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An Excerpt from Ingredient

by 16Rachelo

“What took you so long?” The King playfully called to her as she approached.

“What you’re doing is out of character you know!” Faina called.

“And what you’re doing is not?”

“That’s not fair…”

“Right now, let’s forget about who we’re supposed to be.” He coyly smiled as he grabbed her hand and pulled her into the maze. Faina failed to notice a shady figure eyeing them from a balcony ledge, his blade glinting in the sunlight.

“Come on, keep up!” Tyas called as he ran in front of her, leading her deeper into the maze.

“Slow down! It’s not nice to have someone in my condition run!” She laughed.

“Just a bit further!”

She ran until she slammed into him, he had abruptly stopped.

“Oh, sorry, are you okay?” He spun around and looked at her face apologetically. He inspected her face for bruises.

“Yup, everything’s still beautiful!” He confirmed. Faina rolled her eyes and laughed.

“Why have we stopped?” She asked.

“We’re in the middle. My favorite place in all of Russia.”

“The middle…?” Faina trailed off as she looked around. They were in the middle of the maze- it was a small clearing complete with a tiny pond, a pink blossomed tree and a swing. A few benches lined the edges. Ducks splashed in the pond and a pathway of stepping stones led to the swing.

“Beautiful isn’t it?” He said as he placed his hands on his hips and puffed out his chest. He looked quite dashing.

“Tyas, you are a walking cliché.” Faina pushed him playfully.

“Hey, I could have you arrested for talking to me like that!” He played back.

“Oh please…” She rolled her eyes again.

“All right, you have given me no choice…”

“What? Don’t you dare…” She warned as he rolled up his sleeves and began to walk towards her.

“Ma’am you are under arrest for seducing the Czar of Russia!” He authoritively yelled as he scooped her up and carried her in his arms.

“Hey! I thought we were supposed to forget who we’re supposed to be! Whatever we do in this maze isn’t suppose to count!” She said as she struggled. Tyas gently slid her down and sat her on the swing.

“Then that means that if I do this, it won’t count against me.” He whispered as he leaned in close to her.

She had a choice.

She had time to push him away.


Edwin jumped from the balcony to the side of the palace to the ground. He sprinted towards the maze. He was going to slaughter the king. He pulled out his blade and ran into the maze. Anger and jealously crowded his senses. He couldn’t see straight. He was losing his way. He couldn’t calm himself, he couldn’t silence his rage. He ran faster, getting more and more lost in the maze. He gritted his teeth and dug harder into the ground. When he eventually found his way to the middle, they were not there. He threw his knife into a duck and pulled the swing from it’s hinges. He looked around this stupid fake little world. It was shallow and bright. This was not Faina. She was deeper than this. She was truer than this. How could she let herself fall for such ridiculous scenery.; a cheesy king and pretty flowers- Is that really all it took to win her heart? He retrieved his blade and left the maze. He climbed back to the balcony ledge and sat perched like a vulture, searching for the king in the grounds. He could not kill him in the palace. He did not like causing a scene. When he did not see him, he waited for Faina to return. She did not until the sun had set. Edwin had nearly lost his mind.

“Edwin?” Faina remembered him when she walked in the room.. He waited for her to come out to the balcony.

“What are you doing out here?” She asked him as she looked out to the gardens.

“Quite a view…isn’t it? You can see everything.”

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564 Reviews

Points: 63214
Reviews: 564

Wed Jun 29, 2022 1:15 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...


RandomTalks here with a short review!

This was a very well-writtten story even though it felt incomplete to me. I liked the way you established the two characters by slowly introducing the scene to us and then pulling the characters in. There was an intimacy about the scene - it was as if we were glimpsing into something both private and fleeting, waiting for the moment the bubble would burst and this blissful scene of peace and contentment would end with something tragic taking place instead.

Even though we do not get to spend much time with the characters, we can form some idea about the relationship they share with each other. However, I did not understand Edwin's role in the story. It is obvious that he cares for Faina and does not particularly like her relationship with the king. Its still not enough to understand where he is coming from in the story and I feel like you need to better explain the motivations that are guiding him.

Edwin jumped from the balcony to the side of the palace to the ground.

This sudden change in the voice of narration from Faina to Edwin was unexpected and it threw me off for a while. The switch was so sudden and complete that I was confused for a second as I tried to catch up with this new voice and the change in pace, tone and mood. Try to make it more seamless so that it does not disrupt the flow of your narration but is still truthful to the voice of your two different characters.

Now, coming back to the ending, I liked the last line especially because of the hidden meaning behind the words. We can see that Edwin literally means what he says as he had been spying on them all afternoon. The words seemed to be chosen with intent and care and its a thrilling note to end your story on. However, I still felt like we got cut off in the middle of a scene. I wanted to see what happened next, if Edwin would really go through with his plans, but I guess we will have to settle for this ambiguous ending.

Its still a rather good story even when its not always clear what we are supposed to take from it.

That's all!

Keep writing and have a great day!

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497 Reviews

Points: 6400
Reviews: 497

Sat Dec 29, 2007 9:35 pm
Teague wrote a review...

Ahoy there! Welcome to YWS! I'm Saint. :D

Well, I'd love to give you a proper critique on this, but I can't! It's a rule here on YWS that each member must have a minimum of two critiques before s/he can post his/her own work, and after that, it's required to keep that ratio (minimally) of 2:1. (They have to be actual critiques too, this does not count)

You're obviously new to the site, so that's okay! Consider this a friendly warning before the moderators get on your case about it. You currently need to do four proper critiques since you've posted two literary works.

While you're still with me, here's a few links to check out!
Rules. Required reading!
A helpful posting guide.

Send me a PM when you've done your critiques and read through those threads and I'll come back for a proper critique. Sound fair? ;)

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