Contest #150 shortlist ⭐️

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Gay High School Science Fiction

They can build walls all the way to the sky, and it’s up to us to fly above them.

The Council can pin us down with the might of a thousand Regulators, but we will fight back. 

How many are out there? 

The Defectives who refuse to stop believing. 

Who… love in galaxies without walls. 


◢◣◥◤◢◣◥◤◢◣


Five days before chipping procedure

I tied up my shoelaces as I straddled the bench in the locker room. Jed Hampton, my best friend and next-door neighbor, ran with me every day after school. I was closer with him compared to any of the other seniors at St. Andrews. Maybe it was because we’d known each other as little kids, back when our dads used to grill in the yard on weekends to discuss intergalactic politics while our moms exchanged cooking recipes. 

Or perhaps it was because Jed was the only one there for me after they imprisoned my father for falling in love.

“Hey nerd,” Jed said as he ruffled my hair.

I jabbed at him with an elbow. “You’re late.”

“C’mon Percy, give a guy a break. We have to be on time for like, seven classes a day.” 

Jed opened his gym locker to change, and my cheeks flushed as he pulled his shirt over his head, exposing broad shoulders, muscular arms, and perfectly sculpted abs. Puberty graced him with the body of the Greek gods we read about in English literature class. I’d always been a little self-conscious about it, wishing I’d been more athletic. But I suppose it didn’t matter. 

My insecurities will vanish on my eighteenth birthday.

“A fly just buzzed into your gaping mouth, Pers.”

I glared at him, standing from the bench. “I’m not a fashion accessory. Hurry up, Jedi.”

Jed called me ‘Pers’ because ‘Percy’ had one too many syllables, even though ‘Percy’ was short for ‘Percival,’ my actual name. So I called him Jedi just to taunt him and add a syllable. The fact that we both enjoyed Star Wars was a bonus, so he didn’t mind.

He wrapped an arm around my shoulders, leading us towards the door. Warmth radiated through my chest, followed by a sinking sensation in my stomach when I realized things would change after the procedure. 

In five days, I’d lose my best friend.

I shoved the renegade thought away as we walked outside, greeted by the first day of autumn. It was my favorite time of year, when the crisp air caressed your cheeks and the leaves flared at the edges with shades of red and orange. I pressed my lips into a thin line as I admired the surroundings. 

Would I still enjoy the surrounding beauty afterwards?

“Tag, you’re it,” Jed said, laughing as he sprinted away. 

I ran to catch up, confident I’d reach him quickly. Secretly, I enjoyed running, because it was the one athletic thing I could beat him at. Where he excelled at strength, I made up with my speed. And brains.

I tapped him on the shoulder, moving to dart ahead of him, but he gripped my wrist before I could escape.

“Jog with me?” he asked.

My skin tingled where he touched me, and as much as I wanted to beat him to the fountain for the tenth day in a row, I slowed my pace beside him. All the schools were done with classes for the day, so we kept to the smaller streets, running into the occasional student here and there.

“Did you hear about Darren Cole? He’s getting chipped tomorrow.”

“What?” I asked breathlessly.

“I know. The Watchers caught him kissing a girl over at St. Agatha’s during lunch break, so The Council moved it up for both of them.”

The Watchers were sentries who patrolled the streets and tapped into phone lines, reporting anything suspicious to The Regulators for assessment and, if needed, to The Council for judgment.

My heart thumped in my chest, and I wasn’t sure if it was from the running or the news. Or even worse, perhaps it reminded me of my father. Over a decade ago, he kissed my mother one morning over breakfast. The Regulators took him away as he screamed obscenities like “I love you”—one of the many affectionate statements forbidden by the government.

For the most part, people were ignored as long as they didn’t show any of the signs or symptoms of feelings associated with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-23). We were human, prone to mistakes because of our evolutionary biology, causing chemical and hormonal imbalances leading to things like attraction, longing, even desire. Time and time again, history has shown how dangerous these behaviors were, but the procedure fixed these impulses.

