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by TheLastWriter


The sky is beautiful. Even on winter nights, it amazes me. The clouds covering the sun, but not enough to make the whole sky gray. Leaving a sky with gray and blue intertwined, but not compatible with each other. As if they were fighting each other for who would cover the whole sky. The sun peeking over the clouds, watching. Watching but not doing anything to solve the conflict.

A shaky breath leaves my mouth as I hear a crunch in the snow and leaves. Looking to the side from the log I’m lying on. I see him. My friend. He has short dark brown hair, the longest parts reaching to only his ear lobes. It was messy, like it usually was. His white jacket made him slightly blend in with the snowy forest. His brown eyes seemed to light up when he saw me.

Excitedly he stood above me. Taking off one of his black gloves, his warm hand touched my cheek. I was just staring at him, waiting for him to speak. I sat up, he was staring at me, seemingly pausing as he let go of my cheek. The gentle rays of the sun made his warm umber skin seem like it was glowing. Like an angel from Heaven.

“Akim?” I say, my voice comes out neutral. I wasn’t concerned. He was always rather.....Affectionate.

But that’s what friends do.

Whatever daze that Akim was in, he was out of it.

“Liuz! How long have you been out here?” He asks me with a smile, offering me his non-gloved hand. I accept.

“Not long. Just cloud-gazing,” I say as I hear the crunch of snow underneath my feet. His hand lingers on mine for a few seconds longer before he lets go.

“Cloud gazing?” He looks up at the sky, observing the clouds above us. “I’m not sure how you can cloud gaze when it’s all just one big cloud!” A small laugh leaves his mouth as his gaze turns back to me.

“What have you been doing? You’re later than usual,” I state as we start walking. The crunch of snow accompanied the rustle of leaves on the ground.

“Didn’t I tell you Liuz? My momma wants me to help the church more,” Akim’s soft voice lets out a sigh. I look at him, trying to see if he’s telling the truth or not. He must have seen the look on my face.

“I don’t like being there.... It feels like God is judging me for something I’ve never done. Or what the Priest has told him I’ve done,” he says to me, he stopped walking.

“If you didn’t commit a sin, you have nothing to fear then, no?” I say to him, I don’t understand what he means. He’s done nothing wrong. He isn’t being judged. Even if the Priest believes he’s done wrong. Only God can truly decide.

Akim looks at me, his eyes seem to glisten. His face contorts into sadness? Anxiety? I don’t know. It returns to his usual smile.

“Your right Liuz,” he says with a smile as he starts to walk with me again.

There’s only silence.

“Akim, I feel that way sometimes. When I’m with you, it’s the only time I ever question my faith,” I say to him. Breaking the silence in the forest.

Akim looks at me, his mouth slightly opened, his eyes widen.

“Really? I mean, I feel the same way. But.... How so?” He says quickly, grabbing my hand. Making us both stop in our tracks.

“Well, after what you told me about your town’s Priest. His manipulative nature, his greedy nature. It makes me wonder why God would put those people in power? No man who says he understands the word of God would act like that.”

Akim’s hand tightens around mine. It feels like his warmth is seeping into my body. He’s staring at the snow before his eyes meet mine.

“I....yeah. Yeah. That’s also what I was thinking too. Before I met you, no one else thought that the Priest was wrong. I felt crazy before I met you.”

The words leave his mouth, it feels like it’s dripping with hesitation. We weren’t thinking the same thing. Akim is staring at the sky, his hand on mine. A bird passes above us. It’s feathers gleaming the little sunlight available. A soft smile cracks onto Akim’s face as he sees the bird.

The sight makes me hitch my breath, before it’s released into the cold air in front of me again. A small warmth on my cheeks.

“Akim. I wish we were born into different lives. I wish we were born into a different life. Maybe then....” I start to say, the words fade as they leave my mouth. Akim looks at me. He steps closer to me.

“I love you,” Akim says to me, he doesn’t seem hesitant this time. Like the words jumped out of his mouth. I take a step back, staring into his eyes.

“I wish you were a girl, maybe then I could love you back.”

A sense of sadness goes through me as I say that. I let go of his hand and I turn around. Facing the cold woods in front of me. Not wanting to bear the hurt and sadness that will be on my dear friend’s face. Not wanting to accept the fact that I hurt him with my words.

He's my friend. My dearest friend. My feelings for him go beyond that.

“I don’t wish anything different. I don’t wish we met in another life or another reality. I want us to meet here. One day, we will be free. From everyone, judgement, even God himself won’t get to us. Even if I go to Hell, I want to go to Hell with you,” Akim’s voice rings in my ears. His voice sounds hurt yet determined at the same time. I don’t dare to look back at him. I see the snow melt from the small tear droplets rolling down my face. He walks up to me, wiping the tears from my face. I don't know how to respond.

