Girl in Red

A Story

by Allyson Armistead
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Edgy subject. I get the idea that the girl will be in trouble with this stepfather shortly.

This is a beautiful story. The voice of the teenager is right on. I didn't like the step-dad wanna-be character, but I think that was the point.

Very well done. I didn't want to go where you were taking me but had no choice. You set it up so effectively. How manipulative Tripp is . . . how vulnerable Reilley is and how he fools her into having "confidence." Led us right into the bathroom. Him actually knocking on the door before opening it. And you ended it at just the right point. My heart went out to the girl, watching her slide down the slope. It wouldn't be this day, but soon. Tripp is patient.

Do girls this age really care about what a mother's boyfriend thinks of their body?

The writing is wonderful, but the story breaks my heart. Too painful to read. I have a low tolerance for such horror.

I think it depends on the girl. In this case, her family is dysfunctional, her father is absent, and at an already impressionable age where sexuality and external validation are particularly confusing, her mother's boyfriend's approval of her makes things doubly complicated. If you have thoughts on the subject, I'm interested. Thanks for reading.

I felt as if I were holding my breath during the last part of the story. Reilly is so vulnerable and Tripp, predator that he is, knows just how to lure her into a trap. You've created a girl I want so much to protect.

Great story. Poor girl. It shows how a teenager can go down any road if properly manipulated. Reilly has already seen how drastically Tripp has changed the appearance of her mother, and she is a girl longing for a change.

Beautifully crafted. My shoulders were tensed in anticipation of the inevitable. I loved the alliteration and the purposely-chosen color references. I hear resonances of Joyce Carol Oates, but with fresh vulnerability and perspective.

Ally, I love this story. Coming back to it after a few months, it's still as breathtaking as I remember.