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Cole Parker, The Farm Boy


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Sneaking in today at the bottom of the AD main page in the short story section is another excellent story by Cole Parker: The Farm Boy

Yes, a fantastic story. Not at ALL what you'd suspect from the title either. I loved the story and it is excellent.

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One of those "short" Cole Parker stories that take all day to read. I get it, there was so much to say and he did it well. Shades of Ren for the farm aspect and the horses... I do believe that Cole is a secret cowboy at heart.

Enjoyed the characters and how they worked out the issues since what is a good story without issues? Thanks, Cole.

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I loved this novella. (It's a lot longer than just a short story.) What the horse farm setting brought to my mind are all of the great stories by Andrew Todd (http://www.awesomedude.com/andrew-todd/). Cole's tale has such a wonderful flow, and the self-referential plot point near the end that explains why the story is being written in the format it was being written in was amazing (but I won't reveal any more, for fear of spoilers).


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Thanks, all. I worked hard on this one, and I am proud of it. I tell myself every time I write in present tense, no more! But here I found it very effective. And with experience, it isn't as difficult as it was the first time.

It's funny, but the mail I got for this was from people who haven't written me before. I guess different themes cause different people to write. I never get much mail, but enjoy what I do. It is heartwarming to be appreciated.


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When I started to read Farmboy I was looking for a fitting description for the way Derrick reports what's happening to him. Then I thought of one: laconic. And then I read the same word a few paragraphs later in the story! And initially I was a bit confused by the blue paragraphs. But it worked really well for the last flash-back. Initially I thought some text got lost when abruptly we are transported to this horrible scene (I hope I am not giving away too much here).

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I expected there to be some confusion when reading it. I also expected it all to become clear. I tried to make the way it was written suggest the way Derrick felt early on. Confused, unsure of how to act, or how he'd be accepted. Wanting badly to fit in. I used several devices to accomplish this.

I hope at least subconsciously, some of this came through. Sounds like perhaps it did.


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Naw, he was just fiddling with it.

Oh boo!

Leave it to Gee to make it sexual. lol And you know what they used to say! A man that will pun will certainlypick a pocket!

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  • 1 month later...

I started this right after it was posted and got so depressed about 10-15% of the way in that I had to stop. I'm going to try to take another run at it soon. I've never been let down by a Cole story so I know I should persist.


I was like you. PLEASE, go on, it gets better I promise. You certainly won't regret it. Cole doesn't write un-good.

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It took me a while to read this story.

I stopped and started a few time. It poked me right in the issues a few times and I retreated.

A lot of what Cole was describing is the way Post Traumatic stress manifests itself.

Even when you take a person out of a bad situation it's still inside them like poison.

It will come out one way or the other. It could have been a much, much darker story.

Due to the intelligent and compassionate actions of the hero of the story, the UNCLE in my view, the story turned out about as well as it possibly could have.

There were other directions that it could have gone and most of them weren't nice.

Been there. Done that. Threw away the t-shirt.

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I finally made it through to the end. I knew I would not be disappointed. In fact I was ready to stand up and cheer in a few places.

I found myself greatly affected by this paragraph about halfway in:

"I've been happy with all the chores and work I do on the farm. It keeps my head still. When I'm alone and not working, my head fills with a jumble of thoughts about my dad and mom, about what life was like then, and about now, too. I try to hold them together, but sometimes I really can't. I try not to think about a lot of things from back then, too."

It was pretty amazing when a major source of these feelings finally and dramatically came to light -- and though quite plausible n hindsight was unexpected by me.

My already high esteem for Derrick went up several more notches with his Colin Kelly-esque solution to the problems with Missy. I was impressed with the maturity and restraint that showed.

Good show.


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Possibly we all have a dark side to us. This story certainly was begging at those parts of me to reveal themselves. I had to purposefully reject them. It would have been easy to fall to the seductive charms of the dark side. I didn't, though, and that's one of the reasons I'm proud of this story. The characters in it, for the most part, had great courage. I find Derrick's uncle a man of immense integrity; I wish all abused kids could have a figure like that in their lives.

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I find Derrick's uncle a man of immense integrity; I wish all abused kids could have a figure like that in their lives.

I agree, and also agree with your comment at the end of the story.

As best I can recall, we never learn for certain whether the uncle is the brother of Derrick's father or Derrick's mother, although I would guess it was the father. But if so, it's hard to imagine how two such different people could come from a common family origin. We also never learn any info suggesting why Derrick's father is so obsessive and cruel.


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I think I made it clear that he was Derrick's mother's brother. I'd have to check to make sure, but I'm pretty sure that's in there.

If it's in the early part of the story I read some time ago, that would explain why I couldn't remember it now.

Update: I just went looking and can't find it.

Update 2: Went looking a second time and still can't find it.


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