All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Reruns – Papi by Christopher Dehon

Terveen Gill is a welcome newcomer to Literally Stories and has been reading and commenting the work for a few weeks now. On top of that she has taken the time and interest to submit this Rerun. Thank you Terveen.

Si, Papi, two simple Spanish words, mostly spoken as resigned agreement. Yet their evolution through the story marks their grim significance. A girl caught between feuding parents well understands the language of hatred. Her want of a better father keeps her connected to his dire situation. What jumps out at the reader is the sexual abuse the girl endures at the hands of her stepfather, a predator, yet a doting husband to the girl’s mother.

The impact of the last paragraph sends the reader into a state of mournful and wishful thinking. The girl’s persisting hope and visualization of her father’s turnaround and recognition of his fatherly duty makes one want to forgive bloodshed in the name of vanquishing evil.

Q. There’s a resounding ache in this story depicting a daughter’s muted devotion towards her disgruntled father. Is this inspired by mere imagination or is there a touch of reality to it?

Q. You chose an ending that leaves a gruesome image in the reader’s mind. How confident were you of your story and writing skills to consider pulling this off?

Chritopher’s Response:

Terveen,

I remember sitting at a pub when I wrote this.  As far as truth, there is always truth in every story. I knew someone long ago who didn’t speak Spanish like her father so would answer “Si, Papi” without knowing what he’d ask. That’s about where the truth ends and fiction begins. As far as the hubris to choose that ending, it truly came to me on those rare and fleeting occasions of inspiration that we all search for but can only come organically. It just felt right. 

***   

Papi

8 thoughts on “Literally Reruns – Papi by Christopher Dehon”

  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It’s a joy to read the wonderful stories published here. And it was such an honor to write a rerun for a story that left a deep impression upon my mind. I read it several times and each time it crushed my heart.
    Christopher, I can see how your imagination spiraled around the two words. And I couldn’t agree more – the ending must have felt right because it made me, the reader, wish that the girl’s hope for her father and his act of retribution would some day dawn true.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Terveen-Great choice for a re-run. I usually don’t want stories to end. This one, well, I was glad it was short. A jarring subject, told brilliantly.
    Thanks for suggesting this one be given another turn.
    Ed

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That is poignant the way the character of the true father is imaged and thought up by the protagonist, and then at the end she dreams of him as her saviour. That is also very well written the way the current stepfather is contrasted with the true one.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Terveen,

    Excellent choice and very insightful questions!
    Hope you enjoyed doing this and you know where we are if you ever want to showcase another favourite!!

    Christopher, I had another look at this and re-read the initial comments.
    I tip my hat to you as you took this where it was going.
    Morally we can debate but there is something honest in a wish for revenge or comeuppance. Now, whether we should act on that is another debate.
    I don’t think anyone could change the minds of the strongly decided.

    I really enjoyed seeing this again!!!
    Hugh

    Liked by 1 person

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