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?
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.