Monday, 22 February 2016

A READER'S STORY: PICTURE PERFECT

Reader Ribh's fan-fiction story from Summer Tanberry's point of view is a real tear-jerker... make sure you have a box of tissues nearby!

Ribh writes:
As I flick through the photograph album with Mum, Paddy and my sisters beside me, tears sting my eyes. The photos are full of happy memories, but life's mishaps mean that they're upsetting memories now, and it hurts to see the photos. The others don't feel the same as me; they are laughing and saying how cute we were as children, while my heart breaks a little.

There is a picture of me, aged nine, walking in the forest near Tanglewood... there's snow on the ground and I'm carrying a lantern and a basket. Tears of sadness and joy flow down my cheeks - it's a perfect picture. I was with Mum and Dad - my real dad - and my sisters, and we were going for a winter picnic with our Christmas Day leftovers. We were happy then. I remember sharing in the feast, then dancing in the snow with the little lace skirt floating out around me.

Those were the days, the days when my eating disorder had not yet taken me over. The days when I always felt free and happy, when the love of dancing filled me up and lightened my soul. Back then my dreams were filled with images of dancing at the Royal Opera House. Now those dreams have turned into sleepless nights wondering what went wrong, wondering how the dreams turned to dust, how the world became a place filled with regret and heartache.

The tears streak my cheeks as I look at that old photograph, and I hate myself for letting an eating disorder destroy my dreams. I can't tell my sisters how I feel - they'd just worry even more about me than they do already. I am left feeling isolated and alone, looking at this fragment of a picture perfect life that was soon to fall apart, reminding me of the hopes and dreams I have lost, the happiness and freedom I have never quite found since. I may not be that happy chid any more, but I still have a child's innocence and vulnerability.

'You OK?' my twin Skye asks, and I wipe the tears away and pull a silly face.

'Sure,' I say. 'These old pictures are just so funny! How cute were we?'

I pretend that the tears are from laughter, and the innocent, vulnerable child is hidden yet again.

Cathy says:
Sniffle! Fab story, Ribh, and one that really taps into the deep sadness that Summer is hiding from her sisters. Gulp! Did YOU enjoy Ribh's fan-fiction? COMMENT BELOW to have your say!

9 comments:

  1. This story is fabulous, I enjoy writing myself and would love this to be made into a book

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  2. Lovely sad story, I love hearing more from the sisters :)

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  3. I think it should say tears 'sting' her eyes rather than "string". But this story is so good, I love that Ribh focuses on the darker stuff - regret and self loathing and anger - that Summer must be feeling because, although I'm sure she'll recover and get her happy ending with her family's support, it does give more insight into Summer's character and portrays eating disorders in a stark and realistic light, like in Summer's Dream. It's not just the eating or lack thereof - it's the emotions that caused it and the emotions that stem from it that need to be seen, understood and tackled. You can tell an anorexic to eat 'til you're blue in the face but you have to look at the reasons they're feeling so bad and how you can help before they'll feel any desire to save themselves and try to get better. That can be tricky because they're often closed books who hide how they're feeling and stubbornly insist that they're fine - like repeating it will make it so. The fanfiction is realistic, with Summer regretting how she let her childhood slip away yet still feels vulnerable and powerless like a kid and doesn't feel she can even let her twin sister see that and that's why I like it. Ribh is an awesome writer anyway, shes got a great writing style. I hope she writes more fanfics!

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    1. I love it for exactly those reasons too, Blue. It gets right inside Summer's heart and soul. xxx

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    2. I love this fan-fic, it's really inspiring! It even inspired me to write one for Skye or Coco (The two I most relate to!)

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  4. Where can I write something? Like my own fanfiction?

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  5. Emotional fanfiction,Ribh! It could be included in a sequel to Summers Dream!

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  6. Omg I love that soooooo much!!! It actually brought tears to my eyes.
    Amazing
    Xxx

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  7. true potential there!!!

    Happy writing! :-)

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