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for A Swimmer's Sad Secret

3/29/2019 c1 6AllegroGiocoso
Interesting to see the setup of what looks to be a similar story to Swim of Silence but perhaps taking place in a sleep story?

The emptiness and ominous descriptions are good foreshadowing of what this sleep story may be. Seeing Judy (I think?) calling out for Ducky’s help instantly jarred me, and love to see Ducky’s kind soul determine to help however she can. Being in some kind of alternate universe, where Ducky can actually interact with Judy and her family at the time of the murder, is very thought-capturing. Seeing Ducky’s knowing cries of warning, and Judy’s in contrast used-to-abuse underplayed response, is tragic to see and gives an insight as to how beaten Judy was. Glad to see Ducky at least getting a chance to attempt to save Judy’s life, even if only in her sleep stories. Rolf’s creepy persistence after Judy and Ducky gives me vibes of the many sharptooth chases, indeed, Rolf in many ways is just that – a predator. Pleased to see Nitha doing her best to try to stop her deranged husband. Heartbreaking to see his destructive possessiveness, and that Nitha had fallen on the chase. Love Judy’s response. After putting up with so much, her mother’s death really gave an opportunity to let it all out and more. Amazing to see how cruel he is to both Judy and Ducky, his insults to Ducky are especially hurtful and make you hope a sharptooth bites him on the spot. His heartless killing, effortless and casual, really is disturbing. Poor Ducky, this is worse, actually having to be part of the experience. Feel really proud for the bravery she put up against Rolf in the face of certain death. The stabbings are really bloodcurdling to read, each one making me feel as I’m the one who’s being stabbed!

Whew, that was an intense one. As I see Ducky waking up to the peace of her family and the Valley, my breathing is slowly returning to normal. Describing what happened though certainly is an ordeal, so glad Mama Swimmer saw that and didn’t press Ducky for details in front of the others. Poor Spike too, I can’t imagine how concerned he is about this.

Good to see Ducky’s mother fully understands what Ducky went through. Can’t blame Ducky for wondering why her family did not take more action, though Mama Swimmer does explain very satisfactorily. Sadly I do think considering the deliberative nature of the herd, that Mama Swimmer is right on this. Very thoughtful discussion on Ducky not telling her friends about Judy as well. Love Mama Swimmer reminding Ducky of how well each of their friends could sympathize, and how Mama Swimmer explains the broader context of death. I’m pleased to see how well Ducky understood as well. Although Littlefoot did mention the circle of life to Ducky in Movie 2, just a minor nitpick. Revealing the story to her friends is bound to be really hard, and I don’t blame Ducky for being hesitant about it. Touching end with Mama Swimmer at the ready to prevent any more bad sleep stories.

Glad to see Papa Swimmer understanding Ducky just needing rest after all she’s already been through. Nice touches with Ducky’s hesitance to fall asleep too.

Thank heavens Topps didn’t insert himself in this! At least this provides a natural segue for Ducky to tell her friends about Judy. Interesting revelation for Ducky in that she was the only one who had a really close friend before, reinforcing my thoughts about Ducky’s unique position in the first movie. Very impactful to see the rest of the Go7 getting acquainted with such horrors. Love to see their reactions throughout Ducky’s retelling of the story. Ducky’s breakdown here, even after reading these events several times now, is still very emotional and you just want to hug her. Can’t imagine how shocked the rest of them must be. The impact this had on Cera is fascinating, and can’t help but be stunned by Ducky’s rage toward an innocent if insensitive question. Really shows how affected Ducky is by this. Very happy to see Ducky apologize, and love the others telling about their corresponding experiences. Seeing Ducky look at the sky and wondering about Judy is also really giving me the shivers.

