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16+ Language

Life List⁷

by archrnln


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

One

Baby pushed his sweaty bubblegum pink hair out of his eyes and motioned for Tay to start the stopwatch again. He held up three long fingers. Two. Baby braced his legs. One. he shot from the mark, limbs pumping. It seemed like he was running for an eternity, suspended above dusty ground, all his lean muscle rippling. Baby made it to the end mark just as his legs buckled underneath him. Tay jogged over and knelt down beside his best friend. “Breath Baby” he said, putting a hand over the smaller boy’s mouth so he was forced to breathe through his nose. Baby struggled to inhale for a minute before slowing his breathing until he could sit up. “Did I beat it?” he said referring to his personal best, which was 11.36 seconds, “Yeah” Tay squinted at the stopwatch, “you knocked off the .36” Baby swore under his breath, “I have to go faster! The current men’s record is 9.58” he stood up quickly then cried out as his muscles cramped, the younger pushed him back to the ground and began stretching out his legs, massaging the pain out. “Never” he said, his voice showing the first signs of annoyance “never leap to your feet after running as fast as you just did. You ran faster than your body could keep up with, you need to get up slowly and walk it off” Baby nodded as Tay finished with his legs “Now you need to drink water and rest” he said fiercely but Baby whined “I have to go again Tay” he pleaded “I’m so close to beating-” he was cut off by a growl “Baby I may be younger than you but I am your coach and I know that you need rest” Baby sighed, he knew it was for his own good but it was still frustrating to be so close yet so far.

Baby headed home to have a shower. Afterwards he relaxed on his bed, ready to binge watch a random show until he fell asleep. He heard a knock at the door. Five boys barged in yelling all at once “One at a time!” Baby shouted as the boys threw themselves in various places around the room, the first boy stood up “Tay told us you collapsed” he said, sweeping his ash blond hair out of his face and glaring at him through the thick black frames of his glasses “I did” Baby replied coolly “but I bet my P.B Ju, you know how important that is” Ju sat down still looking furious as the next boy went over and punched him lightly on the shoulder “We’re scared for you bro” a murmur of agreement rippled across the group.

“I can handle myself JiJi” he smiled wearily at Ju’s older brother, “You push yourself too hard” Baby looked in the direction of the louder, raspier voice. It was Hero. “You need to slow down or you’ll ruin yourself” Hero’s usually wide smiling mouth was pouted. “I told you guys over and over again I can handle myself” Baby gazed at his other best friends. “Where's Tay?” he grumbled “organising an appointment with his therapist so he can recover from watching you destroy yourself” he rolled his eyes at Gael who had pulled an earbud out to pitch in the conversation “haha” Baby threw one of his numerous dusky pink cushions at him. He lay back on the bed huffing, the shouting had given him a headache and all he wanted to do was cuddle someone and go to sleep, “Jayce” he whined to the doe eyed boy in the corner “wanna hug” the youngest of the group flexed his arms which had a few tattoos on them (courtesy of Gael) and flopped next to Baby, laying his head on his shoulder “Baby you know we all want you to enjoy your running, but it seems it’s stopped being fun for you” Jayce looked at him with his big innocent eyes that no longer matched his muscly, tall frame. “I know” the pink haired boy mumbled his eyelids fluttering “Go to sleep” I could no longer hear my friends because I was falling…..falling...

