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Empty Shoes

   (4 reviews)
Sub-genres: Contemporary Literary

Life is full of random events; tragedy strikes where it will until random goodness displaces the ugliness. Neither event lasts, fades in our collective memories until the roulette wheel of life lands on the unlucky number of some town or city. We’ve become callused…numb…and disbelieving of events outside of our homes, neighborhood, and state. It simply happens somewhere else…until.

Copyright © 2021 drsawzall; All Rights Reserved.

Story Recommendations (7 members)

  • Action Packed 4
  • Addictive/Pacing 4
  • Characters 7
  • Chills 2
  • Cliffhanger 2
  • Compelling 2
  • Feel-Good 1
  • Humor 1
  • Smoldering 0
  • Tearjerker 5
  • Unique 4
  • World Building 3

  • Like 9
  • Love 3
Select Chapter
Table of Contents
  • 1. Chapter 1
    • 4,809 Words
  • 2. Chapter 2
    • 6,083 Words
  • 3. Chapter 3
    • 3,843 Words
  • 4. Chapter 4
    • 2,643 Words
Story Cover
Empty Shoes.jpg

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James Carnarvon

   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Empty Shoes is a heartfelt story told, unusually, from the perspective of the loving father of a gay teen. As such, it is written as a series of recollections with minimal dialogue.

It starts out as a coming out tale of sorts, although this is really just a sweet prelude. Years flash by in the first chapter in order to deliver us to to the remaining three chapters, where the real meat of the story is.

I don't want to spoil the story by explaining what happens next, but major themes include the casual cruelty of random chance and the price of courage. It's safe to say that there are hard-hitting passages in the story that some readers may find a bit too close for comfort; we ride with the main character through a terrible situation in which he feels completely powerless to help, and the author puts us right there with him. But, in both the gentle set-up and the aftermath, the story is also a testament to the power of love and the kindness that, under the right circumstances, people are capable of showing one another.

The author, @drsawzall, seems to be wary of putting dialogue into his stories, and I often find myself wishing he would give his characters a bit more of a voice to help us learn about them, how they see the world and what makes them tick. However, the retrospective nature of this tale plays to the author's strengths, and I was surprised by how deeply I cared for these characters despite the narrated style of most of the tale.

The ending of the story could be accused of straying from dramatic closure into political statement but, aside from that: a short story that punches above its weight on an emotional level, and a job well done.

Response from the author:

Thank you for the kind words, they are appreciated!

  • Love 3
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   3 of 3 members found this review helpful 3 / 3 members

Very relevant and very, very, intense and so sadly all too real.

The author does a great job of telling this story from the perspective of everyday people  instead of the talking heads on TV. In this case it was the families of a gay teen couple but it could have been any of us.

  • Like 2
  • Love 2
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   2 of 2 members found this review helpful 2 / 2 members

It is a fictional story, but unfortunately based on too many actual events. Well written and articulated, I hope it makes a difference where it counts. This is told from the perspective of the ordinary person, not the hyped up media point of view. A compelling and thought provoking read.

  • Like 1
  • Love 3
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Empty Shoes is a poignant story with a hopeful ending. At first it seems to be just another teen love story, however it is a story of the strength and love of families. It is also a tribute to friends that support the families as they face the emotional upheavals of tragic events they experience.

In addition, this is a convincing essay on how Americans have become disfranchised with the media and government corrupted by greed and power. The government is so severely polarised that it is unable to make even the simplest changes to protect the citizens, especially children.  This story is an impassioned plea for reason over extreme ideology.  It is so real and emotional as we become attached to these characters and feel the love in each individual of the families.  Empty Shoes is a skilfully written story by a great author and calls on us to reflect upon the frailty of today's society, as we look forward to a better day.

  • Like 1
  • Love 1
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