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Silver and Golden Eggs [1]

by Lightsong

In the silence of the room, Khalid wiped his tears. He raised his head from the desk and looked in the mirror to see his reddened eyes. Stupid, he thought, his feelings not yet fading. This is all stupid. Why am I even here?

The sight of Father flashed across his mind, stroking his anger again. He could still feel the pain on his back, courtesy from the hanger Father used. That was it. Wearing a cap, he went out of the house, relieved Father wasn't around his workshop. Taking the deserted road, he walked away from his home, intent on leaving behind the prison Father had made for him.

My elder son is completely useless, he heard Father said in front of his friends.

At that time, Khalid was serving them drinks. After Mother's death, it was either him or Zairil who did the job. He didn't like it. He didn't want to hear Father's conversation with his friends because whenever he was around them, the talk would always focus about him. Father would always -

Just look at him! Father said, gesturing at him as he poured the tea. He looks like he doesn't have bones. Looks like a faggot.

Khalid didn't say anything, but his blood was boiling. He didn't look at Father or anyone else; his eyes were fixed on the floor as he finished the job and carried the tray back to the kitchen. I am a faggot and still a much better person than you, he thought venomously.

Khalid shifted his attention to the road. Sifting through yesterday's event wouldn't help him in anyway. He didn't know what he wanted to achieve by walking to a place he had yet decided, but he needed to just get away from all the misery that happened to him. The sun hung in the sky, its sunlight unfiltered by the lack of clouds. He could feel the afternoon's heat biting his skin. It was a normal Malaysia weather, but he still didn't get used to it. It was too hot.

After half an hour, he found himself at the entrance of a forest. Did he just walk that far? He didn't think of anything in his journey and instead savoured the houses at either side of the road. They scattered as if they had minds of their own, unsurprising considering the area wasn't a city where houses lined up in neat order as planned.

He stepped into the forest, the smell of plants fresh after being showered with rain greeting him. He had never been in this area before. He certainly didn't have any interest on forest. It just felt like a gathering of the unexpected to him, a destination for those who wanted to be alone and away from civilization. In a way, he was one of them now. He wasn't sure, but there was some forces that pulled him towards the forest, as if it was enchanted or alive.

After five minutes into the woods, Khalid still didn't find any wild life. Perhaps that was for the better, because he couldn't imagine what he would do if suddenly a tiger jumped out of a bush and charged at him. He would run, of course, but years of avoiding exercises guaranteed his doom. The beat would catch him in no time and shred him into pieces. He shuddered. What a thought. The sound of cricket was the only evidence the place wasn't similar to a grave.

And then he saw him. A man sitting under a tree, his eyes closed. His hair was a gathering of silver threads, his face wrinkled. As Khalid approached him, he opened his eyes, prompting Khalid to take a step back and stumbled as a result. Khalid yelped. The old man stared at him and smiled. He stood up, slightly trembling as he did so.

'Young man,' he said, his voice gentle and yet wisened by age. 'I'm grateful you are here. This is the first time I've seen someone in the woods. Your timing is perfect, too. Usually, I can walk my way to my house, but alas, I'm too tired. The weather is too hot - hotter than usual, I would say. Can you - can you please carry me to my house?'

Khalid stood up, brushing his butt from the sand. He blinked his eyes. The man didn't look dangerous, and he was old. There was no harm in helping him, was there? Besides, Khalid was glad of his presence, because it meant he wasn't alone anymore, and he was also curious. What kind of person made a house in the forest, away from modernization? It was such an inconvenient thing to do. He couldn't imagine himself staying here - it was a nightmare.

'Alright, I'll help you,' Khalid said, scratching the back of his neck. The old man was thin, so he wouldn't be heavy. 'Just tell me the way.'

The old man smiled and climbed Khalid's back. To Khalid's relieved, he didn't put much weight. He could also smell some kind of fragrance from the old man, which was kind of strange when considering the tattered clothes he wore. Just who was he, and why did he prefer to be alone in the forest? Khalid decided to keep the thoughts to himself as he found no way to speak of them in a manner that didn't offend the old man.

As he navigated through the trees and bushes following the man's directions, he felt a strange sensation coming from the forest. It was - how to describe it? It felt like you were in a different world. The air smelled sweeter and cooler, and the scenery seemed like someone had put some glitters on it. Which was ridiculous. He must've imagined it. And yet, the feeling felt so real.

And that was when he found a barren field, and standing on it were two different people. The first one was clad in armour, the silver metal shining under the sunlight. He was tall and sturdy. Facing him was a shorter man, small in size, wearing nothing but mere brown and gray clothes. They started to fight each other, fists and kicks delivered. The warrior-looking man dominated the battle in no time, brushing away the short man's attacks as if they were nothing. And they were nothing. Khalid couldn't imagine the short man hurting the warrior with those weak punches.