A chill traveled down my back. “Come on,” I said, pushing myself faster. “Let’s pick it up, slowpoke.”

“You’re on, Pers.”

I pushed through the cramping in my legs as my feet struck the pavement, running faster to forget about the worries of the world around me. 

What would compel Darren to kiss someone? 

When Jed nearly passed me, my muscles screamed as I lunged ahead of him. “I won!” 

We both hunched over, laughing while inhaling huge gulps of air. 

Jed straightened when he could breathe again. “I let you win, as always. My legs are longer than yours. I’ve clearly got the advantage.”

“Uh huh,” I said with a smirk. “Whatever you say, Master Jedi.”

He gently punched me on the shoulder, and we sat at the edge of the fountain to rest. Groups of children played on the swings and the monkey bars in the distance, smiling and laughing as their parents sat on a bench with distant stares. A sinking feeling settled in my stomach. Seeing it from this side struck me. 

Would I sit on a bench, lifeless and apathetic?

“Have you ever thought about it?” Jed asked me. His eyes sparkled like the water flowing out of the fountain beside us.

“What?”

“Kissing someone.”

My breath hitched as I surveyed the area for Watchers. “Shh! Keep your voice down.”

“I already scoped out the scene. We’re alone.”

I pointed at the families across the park.

Jed frowned, resting his elbows on his knees. “Whatever, Percy. They can’t hear us.”

“Uh oh.” My brows furrowed. “You called me by my two-syllable name. What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” he said with a slight tug on his lip. “Haven’t you ever wondered what it would be like? You know. To kiss someone?”

“What? No,” I hissed. I leaned in to lower my voice. “You told me yourself what happened to Darren. It’s not worth the risk.”

“But isn’t it, though? What’s the point of living if you can’t actually live? After they chip us, we’re just domesticated animals.”

What had gotten into him? The rules were clear: feelings were forbidden. Even talking about them risked alerting The Watchers.

“You don’t mean that,” I said.

Jed leaned in, his breath brushing against my cheek as he spoke—way too close. “There are rumors about unchipped adults living in Canada—”

“Enough!” I yelled.

The adults from across the way stared at us with vacant eyes, and in an instant, a man wearing a blue uniform with a laminated government ID clipped to his collar—a Watcher—stopped in front of us.

“Everything alright?” he asked, his voice monotone.

“Yes. We were on our way home. Let’s go, Jed.”

We walked in silence through the neighborhood. Jed held a scowl on his face as he studied the houses we passed, each one the same: perfectly landscaped, clean porches, not a hint of disrepair. Once chipped, adult humans were extremely efficient, lacking the instability that came with mood swings. No more arguments, no more wallowing. 

Just peace. 

We arrived at our houses in time for dinner. I kicked a rock on the sidewalk and crossed my arms over my chest. Jed waved at my mother, who sat on the porch knitting in a rocking chair. She waved back without smiling.

“We good?” I asked.

He forced a smile, nodding his head. “I’ll call you.”

As he shuffled over the grass to head inside his house, I climbed the steps onto the porch, where my mom waited expectantly, staring at me. With a muted expression, she held out an envelope addressed to my name, stamped with the government’s seal, already opened.

“What is it?”

“A letter from The Council,” she said in a flat tone. “You have an appointment to meet your chip partner.”


◥◤◢◣◥◤


Three days before chipping procedure

Ellie sat across from me, cradling a cup of tea between her hands. An antique clock ticked on the wall of her kitchen like a metronome, perfectly paced in even intervals.

I traced the rim of the tea mug in front of me. “What was it like? The procedure, I mean.”

Ellie shrugged, her eyes vacant. “Perfect.”

“Did it hurt?”

“No.”

Part of the Perfectives program was matching chipped humans to genetically compatible mates to ensure chromosomally stable children would repopulate the planet, minimizing birth abnormalities. 

A picture of Ellie with her parents hung on the wall beside the clock. Though her mother and father held stoic faces, the young girl beamed at the camera with eyes that danced in the sunlight. 