The morning light filtered through the curtains filling his eyelids with red light, Baby rolled over away from the light hoping to fall back asleep. “BABY!” someone shouted from outside the room “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo” he yelled back, his deeper morning voice making itself known “TAY SAID IF YOU DON’T COME DOWNSTAIRS HE’LL CALL GAEL” Baby groaned before flopping off his bed onto the floor “I’m up” he stood slowly, yawning, Baby pulled on a pair of sweatpants and a shirt from the floor before stumbling out of his room. Tay and the rest of the boys were in the kitchen making waffles with Baby’s mother. “Catch” Jayce threw a waffle at him and he caught it in midair. “Baby Mckenna” mum turned from the waffle machine to face her overworking son, “yes..?” Uh oh. “Tay told me what happened yesterday” she glared at him, both Baby and his mum were quite short but what mum lacked in height she made up for in ferocity “You aren’t to do sprints for a while but I will allow you to do distance” baby threw a look at Tay “Muuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuum” he whined “I have to beat this score otherwise I can’t go to the olympics” mum gave Baby the look “If I catch you sprinting I will put you to the test by chasing you with my broom” she bustled around recruiting JiJi to help her with dishes “end of story” she held up her hand when he opened his mouth to argue. “Fine” Baby grumbled, chomping morosely on another waffle, “I didn’t think it was physically possible to be upset when eating waffles” Ju peered owlishly over his book “watcha reading?” Tay grabbed the book out of Ju’s hands “careful with that!” Ju yelped chasing Tay into the hallway “you’ll never catch me fool!” Tay sped up leaving Ju panting behind him “I hate you” Tay handed Ju back his book “love you too shnookums” Tay winked at Baby and he giggled.

The boys had all decided to go to a fair that was happening a few blocks away. Baby’s mum sent them off with coats, hats, scarves and a severe warning to stay out of trouble and be home by 6pm for dinner. Ju got into the driver's seat. “Nope” JiJi snatched the keys off him “you don’t have a licence” Ju frowned “It’s just a few blocks Ji, please?” JiJi scolded his little brother for a full ten minutes much to the amusement of his friends “let’s walk” Hero grinned after JiJi had finally run out of steam, “couldn’t have said that ten minutes ago?” Ju grimaced at his friend “Oh please” Gael smirked “that was much more entertaining” Ju sulked all the way to the fair but cheered up when he saw all the games.

The fair was massive, a large Ferris wheel dominated the scene with more game stalls and food trucks than the boys could count. “Can we go on the Ferris wheel first?” JiJi pleaded, his eyes shining “Yes yes yes!” Jayce ran to the line and everyone followed him, Hero however, hung back behind the group gulping nervously.

“Yaaaay” Jayce shouted when he and JiJi were the first to have the metal bar put across their laps. Despite being a large tattooed gym addict, Jayce was playful and childlike when he got excited. Tay, Gael and Ju were swung up into the air. That left Hero and Baby. The younger boy giggled when they started going up but Hero looked like he was far from enjoying himself, he squeezed his eyes shut and whimpered every time the wheel sped up. “You ok?” Baby laughed as they spun faster “no” Hero was shaking at this point “I d-don’t like heights” he was sitting as far back as he could. Baby took his hand “if you didn’t want to go you could have told us” he said gently. Hero shook his head tears leaking out of his closed eyes “didn’t want t-to ruin it” he was properly crying now, shaking with silent sobs “I feel like I’m going to die” baby pulled him into a cuddle “we’ll be ok” he ran his hand through Hero’s fluffy black hair. “Look out at the city”. Hero reluctantly opened his eyes and gasped. Baby had to admit the view took one’s breath away. The cerulean sky seemed to stretch on forever, the massive cumulus clouds formed strange shapes and gave an appearance of a whole new land above their heads. When the ride ended Hero stumbled out of the carriage and straight into a bathroom where he threw up his breakfast. “You ok bro?” Gael handed him a water bottle “y-yeah” he washed his mouth out then took a few deep breaths “never again” he gave a watery chuckle and sat down on the flattened grass panting. “Come on guys! I wanna try the games” JiJi started tugging Gael along, “feeling better?” Ju asked Hero who was still sitting on the ground taking heavy breaths “yeah just a bit puffed” he stood up slowly, “all good now” he smiled following the rest of them to the games area.

