Another one didn’t make it home.
I was one of the little ones. We were invisible.
The girls cooked.
Grandpa, he had his toolbox.

With his steely blue eyes it only took one glance, and a nod. First, the older ones went up to Mom’s room and took apart the cradle. Grandpa stayed silent. If the boys fought however, he’d slam the toolbox down loudly. He made his point.

They carried the pieces into the barn, hiding it under an old quilt. Mother came home the next week. “Where’s my cradle?!” she asked, distraught.
Then I’d hear him cry.

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Voice-Team
Voice-Team(@voice-team)
Admin
4 months ago

This caught our attention from the first line, the sadness of one that “didn’t make it home”. It deserved a second reading in order to observe all the nuances. Life and loss as seen through the eyes of a child. The entire piece is a study in love.  

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
5 months ago

You have really captured the sad impact of loss on everyone, Melissa. I read it several times and each time it seemed to say more. And, each time I felt the loss as though I was there. Very well done!

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
5 months ago

An emotional story, Melissa, with each read invoking more. That last line is a heartbreaker. I love how you never give too much away, allowing the reader to delve deeper. What a talent you have.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
5 months ago

Hi Melissa, please excuse my ignorance, is Grandpa taking apart the cradle again because the mother has had another miscarriage? Your writing is so subtle that I want to make sure I’m understanding it correctly. It is a very touching piece, regardless.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
5 months ago

After posting my question, I saw you reply to Sandra. My Grandma also suffered a stillbirth and a couple of miscarriages before finally getting the boy she so wanted—they already had my mum and aunt. They were part of a mining community and medical care wasn’t the greatest. I think that generation went through a lot!

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
5 months ago

Hello, Melissa. Your story is very moving. You have well expressed every grief of your protagonist at the loss of a loved one in life. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
5 months ago

You are always welcome, Melissa.

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Emily O'Leary
Emily O'Leary(@emily-oleary)
5 months ago

Such a heartbreaking tale that’s all too familiar for so many. Beautifully written Melissa, you really captured the emotion with your words.

Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
5 months ago

What a well-written story, Melissa. Subtle but powerful, very moving. Well done.

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Margarida Brei
Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
5 months ago

A moving story of loss with a powerful last sentence, Melissa.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
4 months ago

I love the way you have described this family and its terrible fate, Melissa. With so few words you make the people and the situation alive. I can sense the respect the children had for their strict father, but in a masterful way, you also show us that he had a soft and good heart. Also: what a great and unique idea to let the toolbox take the central place in this story!

Heather Chrzanowski
Heather Chrzanowski(@heather-chrzanowski)
4 months ago

Melissa, you always do such an incredible job capturing emotion and atmosphere in your writing. I love reading your work.

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Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
4 months ago

Congratulations Melissa! I love your story and have read it many times.

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Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
4 months ago

Congratulations, Melissa, to your runner-up accomplishment. Well deserved!

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
4 months ago

Very poignant and a well deserved win

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
4 months ago

Well done, Melissa! A very special story  💛 

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
3 months ago

Congratulations, Melissa. So happy for you.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
3 months ago

You’re welcome, Melissa.

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