143 comments

Romance Speculative Teens & Young Adult



She’s crouched behind the main building, a dozen stray cats orbiting her world. It hasn’t been five minutes since the bell rang. Yun can splinter such a beautiful sight, or she can do the usual, pathetic thing and watch from a distance.






I'm done being pathetic.






Yun leans against the wall and prays that her token nonchalance doesn’t intimidate. “What sort of satay is that?”






The cats scatter when Mirah stands, fingers wrapped around a skewer of grilled meat. Her glasses catch the beads of a gently-melting sky, but surprise manages to shine through. 






Surprise and… fear.






“It’s… it’s chicken.” The words are raindrops, cascading from Mirah’s lips to shatter on the pavement with the rest. “Chicken satay is their favorite. See how fast they eat?”






There’s something magical about this girl, Yun decides for the millionth time in the past six years. Here she is, summoning cats like something out of a fairytale, despite the rocks that leave brazen hands day in and day out. Yun is sure she’ll melt if Mirah’s smile continues to adorn her face. A smile that cowers behind stony lips in class, only to emerge here, in solitude.






“There’s none left, you silly animals,” giggles Mirah, the cats clustering at her heels despite her chucking the skewer away.






For a few fragile heartbeats it’s just the two of them framed by a gentle drizzle that decorates their hair with pearls. Yun is the girl who isn’t afraid to hit bullies back, who lets her scooter roar at every red light, who deters as many boys as she ensnares. And yet here she is, fumbling for a foothold with the girl who once burst into tears at a scraped knee.






It’s almost comical. Almost.






“You could’ve eaten that,” Yun points out.






The clouds darken with Mirah’s face. “They deserve it more than I do. Poor things.”







Yun suppresses a wince. It hasn’t stopped raining for a week, and the last thing she wants to do is worsen it. “Everyone deserves a good chicken satay. Even Mirah Lestari.”






🌧






Yun hopes to banish the grey clouds as they speed off to her favorite place, tentative hands wrapped around her waist. Mirah is silent except for the thunder twitching in anxiety overhead. Yun figures it’s nothing a full belly won’t fix as she parks her scooter with the others by the street-side vendor.






They watch headlamps pour through a sullen grey haze, Yun trying to pierce the silence that is Mirah across the bench. They’re alone besides the vendor painting the air with the flavor of charring meat and the pitter-patter of raindrops dancing overhead. When the skewers arrive Mirah nibbles on hers like it might hurt to enjoy it. She doesn’t even dip it in peanut sauce.







Para para para, murmurs the rain.







A bundle of mangled fur sings hunger at their feet; Mirah moves to offer a morsel, but Yun wants to be a part of her world, so she beats her to it.






She can feel Mirah’s wide-eyed stare as she empties the rest of her plate onto the ground. Maybe the best message right now is a wordless one.






“Yuyun,” murmurs Mirah. It’s not just an acknowledgment of what Yun has done, but of… Yun.






“Mirah, you’re allowed to call me ‘Yun’ like everyone else, you know.” A gasp flees Yun’s lips when she strokes the wrong spot and barely dodges a claw swipe.






The weeping sky hesitates, as if recalling a reason to be happy. A golden shard escapes the grey to touch them, though only for a heartbeat; it’s long enough for Yun to catch a smile radiate from across the bench. A smile just as true as the little-known fact that Mirah Lestari holds the weather in the tender palm of her hand.






“Why are you doing this?” she asks, and her voice is glass, ready to shatter. Because who else has offered the quiet outlier a ride, let alone treated her to lunch? Who else has actually given a damn?






“Because I want the sun to shine over Jakarta again,” answers Yun, and her voice is also glass.






Mirah takes a solemn bite of satay. “Me too.”






Para para para, chants the rain.






🌧






How many years has it been since Mirah didn’t have to wear down the already-worn soles of her shoes on the trudge back home? Too many, just like the number of breaths Yun has to take after meek hands unwrap themselves from her waist.






“Thanks, Yuyun,” Mirah whispers as she clambers off the seat and smoothes out her skirt. “I mean, Yun.”






“You’re welcome, Mirah.”






