are. (Perhaps not the correct term - characters are?) The only thing I know about psychiatry is that I occasionally need their services :) Jeff
      • Jeff, It's not that the word "personalities" is wrong. It's the way you presented Jenni speaking about them, as if having them were a light, and fun thing, that she did almost like a game. In reality, a Multiple Personality Disorder, which is in the category of Dissociative Disorders, is a serious mental illness which even though it likely arose for reasons of adapting to a hideous situation (e.g., being sexually abused), it's disturbing to the individual. It's more a means of involuntary escape from reality than a chosen means of coping with it. And, it's frightening to the person because of their lack of control of it, and the predicaments it lands them in, such as finding oneself in a situation in which the "other" or "main" personality would never be in. I think in the story it could work with some tweaking. (BTW I am a therapist.)
        • MPmcgurty
          Thank you for stating it much better than I did.
  • Overall, I think there’s a lot about this story that is great. One thing I liked in particular, as opposed to the commenter who said he didn’t, was the random dialing to reach her father. I saw that as something very realistic, that a child, or even an adult in a panic, might do. The drive to reach the father is so great but the mind cannot function well enough at the moment to produce the number. I also think the ending was fine, stating something horrible through metaphor. The story has an excellent, gripping pace and the writing is even and consistent.

    Of course I’m coming to one question of not so good? And that is the voice of the girl’s thoughts that referred to her “multiple personalities.” If this is a case of a real MP Disorder, I question how it’s presented. I think there’s something too conscious about it, in this case, i.e., the person with MPD doesn’t decide Ok, well, now I’ll be Ruth, or, now I’ll be Jenni. I think it happens less consciously and with less control. Other than that, bravo!

    • Thank you for the thoughtful comments. It looks like I was trying to sound smarter than I actually am in my comment. In the setup of the story Jenni states what her other "personalities" are. (Perhaps not the correct term - characters are?) The only thing I know about psychiatry is that I occasionally need their services :) Jeff
      • Jeff, It's not that the word "personalities" is wrong. It's the way you presented Jenni speaking about them, as if having them were a light, and fun thing, that she did almost like a game. In reality, a Multiple Personality Disorder, which is in the category of Dissociative Disorders, is a serious mental illness which even though it likely arose for reasons of adapting to a hideous situation (e.g., being sexually abused), it's disturbing to the individual. It's more a means of involuntary escape from reality than a chosen means of coping with it. And, it's frightening to the person because of their lack of control of it, and the predicaments it lands them in, such as finding oneself in a situation in which the "other" or "main" personality would never be in. I think in the story it could work with some tweaking. (BTW I am a therapist.)
        • MPmcgurty
          Thank you for stating it much better than I did.
  • monksunkadan@aol.com

    Jeff, keep up the good work. I enjoy the way your stories flesh themselves out and fill the “dark corners” you seem to be searching for. There is a lot of substance in all that you do. Thank you for putting yourself out here.

  • monksunkadan

    Jeff, keep up the good work. I enjoy the way your stories flesh themselves out and fill the “dark corners” you seem to be searching for. There is a lot of substance in all that you do. Thank you for putting yourself out here.

  • Diane Cresswell

    This one hurt to read. You did a fine job of making known the flitting element of a young mind from fantasy to fleeting moments of reality. I wish and there is a reality all on its own,

  • Diane Cresswell

    This one hurt to read. You did a fine job of making known the flitting element of a young mind from fantasy to fleeting moments of reality. I wish and there is a reality all on its own,

  • It is not easy to make a terrible subject so readable. I think this is a very good piece of work. I used fantasy to escape from the world of childhood but my childhood was a picnic compared to this one.

  • It is not easy to make a terrible subject so readable. I think this is a very good piece of work. I used fantasy to escape from the world of childhood but my childhood was a picnic compared to this one.

  • Ife Olujuyigbe

    Whoa! This is something brilliant! I didn’t even wanna blink.
    Great job, Jeff.

  • Ife Olujuyigbe

    Whoa! This is something brilliant! I didn’t even wanna blink.
    Great job, Jeff.