Over the last week, I’ve seen a great increase in the number of downloads of my perma-free short story, Autumn Sky. I’m not going to question why, any reason is good enough for me! But it feels good to see this short story climb the charts once more, for various reasons.
When I first wrote this story, it was meant to be a full-length novel based on my experiences. But when it came to putting the words on paper, I just couldn’t do it. It was too raw, too upsetting, and far too difficult to write. So I decided to try a shorter version, using only a few key events and changing some details completely. Autumn Sky was the result.
Initially, I wasn’t particularly enamoured by this story. It was too personal for me to feel any emotions about it. And then the reviews started to come in, and I was completely surprised. People wrote things such as:
“I love this short story for how it portrays abuse as just more than a physical thing; it can involve sexual, emotional, and verbal abuse as well. Her husband’s threats and accusations seem to be Julia’s typical day, no more out of the ordinary than a hug or kiss. Through her trials, Pryke handles the subject of abuse with care, explaining its every facet to her reader.
As an educational piece, “Autumn Sky” does fantastically. Please feel free to read this and learn more about the forgotten side of abuse.” – Anne Pyle
“Although a short read, this is an important book that looks at abuse. Julie thought Simon was the man of her dreams. It didn’t take long to realize just how wrong she was. Admitting it to herself and others is harder than she thought but is the most important first step in making things right. The author brings heart touching emotion into this quick read that is one to grab.” – P.S. Winn
“Thank you for writing this painful story about an area of life many of us are oblivious to – psychological abuse, a kind of silent killer.” – Petch
The story is loosely based on my own experiences of psychological abuse, which I endured for 23 years. I wanted to show people what it’s like to be subjected to this kind of abuse, day in and day out, but also show people in that situation that there is hope, there is a way out.
I found the courage to leave the relationship and start my life over again at the age of 40, with my two sons. I’ve since remarried and now have the kind of relationship I never thought I’d ever have, the kind I’d dreamed about ever since I was a young girl.
My story is permanently free on Amazon and all on-line retailers. Please download it, share it and encourage others to download it – you never know if someone you love is going through exactly this sort of abuse, and maybe it will help them find the courage to ask for help. As is so often said nowadays, you never know what’s going on behind closed doors.