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for The Wake Up Call

2/15 c1 152Ally R. Swan
Oh my gosh that was a dream. Oh man...i was like what in he'll no Ryan...and then it turned out to be a dream. Man you had me going there. This was great.
7/28/2019 c1 Guest
What an excellent character study, or studies, so filled with insights, very keen perspective, acute emotions and the kind of detail, subtle body language and reactions that all combine to provide an amazing, investing, transformative slice of life. I would have paid to see this, and to read it!

Thank you. If I needed to think about how much I enjoy your writing and miss it, this is it.
7/21/2019 c1 Guest
Gripping. Riveting. Enthralling. Affecting. Touching. Besides spelling out "great," I could go for tremendous, heart-wrenching and a host of other adjectives working my way through the alphabet thesaurus style.

Thanks for a far more insightful second look into, not just at, the components at work for Ryan and Sandy. This intro goes deeper with less left to the imagination, not that the actors weren't incredible. They were (and are). They elevated the material so far beyond the script. However, you include new layers that are very believable, plausible and far more than possible. I love getting more instead of having to settle for less. The added dimension changes the landscape in dramatic and substantial emotional ways. You certainly put me through the wringer and reminded me of what it would be like to be Ryan, always on borrowed time whether it was due to dangers known or unknown, but never out of the question. Including Sandy's instincts as the new observer making immediate deductions raises the intensity.

I didn't see the story itself coming and not the way you wove stories within stories either, but extra points to you! Amazing!
7/12/2019 c1 Guest
Thank you. I'm not sure about any coincidence or irony and timing with two of the biggest and most troubling news stories that involve children and young people vulnerable to predators, violence, homelessness and desperate conditions, but that did make me come and take a look to see if you had added to your collection and library.

This one, like your multi-chapter fics, evokes so many emotions and rekindles memories in the most vivid ways. We never had certain very necessary, moving, heartfelt moments and conversations between Ryan and Sandy, or about Ryan from Sandy, or an effective way of simply having some of the thoughts on the most pressing questions that always hung in the air when it came to the "why" and "what" from the very beginning that continued to grow. Maybe Ryan never wanted to ask for fear of what he might hear, and that's in character, but I know that I was always longing for answers.

Sure, there was that quick "I was this kid" that Sandy tried on a resistant and opposed Kirsten who wanted to know what it was about Ryan. Yes, we were led to believe that Sandy, upon meeting Ryan, saw himself in Ryan and Ryan in himself. He jumped to some conclusions when it came to the vast differences in how Ryan lived and who he lived with. Ryan was trapped in a violent, dangerous place with violent dangerous drug addicts, alcoholics, thieves, criminals, neglected and routinely abused emotionally and physically. Sandy grew up in a lower income neighborhood with a mother who worked long hours and was devoted to her job, but also her family. What Sandy missed when it came to who Ryan was trapped with and surrounded by, he was more on the money about important personal qualities and a compass that they shared.

You have me thinking about what Sandy was thinking about that day. Was Ryan on his mind before he took that major chance and called? You bring in a sort of road not taken to use a metaphor, but it's a very realistic, very plausible, very haunting one that hits hard because it could have been the actual outcome that day or thousands of others. I wonder how many nights Sandy thought about that as he tried to fill in the blanks about Ryan's life before that fateful day. There was so much less unsaid and unexplored.

This is like opening a treasure chest in all of the best ways.
7/1/2019 c1 Guest
Spellbinding. And because it's so conceivable that day or who knows how many others that someone's neglect, abuse, violence, drug abuse, alcohol abuse or a random combination would have meant Ryan's death, this really hits home. The way you write it and Ryan and Sandy seals the deal unforgettably. The sad part is that Ryan is very traumatized before he meets Sandy, even worse when he does, and must be close to numb by the time he decides he has nothing left to lose, except maybe his life, by calling. They're both stunned for similar and yet different reasons having diverged to separate places since Ryan had to go with Dawn and Sandy was haunted by what ifs. It's true Ryan was in danger as he always was with the people he lived with. Sandy didn't know how exactly. The troubling part is that Ryan isn't in a safe place waiting for Sandy, although he probably could be safer in an unsafe neighborhood all alone with plenty of predators than he was at what was supposed to be a home.

