The Official Writing Challenge
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Oh my, this was so sad, and touching that a mother would give her son up rather than see him abused.

So poignantly written and a very well told story. I loved this, despite the tears in my eyes. Thank you for this fine entry.
I liked the way you built suspense throughout the story. The ending came as a surprise and put a powerful close to a tender, well written memoir.
I am in tears - what a sacrifice, what great love. This is so poignant - so beautiful. My heart is yours . . .
Overwhelmingly emotional, especially since I've been a child advocate most of my life. I loved the title.

A few syntax problems noted, but overall, a story with great flow that held my attention.
P.S. I love the term, "unpack his pain."
That close packs a wallop that I never saw coming, but you have conveyed so much emotion and pain in such a graphic economy of language. I hope this rates well, as it deserves to. It also invites more chapters that retrace the father's story. Clever title too.
Wow. So sad that you father kept the pain in for so many years. The twist at the end took me by surprise. Keep writing.
This is one of those pieces that stay with you for a long, long time. Brilliant writing. Should rate well.
So many children have been the objects of an adults inability to parent. Forgiveness is the only outlet for the cruelties inflicted. This is the only way to set the abused free and it puts the responsibility for justice with the ultimate Judge.
Thank you for writing this heartfelt piece!

Oh, this is good. My only "complaint" is that it could have been longer so I could have seen what happened after he escaped!
Wow this is so intense. You did a fabulous job of pulling me into the story right away. I immediately could visualize the scene.The conflict just oozed off the page in a thrilling, suspenseful way.

Toward the middle, you drifted into showing. It's easy to do with true stories, because to you every bit of the back story is vital. I don't know that the reader needed it all though. Perhaps you could have used John's thoughts to give that info. This is just an example to show you what I mean (I put his thoughts in quotes because I can't use italics here)
As John chopped, his anger grew. "Why did Mom marry him? I know the depression was hard on us, but the way he treats me hurts way more than a hungry belly." He swung again, allowing the anger to ripple through his muscles and exploded from the blade of the ax.
Like I said that's just an example.

Overall you did an awesome job. The ending had me shaking. My heart hurts that you feel so much hate. My son hates a man who hurt me and I worry about him at times. Child abuse, especially back then was often a dirty secret. I commend you for sharing this powerful story. I also think you did an incredible job of tackling the topic in a fresh and creative way. I again, I give one of my highest praises-WOW!
I can't help but wonder because of the intensity of emotions in the story especially, if it is a true one. I hope not, though I know God uses all things for His glory and we can become more compassionate people through situations such as these. i too have been a victim of physical and emotional abuse and Bea is so right, the only thing that truly brings peace is forgiveness. If this is a true story, I pray that the abuser found the Lord and I pray for the victims that they will have the anointing oil of our Lord Jesus upon their wounds. I also pray for the Lord's glory in the whole situation to come full circle and redeem. Your writing was very vivid and descriptive and it made me hurt with every tie that the MC's ax had to chop. That was such an irony, chopping ties while he was trying to cut the ties so he could break free. One thing that I found out the hard way -- whether one runs to a situation to try and remedy it, or away from it, without the Lord in the center it falls apart. There was one awkward sentence I noticed and I too would have liked to know what happened to the MC after he left. But it was painful to see that he carried all of that pain with him to his death bed. Blessings on you...
Very good piece! I'm a big proponent of seeing it in my mind's eye reading, if that makes sense... Well, you satisfied that and knocked it out of the park. I really felt like I was there as a visitor, watching and hearing the story play out. From the beginning I was drawn in, and the relief I felt when his mother found a way out of the misery for her son, bravo!

Thanks for sharing this with us.
Very touching story. im well aware of the hate that comes from a abuser. I think you did a excellent job conveying the message. I felt the sorrow and joy and pain in your writing. Keep writing.
Congratulations on ranking 33 overall!