Nice displaying the aftereffects and everyone else’s stunned, indignant responses. Great to see that everyone is so committed to making sure no incidents like this would happen today. And very sweet ending to this riveting tale.
8/27/2018 c1 20The Rhombus
I must echo the sentiments of Sovereign with regards to this story. The narrative itself effectively conveys Ducky's overwhelming feelings of guilt and regret arising from Judith's untimely fate, displaying the same knowledge of the characters and the effective storytelling that you displayed in last month's offering. Likewise the power and emotion of the scenes in this story resonate with a rawness that I have not really seen in other stories apart from this story's immediate precursor. A rawness that extends to the realization that some wounds simply cannot heal, but must scab over with the toils of time. In many ways this is an honesty that was somewhat hidden in the films (see the lack of references to Littlefoot's mother and Littlefoot's thoughts on her after the first film, with only a few exceptions) but that you captured here rather effectively.

But ultimately I do feel that the first story would have worked effectively as a stand-alone. This is an effective story that I do not regret reading, but I do think that the overall narrative that was started in the first tale is effectively concluded in this offering. So I must agree with your sentiments that this should not become a running series. All that being said, you should be proud of the two-story narrative that you have created here. :) It shows a fundamental love of the characters and an understanding of their personalities to be able to place them in such a bleak place, but yet to believable show how they would react to such eventualities. With the quality stories you have created thus far, I eagerly look forward to your next story.
8/27/2018 c1 29Vortex Lord
I wonder if the story about Judy got told to the rest of The Great Valley.
8/27/2018 c1 26Keijo6
It's great to see another story centered around Swim of Silence. I certainly enjoyed the new scenes here and the writing itself was as great as ever. From the horrific nightmare to Ducky’s terrifying revelation to the Gang, this fic offered many scenes that again impressed me greatly. Yet, there were a few things that caught my eye but they were understandable for a sequel like this.

The dream in the beginning was a great way to show just how badly Rolf’s deed impacted Ducky. The emotions there were again built perfectly and the way the nightmare progressed to its inevitable ending was absolutely chilling. Somehow, you manage to create the anger and shock of the moment like no other LBT writer I’ve seen which I don’t say easily. Also, the way Ducky reacted to her own story when she told it to the Gang was extremely impressive as were the Gang’s reactions. There was no way to undo the damage and I’d say it was the right choice to skip any lengthy speeches in that scene.

However, for the entirety of this story, I was wondering whether this fic was really needed. I hope you don’t get this wrong but Swim of Silence was such a powerful piece in itself that I feel it could have worked as a standalone story. I’m more than happy to have read this fic too but I truly hope you understand what I mean here. This is a great sequel but to a story that didn’t ask for continuation. Another thing I wondered was Cera’s reaction as I don’t think she’d suddenly begin to suspect her father to have murderous intent, no matter how shocking Ducky’s story. As for the ending part, it was quite brief and I feel that especially the final paragraph could have been polished more.

Still in the end, you continued the great trend you set in the original Swim of Silence and this was another proof of your writing skills. Once again, I was sitting on the edge of my seat the whole time and I hope my comments didn’t seem rude. All in all, amazing job with this one, again!
8/26/2018 c1 40OwlsCantRead
I wholeheartedly agree that this shouldn't be an ongoing series. The original was an excellent standalone, and this sequel for closure with the Gang of Seven is a wondrous wrapup to this tale of tragedy.

I like the dialogue and Ducky's confession to her friends, the whole package really, to the point where I only really have two real minor gripes with the fic. One is that you basically have to read A Swim of Silence for context before this, but it's supposed to be a sequel so yeah, I can't really fault that. Two is that you raise a good point with Cera reacting to Ducky's outburst, but their reconciliation and her thoughts about Topps end up relegated to the epilogue, which... seemed upsetting. I was looking forward to that.

Good job overall, man! Swim of Silence is one of my favorite standalone LBT stories, so to see a sequel that does it justice is great.
8/25/2018 c1 13TimeLordMaster108
This was a very well done sequal. You gripped me right from the start and that Nightmare scene was great. And the characters as always were captured perfectly

Hopefully this dosn't turn into anything, since I honestly can't see where else you can take this. Well unless you did the whole evil spirit thing that I did But I’m hopping you do more LBT fanfics.

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