I pressed my lips into a grimace as Jed’s words swirled in my head. The Ellie sitting in front of me differed from the girl in the photo. A husk of her former self, as if a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors shifted to whispers of gray.

Was Jed… right?

“Don’t worry.” Ellie stared at me with empty eyes. “You’ll feel better soon.”


◢◣


One day before chipping procedure

I stood on the sidewalk in front of a large concrete structure with four garage bays—where Jed worked on vintage space rovers. My mind raced with jumbled thoughts, weighing the pros and cons of exploring these feelings further, as if searching for answers. Part of me pushed them aside, ignoring them as I planned for the procedure.

Yet, a small part of me grabbed onto those thoughts, holding them closer for inspection. 

“Pers?”

Jed stepped out of the bay with an opened garage door. He wore a baseball cap turned backwards with oil marks smeared on his face. His dirty tank top exposed his muscular arms that glistened in the sunshine. He wiped his hands with a rag as he approached me, and my breath quickened when he greeted me with his dimpled smile.

“What’re you doing here?”

I rubbed the back of my neck. “I, uh, met my chip partner.”

His expression darkened, as if I’d just told him someone died. “Right.”

The air hung between us, hot and heavy as we stood there, staring at each other without saying a word. 

Jed broke eye contact first and forced a smile. “Come on. I want to show you something.”

We walked back to the garage bay, and he popped open the hood of the space rover, exposing a complex network of wires underneath. 

Jed leaned a hand against the hood. “What do you think?”

“You know I have no idea what we’re looking at, right?” I asked.

He chuckled, his gaze lingering on me longer than normal. He reached inside, tugging on a RAM module until it clicked free, then held it between us.

“This memory stick was almost fried beyond repair. Took me three days to salvage it.”

I frowned. “Why didn’t you just replace it with a new one? No one cares about the inside as long as it looks good on the outside.” 

Jed shrugged. “I guess I wanted the rover to keep some semblance of its true self.”

He stared at me with an intensity that caused my stomach to flutter, and I cleared my throat to break the tension.

“Here,” he said, taking my hand and placing the RAM module on my palm. “Put it back in the engine.”

I leaned into the space rover, visualizing how he removed it from the motherboard and attempting to click it back into place. My lips pinched together as I struggled to set the module back into its original position.

“I’m no good at this,” I said, my tone harsher than expected.

Jed took my hand into his, turning the RAM module around and guiding my fingers to the right position on the motherboard. “Push gently here.”

The skin on my hand tingled underneath his, and my pulse quickened when the clicking sound confirmed successful installation. A smile tugged at my lips, and when I turned to face Jed, he bent his head toward me and kissed my mouth softly.

As if by instinct, my eyes fluttered closed as Jed’s lips met mine. I’d never been kissed before, as any displays of affection were expressly forbidden by the DSM-23. This kind of behavior, if witnessed, would land us both in trouble with The Council. And though all the synapses in my brain fired erratically, telling me to stop—

I couldn’t. 

Jed’s lips were warm and firm, molding perfectly to mine, our mouths clinging together for an endless moment.

And then I remembered: ever since that day, people looked at me with judging eyes, expecting my chip to short-circuit like his.

I can’t end up like my father. 

I pushed myself away from Jed, my stomach clenching as a storm of emotions swirled inside of me. 

Jed opened his eyes and blinked at me, as if waking from a dream that ended far too soon. “Percy, I—”

“No,” I said, touching my lips with my fingers. “You of all people should have known. What’s gotten into you these past few days? You’re acting insane.”

Jed grabbed my shoulders, his eyes burning like wildfire in the desert. “Come with me, Percy.”

I shook my head, my chest tightening with his words. “I don’t understand.”

“To Canada. There’s a colony of unchipped humans living there.”

A light-headedness took over me. “A colony of Defectives? No, Jed. That’s madness.”

“It’s not. I’ve been studying it for months now. There’s a secret passage—”

“Just stop!” 