The warrior's unbroken pattern of attacking the short man worried Khalid. He seemed sadistic in nature, choosing not to end his opponent's life immediately and instead torturing him slowly. It was such an unfair fight. Every inch of Khalid's body urged him to step into the fight, to intervene and help the short man, but as soon as he made a move, someone grabbed his shoulder.

'Don't interfere,' the old man behind him said. 'I understand how you feel, but this fight has been done before. The man who's at the brink of defeat wants to defeat the warrior and end the corruption the later has helped to spread, and you're not allowed to disturb them. You can only observe, or else everything would disappear.'

What does he mean by that? Khalid thought.

A/N: This is the second draft of my short story, The Siblings, the Old Man, and the Talking Eggs.

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91 Reviews

Points: 4155
Reviews: 91

Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:22 am
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Kazumi wrote a review...

Okay, so here are some relevant facts about me so you can see where the opinions of this review come from. You might know some of these, but you can never be too sure. I'm not particularly passionate about LGBT fiction or the movement, so no extra baggage from there coming into this work. Unlike the main character, I'm on good terms with my dad and my family's still intact. However, I have tried at some point to run away from home and I considered that many times whenever I beefed with my parents in the past. I don't read YA fiction anymore, only light novels from Japan, comics and literature for adults. I also live in SEA, so I know the pain of messy urban planning and blazing hot afternoons *cry*.

The writing on this is like your usual style. I don't find it too compelling or thick, but like it because smooth and intuitive. I feel like it's really goods at putting all the relevant information in the right places so that the thing reads naturally. However, it's not too clean since it's a draft. I thought I'd point out everything out there was to fix so that you won't have to think too hard about them next time. Maybe I might find something you missed, too. I hope you find this helpful:

-(par. 2) "...his back, courtesy from the hanger Father used...

I think the phrase goes "courtesy of," not "courtesy from."

-(par.4) "...the talk would always focus about him.

The phrase "focus about him" sounds kinda off to me, like it doesn't fit. It doesn't sound like the correct way to use either of those words. Maybe you could try "the talk would always focus on him" or "the talk would always be about him" or "the talk would always become about him."

-(par.7) "He didn't know what he wanted to achieve by walking to a place he had yet decided..."

I think it should go "a place he had yet to decide." I thought you were trying to say that he didn't know where he would go yet.

-(par.9) "He certainly didn't have any interest on forest."

You forgot an article before "forest." Should go "interest on the forest." Or you could make the object of the preposition plural instead, like "interest on forests."

-(par.9) "...but there was some forces..."

The direct object "forces" is plural, so you gotta make "was" "were" instead.

-(par.10) "The beat would catch him..."

Oh noes, it's the classic typo. Should be "beast" instead.

-(par.10) "The sound of cricket was the only evidence the place wasn't similar to a grave."

It should be "the sound of crickets" instead. You could add an article instead -- like in "the sound of a cricket" -- but that's unrealistic. I don't think a lone cricket can make an audible sound in a forest.

-(par.12) "The weather is too hot - hotter than usual..."

I think what you need here is an em-dash. That up there is a hyphen. The em-dash can act as a comma, parenthesis, or colon. I don't know how produce that mark with a punctuation without special software -- but you can just punch in two hyphens and it'd still be considered an em-dash. I got my info from here:

The same mistake was made in paragraphs 4, 12 (again), 13, and 16.

-(last par.) "...end the corruption the later has helped to spread..."

I think you were going for "latter," not "later."

Apart from the stuff up there, I was kinda let down by the thinness of the description of the forest. I know I said your writing style here does the trick, but it would have helped a whole lot if you colored it more. As in, is it a spooky forest, or a very welcoming one, or one that's serene but there's a tiger's-probably-gonna-jump-at-you vibe?

I hope you don't mind me talking a bit about another writer. One thing I like about Lovecraft is that he can take something and make it terrifying. Like the stars in the night sky. Often in art the night stars are romanticized and regarded as beautiful, but he can portray it horrible ways, like it's a place where unspeakable cosmic horrors come from to wreak havoc upon Earth. He does it by painting it with his words.

I hope you'll also be able to paint the forest with your own words. I kinda regret to say that it doesn't cut it for me. Besides, it only makes sense in the context of the plot. DJ Khaled's coming in to an unfamiliar place, so he's probably gonna be taking everything there is to see in feel. I hope you don't mind me calling your main man DJ Khaled, btw. I can't help it lol.

Last thing that got me was the non-acknowledgement of the presence of medieval-looking armor in the modern age. I mean, I'm assuming this is in the modern age, since DJ Khaled would have been off with his head or something for being gay. Plus he's a lazy boyo who avoids exercising. I dunno if medieval or Renaissance people would have accepted that either.

