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Story IIII - Stained Glass Windows

by Cow


     I tapped the wall of the old church, the gothic structure towering over the empty place. No one hardly visited the church at the time, saying it was haunted or something of that sort. 

    I just enjoyed coming, as it was always nice and quiet. It wasn't filled with the bustle that the city normally was and that was comforting. I hated living there but I was in college and had made some really close friends. 

   They didn't know I came here, to this place. It was on what was considered one of the worse off parts of town but I knew I'd be fine. I knew how to stay safe in those stickier parts of a place and old buildings were always a good study for me. 

   The stained-glass windows were paler now then what they were but the colors still shone through when the sun hit them just right in the evening when that gold glow basked the earth in its warmth. It was a place that I could spend hours at. 

   It was a place that was mostly used for gatherings or inspiration-craving artists. It wasn't really owned by anyone. But I wanted to fix it up, change it even though I knew I may run out of time. 

   The door's to the ancient like building creaked up, then softly closed. I remained where I was sitting, my head having been leaned against the stone of the building. Mallick sat beside me, not saying a word as I stared at the spider web tucked away in one of the many rafters. 

   He had laid his head on my shoulder, sighing. "You're always here, ain't ya, Ollie?" Mallick almost stated it, but I was able to hear the smile on his lips. 

   "It's peaceful, numbnut. Helps me think through things. I know I don't have long to live, but then again I have such a chance at living as well. Who knew stomach cancer could be so..." But I left my sentence trail. 

   Mallick chuckled at it though, sighing heavily. "Do you want to get something to eat? Maybe we could go even go and see if anyone could help us restore this place? It's not too late in the evening, places are bound to be open." 

  My head had shot up, I looked at him bewildered. "You're serious?" 

  "Of course!" He had scoffed, waving his hands about to show the whole building as if more people were there. "You always come here, it's your place. It deserves to be preserved. if you die, you deserve something to be remembered by. And even if you don't, I'll remember you." 

  It overwhelmed me with joy, knowing that he would help me. It shouldn't have surprised me, Mallick was my boyfriend. I remember when they were Mallory, but that name is dead. It belongs six feet under, forever and ever. 

 We left the church, making our way to a nearby hardware store. It had been a few weeks since I was diagnosed with stage two, almost three, stomach cancer. It was so hard to eat, most of the time I was at the hospital anyway so it didn't really matter. 

  Mallick had been there when I was diagnosed. We both had been so shocked, unsure of how to react. So we decide dit was best to just cherish the time we had together. 

  My parents had tried to come and visit me, but... they denied me my identity. Always insisted to call me him. It's they. I know sometimes I regret not trusting them, but there's nothing I can do. 

  Parents are people we are taught to look up to, these serpents slithering around and most just pretend to care. They force things upon you, never truly caring. At least, that's what mine had tried to do. 

  The church had beared witness to so much of my life. From my first year of college, meeting Mallick, when I came to cry after finally processing my cancer diagnosis. I suppose it was once a dignified thing, but at the very least, it is clean now. 

  Even if I couldn't stand in its halls anymore.

  

  

  

   


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Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:19 pm
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Traves wrote a review...



Hello Cow ! Traves here for a quick review.

I write this review with the caveat that I haven't heard the song this is based on. This was an interesting read for sure,

nitpicks -
-

in the evening when that gold glow basked the earth in its warmth.
it should be earth basked in the warmth of the golden glow, or similar, because to bask means you're affected by something or someone.
- there are a few similar mistakes here and there,but I saw that Awru pointed most of them out so I'll skip them.

Now, my main critique with the work —

- Narrative/plot - The narrative was a bit jarring here, it kept skipping from one aspect to the other. Although I got more used to it by the end, where the sentences matched pace with it. I think there was a lack of a hook ( this might be helpful https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxDwieKpawg ) to hold a reader, at least until it was too late when the stomach cancer and conflict of gender identity issues with the affection for a church were revealed. If you were going for a twist or surprise ending, I think it was a good attempt.
I wish the story had been longer, and more resolution could have been found for the conflict. The start was a bit too meandering, and the ending rushed, which threw off the pacing for me as a reader. Usually it is expected that the important parts of a story will occupy more percentage of the total number of words compared to the less important details. Going through the plot and seeing to use some of the constructs from an 8 point story arc format, would be beneficial imo (https://thediscerningwriter.wordpress.c ... point-arc/)

- characters - So the MC and their boyfriend are the important characters here. The MC is more or less sufficiently understood .The introduction of other character left me expectant of a bigger role in the story. Really wished they had played more of a role.

- setting - One of the strongest points of the story, no complaints here, I think this was handled pretty nicely. I can feel the affection the MC has for the church, and how it has played an important part of their recent life.