They exchange a smile, Yun’s sharp and Mirah’s feather-like. Mirah takes her time on the way to a small, rickety building that reeks of melancholy. Yun doesn’t have to watch the sky darken, which does so at around the same time each day, to know that Mirah isn’t keen to leave the rain. Nor does she have to listen in the driveway for a few minutes after the door creaks shut to hear the shouting that greets Mirah’s return home.






And she doesn’t have to peek under Mirah’s always-long sleeves to see the burns, the same ones that have been a crimson-eyed target for rumors and unspeakable slander for years and years and years.






A white flash blazes overhead, followed by a thunderclap that almost knocks Yun off her scooter. She speeds home, heart beating out a tune of worry, and she doesn’t arrive before her clothes are drenched in Mirah’s sadness.






🌧






“What’s that you got there, Motherless Mirah?”






It’s six years ago and they’re both a growth spurt shy of knowing what puppy love tastes like. Yun always did place Mirah as a bit of a sissy for carrying around a stuffed cat, but she’d never rip it out of those frail hands and chuck it into the mud.






She’s not her current tormentor, after all, whose laughter launches blood-red daggers across the playground. It’s been raining all morning, so of course everything is slick and brown, but Yun doesn’t yet know that it’s because a peer has been having a rockier-than-usual existence as of late. She has an inkling, but it’s not until the heavens burst like a water balloon to the rhythm of Mirah’s wailing that years of quiet speculation finally come full circle.






Thunderclaps chase the children indoors, all except Yun, who sees no reason to be afraid of a girl her age, and Mirah, who is used to being left behind.






“It’s just a stupid doll,” reassures Yun as she shakes the grime off and presents it to its owner. “Nothing to cry about.”






(Yun will later realize it’s a parting gift from a long-gone mother, and she will shed tears in the privacy of her bedroom.)






Mirah holds it close, mud and tears and wet fur, and although she never says thank you, the sun reaches through the rain with an amber finger to touch a soft spot behind Yun’s walls.






Somehow, it’s enough.






This is the day that Yun decides Mirah is special, like an iridescent seashell that quietly washes up on a dawnlit beach, or a proud little flower that sprouts from a crack in the pavement. This is the day that leaves a kiss stain on Yun’s heart and makes it flutter like moth wings whenever their eyes meet from then on.






It will be six years and an eternity before the tears rain down like fists and one of them has to hold up the other lest they both drown.






🌧






They’re both sixteen now and spend every recess filling each other’s voids, though Mirah’s seems to be infinitely bigger and colder. Yun sets aside half her packed lunch for the strays; it’s really for Mirah, because that’s how Yun gets to see her eyes come alive. She’ll do anything to be a part of this girl’s world that is as precious as the sunbeams that don’t always come. They do when Yun and Mirah study in the shade of a lychee tree, or when they straighten each other’s ties before class, or when Yun chases away former friends that snap at their heels like feral dogs. The rain never leaves, but now it’s only a distant whisper.






Yun’s world also bends like wet clay now that Mirah occupies a butterfly-shaped imprint inside it. The clerk at the motorcycle shop raises an eyebrow as he hands her a pink helmet with cat ears.






“It’s for a friend.”






Yun is a white-hot rock careening through the sky, letting wild hair stream behind her as she drives Mirah home; to hell with the smog and exhaust fumes that leave their mark. She’s made of different stuff than Mirah, who releases a quiet yelp every time they hit a speedbump like an asteroid, so now she has to take her time in clogged, pothole-ridden streets.






Now she has to care. And she’s fine with that.






But Mirah always holds on as if she might float away any second like a plastic bag in the breeze. It’s Yun’s favorite time of day, when it’s just her and Mirah’s new helmet kissing her shoulder blade and the hum of her scooter framing it all. Together they are two shells of a clam, nourishing the pearl in between.





“Yun?”






“Hm?”






“Are you… crying?”






“Me? No, it’s just… dust in my eye. That’s what happens when you ride without a helmet.”






“Oh. Want to borrow mine?”






“No, keep it, silly. It’s yours.”