The rest of the day was spent blowing money on the rigged carnival games. Everyone loved every second of it. Gael won JiJi a stuffie at the shooting game and Ju won Baby another pink pillow for his collection at the darts game. They started heading home at around four pm all exhausted but pleased with the day out. Gael seemed a bit worried though, Hero had trouble keeping up with the group and seemed to get out of breath every time they walked somewhere even though we didn’t do anything too strenuous. Then Hero fainted. It was so sudden none of the boys even had time to blink, one second he was laughing at something Tay had said, next he had dropped to the ground like a stone, his head knocking on the pavement. JiJi screamed. “HERO!” Gael got to his knees and lifted up his head, Ju and Baby got on either end of him and lifted their friend up onto Jayce’s back “I’ll call an ambulance” Tay dialled quickly. We heard him talking to the operator “yeah he just collapsed ... .no he wasn’t drunk ... .we're on the end of the main street…alright please hurry!” JiJi was crying. The ambulance got there within five minutes and pulled out a stretcher on which they gently laid Hero down, “we’ll get him to A & E. You kids did the right thing” one paramedic said to Tay “what’s the boy’s name?” another one called from the ambulance where they were hooking Hero up to an oxygen machine “Hero Parks, can we all go in the ambulance with him?” Jayce begged “one of you can” the paramedic replied eyeing the boy warily “I’ll go” Tay climbed in next to the doctors before anyone could argue “I’ll call his parents” Ju said stepping away to speak on the phone.

Tay squeezed Hero’s hand softly “you’re gonna be ok” he whispered, Hero was mostly unresponsive although he was breathing fine enough, the ambulance howled through town to the hospital. Tay followed the doctors into the accident and emergency unit where Hero’s parents were waiting uneasily “oh my god!” Hero’s mum put a hand over her mouth when she saw him hooked up to the oxygen “Taylor” she spotted the other boy and rushed over “were you there when it happened Tay?! Is he ok? Did he collapse? Is he bleeding from his head at all?” Mrs Parks was hysterical in her fear, Tay did his best to console her but she still cried for most of the time in the waiting room before they were allowed to go see Hero.

“Hey mum” Hero sounded weaker, almost like the world had defeated him. “Hey dad” Mr Parks looked grave, a stark contrast to his usual beaming smile “are you ok son?” he asked, straightening the covers on his hospital bed “do you want to tell them or should I?” Hero asked the doctor standing next to the bed, “I will” said the doctor “Mr and Mrs Parks we completed a CT scan on your son and I am grieved to inform you he has stage three lung cancer” Tay felt the moment when the world came to a complete grinding halt. All sound seemed to have been sucked out of the room. He glanced up and his eyes met Hero’s, both of the friend’s eyes filling with tears. Neither of them registered Mr Parks pleading with the doctor to just check again because he must have made a mistake. Hero couldn’t die. He was going to finish high school with his friends and then they would all go to university and find jobs and fall in love but always stay friends…. But with four words all those dreams and future memories were gone. Stage three lung cancer. Cancer


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1019 Reviews

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Thu Feb 22, 2024 3:43 pm
vampricone6783 wrote a review...



Hello there, human! I'm reviewing using the YWS S'more Method today!

Shalt we commence with the possessed S’more?

Top Graham Cracker - Hero and his friends go to the local fair, only, Hero starts to act strangely sick. The friends send Hero to the hospital and find out that he unfortunately has Stage Three Lung Cancer…

Slightly Burnt Marshmallow - There’s first person narration where I think Baby is talking about not hearing his friends. If you wanted to keep it first person though, then ignore this.

Chocolate Bar - I love how close all the friends seem. They care for each other’s wellbeing, and they send Hero to the hospital when he’s not feeling well. It’s important to have genuine friends in life, and that is what they all have. :>

Closing Graham Cracker - An emotional story on friendship and sticking with the ones you loved most, I enjoyed reading this chapter. I’ll make sure to read the other chapters that connect to this.

I wish you a fantastic day/night! ^v^




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170 Reviews

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Wed Jan 03, 2024 7:43 pm
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Roxanne wrote a review...



Aloha!



Beyond my beloved rose garden, I spy with my little eye…

Something quite interesting; a story titled “Life List 7”

Alrighty, no more delays! Let’s put these review skillz into action, shall we?

Image

I. First Things First
Before diving in deep, let’s see what’s on the surface. The tale circles around the life of a young runner named Baby and his friends. The young runner pushes himself too hard to beat his sprinting record. Both his mom and his friends, some of which are Tay and Hero, are concerned about his health. But little did they know that it was Hero's health that they should have been worried about..