I know he's like, kinda alarmed at the brutal scene before him. But I'm bugged by how he's doesn't at least note the presence of relatively primitive arms. I mean, people these days would use bulletproof Kevlar vests or something like that.

I think that's all I have to say for now. It's not so bad, but it doesn't resonate with me too well, either. I'm looking forward to the next part anyway. The backstory with DJ Khaled took up a large chunk of this story so far, so I hope his sexual orientation or his beef with his dad does play a large part in the next part.

I hope you liked this review, despite the unusual full-on proofreading work. I'm also trying out this new thing of telling a little bit about myself at the start of every review, so they know a bit of my reading history or my past experiences or smth. What do you think about it?

Anyway, if you liked this review, you can hit me up on the next update and I'll come back with... another one.

Sorry, I had to squeeze in that old DJ Khaled meme. Good luck in the future writing stuff.


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395 Reviews

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Reviews: 395

Thu Jun 07, 2018 5:48 am
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EditorAndPerks wrote a review...

Hey Lightsong!

I have yet to read the first draft of this short story, but I do like the title of either version. And this is definitely interesting!

To begin with, this story has some complex ideas in it, which is neat when done as a short story. You've woven in Khalid's motivations from his father degrading him and his changing roles without plain out saying "he's gay" or something like that. That makes your main character seem decently well-rounded because you're showing him unhappy and what he could do about it. Nice mini development!

There are a couple of lines I'd like to discuss, the first being

I am a [sic] and still a much better person than you, he thought venomously.
(I don't like saying that word so I don't want to type it.) Okay, so here, I really like the "venomous" idea, but I feel like this is a pretty wordy statement for someone to think of. I know it's a little more cliche, but you could weave in a more "even if I am, I'm still better than you" or something along those lines, since that could spark something familiar in your reader's mind, but that's definitely stylistic choice. And if you feel that matches more with Khalid, that's fine by me.

Another line is
It was - how to describe it? It felt like you were in a different world.
I've liked this being from Khalid's view, so I recommend you just modify the second part of this into "He felt like he was in a different world" or something not with "you" in it. I like the questioning aspect of the first line in this quote, since I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't have words as well to describe something unexpected or bizarre.

On a side note, I really like how you wrote
The sound of cricket was the only evidence the place wasn't similar to a grave.
and as a whole, the entirety of describing the forest. You've definitely added to the mysteriousness of Khalid's surroundings, and his acknowledgment of his helplessness was eerie.

One last line I want to touch up on is:
The warrior-looking man dominated the battle in no time,
and the whole fight scene in general. Let's see. I think with the description of both combatants described, I think you can call the armored one - "the warrior" or something akin to that, instead of "warrior-looking." Also, I kind of want to see more description of the way the warrior is fighting since you only really give the fighting style ("weak punches") of the shorter man. You can also build up the tension here.

Overall, I like the way you've developed Khalid and dropped the reader into his situation. The ending makes me hope you're eventually going to write more since I'm very curious as to what the fight means for Khalid and what he's going to do after he eventually leaves the forest. If he ever does. I hope this review helped!

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Reviews: 91

Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:06 pm
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Kazumi says...

I like the name of your main character mainly because it sounds like Khaled. DJ Khaled.

Yes. It is he, the man, the myth, the meme. *insert audio of DJ Khaled shouting his name like at the start of every soundtrack*

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Wed Jun 06, 2018 2:17 pm
Lives4Christ24 wrote a review...

Hi, Lightsong. Lives4Christ is here for another review. I hope I don't offend, my intention is to edify and encourage other writers and give constructive criticism.
I think that the idea of the story is good, but you need to revise it a little.
Here are some examples
1.] he heard Father said in front of his friends(whose friends Father's friends or Khalid's friends?)
2.]brushing his butt from the sand(the sand from his pants is more appropriate in my opinion and you need you switch pants and sand so that it reads: brushing the sand from his pants)
Thanks for contributing to the YWS community.

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31 Reviews

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Reviews: 31

Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:58 am
promptlyby12 wrote a review...

Okay.... That was pretty good.I really enjoyed the plot it kept me indulged through out the story, and there wasn't one moment when I was even scarcely bored.
I do have one complaint:at the point where Khalid meets the old man, and.when he encounters the warrior, the pacing of your story went a little off, and that gave it an abrupt feel. I would suggest slowing it down a little, so it matches the rest of the story.
There were also a few grammatical errors, like:

1[he heard Father said in front of his friends.] ....(he heard his father Say)
2[climbed khalid's back].. (onto khalid's back)
3[fight has been done before]... Gives an abrupt feel to the sentence.
And a few more....
Overall, I really enjoyed the story... And I'm actually very choosy about that... So it was pretty good.
Keep up the good work. :)

"I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
— Lewis Carroll