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by Gnomish

I hurried through the crowd, my scarf wrapped tightly around my neck. I tightened my grip on my little sister Aria’s hand and continued hurrying towards the train. The crowd pressed around us, and I cringed. We weren’t supposed to have any large gatherings, but here we were, packed tighter than sardines.

“Where are we going?” Aria asked.

“Shush!” I scolded her. “Don’t talk and keep your scarf around your neck.”

I patted my coat reassuringly to check that our tickets were still there. When news broke out that the town was going to be quarantined, everyone rushed to get out, and our parents were no exception. Unfortunately, they’d only gotten two tickets and gave them to us.

“Where are mother and father?” Aria asked, and my heart clenched. I didn’t want to leave without them, but we needed to get out of the town. Now we could only hope that somehow they’d make it through.

“Last call for train number 37!” Someone announced.

“Let’s go!” I sped up, until we were almost running.

“You girls got tickets?” A man said, grabbing my arm. I didn’t reply. “I’ll give you money,” he added desperately. “So much money!” I shook him off and we kept moving. All the money in the world couldn’t help you if you got the Red plague.

We reached the train and I pushed Aria on ahead of me, showing the ticket man our passes as I climbed in after her, clutching my bag in hand. And then the doors were closing behind us, and the train started moving, leaving the desperate people in its wake. We were off, an eleven year old girl and a six year old, all alone in the world.

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123 Reviews

Points: 2185
Reviews: 123

Mon Mar 23, 2020 7:30 pm
JesseWrites says...

COVID-19 is a very interesting topic. Are you planning on writing more? It was shorter than I prefer, but that is my opinion. You really captured writing about a disease. The characters were creative. I hope you continue this. I find it very fascinating.

Keep it up!

Gnomish says...

Thanks! I've started expanding on it and I'll let you know when it's done.

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29 Reviews

Points: 415
Reviews: 29

Wed Mar 18, 2020 2:34 am
Lia5Giba wrote a review...

Hello! This is intriguing to say the least. I can see how it's COVID-19 inspired. I looked through other reviews on this sight and I think they've given good feedback. I do have a bit more to add. In that one sentence you mention the Red Plague by name, you didn't capitalize "plague." Go ahead and do that. It is a proper noun, after all, and you always need to capitalize those. In addition, after some dialogue points, you capitalize the letter, even if you don't need to. For example, the quote "'You girls got tickets?' A man said, grabbing my arm." You don't need to capitalize "A." That rule goes for the other sentence you did this in, which is "'Last call for train number 37!' Someone announced." You don't need to capitalize "someone."

This story is definitely interesting. I think there is so much world building to be done. Are you planning on going bigger than this? I've been given a taste of the cheese and now I want the whole wheel! (Weird analogy, I'm sorry, but I think you get what I mean.) This can't be our world, not with a widespread disease like the Red Plague, which doesn't exist here. So where is it? Another dimension? Another world entirely? The future of our Earth? There are so many directions you can go with this.

Or perhaps you weren't planning on going anywhere with this. Perhaps you just wanted to give us a snapshot. I can understand that. Maybe you're just giving us a small picture, as if we're actually in the moment, invading the girl's thoughts. (Now that I think about it, we don't even know the main character's name in this story. Hm.) She wouldn't be thinking about her history, or any real exposition in the situation you put us in. And I think I understand just plopping the reader into a world like this. I've done that before. But people are left feeling like they need more, especially if the tidbit the author has given us is such a tasty morsel, like the one you crafted for us. ("Tasty morsel" is a weird way to say it, but there it is.) We need more.

I suggest that you build a bit more on this intriguing subject you've created. You probably have some sort of a world in your head for this story already. Build on it. Tell us more about it. Maybe tell a little bit of inner head monologue of the main character while she's on the train. She's not doing anything; this is a perfect time to fill the reader in on what the Red Plague is, her family's history maybe, etc. We'll feel more satisfied and invested in this story when we find out more about it.

Overall, I think this is a good idea. But I think it has the potential to be so much more. How do Aria and the main character survive, fend for themselves? What will they do after the train? Will something go wrong with the train? Just some ideas. I think this a great concept. If you can, build on it!

Lia5Giba says...

I know you're not trying to write a real story with this. But honestly, if you wanted to, I think you could.

Gnomish says...

Thanks for the review! I've just returned to it, and I'll try to make it into an interesting shorter story.

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8 Reviews

Points: 201
Reviews: 8

Sun Mar 15, 2020 3:18 pm
candywriter wrote a review...

Well, coronavirus-inspired or not, this is good. The Red Plague sounds horrible to get, like the girls and everyone else are panicking over.
Maybe give a little more backstory on how the Red Plague came to the town? I’m not certain that I totally understand the how and why it got there. And what is the Red Plague? Obviously it’s a sickness, but what does it do? Is more like coronavirus, or is it more like malaria or measles?
Don’t get me wrong; I love the story. But I think more information would make it even better.

Gnomish says...

Thanks, I'll try to expand on it and maybe post a new version later. (But don't count on it!)

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153 Reviews

Points: 2501
Reviews: 153

Tue Mar 10, 2020 6:40 pm
4revgreen wrote a review...

Hi there, Che here for a quick review :-)

I'll start by just pointing out any areas that I think may need a little improvement.

I tightened my grip on my little sister Aria’s hand and continued hurrying towards the train.

I think that because you started the previous sentence with 'I' too, that you should change the beginning of this one. Perhaps something a little more like "Tightening my grip on my little sister Aria's hand, I continued to hurry towards the train" or something.

Unfortunately, they’d only gotten two tickets and gave them to us.

Although there is nothing grammatically wrong with this sentence, I think it reads a little clumsily. It would sound better if you said "and had given them to us"

Aria asked, and my heart clenched.

I think saying "which made my heart clench" gives it just a little more emotion.

So I really like this piece, but is it going to be longer? I'd love to know what happens, as it feels kind of unfinished. For instance, we barely know anything about this Red plague, or where the characters are going!

Also, I kind of wished that there was a bit more emotion in there, as this would obviously be a very frightening thing to go through.

However, I think the piece was really well written and paced, and made me feel like I was there, rushing with them!

Please, keep writing!

Gnomish says...

Thanks for the review!
I'll fix those couple little things. I'll try to add more emotion, but I don't really have an idea for where the story is going. Maybe I'll add a second part to it if I'm inspired. (It was sort of just a random thing).

4revgreen says...

No problem, and I do hope you are inspired to write some more!

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93 Reviews

Points: 1136
Reviews: 93

Tue Mar 10, 2020 2:04 pm
Tawsif wrote a review...

Pretty decent story, Gnomish. I was hoping that someone in YWC comes up with a story on corona virus. Glad that you did.

Why not write a broader version? In this piece, we can see the young characters are out in the world all alone. But that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. If you're trying to focus on the corona virus only, then again you need a little more elaboration. A little more emotions, something to touch the readers' minds.

Hope that helps. Keep writing.

Gnomish says...

Thanks for the review!
I wasn't really trying to write a real story, more of just a little paragraph or excerpt. I will try to add more emotion though.

I love how we all band together to break things...
— Kelpies