🌧






Yun glances at the sun, and then at Mirah’s face; she can’t decide which one glows brighter. It’s Saturday morning and the city yawns. They’re leaning against her scooter parked outside an Indomaret, and it’s warm enough that their popsicles race to meet the pavement.






“Aren’t you scared of me?” asks Mirah between licks, and the casual nature of this question takes Yun aback.






“Of course not. Why would I be?”






“I’m… not normal.”






“Normal is boring.”






“But I can change the—”






“I know, and it’s amazing.”






Yun wants to freeze the world as it is, clap it between the safety of her palms so she can sneak a peak at her leisure.






Then Mirah says, “It started when Mama left. Papa couldn’t get mad at her, but I was still here, so he… he…”






“Mirah, you don’t have to—”






“At first it was cigarettes; Djarum, his favorite brand. They hurt, but the marks were small, easy to hide. He got angrier every year; next it was his lighter, and nowadays it’s the kitchen stove.”






Every word is a downpour and Yun will drown if Mirah doesn’t stop.






“See this? He makes me lie to the teachers, to parents, to the class. Everyone thinks it’s a birthmark, or a hickey.”






“I don’t. Mirah, you know I don’t.”






All Yun wants is to gift Mirah a life away from the fire. But the clouds are rolling in like truck tires and they bring with them a billion droplets of anguish, and it’s then that Yun realizes it’s not enough.





Yun, she—





She’s not enough.  






🌧






It catches on quickly, too quickly, that those two girls always glowing in each other’s company might be more than just friends. Yun isn’t even sure if Mirah has similar tastes, but that doesn’t stop the barbs from flying: the jeers, the looks of contempt, the colorful synonyms for “homosexual” that smash through her walls no matter how many times she rebuilds them.






Yun can take it; she'll get back up, wipe the blood off her chin. But not Mirah. Mirah crumples like a sheet of paper in between calloused fingers, melts like the stormclouds that bear witness overhead.






Especially when she unzips her school bag one morning to find a dead cat. Yun holds Mirah’s hair back until she finishes retching. Later that day, Yun is sent home for breaking someone’s nose in three places.






(It’s not fair.)






And just like that, Mirah drifts away on torn wings, powerless to fly against the gale. Of course it’s only a matter of time before the rumors trickle down to Mirah’s father. And of course Yun would die before she does anything to jeopardize her. Which is why from this day on the back of Yun’s scooter is as cold and empty as the husk she has become. 






(None of it’s fair.)






That night, Yun sobs into her pillow. She doesn’t stop until her throat is raw and her lungs are dry.






(It’s not fair it’s not fair IT’S NOT FUCKING FAIR.)






After she’s cried herself to sleep, she dreams of a bleak sky weeping over a bleaker city, filling it with more water than all the oceans combined. It doesn’t stop the girl standing at the center of it all from bursting into flames.






🌧






Para para para, murmurs the rain against glass. A week has passed without hearing a giggle out of Mirah and the only thing Yun can listen to is the call of the storm outside; the teacher’s words pass through like apparitions.






She's not even sure if Mirah is at school. Usually there is a furtive glance in the hallway, or a gentle gasp as textbooks hit the floor, but today there is a void.






“Yuyun Wijaya, is there something outside more interesting than my lesson?”






Yun ignores her. Floods are nothing new in Jakarta, but this… this is different. She’s still mesmerized by the grey cape outside when a crack of thunder shakes her to her core.






And then the sky weeps like never before.






Yun takes off, deaf to everything that isn't the song from above. Her heart is a wardrum as she drags her scooter onto the road and makes it roar through falling tears.






One name and two syllables replay in her head as she dodges every headlight imaginable.






One name and two syllables close around her heart as she plunges through the water swallowing everything.






One name and two syllables is what she hangs onto as an invisible pothole flings her scooter into oblivion. She considers lying there, half-drowning in liquid sadness and letting it consume her too.







Mirah Mirah Mirah, reminds the rain. 






Yun hauls her aching soul back to resoluteness. Flesh humming with scrapes and bruises, she limps over and pulls her scooter upright, only to find it silent.






Mirah Mirah Mirah.






