1. Cry
  2. Move on

Joyce looked slowly at the two options and picked number two. 

She faltered, wondering whether she had chosen the right option. The news of her sister’s death was still fresh, and for nine months Joyce had allowed herself only one option—cry—so it was a surprise to see another option that morning. The decision though, had seemed easy. To be honest, Joyce was tired of the mind-numbing grief and endless tears. Moving on had seemed a nice change.

But she couldn’t be sure.

Mustering up her courage, she walked over to the table and reached for the most recent letter on her desk, titled Electricity Bill.

Another decision. 

  1. Open it
  2. Don’t open it

Joyce picked number one, and opened the envelope with shaking hands. To her relief, it wasn’t bad, nothing she couldn’t pay for. Relieved, she moved on to the next envelope in the pile. 

 Dear Joyce,

This is Henry, your sister’s husband. I know we haven’t met many times, but I have a favor to ask of you. I was wondering if you could take care of Carrie, your niece, for two months while I look for better work. 

Thanks, Henry.

Joyce gazed up in horror, mind reeling, flashing, worrying, and before she knew it a third decision popped up in front of her, chilling her to the bone. 

  1. Take care of the child
  2. Refuse, and let down your sister

Joyce knew what she had to do, whether she wanted it or not. Reluctantly, she chose number one.


Carrie squirmed in her pink high-chair and smiled happily at the twitching lady in front of her. Gap toothed and beaming, ruddy cheeks round like a chipmunk, she burbled as Joyce tried to feed her. Her twinkling eyes cut right through the coldness around Joyce’s heart, and she gasped.

Carrie giggled. 

Joyce stared in astonishment, breathing slightly heavier, and cupped Carrie’s small chin in her hands. She brushed a few strands of auburn hair from Carrie’s eyes. 

Suddenly one more decision floated into the air. 

  1. Keep her

Number two never came out. 

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Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

I like the way the story relates overtly to the theme of decisions. I am an irrepressible maker of lists, so perhaps should use the technique for making decisions about how to proceed.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
2 years ago

For a middle school student to be astute enough to knowledgably work through such decision making is amazing! it will be interesting to see how your writing matures.

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Decision making is always difficult no matter how trivial. Your story reflects that very well.

2 years ago

I love the format of this story, with its myriad of decisions. I especially loved the last decision, with only one choice! This is a well-written story that totally engages the audience. Good work!

By the way, you have the coolest avatar I’ve ever seen! I do hope you never change it.

Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

Wow! What a great story! I love how you’ve progressed through each stage, one step at a time. Sadly, just how we often get through a traumatic event and, if we’re lucky, find a little rainbow at the end. Well done, I really enjoyed it 🙂

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
2 years ago

Such a heartwarming story. A beautifully worded description of how Joyce gradually overcame her grief, using decisions to help her progress. There is nothing like the smile of a small child to help to melt the ice.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
2 years ago

I like it that the recurring theme in the story is a choice to be made. As in classical children’s fairy tales, it happens three times. After having made the right decisions, the heroine has qualified herself for a successful outcome, leaving her past terror behind. No more choices… Great story!

Leena Auckel
Leena Auckel(@leena-auckel)
2 years ago

Nice story showing how she transitioned from being indecisive to knowing exactly what she wants at the end!

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Hi Claire, I think Christer and Sandra sum it up beautifully – the smallest of choices can be the toughest ones. But I love the symbol of the child being a new start.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
2 years ago

I love this story. Making a decision is very difficult especially when you’re emotionally down at that moment. It is a very heart melting story especially at the last part. Nice one, Claire.

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