PG Love Scene Blogfest: Tory’s Day

I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day. And in this, I may be one of the few. One night a while back while playing on Twitter, I caught wind of a blogfest challenge being issued. I don’t normally participate in blogfests because I have been busy working on the next book in the Misfit McCabe series. But when this particular challenge was issued, my mind burst with the possibilities and I knew I had to participate. To stop by and read the entries of the other brave souls of the blogfest challenge, click here, you won’t regret it. Thanks to Simon Larter over at Constant Revisions for being a stand up guy and hosting the blogfest. Okay, we bullied him into it, but he still was a good sport and has played a genial host. So, the challenge we all had to meet was to write a sex scene (I know everyone else is calling it a love scene, but I have objected to that from day one – let’s call it what it is people) that could be read by a middle grade reader. Denise Swank, one of the participants, has a 12 year old daughter and she is the litmus test – would Denise allow her daughter to read the blogfest entry?

Before you get to my entry, you might be wondering what the picture has to do with it. Well, I figured after reading my post, you might need something pure to look at. So, without any more ado, read on for my entry in the PG Love Sex Scene Blogfest.

Warning: The below scene has elements of abuse and may be uncomfortable to read.


Tory’s Day

     Tory snuggled under the covers and enjoyed the velvety feel of the darkness. Barely able to see the poster of her favorite band on the wall above her bed, she squinted to make out the lead singer. Her body sank into the bed, all tension lost, as thoughts of the morning’s bike ride to the park drifted through her mind.
     Aimee wanted them both to try out for the drama club in the fall when they started high school. Tory giggled while Aimee strutted across the grass pretending to be a high-class lady arriving for tea. Tory wasn’t sure she wanted to be in drama. She didn’t like to be the center of attention, but Aimee thrived on it. Maybe she could work on set design. She painted pretty well.
     The warm night air blew the frilly curtain out as it entered the room and the chirp of crickets filled her with a sense of contentment. Glad she decided to wear her cotton tank top pajamas; Tory let the warmth of the night engulf her. She pulled Millard, her longtime sleep companion, out from under her pillow. Her mother told her she was too old to sleep with a teddy bear and tried to take Millard away. Tory had given up playing with all of her other stuffed animals, and they now occupied the chest at the end of the bed. But she couldn’t give up Millard. He stood by her all of these years, keeping her safe in her sleep. Tucking him in the crook of her arm, Tory’s mind relaxed and drifted while she listened to the leaves rustling in the breeze.
     Her eyes flew open at the faint creak of the stair tread. Not tonight. I had such a great day. Please not tonight. Tory’s heart beat faster and she thrust Millard back under the pillow. Listening with an acuteness born of fear, she heard the stealthy steps as HE crept up the stairs.
     With each creak from the stairs, her heart stuttered. How could she avoid this? Maybe if she pretended to be sound asleep he’d leave her alone. She closed her eyes. Her muscles and nerves screamed as she strove to remain still.
     She took a deep breath in and slowly released it. Tory needed to calm her quick, shallow breaths as she heard his steps shuffle down the hall. Tears pricked the back of her eyelids as he stopped at her door, lightly jingling the coins in his pocket. He waited outside the door for an intolerable moment and she thought she’d shriek from the clinking of the coins. Her stomach tightened into a knot. At the snick of the door latch, two tears seeped out from beneath her tightly shut lids and pooled at the curve of her cheek before sliding off her face.
     Her heart pounded with each unsteady step of his approach; one shaky step at a time accompanied by a wheeze. Tory’s heart thumped so loudly it drowned out the crickets’ chirps.
     An expectant pause stretched between them until she felt the calloused tips of his fingers gently touch her cheek. Tory shuddered inside and hoped he didn’t feel her tremble. Then with a touch as soft as butterfly wings, he brushed her bangs back from her face. She whimpered. She couldn’t help it.
     Tory sensed the change in him as soon as he knew she was awake. His touch was no longer tentative and light. He stroked her hair. He always did before things became unbearable.
     He leaned forward as he traced the outline of her face. The sour stink of sweat mingled with whiskey and tobacco assaulted her. Tory gagged as the smells threatened to overpower. As he kissed her cheek, the heavy gold medallion he always wore thudded against her chest.
     No longer able to bear his closeness, his touch, Tory disconnected. He would do things to her body, but he couldn’t really hurt her if her mind wasn’t there. She mentally flew up to the corner of the ceiling and watched him do those things to her. A horrid fascination overtook her. She felt disgust for the girl on the bed, despising her for not fighting his touch, for not escaping his kisses.
     He pulled the blankets down. Tory dreaded what would happen next. He kissed her lips, murmuring soft words meant to soothe. Her stomach twisted as he rested his hand on her belly. Even watching became too much and her mind went completely blank.
     Annoying sounds brought her back — his tear-laden wheeze, muttering, “I’m sorry,” pacing, “How could I do that?”
     The cycle was almost complete.
     He stopped in the middle of one of his circuits and buried his face in his hands. His shoulders shook as he sobbed. His anguish made her feel dead inside. Now that it was over, Tory looked at him with no emotion and waited for him to leave.
   She pulled the blankets closer around her like a cocoon and waited. The minutes ticked slowly by. His remorse abated, and with a shuffling gait he stumbled toward the door. He paused at the door and whispered, “I’m sorry.”
     When the door closed with a click, the floodgates of emotion opened. The tears Tory couldn’t cry before streamed down her cheeks. Pulling Millard out, she hugged him tight. She couldn’t catch her breath. Her throat felt on fire from suppressing the tears for so long. Millard would soak up her tears and muffle her cries, again. She took a long-ragged breath and the sobs wracked her body.


