This changes everything. Our first finalist

Good evening, Literati!

Pleased to say that my computer is behaving properly now–would not reboot for a few days until it was properly caffeinated.

But now that i am back on line, let me post the first of our finalists in our contest You Didn’t Write That.  We  (moi, actually) demanded of our finalists a new prompt “This changes everything”

But actually, this entry changes nothing.  We already knew that Tisha Deutsch was a talented and sensitive writer.  this just proves the case.

It’s good to be king.


Tell Me a Story

by Tisha Deutsch

The man who talks to me, the one in the office decorated with stuffed animals, sits in a soft leather chair. It’s brown, except for the edges, where his hands rest. Those are worn grey. He says to me in a voice that matches his chair, “Honey, it’s important for you to tell me your story.”

Hard as I could, I tried to remember. I wanted to give him what he said I needed so he would make me all better and feel real good about the work he did, fixing me up clean and nice. But I knew. He could never understand what it meant to be me, eight years alive and still no story worth telling. It fell out over the ocean as I crossed the world that day. Lost. Like the piece of bubblegum I was hiding that I’m sure my sister took. Just as the rest of them, the man in the chair, my parents, she’s white. Not me though. I am a brown girl in a white world.

“Shush, don’t cry. This changes everything. You’re going to Amadeeca!” My African nanny whispered to me before I left.

She was right.

In America, my story vanished.



…but perhaps Tisha will help her tell a new story?


16 thoughts on “This changes everything. Our first finalist

  1. Michael Stang says:

    Your story, for me, captures that child’s innocent superiority, which immigrants of color hold inside themselves till it’s time to tell a story.  White child’s don’t know they have an inside.   The very end sent chills-excellant!  One question… who’s white?

      • Michael Stang says:

        Your take on my question (who’s white) is so to the point, but that is not what I asked.  In the story, the girl says, “just as the rest of them, the man in the chair, my parents, she’s white,”  who is it  you are referring to?  It caught my attention.  I do not think it was a mistake.  Melting pot minds want to know. Best of luck with the contest.

        • Tisha Jones Deutsch says:

          Oooooh, haha! Funny. My mistake.  It’s her sister who is white. The one who took her gum. I was running out of words, not wanting to exceed 200 (it’s 200 words on the button!) so I changed “my sister is white, like the rest of them….” to what is written now. Hopefully that clarifies. 🙂

          • Tisha Jones Deutsch says:

            Oh, yes and thank you. Same to you! I’ve entered and never won also, so like you, I hope to become a blushing bride one day…:) Whatever the outcome, I appreciate the challenge, the creative outlet, and the place to give and receive inspiration! I’m just a regular mom, with  a slew of kids, who likes to write for fun. So I feel fortunate to be included.  

          • Mac Eagan says:

            Word counts are my worst obstacle so I try to pay close attention to the rules.  I noticed the measurer-in-chief italicized the word “about” when he said 200.  I was over 270 on the story I entered (my first story was 291 and I hadn’t even finished the introduction) but managed to trim it to a smidge over 250.  I decided he meant to make it bold as well and went with it.

  2. Mac Eagan says:

    I read your story and told Mari that the competition was already tough.  I also told her a little about who you are and she asked, ‘Is she the one who wrote the story about the Mom fixing the daughter’s hair?’  What a recommendation for you, that she remembers a story from . . . how long ago?
    This story and the one Mari remembered put me in mind of the phrase, ‘you wouldn’t understand,’ but what I find so compelling about your writing is it seems you do understand.  You write from a place of empathy.  You help us to remember what it is like to feel different and to be treated as different.  You find out hearts.

    • Tisha Jones Deutsch says:

      Mari has a great memory!! That WAS a long time ago! Thank you for your nice words. Your remarks about everyone’s stories are always so well thought through! Sometimes I get stumped on what to write in response to an entry, even if I enjoyed it very much. It seems too silly just to say, “I liked it.” But I can’t always think of something better! You’re the Comment King. You don’t mind if I just copy and paste your responses, do you? 🙂 BTW, I was looking for your entry with the “this changes everything” prompt. I can’t seem to find it. Did I miss it somewhere? Thanks again!

      • Mac Eagan says:

        Can’t find my entry or can’t find the prompt within my entry?  Scroll through the slides on the home page and look for the rose stem.  I got Thorned (well, Thorn thinks I did and I’m going to keep letting him believe that – for now).
        Let me know if you find it.  Thx.

  3. Sandy says:

    I had the same confusion as Michael about who you were referring to as white… thanks for clearing that up Tisha.  Lovely story as always.  Your placement of the mandatory words “this changes everything” is so perfect.  This is a winning piece for sure.

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