She braves the flood one leap of faith at a time.






Almost there. Almost there. Almost there.






She dives into the murk, reeled in by thoughts of butterflies and moonlit feathers, only pausing to snatch a mewling bundle of fur. Coughing, she hauls herself into the shallows and pushes the soggy kitten onto a high branch. It’s what Mirah would’ve wanted.






Mirah, who is the core of a screaming tempest, the sky overhead ripped open by fingers dipped in a lifetime of sorrow and rage. It rips Yun open as well to see her this way.






Behind Mirah is a house that reeks of melancholy, half-devoured by her flood. Of course she finally splintered into a million shards, and then aimed those shards at her father. Of course she found the strength to fight back after Yun exploded into her life and gave her a reason to. And of course she saved herself from the fire when Yun couldn’t.






Yun, who won’t make that same mistake.






Yun, who bellows one name and two syllables and hopes with every drop of her lifeblood that they meet their mark.






(Burning. Mirah is still burning.)






The gale tries to fling her out of Mirah’s world, so she throws her own against it. Who else would know that at the center of this brokenness is a girl even more broken? Who else would give a damn?






(There is a fire inside her that even the rain can’t put out.)






Yun throws herself into Mirah. They lie in each other's arms, teary eyes locked together.






The storm hesitates.






(Only one thing can save her from the aftermath.)






Three words and eight letters leave Yun’s lips, the same ones she should’ve uttered an eternity ago, the same ones Mirah hasn’t tasted since her mother left, the same ones Mirah deserves to hear every single day but doesn’t.






Everything stops; a million shimmering raindrops frozen in midair, suspended around Yun and Mirah for ten majestic heartbeats like something out of a glass museum—  






—before being sucked upwards, bringing a rush of floodwater with them as they return to the sky.






The sky that bursts into color like never before; a regal blue that banishes the storm clouds and a liquid gold that paints the city with a beauty that has been missing for too long.






The world is filled with Yun and Mirah and the sunbeams that don’t always come, but now do.






“You came back.”






Yun emits sunbeams of her own. “I never left, silly.”






☀️






They’re both seventeen years old when they bask in each other’s presence at the back porch of Mirah’s new home. The hammock is only big enough for one, but that doesn’t stop either of them.






Some days Yun catches Mirah hunched over under the weight of the world; nobody could ever be quite the same after what she’s been though, but at least she has Yun, who is there to reassure her that her father got what he deserved, to pay her a visit when life with a new guardian becomes stale, to remind her that being homeschooled isn’t that bad.






“Look on the bright side,” says Yun. “No one will get in between us now.”






“Us?”






“Yeah, us. You know, as in… oh, forget it, I’ll tell you some other—”






Before Yun can turn into an even bigger idiot than she already is, Mirah silences her with a kiss that can be seen all the way from the sun. Maybe the best message right now is a wordless one.






Yun can’t decide which is more beautiful: the pristine sky, or Mirah’s smile. Maybe the ginger kitten nestled in between them.






It hasn’t rained in ages, and neither of them complain.


October 22, 2020 18:08

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143 comments

Elle Clark
18:23 Oct 22, 2020

You can’t hear because it’s in my head but I am SCREAMING. I frigging LOVE this. I genuinely had goosebumps while I was reading this and the hairs on the back of my neck went up at the bit where Yun saves her. The weather bit is gorgeous and so beautifully woven through. Your descriptions are fantastic and the way you build the relationship and the characters is incredible. I’m not going to critique it because I don’t want to. I just want to enjoy it and bask in how much I enjoyed it.

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:44 Oct 22, 2020

Thanks so much, I needed the reassurance before I go to bed 😅 I imagine this is vastly different to the previous story of mine you checked out haha Yeah, that part also gives me goosebumps. I think I cried a little too. Thanks again—I believe you are up to date with my stories now 😙

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Elle Clark
19:05 Oct 22, 2020

It is! But different isn’t bad and you nailed this. Glad I got chance to get up to date!