- style/technique - As the story was very short, I think the style you picked was necessary. I do feel a lack of show not tell, all the character details (the gender identity issues of both the important characters), the backstory( that they had stomach cancer), the character relationships (that Mallick was their boyfriend) and how the characters felt were straight up told to the reader. All the facts of the story are stated directly. This reduces interest of the reader, I feel less invested if I don't have to figure out what's what from the parts of the story shown to me as a reader. These articles on show not tell might be useful, though checking out the ones from the YWS Knowledge base would be a good idea too.
-https://kidlit.com/2009/12/18/what-show-dont-tell-really-means/
- https://kidlit.com/2014/10/06/naming-emotions/

I do think the premise is neat, and picks a different viewpoint in a common identity conflict of modern times (gender identity/sexuality vs religion), where the MC has built a sort of relationship with a religious symbol (the church building) yet can't go inside.
If I misunderstood anything, or you have any questions, do tell me please.

Keep writing and sharing!




Cow says...


Thank you! I wrote this at like 1 am so its definitely not my best but thank you!



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Mon Jun 22, 2020 4:08 pm
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Awru wrote a review...



Salutations! Awru here to rescue your story from the Green room. I haven't reviewed in quite some time so imma rusty.
First of all, I really enjoyed reading this piece. Its beauty lies in the simplicity and flow of the story. I don't know if it was intentional but the use of an old worn out church in the story of a cancer patient striked me as quite metaphorical. It easily impacts the readers without being too complicated and leaves a mellow sorrow.
I personally really liked your choice of words and style. The slow melancholic tone feels really foggy and whimsical.
Now for some Nitpicks. These are my personal opinions not a line drawn on a rock. Feel free to take or disregard them.

No one hardly visited the church at the time, saying it was haunted or something of that sort.

I feel like Anyone instead of no one will be better here.
It wasn't filled with the bustle that the city normally was and that was comforting.. I hated living there but I was in college and had made some really close friends.

This line would be better if written as:
It wasn't filled with the bustle of the city and that was comforting. I hated living in the city but I was in college and had made some really close friends there.
It was on what was considered one of the worse off parts of town but I knew I'd be fine. I knew how to stay safe in those stickier parts of a place and old buildings were always a good study for me.

I think you mean worst parts of town
Also I am not sure I understand what you mean by old buildings were always a good study for me
The stained-glass windows were paler now then what they were but the colors still shone through when the sun hit them just right in the evening when that gold glow basked the earth in its warmth

This sentence breaks the flow a bit and is a tad jumbled up. Maybe something like:
The stained-glass windows were paler than they used to be but the colours still shone through when the sun hit them in the evening. Its golden glow basking the earth in warmth.
It was a place that I could spend hours at.

I feel like it should be hours in since its a place. But I could be wrong.
It was a place that was mostly used for gatherings or inspiration-craving artists.

Since you already used it was a place in the previous sentence. I would recommend not repeating it.
Something like The church was mostly. Or you can throw in the name of the church like St.Peters was mostly
The door's to the ancient like building creaked up, then softly closed.

The door's to the ancient building creaked than softly closed
I remained where I was sitting, my head having been leaned against the stone of the building. Mallick sat beside me,

Ok so this particular para gives a feeling that Mallick was the one who came through the doors and sat with them. In that case it should be tweaked a little.
I remained where I was. Sitting on the cold floor, my head leaning against the rough stone of the building. Mallick had come and sat beside me.
He had laid his head on my shoulder, sighing

Sighing, he had laid his head on my shoulder
but then again I have such a chance at living as well.

but than again I do have a chance at living
most of the time I was at the hospital anyway so it didn't really matter.

I was at the hospital most of the time so it didnt really matter
Parents are people we are taught to look up to, these serpents slithering around and most just pretend to care. They force things upon you, never truly caring.

not these serpents slithering around pretending to care
I feel like there should have been more expression of feelings at this part. Going into a bit detail about there feelings. More insight of bitter emotions or pain.
Aside from the review
Personally I really hate when someone has to go through all that shit about families being unacceptable. But parents dont pretend to care, they really do care. Its all the fault of mindsets and generation gap. Think of it as a programming code. Some brains have been programmed to deem diversity and celebrating differences as wrong. Its not their fault. Its what have been fed to them for years and years. Building and growing on weak foundation of self righteousness and what they think to be right be right. They think their child is doing sth wrong, sth against their programming code not realizing what they want is just to be happy and embrace themselves as who they are.
Even if I couldn't stand in its halls anymore.

Ah! A wonderful concluding sentence. It just hits at the right spots.

Keep Up the Excellent Work! :smt023

PEACE OUT




Cow says...


Thank you!



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Mon Jun 22, 2020 2:13 am
Cow says...



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