II. The Door To Improvement
Though you have written a story with a lot of potential it still has many points which could be improved. Here are some suggestions

Starting with the length of your paragraphs, to avoid a tedious read you might want to consider diving the blocks of paragraphs into smaller pieces. This will make it easier for people to review your work, but also for readers to orientate within the story.

Additionally, to make it clear who is speaking and saying what, you could structure your paragraphs in a certain way.

For instance, here's a before:

Five boys barged in yelling all at once “One at a time!” Baby shouted as the boys threw themselves in various places around the room, the first boy stood up “Tay told us you collapsed” he said, sweeping his ash blond hair out of his face and glaring at him through the thick black frames of his glasses “I did” Baby replied coolly “but I bet my P.B Ju, you know how important that is” Ju sat down still looking furious as the next boy went over and punched him lightly on the shoulder “We’re scared for you bro” a murmur of agreement rippled across the group.


And after:
Five boys barged in yelling all at once: “One at a time!”

Baby shouted as the boys threw themselves in various places around the room.

“Tay told us you collapsed." The first boy said, sweeping his ash blond hair out of his face and glaring at him through the thick black frames of his glasses.

“I did” Baby replied coolly. “But I bet my P.B Ju, you know how important that is”.

Ju sat down still looking furious as the next boy went over and punched him lightly on the shoulder.

“We’re scared for you bro”, a murmur of agreement rippled across the group.


Or like this:
Five boys barged in yelling all at once.
“One at a time!” Baby shouted as the boys threw themselves in various places around the room.
“Tay told us you collapsed” the first boy said, sweeping his ash blond hair out of his face and glaring at him through the thick black frames of his glasses .
“I did” Baby replied coolly “but I bet my P.B Ju, you know how important that is” Ju sat down still looking furious as the next boy went over and punched him lightly on the shoulder
“We’re scared for you bro” a murmur of agreement rippled across the group.

Punctuation is also a very crucial element which can help to structure your story, with the right periods, comma's and exclamation points you could perfectly portray the right scenes and avoid the use of too much vowels in dialogues.

Diving in the plot of the real story, I'd say that you've got something cool in mind. I love the names, they are so simple but just awesome. However, it makes things a bit confusing. For example, is the character Baby a real baby? So how does he doe the sprinting and how are his talking skills already developed?

It's important to "set the scene" before your start writing. Who are the characters? What do they look like? By developing your character you're also adding the depth of your story.
The twist at the end is something rather intriguing, it adds to the impact of your story. But then you could develop your story around that twist, consider incorporating subtle hints/ foreshadowing regarding Hero's health issue. What symptoms was he showing? How long was it going on already?

Last, but not least, "show, don't tell". Instead of explicitly stating the emotions of your characters you could "show" how they were feeling. For instance, if they were happy describe the smile on their face, if it was confusion then describe the frowns on their forehead.

But of course, do keep in mind, these are only suggestions with the intention of boosting the impact and depth of your story. And the decision of considering them is entirely up to you.

III. Seek Inspiration Beyond
Feel free to check out A Letter to Satan by @GengarIsBestBoy and the series of Lady Alberta and the Missing Prince (Part 1) by @Plume for some extra inspiration and ideas to spice up your own storytelling!

IV. In A Nutshell
Everything in all and all in everything, you've written a tale with a lot of potential. The humour is something that I really enjoyed in your story. With just a few improvements you could deepen the effect of "Life List 7".
Good luck with your future writing projects! (Awesome cover by the way :))

But before I bid my adieu, allow me to welcome you to the YWS; the world of writers! I hope you'll enjoy dancing around the Green Room and taking part in the challenges. I look forward to reading more from you!

That's it, that's all.
Hoping the review has been of value to you!

With Rose-tinted regards!




archrnln says...


Thank you for your beautiful review! Your suggestions mean a lot to me, I wish to get feedback to further develop my writing skills. To answer your question, no, Baby is not an actual baby. It is a reference to the Dirty Dancing character of the same name. Thank you so much!




i exist in a constant state of confusion so its ok
— veeren