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:09 Oct 22, 2020

Ahhhh this is my first Romance so please critique to your heart's content! Also--this story pairs well with "Overflowing" by Makeshift Shelters. Perfect for Indie Rock lovers! :D

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Lani Lane
16:46 Oct 28, 2020

HOLY HELL. I thought you had me at butterfly reproduction but this was ABSOLUTELY my favorite story of yours. One of my favorite stories on this site, ever. Rayhan, this was beautiful and magical. I want more lol. The descriptions here are unreal! The personification, the metaphors... I took note of all my favorites: -The words are raindrops, cascading from Mirah’s lips to shatter on the pavement with the rest -A bundle of mangled fur sings hunger at their feet - Thunderclaps chase the children indoors -like an iridescent seashel...

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Rayhan Hidayat
17:59 Oct 28, 2020

“I thought you had me at butterfly reproduction “ People are gonna read this comment and be like “What? 🤨” THANK YOU!! This comment made my day. I’m flattered you took your time to quote this story. 😅 Yes I guess the brackets thing is a habit of mine! I’ve been doing that since my fifth submission or something and it stuck. Oh and I’m very glad the romance aspect came through alright. I was half afraid it would turn out cringey. But I’m glad you don’t think so! I’ve never really considered any other competition besides Reedsy. I ...

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Lani Lane
18:07 Oct 28, 2020

Lol now going to start all my comments on your stories with "I though you had me at butterfly reproduction." Of course! This was awesome. And I don't think it was cringey at all! You didn't overdo it, so the romance came across natural. So you can submit to other competitions, but there's some things you'd have to do...here's the FAQ/answer on the contest page! Can I submit my story elsewhere after publishing it on Reedsy Prompts? When authors submit a story, they retain the copyright, but they grant Reedsy a non-exclusive, irrev...

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:23 Oct 28, 2020

Oh thanks for the help, that makes sense!! You’re the best, Moana. I mean, Leilani. That’s a good shout, maybe I will branch out sooner or later

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Lani Lane
18:31 Oct 28, 2020

Lololol oh to live on an island with a pig and a chicken by my side... and Dwayne Johnson... a girl can dream. :D

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:55 Oct 28, 2020

Yep, I get ya girl. 😉 Now I’m not gay, but if it’s Dwayne himself, I might make an exception...

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Molly Leasure
17:49 Oct 23, 2020

Your comparisons (similes/metaphors/what have you) in this story are just DELICIOUS. I have no other word to describe them. They are unique, creative, perfectly chosen to suit the occasion and the emotions. Your first romance is like other people's millionth. I honestly love how few dialogue lines there are in the story because the line "Maybe the best message right now is a wordless one." then fits so seamlessly. Their relationship is about the moments they were there for each other physically, not always sharing perfect words of consoling....

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Rayhan Hidayat
07:24 Oct 24, 2020

Oh now I’m blushing ☺️ I have to thank my fellow Reedsy authors for showing me how to write romance. And thanks for the catch, I fixed it!

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Molly Leasure
16:21 Oct 24, 2020

Well, they did well, then :)! I'll never recover from this emotional rollercoaster ~ <3

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:14 Oct 24, 2020

Me neither. I cried quite a lot while writing this (the story, not this comment)

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Molly Leasure
03:23 Oct 25, 2020

Haha! Well, I can definitely see why you would ~

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Yolanda Wu
05:59 Oct 23, 2020

Whoo, first romance! You hear that? That's the sound of my applause. My first romance definitely wasn't as heartbreaking and touching as your one, it was more on the more cringey, and just overall bad end of the spectrum - I was twelve, but that's beside the point. Now I'm sixteen - well, not yet, my birthday is in four days, lol. I would like to think I've improved in four years. Anyway, enough about me and more about this wonderful story that you have created. Once again, I love how well you seem to write these meaningful little snapshot...

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Rayhan Hidayat
07:58 Oct 23, 2020

Yayy, glad I could get the approval of the master herself! 😅 Oh lol. In my head you were sixteen, so looks like I wasn’t too far off. And I did try to make this one feel like a YA story, hence why my style might be a bit different. Glad you still like it! And yes, the scene break. 100% Intentional as always 😉 I think it’s my signature at this point Thanks as always for the awesome comment!