I pulled myself away from him, trying to run away as fast as I could. But Jed held onto me, his fist wrapped tightly around my wrist, refusing to let go. 

Darkness consumed the edges of my vision as tears fought to escape.

“Pers,” he whispered. “Please.”

Everything in my being told me to leave. But Jed stood there, still and frozen, and I’d seen nothing more beautiful—a glint of emotion flickering in his eyes. 

I relaxed my arm, his touch igniting neurons in my brain that had laid dormant for years. Call me crazy, but as the dissonance between what I thought I wanted and what I knew I needed blurred… 

I made my decision.



June 14, 2022 12:55

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56 comments

Riel Rosehill
13:33 Jun 14, 2022

Popping in to visit the hermit hut! Firstly, huh, I adore a high stakes, love conquers all story! (And you already know I very much liked this one :D) I really like the changes you made, and I love the new ending - definitely keeping the hope alive and its pacing is great too :) The last paragraph in italics is not only beautiful but also such a powerful, universal message that can be taken from this story's universe and applied to ours. Chef's kiss and all the brownie points. Great characters too, I would happily follow these boys' journey ...

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J.C. Lovero
01:47 Jun 15, 2022

Hello Ri Ri~ Always a pleasure to have you over at the hermit's hut! Lucky for you, it's summertime, so I'm sitting by the campfire roasting marshmallows for s'mores. Hope you like 'em! You know me - 'love conquers all' is my jam. Rom-com, YA, fantasy, sci-fi, steampunk, cyberpunk (this one might actually fit!), historical... you name it! Glad we could scratch the dystopian itch this week. Thanks for the feedback about the "epilogue." As you know, I am on the fence about it. Current vote is 1:1 keep:remove. Let's see what others think in ...

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Riel Rosehill
05:43 Jun 15, 2022

Mm, thanks for the snores, I love them! Could you possibly tell me how to make them, let's say, in 10 easy steps? Glad to hear we might see more of the boys! Yes please! 🤩 PS I'd also like to know what I'm writing for this week, what I have on my hands right now resembles a 300 word poem more than a draft for the next story 😵‍💫

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Zack Powell
02:44 Jun 15, 2022

My favorite hermit! Confession: I was most looking forward to your story this week, since it's predominately SciFi prompts and that's your thing. To the surprise of no one, this story did not disappoint! Love how much world-building you fit in just under 2.5k words (yes, I checked). Genuinely impressive. And what a dystopic world it is, where romance and affection and love are "illegal." (Side note: I hope there's another writing contest out there like the Fantasy one where you submit the prologue/first chapter of a story - this would be a ...

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J.C. Lovero
03:03 Jun 15, 2022

My favorite pen pal! Reflecting on the pen pal funny bit for a moment, it's been four months since we started commenting on each other's stories! Something to celebrate. It began with "Our Father." You were waiting for this story? GASP! I'm so honored. I didn't think people waited for my stuff, but I'll take that compliment 😍 🥰 😘 When I did the line break thing, swear to Jessica Christ, I had a feeling you would notice. Somehow you catch on to all of my line break nonsense. Nothing gets past you it seems. You are very astute my long-time...

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Riel Rosehill
06:16 Jun 15, 2022

I'm just going to throw this out there, because I had this random idea after thinking over how ending before the epilogue is stronger, but after, more beautiful: would it be mad to move the epilogue to be the prologue and set the tone for the story (or weave it in another way, put it on a flyer from Canada that falls out of Jed's locker)..? That way you can keep it AND get the ambiguous ending. Best of both worlds? Whack me if this is stupid, I can't write this week at all 😅

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J.C. Lovero
11:40 Jun 15, 2022

Hmm. A fascinating idea. I wonder what others would think! Let me just move that up for a couple of days and see what happens. Because science 🧐 🤓 😎

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Zack Powell
14:41 Jun 24, 2022

You've really hit your stride, eating up shortlists like breakfast. Kudos, well done, and a big congratulations! I was beginning to think "High School" was an impossible tag to pick up an accolade. Thanks for proving me wrong.

