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Disappearing Woman

The fading of innocence

By Christiane WinterPublished 14 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - September 2023
Disappearing Woman
Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

"Disappearing Woman

In silence, she's been bound

She's here, but gone without a trace

Nowhere to be found"

The hot, summer sun beat through the window of my bedroom, the song of cicadas leading my small, clumsy hands in their creaking ballad of inspiration. Britney Spears smiled down at me from a poster above my white, wicker desk, her pigtails adorned with tufts of white feathers, beaming a porcelain smile that had yet to crack under the pressure of stardom.

The year was 1998. I was 6 years old. Or, if you'd asked me then: 6 and one quarter, thank you very much.

I recall the shock, followed by the stain of briny tears falling from my newly divorced mothers face when I proudly showed her what i'd been working on. Back then, I really didn't know where the words were coming from. It wasn't like now, at 31, squinting at a laptop screen through blue light glasses and huffing in frustration - they just poured out of me with no sense of reason. I loved to write, and the words would shake themselves loose from my clammy fingers onto the pages of my pink spiral notebook. (It had to be pink; after all, I was a princess, you know.)

I had all the makings of a normal, if precocious, child. I danced and cooed with glee to the rhythm of boy bands, I sifted through the warm earth of my back yard for wriggling earth worms, I sat in rapt awe of Snow White as she crooned to cartoon birds- and heaven help any adult who dared to dress me in anything but a frilly dress and lace capped socks; and yet, the words that flowed through me were of a different age, as if my pen were held hostage by the mind of a wiser being. I didn't understand what I wrote, only that it came as easily to me as breathing, and that it froze the "grown-ups" in their tracks with confusion.

I wrote of things, that now, I can comprehend all too well, but could never put to paper. Where I once wrote of pain beyond my years, I now write of fantasy, of far off worlds that could never exist- of the places I long to escape to. It seems, that in my innocence, I channeled those around me with frightening aptitude and precision, where in my adult years, I hide that suffering within me as adeptly as they did.

"Once upon a time, she'd laugh

She'd joke, and dance, and sing-

But never again since that crooked man gave her a diamond ring"

Writing ExercisePromptsLifeInspirationChallenge

About the Creator

Christiane Winter

Science fiction, horror, and dark comedy enthusiast. I have been a GM for D&D for 10 years, playing for nearly 20. Like all aspiring authors, I have hundreds of stories, and almost none have been finished.

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  3. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  3. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

Add your insights

Comments (17)

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  • Perry Minkoff8 days ago

    Came for the story, stayed for the life it lives itself.

  • I don't know how I missed this, I try to read as many Top Stories as I can. This is so melancholic. Beautifully done! And a rather late, but better than never 'Congratulations!' 🤍

  • Dana Crandell13 days ago

    Congratulations on a well-deserved Top Story.

  • Diani Alvarenga13 days ago


  • Tommy Ballard13 days ago

    Love it, really well told

  • Martyna Dearing13 days ago

    Love how different this is!

  • Alexander McEvoy13 days ago

    That was beautiful It settled over me like a doldrum of melancholy

  • ✍️ Profound insights into foundational memories... Beautiful prose! 👏

  • Cathy holmes14 days ago

    This is amazing. Congrats on the TS.

  • Marvelous 14 days ago

    It’s so real and fascinating

  • AH14 days ago

    This writer has an inate pulse! Form, vision, tactile renderings which reveal so much. Well done!

  • Margaret Brennan14 days ago

    love it. it's so real, I feel as though I lived it.

  • Alice Marrone14 days ago

    Phenomenal work, congrats on ts, it's well deserved!

  • Wonderful and dramatic! Very well done! Congrats on TS!

  • Congratulations on your Top Story🎉🎉🎉✌️

  • Kristen Balyeat14 days ago

    Wonderful piece and such a beautiful story, Christiane! Congrats on the top! Well deserved! 💫

  • Beautiful and fascinating. What we do inside ourselves can be a mystery to others.💙Anneliese

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