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Yolanda Wu
08:04 Oct 23, 2020

Of course, anytime! I wouldn't say I'm a master, so I'm flattered. And wow yeah, you were accurate about my age, haha. Sixteen feels like such a step-up from fifteen. Like all those YA protagonists are sixteen and they're overthrowing evil governments, and I'm still here, just sitting at my computer.

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Rayhan Hidayat
08:15 Oct 23, 2020

Honestly though! I remember reading The Hunger Games when I was like 12 and thinking “Wow can’t wait til I turn 16 and become a badass” and then becoming really disappointed to find that absolutely nothing changed in 4 years 😂

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Yolanda Wu
08:34 Oct 23, 2020

Like my main character in the novel I'm writing is sixteen, and when I started writing it, I was like wow, sixteen is ages away, and now me realising that she's the same age as me, and she's one of the most powerful mermaid/sorcerers, and I'm like, welp... in my dreams.

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Rayhan Hidayat
07:20 Oct 24, 2020

Oh lol, Accurate 😂

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Radhika Diksha
07:11 Oct 24, 2020

When I was 16 I was rewinding my life and regretting about my life. I was acting like was in my 60's lol. But as they say you should be young at the heart

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Yolanda Wu
09:46 Oct 30, 2020

Hi Rayhan! My new story is out now. We're back at it with a Halloween-themed fantasy story set in the same world as Four Moon Cycles - but with different characters. As usual, your feedback would be delightful!

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Zilla Babbitt
14:59 Nov 23, 2020

Yes! I love the section breaks and the big gaps and the surreptitious way of telling the story. Very well done. I enjoyed this.

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Rayhan Hidayat
11:11 Nov 27, 2020

Surreptitious. Ooh I like that. Thanks for stopping by! 😙

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Kristin Neubauer
16:25 Oct 31, 2020

This is just so stunning, Rayhan - I have no words. Every sentence was so exquisite with the imagery and the words. And the beautiful way you told the story of Yun and Mirah's relationship with background chanting of the rain....I couldn't do that in a million years. I'm glad to see Yolanda Wu reading your work too. I was thinking about her writing as I read this because she is another who writes with such beauty and magic. Such an amazing experience to read both of you!

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Rayhan Hidayat
16:48 Oct 31, 2020

Thanks for stopping by! Yep, Yolanda is terrific and it’s awesome to have a fellow fantasy writer to talk to here 😙

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B. W.
21:01 Oct 30, 2020

Hiya there amigo ^^

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Rayhan Hidayat
03:40 Oct 31, 2020

Hey, what do you need help with?

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B. W.
03:42 Oct 31, 2020

did ya ever know about all my novels?

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Rayhan Hidayat
03:55 Oct 31, 2020

I don’t think so. Based on your short stories, am I right in assuming they’re Urban Fantasies?

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B. W.
04:10 Oct 31, 2020

sorta, though one of the novellas i actually just finished a bit ago is based off one of my favorite horror games/game in general.

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:18 Oct 31, 2020

What game is that?

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Bianka Nova
14:43 Oct 28, 2020

"I'll be back to check your winning story," she said and clicked the heels of her ruby slippers together three times. 😊🤞 Let's see if this works. I wasn't sure you could surpass yourself, but you definitely did with this one. Storytelling skill level +10 points. Loved how you focused on serious topics, loved the rainy background, loved the poetry of the language. Well done, Ray, well done! 😊👏👏👏👏👏

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:01 Oct 28, 2020

Oh stop it you ☺️ Thanks, anyway. This is in my top 5 stories I’m most proud of so it’s awesome that you like it!!