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J.C. Lovero
14:18 Jun 25, 2022

Thanks! Right back at ya Zaddy!

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Michał Przywara
22:51 Jun 14, 2022

Hey J.C.! This hits a lot of dystopian YA boxes, which, as a fan, I think is fantastic :) It's a very relatable world, with the exception of that one crucial twist, which of course for us seems absolutely insane. And that love is instrumental in the characters discovering there's another way is fitting. These Defectives kind of remind me of Fahrenheit 451, an outcast group that tries to hold onto reason despite insurmountable challenges. The world itself is interesting, and we get a lot of implied world building considering the length. ...

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J.C. Lovero
02:04 Jun 15, 2022

Oh, Michał~ If I could put your comments into my backpack and bring them with me wherever I go, I would be such a happy romance writer. (You should know, I LIVE for your comments every week. I know you know this, but it bears repeating). To hit on a few of your comments: Yes, YA dystopian romance. #guiltypleasure of mine and #sorrynotsorry about it I have not read Fahrenheit 451, but I have a feeling I need to add it to my TBR list. UPDATE: already added it to my Amazon wishlist. Thanks boo. I have a vague idea of who is in charge of th...

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Michał Przywara
22:41 Jun 24, 2022

Congratulations on the shortlist!

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J.C. Lovero
14:16 Jun 25, 2022

Thanks! Right back at you, friend!

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17:34 Jun 14, 2022

The place where kissing is a crime…what a great place to set in some romance and rebellion too. This just got better and better the more I read. The conflict (inner and between the boys) was tangible. Great stuff!

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J.C. Lovero
01:58 Jun 15, 2022

Hello L.~ Thanks for stopping by to give my story a read. I am ALWAYS into the trope of 'forbidden love' and all the dystopia that can come with it. Especially in a YA romance!

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18:31 Apr 06, 2023

This is a great story you made keep up the work mate :D

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J.C. Lovero
11:07 Apr 08, 2023

Thanks for reading it and leaving a comment! Glad you enjoyed it.

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Samuel Yates
19:09 Jul 22, 2022

I really liked this story. Your description of a dystopic future was well envisioned. The story flowed smoothly and was moving. Forbidden love and choices of following your heart or doing what's expected. Conform, or be an outcast. Well told.

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J.C. Lovero
22:47 Jul 22, 2022

Hi Samuel, Thanks for the feedback! I've always enjoyed writing stories where things we take for granted are considered forbidden, such as the idea of emotional love. Dystopian stories provide such a perfect canvas to paint upon.

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Story Time
17:09 Jun 28, 2022

This is your wheelhouse in a way that I wish I could even begin to comprehend. Just a total masterful mixing of emotion and genre. I loved it.

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J.C. Lovero
00:44 Jun 29, 2022

Hi Kevin! Thanks for swinging by the story to give it a read. Always appreciate your feedback! Looking forward to your next story, friend.

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L. E. Scott
16:04 Jun 28, 2022

Another amazing read. I absolutely love your stories. You write such interesting and realistic characters. A world where emotions are regulated is about as dystopian a future as you can get. I'd love to see this incorporated into a larger work like a novella or a book. I think there's a lot you could expand upon.

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J.C. Lovero
00:41 Jun 29, 2022

Hi L. E.~ Thanks for stopping by to read and leave a comment! I appreciate the feedback about the characters. I'd love to expand their story someday!

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Shea West
23:20 Jun 25, 2022

How did you manage to write an entire YA dystopian series in less than 3k words? Because I feel like that's what I just glided through with ease. You have something here that I feel genuinely could be expanded... Like I would ship this two in a hot minute. I'm so glad this got the recognition it did!

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Thomas Graham
23:35 Jun 22, 2022

A really high-tension, original, enjoyable read! Like Amanda, I liked the line "My insecurities will vanish on my eighteenth birthday." It got my attention in a big way as it hinted at several possible directions that the story might go. But if we're having a contest, then I gotta say that my favorite line is "The Regulators took him away as he screamed obscenities like “I love you”...")!

