Olga D'Agostino's story, The Little Girl Praying on the Hill, evokes soliloquy elements with her monologue of a lonely girl's friendship with the wind and her imaginary friend, the snow-white princess, who represents the doll she never had.
This is a sad story of a child's feelings of helplessness as she tries to cope with her alcoholic father who continually humiliates and beats up on her mother. The only way her brothers and sisters can protect their mother is by hiding her under the piles of hay in the barn while the father is on a drunken rampage. Yet the young child feels conflicting emotions between the love she has for her father and her despair as she watches his cruelty towards her mother.
There is no love in the young girl's life; the mother is too exhausted from her long days toiling on the farm, and the alcoholic father is emotionally unable to fulfill his role of husband and parent. She finds solace from her loveless world by embracing the beauty and stability of nature -- the blue sky became her escape from reality. Love only comes to her when she imagines herself dead, only then does the mother show her affection by mourning for her loss child.
This is a poignant story -- a variation from the author's usual child-oriented stories, but one that will remind you of the stark reality lived by other children around us who are starving for love. Well done, Olga D'Agostino, this story will bring tears to many.