Thank you for your own wake up call leading to Sandy's wake up call and an excellent up close look.
7/1/2019 c1 Guest
I'm going with that what happened to Ryan wasn't unthinkable for me, or maybe I tend to take too honest a look at Dawn, Frank, Trey, A.J., alphabet soup of parading boyfriends and various criminals. I'll say that it shouldn't have happened and that I never wanted it to happen, not that it couldn't have. I wonder instead how many times any or all of them almost killed him and how close they came. I'm more amazed that they didn't succeed. It's the most tragic outcome and one that highlights how many people could have done something to prevent any number of injuries or ways that Ryan was used and abused, paying the price for the others' mistakes and choices as the scapegoat or selected, expendable target who was also expendable.

You knocked the wind right out of me, that's for sure. I was as speechless and devastated as Sandy, minus the guilt. The tremendous relief was offset only by the realization that Ryan is still in a very isolated, desperate, painful, fear-filled place. There is the flicker of hope with Sandy offering and caring in spite of it all, a first.

This is a very transformative ride in its beginning. What a twist on the throwback. Thanks for so much to think about. This is awesome.
6/30/2019 c1 Guest
I know that one obvious take is about Sandy helping, or actually saving Ryan. He's only had the pleasure of seeing Dawn in her nasty glory with a few seconds of what she's like with Ryan. That's more than enough. He's met Frank on paper along with Trey and can start to guess at just a few of the possible reasons why Ryan was anywhere near Trey, but he's seen enough to know that Ryan's in a very volatile situation. Whatever he's seen has to be that many times worse. He also knows that the system has failed Ryan or he wouldn't have been near his brother and near Dawn now. He has a choice to make and giving Ryan a sort of life line with a means to stay in touch is the first step. In this instance, he also berates himself for not stepping in to challenge Dawn given her condition. He knows that made him one more in a very long line of people who took the easier road.

Ryan would never really understand, consider or acknowledge how he helped and saved Sandy starting that day. While Sandy dared to care and show kindness, Ryan had the courage to dare risking to reach out and trust, even if some of his motivation was pure desperation. Both of them followed their instincts. Ryan rekindled things in Sandy that had been dormant and he was in risk of losing bit by bit for good, whether from workload and pressure, where and how he lived and surrounded by a certain community, or a combination.

So thanks for a special kind of bonding and saving in several ways, all captured and conveyed with some really powerful emotion.
6/30/2019 c1 Guest
I've always seen Ryan as being born as collateral damage; unwanted and coming at the wrong time, if there would have been a better one for him. No matter how he tried to please everyone, be as quiet and invisible as possible, require as little time and attention as possible and absorb every type of neglect and abuse, he would always be at fault and nothing would be enough to change that. He was a casualty of the Atwoods and their circle, constantly trying to survive. He was Frank's casualty from not being wanted, to the abuse, to having to live with the consequences of Frank's crimes. He was surely Dawn's consequence, likely playing parent to her starting at a very early age while she neglected, abused and used him as a shield, never caring what impact her actions had on him or what she let others do to him did singularly or cumulatively. He was clearly Trey's casualty or he wouldn't have met Sandy, although it was also being Frank's, A.J.'s (this time) and Dawn's casualty that forced him out to track down Trey, something that could have put in him the system or gotten him killed. The odds of crossing paths with Sandy had to be about 99.9% to 1.