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Bianka Nova
18:05 Oct 28, 2020

I'm kind of backed by almost 100 comments, so don't play modest with me 😜 What are the other 4? I'll eventually read all of them, but knowing the personal favorites always helps. 😉

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:15 Oct 28, 2020

HAHA yeah I wonder where all those comments came from... strange. Here’s the list in order: 1. Overflowing 2. Shell 3. Relation Ship 4. Forevergreen 5. Law & Order a Pizza Shell and this are maybe tied for top spot. And I believe you read some of those already. All of those are kinda similar thematically except for the last one, which is a Thriller. So, yeah 🙃

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Bianka Nova
18:20 Oct 28, 2020

Yes, missing 2 of those. Will be onto them as soon as possible. By the way, have I mentioned you have one of the best titles? They just make you want to read the story without even knowing how good your writing is 😃

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Rayhan Hidayat
18:28 Oct 28, 2020

Thanks! Titles can be fun to come up with. And they can also sell your work!!

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Cam Croz
01:52 Oct 23, 2020

Wow. Just WOW. This story gave me CHILLS and literally brought me to TEARS at one point. Your figurative language and perfect writing just make the (already amazing) plot just that much better. The descriptive words you used added so much to the story. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! 😭 *cries happy tears

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:02 Oct 23, 2020

Thaaaanks Cam! 😙 I tried to capture that sort of super emotional vibe you find in anime, so I’m glad that came through!

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Cam Croz
15:15 Oct 23, 2020

haha it sure did 😂

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A Storyteller
09:21 Oct 27, 2020

You have to be a pro writer omg, this was very pleasing to read. The flow was everything, and it was delightfully descriptive to the point where I could hear and feel the rain. I would love to read a book worth of your stories!!

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Rayhan Hidayat
12:13 Oct 27, 2020

Oh wow, I’m very flattered 🥰 Thanks for the awesome comment!

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Ray Dyer
18:31 Oct 26, 2020

There's so much to love in this story, from the action to the way their relationship develops, but I particularly loved the little touches like this: "They’re leaning against her scooter parked outside an Indomaret, and it’s warm enough that their popsicles race to meet the pavement." This story took me to a place I never thought I'd experience. People talk a lot about the transportative power of writing, and this story carried me all the way to where the action was happening. Thank you for sharing this story, and these characters, wi...

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Rayhan Hidayat
12:30 Oct 27, 2020

Thanks Ray! I’m glad I could make this as immersive as you said! Yun and Mirah are two characters that are very dear to me so it means a lot that people are loving their tale 😙

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14:56 Oct 26, 2020

Hello new friend! Popping over to return the favor and leave a comment on your story. First off, I have to say that I am stunned by your vivid imagery. The similes and metaphors, the onomatopoeia, it was all simply beautiful. To me this felt like an abstract piece. I had to read it twice before I fully understood it's meaning - and I'm still not sure that I do - but I like that. Very well done!

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Rayhan Hidayat
12:36 Oct 27, 2020

I think you might be overthinking it, but thanks for the read and the feedback! I’m glad you enjoyed the imagery, that was fun to play around with 😙

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Mia S
18:52 Oct 25, 2020

Hello. Just wanted to let you know, I have followed you because your bio is amazing.

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:07 Oct 25, 2020

Oh haha thank you 😅 I hope you’re also following because you want to read my stories though lol

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Mia S
19:22 Oct 25, 2020

yes that too ;D

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Radhika Diksha
07:09 Oct 24, 2020

I think I'm tired of telling this again, BUT YOU ARE HELL OF AMAZING WRITER. Sometimes I think I should run away from here, I don't stand a chance among these talented minds. But I have a complaint. I think in between of the story I felt you lost yourself somewhere. And that kind off sagged my mood. But I loved the way you wrote your story in a different style. if you have time please checkout my new stories.

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Rayhan Hidayat
07:12 Oct 24, 2020

Thanks! Do you mind pointing out where in the story I lost you, and maybe what could be improved? Any critique is welcome, I’m always curious to hear what readers think 😙

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Radhika Diksha
08:40 Oct 24, 2020

Actually the cats part and the ragged doll,I think the third para. Actually its my personal opinion. The story is good but I think you could have made us a lot connected if you could have describe her father more. I think that would have created a atmosphere that how can love give us courage, kind of feeling. But regardless of all this your story was awesome. AND ITS ALL MY PERSONAL OPINION. AND WILL YOU PLEASE CHECK OUT MY NEW STORIES???

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Rayhan Hidayat
10:04 Oct 26, 2020

I made a few subtle changes, so thanks for the feedback!

