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Circumstances


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  • 2 weeks later...

I hope everyone is following Circumstances as it posts. I usually can't do that with a serialized story, but since it was one of Cole's I started it and of course was immediately hooked and continue to be.

I'm dying to discuss it as it unfolds but of course that would spoil it for those who wait, so I will just have to hide all my thoughts and feelings, sorta like the boy in the story--oops, sorry about that.

So I'll wait it out and hope I don't forget all the great things I want to say about it. Thank goodness it posts twice a week.

James

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Has anyone else wondered what happened to Keith's father? Is he still in town, or might he at least still be interested in the welfare of his son? As smart and resourceful as Mr. Jenks seems to be, something tells me he's wondered about it. Mr. Jenks might not be able to get Keith away from his whacked out mother, but his real father almost certainly could, especially with Mr. Jenks' help. :hug:

Maybe Mr. Johnson and Keith's mom could elope together - they seem perfect for each other. :icon_geek:

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I should have done this sooner, but reading this story reminded me of the old joke about the farmer and circumstantial evidence. For those few who may not have seen the joke, here it is.

Circumstantial Evidence

A farmer was called to serve on jury duty. During the questioning of

prospective jurers the prosecuting attorney asked the farmer if he could convict someone on circumstantial evidence.

The farmer responded, "No way in hell could I do that!!".

The attornery asked why he was so adamant in his answer. He replied that he once had a very bad experience with circumstantial evidence. The attorney asked him to explain.

"Well sir", the farmer began, "I was out in the barn milking ole' Bessie one hot day and as I was milking her she kicked over the milk pail with her right front foot. The milk soaked my overalls and underwear, so I took them off, rinsed them out in the water trough and hung them out to dry. Then, I got a piece of rope and tied her right foot to the floor.

I sat back down and starting milking again and the silly cow kicked over the pail with her left front foot. So I tied that one down to the floor as well.

She then proceeded to kick over the pail with each of her back feet so I tied both of them to the floor...

Well, I thought I things under control until she whipped her tail around and slapped me right in the face. Very annoyed at her antics, I moved my stool behind her, stood up on it, and as I was in the process of tying her tail to one of the rafters, wearing nothing but my T-Shirt and boots, my wife walked into the barn!! .....No Sir!! I do not believe in Circumstantial Evidence

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Circumstances, Finale

When you are fourteen in our culture your circumstances are dire enough, for you have no real control over your own situation. That includes no choice over your location; no real freedom of movement; no significant income; no ability to select the groups you are placed in or schools you attend or bed you sleep in or house you call home. If that isn't hard enough to deal with, then add some other possible circumstances that might be your lot: parents who don't love you, school officials who don't like you, teachers who misunderstand you, classmates who ignore you or worse, who shun you, or even worse, who are actively out to get you.

Cole has done a masterful job of examining the force and the effect of circumstances such as these upon a single individual, a solitary boy whose ability to cope with a situation that constantly shifts beneath his feet is tested to the limit. We can only watch in breathless anticipation as this writer moves this boy through ever changing, ever challenging new circumstances, as he and those around him act and react and learn and change. The outcome is in doubt throughout; much like driving on a twisted and steep mountain road in the dead of night with dim headlights that flicker on and flicker off, the odds that this boy will plunge off the edge to certain disaster are constantly greater than his chances that he will make it to the summit. The force of this powerful story results from its writer's ability to make us see and understand and learn along with its young protagonist, for by the end of this tale we all, characters and readers alike, will have experienced a profound shift in the circumstances of our understanding.

Congratulations to Cole for his ability to transform a single element of flash fiction into this powerful extended narrative rich with meaning.

James Merkin

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Congratulations to Cole for his ability to transform a single element of flash fiction into this powerful extended narrative rich with meaning.

Cor - what he said! James has done a great job of describing the fine qualities of Cole's splendid story. I've been rivetted to it throughout and thoroughly enjoyed every episode. Thank you Cole!

One one level I'm glad it's finished, otherwise it would have been a significant distraction for me as I attempt to write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. Can't write if I'm too busy reading... in fact, what am I doing here on the AD forums? Bad Bruin, back to the grindstone with you! :icon_geek:

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  • 3 months later...

All right, I'm late catching the bus on this one, but I just wanted to swing by and say that Cole is still awesome.

I tend to not start reading his stories until they're finished, because I want to read them all in one sitting. That's how I read most good authors, to be honest, whether net-authors or print-authors.

I think Cole has carved out a niche for writing about kids with issues learning to accept themselves. I mean, don't get me wrong, a lot of authors in this genre do that, but Cole seems to do it consistently RIGHT. And he tends to make the psychological growth and inner turmoil the center of a story, rather than a cheap way to add drama to a romance.

I like the format of this one - 50+ quick chapters rather than ~20 long ones. Again, it's something I don't usually see in net serials, and I thought it worked well for the pacing of this story.

Also, Cole is the KING of writing asshole school administrators. My god. I think I know where Mr. Johnson went after he left this story. Seriously, this character rang so true with me because I've worked with him in the past. I may have - MAAAAY have - ended up telling him that if he ever made one of my students cry again, I'd have his job and hang his license over my mantle as a trophy* (What I WANTED to say was that I'd kick his ass and have his balls hung over my mantle, but I was trying to be professional). See that? Cole does the love-to-hate villains well enough to make me reminisce about their real-world counterparts.

Anyway, if there's any other procrastinators out there who have been putting off this story, get to it.

*I did. Well, not the trophy part. The state kind of frowns on that, and I don't really have a mantle.

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  • 4 years later...

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