A smile is on his face. A smile of hope. My lips turn upwards, mirroring his.

Akim grabs my hand again, as we walk together. To the path of freedom.


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10 Reviews

Points: 801
Reviews: 10

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Mon Jan 01, 2024 8:49 am
Mavraak wrote a review...



Hey,

What I Liked:

Descriptive Imagery: The writer really nailed the winter scene. The sky, the snow, the forest—it's like you're right there. The poetic description of the winter sky is just chef's kiss.

Character Depth: Akim and Liuz feel real. The contrast between Akim's warmth and Liuz's contemplative nature is a nice touch. You can almost feel the complexity of their friendship.

Emotional Exploration: The story delves into heavy themes—faith, societal expectations, and the desire for freedom. It's like a rollercoaster of emotions, and I'm all for it.

Pivotal Moments: That scene where Liuz spills his conflicted feelings and Akim drops the L-bomb—it's a punch to the gut. The vulnerability in their interactions is raw and relatable.

What I Didn't Like:

Pacing: At times, the pacing felt a bit off. Some scenes could've flowed better to maintain the emotional intensity.

Akim's Character Development: While Liuz gets some deep introspection, I felt like Akim's character could've been explored more. Understanding his feelings and reactions better would've added depth.

Overall, it's a compelling tale with vivid imagery and deep emotions. If you're into a mix of friendship, love, and societal struggles, this one's worth a read.

Mavraak




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Points: 69
Reviews: 4

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Fri Dec 15, 2023 7:31 pm
dragongamer911 wrote a review...



A great use of tension, in both romantic and dramatic. The word choice makes the characters bond almost tangible like here

A soft smile cracks onto Akim’s face as he sees the bird.

The sight makes me hitch my breath, before it’s released into the cold air in front of me again. A small warmth on my cheeks.


It is hard to find an example where the dramatic tension is not connected to the romantic (which makes sense, the dramatic tension is built on the conflict made by the romantic tension).

“I don’t like being there.... It feels like God is judging me for something I’ve never done. Or what the Priest has told him I’ve done,” he says to me, he stopped walking.


Very good!!




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123 Reviews

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Reviews: 123

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Mon Dec 04, 2023 11:39 am
PKMichelle wrote a review...



Hello friend!
Welcome to YWS! I saw your work in the Green Room and figured I’d check it out.


Per my interpretation, this had an incredible message! You did a wonderful job telling a story and introducing conflict without actually letting the reader know exactly what the conflict is until the end. This leaves room for reader interpretation and can make a piece more fun to read!

It's a short story that follows two young people, one of whom, Akim, has problems with his faith, and the priest at his church. He doesn't understand what he's done wrong and why they think he's sinned, and neither do we, until it's shown that the main character is also a boy.

This has a very powerful message behind it! There didn't seem to be anything wrong with the relationship they had, but when it was revealed they went to church and they both ended up being boys, the narrative changed because it's against many religious ways. It ended up making sense while also being quite sad because, even though they're both boys, which is a "sin," their relationship was really innocent.


If I could offer any sort of advice, I wouldn't say anything too extravagent! But you did seem to repeat a lot of words when you didn't really need to, which made some parts really clunky.

One example of this was when they were talking about the priest. You stated,

His manipulative nature, his greedy nature.


While this isn't technically wrong, it feels like a mouthful because you're saying nature twice. So, if I could make it a little more concise, it would look like:

His manipulative, greedy nature.


OR

His manipulative and greedy nature.


I feel like this slight change makes it just a tad more digestible and easy to take in. But, obviously, this is just a suggestion, and it's always up to the writer, so please take this criticism lightly and know that I mean nothing negative by it—only trying to provide a somewhat useful critique.


If I had to pick my favorite part, it would be the way the conflict was revealed. I was wondering what it was going to be and where it was going to come from, and then it just smacked me in the face when you said,

I wish you were a girl, maybe then I could love you back.


This is when the whole story made sense for me and began to come together in my head. It was also both beautiful and sad, which is a really cool thing to be able to write like that, so kudos to you!

I also really liked the ending and how it wrapped everything up. It kind of made for a somewhat happy ending, which was a really nice touch.


Overall, I think you did absolutely amazing on this! You told a beautiful story in a very beautiful way!

Thank you for taking the time to write and post this, and I hope you put out more stories just like this one in the future!


Goodbye for now! I hope you have a magnificent day (or night) wherever you are!




TheLastWriter says...


Thank you so much for the advice and feedback, I really appreciate it!

I'm glad you liked the story as well.

Have a great day (or night)!




The thing about plummeting downhill at fifty miles an hour on a snack platter - if you realize it's a bad idea when you're halfway down, it's too late.
— Rick Riordan, The Son of Neptune