In the short story “Trio For Four Voices” (2018), Jane McLaughlin describes the encounter between a little girl, Amelia, and the narrator. The narrator is travelling alone and observes Amelia and her father at a hotel in Spain.
At dinner, Amelia interacts with the fellow diners and ends up telling the narrator that she considers killing her mother. Horrified, the narrator tries to discourage her.
The next day, the mother concerningly disappears. When she, fortunately, returns a couple of days later, the narrator rushes to tell her about her daughter’s cynical fantasy.
I cannot get it out of my head. Tell someone, and get involved? But who? Maybe the mother is indeed unstable and that is why the child is like this.” (ll. 66-67) it is shown, how she desires to help Amelia but does not know how to do so.
It also elucidates her uncertainty about whether the child is growing up in an acceptable environment. The doubt is furthermore growing, when the father threateningly makes the narrator withdraw her statement, after telling the mother about her daughter’s plans.
His behavior ensures the narrator, that Amelia must be helped. All of the conflicts culminate when it is revealed that the family made everything up.
The fact that that they invented this wicked game to amuse their daughter gives us an insight into the relationship among the family members. Throughout the short story we see that Amelia and her father has a close relationship.