Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A Lost Children Guest Post by Thomas Pluck

As many of you know, I endured abuse when I was younger. All forms, so, you know… when some good friends of mine decided to put together an anthology to benefit children I was thankful that they would take time out of their already busy schedules to support projects that can benefit so many.  The collection of short stories found in Lost Children: A Charity Anthology is not easily read, and the contents are often overwhelming. But that’s how life is for children of abuse and neglect. It isn’t easy, it’s always overwhelming, and happy endings to such tales can be hard to find.  So, in an effort to bring awareness to this great cause I’m planning to spotlight the anthology periodically on the site, and I also plan to help push the support of the next Lost Children anthology scheduled for release later this year.

Today, I’ve asked my good friend Thomas Pluck to talk to us about the creation of the Lost Children anthology, as well as his short story, Little Sister. Little Sister tells a story of a young girl abused by her father and brother, later forced into a life as a sex slave, and her fight to break free of the life literally created for her at the hand of another. Dark and disturbingly real, Thomas Pluck doesn’t hold back the realities that are found in the real world; you know… that world we often try to tell ourselves doesn’t really exist.  But it does exist. And for many of us, the scars that hide below the surface are a constant reminder of the cruel reality that we’ve been forced to endure; unfortunate memories that never fade with time.


Crime fiction shines a light onto some wrong in the world. It began as much neater than reality. The mystery was solved through deductive reasoning, and justice was served. Over the years, we have become accustomed to the complex realities of crime, vengeance and justice and expect more from our stories than an eye for an eye in black and white.

But the dragon of our reptile brain is not slain, but merely sleeping. The smoke and fire from its dreams seeps out the crevices. We still need catharsis, now and then. To see the bad man die.

That is what inspired my story, "Little Sister," in the Lost Children charity anthology. Fiona Johnson sparked a fire when she guest hosted at Ron Earl Phillips's Flash Fiction Friday site, and challenged us to write about children that society has neglected, overlooked or ignored. As a teacher, she sees them all to often. It angers us, to see this waste of human potential, this callous cruelty inflicted upon the small and innocent. Few choose to do something about it, but Fiona did. And she inspired me to do the same.

I had read my friend Josh Stalling's excellent novel OUT THERE BAD, which deals with sex slavery in American strip clubs. Human trafficking, slavery under our noses. So I read up on it, and found a charity called Living Water for Girls in Atlanta, who help get girls forced into prostitution off the streets (I thank journalist Nick Kristof for making me aware of that organization). I read one girl's story and it made me furious that we, as a society, allowed this to happen and now branded her the criminal.

Not the adult who drives by in his car, offering a child money for sex.

Not the pimp- a term that has somehow become laudatory- who beat and raped her into submission, and made her his slave.

We brand her a ho, a slut, a whore, a "child prostitute."

There are no child prostitutes. They are sex slaves.

We have the gall to call it a victimless crime.

I had 700 words to put these feelings into a story. It was the toughest story I've ever written. You can read it in the anthology. I hope you do, and I hope it makes you as furious as I am.

Proceeds from the sale of Lost Children: A Charity Anthology goes to benefit Children 1st Scotland, and Protect here in the United States.
Lost Children can be found at Amazon  and Barnes and Noble.
Thomas Pluck is a writer living in Montclair, New Jersey. He is the editor of the Lost Children charity anthologies, and his work has appeared in Spinetingler Magazine, Pulp Modern, Shotgun Honey, Beat to a Pulp, The Utne Reader and Plots with Guns. He is working on his first novel, and his home on the web is www.pluckyoutoo.com


Leah Anderson said...

So glad to see you on here, Tommy! I signed up for your blog and I'm going straight to Amazon.com after this. Leah

Jacqueline said...

This a wonderful cause and I plan on checking into Lost Children. It sounds very interesting and helps the most wonderful persons on the earth, our children.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

Great post, Pluck!

Thomas Pluck said...

Thank you all. We've raised a lot for PROTECT and Children 1st. And in September, we've got a big follow-up for PROTECT with a line-up you won't believe.

Nigel Bird said...

I'm so impressed by the courage on show from both of you here.
I get to see the results of abusive relationships with children and know that it's difficult to accept; that doesn't mean it can be ignored. Things need to be faced up do and dealt with - there is hope and things can be done.
I'm lucky that in the school where I work we have a theraputic department and it does work wonders.
Anyway, that's moving far from the point.
I admire the blogger and the guest blogger here for so many reasons, not least because of their talents.
Thanks for reminding me to put some more elbow grease in to the antho.

osteoarthritis treatment ct said...

That was uplifting. I offer you a lot of thanks.

Redspect said...

"If you haven't any charity in your heart you have the worst kind of heart trouble" to cure it
Help people, let's unite for one good cause, be a volunteer"save lives"!