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J.C. Lovero
03:08 Jun 23, 2022

Hi there Thomas! Thanks for the read and for leaving me a comment. I'm glad you enjoyed the story and pointed out some of your favorite lines. It was a fun story to write!

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H L McQuaid
09:20 Jun 21, 2022

You do 'yearning' so well. Great storytelling and building the tension. Such believable, empathetic characters, we're all cheering for them to escape. One tiny critique...'people' might work better here than 'humans' and maybe omit 'living' as it's implied. “To Canada. There’s a colony of unchipped humans living there.” Great story!

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J.C. Lovero
12:41 Jun 21, 2022

Hello and thanks for stopping by to read and comment, friend. Appreciate the compliments as well as the feedback about word choice. I'll simmer on it. Good luck with the contest this week!

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H L McQuaid
14:17 Jun 21, 2022

I was stretching to provide something constructive, as the story is super tight. And I found one word, which is perfectly fine as is. hahaha. Anyway, good luck to you!

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18:01 Jun 19, 2022

Hi J.C! I'd dreaded reading this week's stories since the theme is machines/robots and science fiction, but after reading yours, I've decided to give science fiction another chance. I must have read a couple of poorly written SF stories before that had ruined this genre for me. (The same applies to horror). What I like about your story, first of all, is that your MCs are humans, not machines. Thank God, because I wouldn't have been able to identify with some robots, or feel sorry for them, or cheer them on. I am quite empathetic, but that ...

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J.C. Lovero
12:46 Jun 21, 2022

Hello Gabriela, Thanks for checking out the story and leaving such a great comment! I'm glad that you gave my sci-fi story a chance. Confession: the original ending was not a happy one, but I got some feedback that ultimately convinced me to change it. I was able to tie it together with the prologue (originally an epilogue) and change up the last scene to give it more hope. The power of reader feedback is strong! And I'm happy it made the piece better. As always, thanks for taking the time to read the story! Win or not, I'm glad people li...

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11:06 Jun 19, 2022

O Canada 🇨🇦 Definitely got “The Giver” vibes and a soupçon of Romeo and Juliet. Always good to read a slow burn 🔥 romance — and even your scene break icons add to the story. Hard not to cheer this young couple!

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J.C. Lovero
12:09 Jun 19, 2022

Hi Deidra! Thanks for the awesome feedback. I love me a slow-burn romance, especially in a friends-to-lovers setting. I had a lot of fun with this couple! (Though I say that for every couple LOL)

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Wendy M
21:48 Jun 18, 2022

This is beautiful, like a Brave New World for a new audience, love it.

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J.C. Lovero
22:20 Jun 18, 2022

Hello Wendy! Thanks for the read and the comment. Glad you enjoyed it.

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Amanda Lieser
15:43 Jun 18, 2022

Hi JC! Oh my gosh! I really do love this specific trope and I love this version of it. My heart loves a good-rebel for the sake of love story. I also really loved some of those stellar thought lines. This one was my favorite: My insecurities will vanish on my eighteenth birthday. I think that this is a thought all of us have been led to believe and I felt connected to your characters through this line even before I truly understood what was on the line for them. Speaking of which, I enjoyed that we didn’t really understand the problem of the...

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J.C. Lovero
22:24 Jun 18, 2022

Hi Amanda, So glad you enjoy this trope. I'll be honest - it is one of my faves as well 😊 😇 I hoped the thought lines sprinkled throughout would help to build the internal tension and conflict for the narrator. Happy you liked them!

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Jay McKenzie
08:13 Jun 18, 2022

Well, this didn't disappoint! I can think of so many kids I've taught that needed to read your work. I really got on board with the world you've created here, details of which you've dripped beautifully through the narrative. I particularly like the allusions to his father. We learn so much in such a few words to make us believe that humanity can prevail, even in the face of this horrible procedure. Your characters are so relatable and I was rooting for them both from the outset. The kiss was deft and lovely. I really love how y...