One of my many Twitter friends pointed out that the below information would be additionally helpful to post at the end of this scene. I completely agreed and am sorry I didn’t think of including it from the start as this issue is so important. The below sites offer information and help for those who may face this disturbing situation:

  1. Child Molestation Research and Prevention Institute
  2. The National Center for Victims of Crime
  3. Child Abuse Hotline Info
  4. Child Help

These are just a few of the resources available.

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34 Comments on “PG Love Scene Blogfest: Tory’s Day”

  1. Wow, LK. My stomach has a knot, a lump is lodged in my throat and tears pool in my eyes. What a totally different take on this and now I know why yours is not a love scene. Ick, ick, ick. Nice job on showing not telling…I totally feel her pain and helplessness. Makes my heart break once again for all those who are personally familiar with this situation.

    1. Thanks Kristie. As soon as this challenge was issued, I knew I wanted to do this type of scene because part of being a writer is meeting difficult challenges. The only question in my mind was whether I could pull it off. There are too many of these girls (and boys) out there – even one is too many. They need to know that someone knows what they are going through.

    1. It’s funny while everyone else was freaking out about writing about sex for an MG audience, my freak out was whether or not I had the skills necessary to handle the scene that immediately came to mind as the challenge was developing. The one thing I knew was that I had to try.

  2. I thought writing a PG scene was hard until I read this. I’m just floored. If you can write something like this, you can write anything. Beautiful work.

  3. This absolutely made my stomach twist into a knot. The emotions you evoke here… wow. You’re brave to take on such a difficult subject, but I agree with you. There are too many people out there that this happens to, and they need to know they’re not alone.

  4. Oh, my. That’s… painful. The writing is so good, but the subject matter is so difficult. My hat’s off to you, good lady. This one was tough to read, so I’m sure it was tough to write.

    The hardest part of it was that you showed the man’s conflictedness as well as the girl’s experience. Just… ouch.

    Which means that you succeeded. You sure didn’t pull the punch. Well done.

    1. Well….I won’t apologize for your difficulty in reading it. After all, the point of this one is that it is difficult. Now you know why I wanted this challenge to be issued so much. The chance to challenge myself to write something powerful and yet do it in what I hope was a delicate way.

  5. I had wondered if someone would go this route. I certainly wasn’t brave enough to write it, but I think you did a wonderful job. The fact that it was so difficult to read only shows that you did it right. Major props.

  6. LK, wow. Um, this was a hard one to read. Which, as Shannon also said, shows that you did it really well. Go you for being brave enough! It was even more effective because you really led a reader to connect with Tory right from the start.

    Just, wow. =)

    1. The difficulty is what drove me with this one. In a way it is a practice run because a future project idea I will get to one day will have difficult subject matter to tackle and I wanted to be sure I could do it within the guidelines of the genre (although my future project will be upper YA, but not new adult). Thanks.

    1. Thanks. I knew from the start I didn’t want to go beautiful with this because I didn’t see beauty with the age group defined. Which is what made the challenge so worthwhile.

  7. I can see why you were so anxious to meet this challenge. And meet it you did. Head on. I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to write this and I have to say mad props to you for such an unflinching look at the subject matter. I’ve written rape and torture but never child molestation. I’m pretty much in awe right now at how perfect a piece this is.

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  9. Very. Well. Done.

    I think your use of small details, like Millard the bear, are what really makes this scene hit home. And the way Tory disconnects is particularly powerful.

    Thanks for including the links, too.

  10. Wow, that must have been murder to write. How long did your fingers hover over the keyboard before you could do it? Well done. Truly powerful.

    1. Once I got myself mentally ready, the words flowed out onto the page. Then I tweaked little bits here and there and added some detail. I knew the direction I wanted to go, put in the headphones, took a deep breath and typed.


  11. This is such a tough subject–but it’s so important. You did it tastefully. Good for you for being excited about the challenge, and for writing what you did. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I commented this morning but it obviously didn’t go through.

    This is an incredibly difficult topic but you did an incredible job of handling it. You captured the horror of the incident and the emotion of Tory. Beautifully done.

    1. Thanks so much. And I’m honored that you would consider letting your daughter read it. Of course with the proviso that you discuss it after she did. You’ll have to let me know if she actually does read it or not.

  13. This was very well written, and I’m so happy I didn’t go this route as I’d originally planned. I love the way you dealt with a difficult, heartwrenching topic. Bravo.


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