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Radhika Diksha
11:48 Oct 26, 2020

Loved the changes. Now I'm freaking loving it more. The changes made it more enhanced. Keep writing.

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A.Dot Ram
05:42 Oct 24, 2020

Oh, this is so beautiful. I noticed it ties together some of the imagery from your other stories (the robot with the marble and voice of glass, and the shell, maybe others), which makes it pair well. Are you putting together a portfolio or book of short stories? So many things i like here: Mirah's cat lady-ness and the way she controls the weather feels myth-like. I'm picturing rainy season/ sunny season. The way the sound of the rain comes from parapara to mirahmirah. You've done a lot of cool things within a very engaging overall story.

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:55 Oct 24, 2020

Ooh you’re observant. A handful of my stories are definitely similar in terms of themes/writing style, like the ones you mentioned. No portfolio at the moment, unless my Reedsy profile counts haha. Just trying to hone my skills. 😋

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A.Dot Ram
06:18 Oct 24, 2020

I guess this totally counts for a portfolio! I noticed because i'm starting to notice a distinct style for you (well, two of them, really) and I've also been playing with weaving imagery and themes throughout my body of work. Bonus challenge. For you, this piece is like ther rug on The Big Lebowski-- it ties the room together.

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:27 Oct 24, 2020

Yeah it’s fun to have a sort of “signature” throughout your works. What about you then? You must have a published novel under your belt, surely 🙃 On a side note, I really need to watch that film...

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A.Dot Ram
20:16 Oct 24, 2020

I think it's right up your alley. No published novels here. A very old coffee table book on Outdoor Rooms, but still aspiring to accomplish something novel-length.

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Rayhan Hidayat
20:43 Oct 25, 2020

If you ever write a full length story about isopods, I'll be the first in line to buy it ;)

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Lina Oz
06:00 Oct 23, 2020

I am so happy you tackled a romance. I usually don't enjoy reading romance, but, of course, I love everything about this story and you have rekindled my respect for the genre. Please write another romance soon. My soul needs it.

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Rayhan Hidayat
08:44 Oct 23, 2020

Thanks as always! 😙 Not a big fan of romance either, but I figured there’s a first time for everything. Haha maybe I will, maybe I will...

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Claire Lindsey
19:49 Oct 22, 2020

Hi Rayhan, I can't believe this is your first romance; this is an absolutely beautiful piece. Everything about it felt so natural and I loved the creativity of Yun saving Mirah from a figurative fire. There are so many little details and themes in here that are woven so intricately. I can't find anything to critique. This is incredible!

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:58 Oct 22, 2020

Thanks a million Claire! 😙 This is my first stab at writing soppy stuff but I suppose reading all the stories here have been given me a bit of a head start haha. And it’s both a figurative and literal fire—her dad is unfortunately fond of burning her

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Claire Lindsey
23:14 Oct 22, 2020

Yes my bad I meant the figurative as well as the literal fire! If you get a chance I’d love some feedback on my story for this week, Linden Drive. I’m also trying out a genre that’s new to me and I’m not sure how I feel about it. No pressure if you don’t have time!

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:59 Oct 23, 2020

Heading on over! 😙

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A.G. Scott
18:59 Oct 22, 2020

Heart-wrencher. It felt like each sentence was beautiful in its own right. What a pleasure to read. 'They’re both sixteen now and spend every recess filling each other’s voids, though Mirah’s seems to be infinitely bigger and colder.' -- Euphemism??? jk hahahaha... unless??? Psst check out my second to most recent

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Rayhan Hidayat
19:06 Oct 22, 2020

OMG screw you, A.g. 😂 I’m just kidding, you’re cool. That line was originally “filling each other’s holes” before I realized what on earth I’d done. So you’re not too far off the mark lol

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A.G. Scott
19:15 Oct 22, 2020

What a soldier Yun is, putting up with the big and cold of it all

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Rayhan Hidayat
20:00 Oct 22, 2020

Careful there buddy, I could be an FBI agent 😉

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B. W.
00:26 Nov 02, 2020

heyyy

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