You've very creatively used the casualty aspect and definition in this take on the first episode that goes above and beyond. The part with Trey isn't on center stage and it shouldn't be, but anyone familiar knows that little background and another accident that wasn't an accident with Ryan as a casualty on top of being a casualty. Then he becomes Dawn's ultimate casualty in the worst, most final way that shockingly real. I'm not sure how much Sandy is regretting not listening to and following his instincts and not knowing if Ryan would contact him, or maybe it "dawned" on him that he let a kid go with someone who was clearly unfit, period, and unfit to drive. Maybe both? What's most telling is that he immediately felt a connection with Ryan, something that stood out compared to all of the thousands of other clients and cases. That very personal and human connection is so special and conveyed vividly. It's Sandy's perspective and his eyes that guide us, but Ryan also frames it all too. He has far fewer words, but he has a very powerful impact.

Thanks for a favorite story. You concentrate on all that matters while writing beautifully and movingly and eliminate any distractions. Bravo! Also, sniff.
6/28/2019 c1 Guest
I'm all about the quality and quantity combo, usually with more being more because I'm so invested in Ryan and his stories/struggles and his life changing connection with Sandy. Basically, I can't get enough, especially when it comes to taking the right turn when the TV show took the wrong one, so the longer the story, the better. In this case with one chapter, the quality is all there in spades and there's really powerful, moving emotional resonance. If it has to be a single chapter, this is the one.

Thanks for reminding me of why I got on board and held on tightly all over again!
6/28/2019 c1 Guest
So many amazing feels here. Meeting Ryan and Sandy with Ryan's world already crumbling as Sandy gets an introduction and witnesses it. Feeling so sorry for Ryan right away with the first glimpses, the subtle clues he gives and the undeniable ones Dawn hits everyone over the head with unabashedly. There's a window into Ryan's hellish existence in a heartbeat. Then there's feeling right along with Ryan and Sandy, whether through Sandy's eyes, Ryan's or both. Thanks for the creative angles, the emotional investment and leaving me wanting to read it all over again.
6/26/2019 c1 Guest
The highest compliment I can give you is that I wasn't just reading this, or seeing it happen, but feeling it like I was right there at the curb with Ryan, then with Sandy at the scene, in the ambulance, stricken and terrified at the hospital, and then first relieved and then deeply sad for Ryan all over again while both he and Sandy grappled for control in their own ways.

Thanks for a masterful job!
6/26/2019 c1 Guest
This started out as my bedtime story last night, but obviously not meant to be.

Now time is of the essence to get out the door, but not before I thank you for this. I won't be able to get it off my mind all day at least, playing many things over and over again in my head. I'll keep a lid on the tears though.

Amazing! This is why I get drawn into your writing in a heartbeat and why I fell in love with Ryan in an instant, and was so intrigued by him and then how he bonded with Sandy and why.
6/24/2019 c1 Guest
What an incredibly moving, honest way of showing the indelible impression Ryan made on Sandy and the unanticipated, immediate connection they had in what had to be less than an hour. Wonderful use of details and descriptions, from Ryan's give away body language that revealed more than any words, to Sandy's fears and feelings that too him by surprise. There are clearly infinite unknowns, but just the few red flags are undeniable, enough that Sandy has a very guilty conscience for not doing more right off. Could his dozing nightmare have been Ryan's outcome that day? Sure it could have. Who knows how many times he came close due to the the actions of the ones with the power and control simply because of age. I'll confess that you had me horrified at first. As painful as Ryan's desperate call is and as awful as things are for him at a new rock bottom, he's still breathing. If Sandy thought he could have failed him before, or dismissed concerns too easily, he won't let that happen now that he has a "second" chance."

Thanks for writing, posting and for again having amazing characterization and emotional investment.
6/24/2019 c1 Guest
Thanks for the best story of the summer. I know what the calendar says, but you've set the bar very high. This easily goes on my top 10 list.

I feel like I've been through the emotional wringer just like poor Ryan and where Sandy takes himself because of how he's struck by Ryan. Two incredible journeys.

Thank you and I hope that you have time to write and get sleep too.
6/23/2019 c1 Guest
Please continue this story. I love your writing and would love a look in Ryan’s head when he gets home with Sandy
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