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J.C. Lovero
13:32 Jun 18, 2022

Hi Jay! Thanks so much for the kind words. That's a lot of the reason I write queer fiction - I wished this stuff was around when I was a young lad. Now that I'm older and seeing all the great stuff out there, it gives me such great hope for the young queer kids coming up now to experience the world differently. Shows like "Heartstopper" just didn't exist for me. Appreciate your feedback about world-building. I find it challenging in the short form for fantasy and sci-fi and is something I continue to work on. I had some great beta reads t...

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14:37 Jun 15, 2022

YES! I am now team prologue, dude. I like that so much better personally. Maintain my opinion that the ending is strongest the way it is now - with the cliffhanger.

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J.C. Lovero
23:56 Jun 15, 2022

Best of both worlds, it seems. Thanks for your feedback! Definitely made the piece stronger.

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14:29 Jun 24, 2022

Strong enough for the shortlist. :D Enjoy the yellow dot. :)

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J.C. Lovero
14:20 Jun 25, 2022

Hit me with another dose, doc! Thank you! Now I'm the one drowning in dopamine.

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Zelda C. Thorne
09:54 Jun 15, 2022

Hi J. C! This flowed really well, and I liked the countdown, it added tension. "as if a kaleidoscope of vibrant colors shifted to whispers of gray." - love this "No one cares about the inside as long as it looks good on the outside.” - liked this little line that encapsulates the whole story The worldbuilding was tight, which is tough with these short word counts. " I’d never been kissed before, as any displays of affection were expressly forbidden by the DSM-23. This kind of behavior, if witnessed, would land us both in trouble with ...

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J.C. Lovero
11:50 Jun 15, 2022

Hello Rachel! Thanks so much for stopping by to read and leave feedback. Epilogue is currently about 50% keep vs. remove based on the comments. BUT! Riel suggested I try moving it to a prologue instead. I'm going to flip it to the beginning for a couple days to see how people feel about it. Curious what you think!

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Zelda C. Thorne
12:16 Jun 15, 2022

Huh, I think it totally works! (and I thought it wouldn't lol Riel is clever)

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Crows_ Garden
14:46 Jun 14, 2022

I wonder if other authors, when they write a short story with lore like this... Do y'all have a document with more in depth information? Or is that just me? Either way, this is spectacular. Gay and sci-fi plot? Awesome, love that. Reading this kind of left me wanting more, if I'm gonna be honest.

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J.C. Lovero
01:55 Jun 15, 2022

Hello friend! I am sure many authors keep notes about their worlds. As for me, this one actually happens in the same universe as a few of my other sci-fi stories: "Fragments of Spencer," "Princess Noelle," and "[ERROR MESSAGE: UNKNOWN PROCESS]." Though, the timeline for this one happens post-war between humanity and an alien race called the Vraxed (which are mentioned in the other stories). Many of my short stories are ideas that have been percolating for years. Someday, maybe I will carve out the time to flesh them out into longer works. ...

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Crows_ Garden
02:01 Jun 15, 2022

Hello : ) That's cool, good to know. Oh that's interesting to know! That sounds really neat, I'mma have to check out those ones when I have the time. I feel that. Half the time when I have a series idea, they end up, a mess. I wonder what you'll do. I've found Reedsy really helpful with things like that. It's nice, especially when you're just recently starting to take writing seriously as like, more than just a once in a blue moon hobby.

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Dorsa S.
14:36 Jun 14, 2022

this is such a heartwarming, bittersweet piece! percy and jed have such an amazing dynamic that really carried the storyline, and it is clear that you are very talented in conveying emotions in a way that is natural and firm. well done!

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J.C. Lovero
01:50 Jun 15, 2022

Hello Dorsa! Thank you so much for reading and leaving me feedback. I had a lot of fun with this couple (as I usually do with every new pairing of the week). Appreciate your notes about conveying emotions. Always nice to hear from you!

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