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Adventure Drama Science Fiction

In this world, only two people matter.


There’s you—to be referred to only as such, because Maya won’t call you anything resembling “Dad.”


And there’s Maya, who is your everything.


Maya will now take the lead, because she always takes the lead. But bear in mind that your role in this has left just as many scorch marks, if not more so.



🚀



The only thing that could ruin Captain Maya’s day is an asteroid field. It looks like the Cosmic Divinities must be tuning in, because lo and behold, that’s exactly what her ship blunders into.


“Don’t just stand there,” she hurls at her sole companion. “Activate the shields!”


Second Chance is no screw short of an engineering miracle. A prepossessing but picky creature, she only chows down on infuriatingly rare Nectar Beads as a fuel source. In short, she is the best of the best as far as spacecraft go, and for that, she is Maya’s baby girl.


Which is why it gnaws at her astronautical sensibilities to watch her being handled by this absolute buffoon of a pilot. Well, this engineer-turned-pilot, because the previous pilot is on a leave of absence, as most pilots would be after being impaled through the brain by a space-pirate’s space-cutlass. And since the rest of her crew went on (permanent) leave for the same reason, Maya is left with the rickety hands of the infirm to steer her baby girl to safety.


“Shields are up, Maya,” declares the pilot from the dashboard, while Maya scrutinizes his awkward fumblings from the Command Chair a few paces behind.


“That’s Captain Maya to you,” she snaps. “One more screw-up and I’ll send you on a paid holiday to a black hole.”


“Sorry, Captain. Um… the shields are holding. I think.”


“Well, are they or are they not holding? We’re here to discover new species on Tetera Minor and its eleven moons, not get bombarded to Cosmic Hell and back by bits of rock.”


“They… um…”


Before Maya can unleash another flurry of admonishment, a sharp CLANG reverberates through the ship. “Steer with some common sense, idiot. Imagine it’s a video game; the shields have a health gauge, which goes down a little each time you’re dumb enough to drive into an asteroid. If we hit one when the gauge is depleted… well, Iet’s just say that if by some miracle you manage to put on your spacesuit and survive the vacuum of space, you still won’t survive the supernova I’ll chuck you into.”


That must’ve rattled him. “Um… I’m sorry, Captain, but I don’t play video games.”


Ugh. I wish the old pilot was here. He played video games, sometimes with me. He would know what I’m talking about.”


The pilot’s shoulders seem to sag under the weight of a thousand solar systems. “I know you miss him, Maya. The old pilot’s not here, but I am, and if you just give me a chance, I’ll—”


Maya launches to her feet. “I told you, it’s Captain Maya, you steaming pile of—”


Another biting CLANG censors her mid-sentence. Followed by a second, and a third, until the asteroid-perpetrated beatings send Second Chance into a chaos of tremors and blaring alarms.


Maya peels herself off the floor and clutches the dashboard for dear life as the ship spirals into starry oblivion. “Your spacesuit better be supernova-proof,” she yells over the roar of their fiery plummet.


The pilot doesn’t respond, only mimics her safety measures as some breed of guilt settles across his wizened face.


“We’re caught in a planet’s gravitational pull,” realizes Maya when their descent shows no hint of slowing down. “Brace for impact! Brace!



🚀



A hurricane razes the city in your heart; there’s a simple, ingrained joy in simply watching your darling daughter, your world bundled into a plastic astronaut helmet she got for her fifth birthday, scream and flail in an attempt to capture the dramatic intricacies of a spaceship crash landing. 


But there’s also sorrow, draped across your soul like tear-drenched bedsheets, a cork to bottle up what should be free-flowing happiness. Your heart aches at the bitterness Maya has aimed at you since forever, but it is slowly learning to beat despite it.


It’s not her fault, of course. Where she sees the labyrinthine interior of a spaceship, you see only the wooden planks of the backyard treehouse, near-noon slivers of sunlight peering through the slits in the floor.


“But he’s not my real dad,” are the words that twist a cold dagger deeper into you whenever they escape the layers you’ve buried them under.


No amount of patient scolding from her mother has reversed those sentiments. “She’s still grieving,” she’d always assure you during dutiful back rubs, and the conviction in her tone would crumble slightly with each iteration.


Because it’s been two years since the incident that tore Maya’s world asunder and seven months since you’d moved in with her mother. Seven months of ensuring the warmth of your smile reached your eyes, only to be met with shards of ice. Seven months of looping pink ribbons around increasingly desperate gifts, only to be met with a staunchly unwavering void.


This must be the black hole she was talking about. This must be what it feels like to flounder in space without a suit, to suffer the heartbeats counting down to death by either a desperate release of pent-up emotion or the frigid vacuum of apathy.


Not that it stops you. You have never once used the term “step-daughter,” on her, not even in the private crevices of your mind. That’s not an excuse you’re about to fall back on when your love misses its mark. The three of you are family now, and you will hold her up above an ocean of tears so that she can breathe, even if you drown as a result. You will bleed yourself dry playing the part of the new pilot, because that’s what she deserves after the old pilot abandoned her in a puddle of numbness and confusion.


Even if she prefers the “old pilot.” Even if the unmistakable glow on her face isn’t your doing but the gift of a world from days gone, a world you have tried a billion times to set foot in only to be flung back into the darkness like a moon out of orbit.


Until now. She has allowed you this foothold in her life, and it is everything


So, when Maya declares you’ve crash landed on an inhospitable planet called Gion 9BQ, you give her a full damage report.



🚀



What?” yells Maya, her heart tearing itself a new atrium upon hearing the pilot list the figures. “That’s it, then. Second Chance is kaput. We’re stuck here with no power—nothing, nada, zilch—all because of your pathetic steering.”


“I did my best, didn’t I, Maya?”


“That is it. Pilot, I’m demoting you to steward.”


No more words, no more protests. Good.


“Anyway. Here.” She offers him her space helmet, a state-of-the-art contraption hewn from Dura Crystals, equal parts sturdy and transparent. He hesitates before accepting it, as if afraid of intruding upon something sacred. Pfft, it’s just a helmet.


“Now, steward,” she commands once he’s wrapped in a space suit, “you will venture out onto the surface of Gion 9BQ, and you will find me some Nectar Beads because that’s the only way we can restore power to my baby girl.” She consults a tablet. “According to my readings, you can find a Bead Bush over in… that direction. Remember, only the Beads at the very top of the Bush are ripe for the picking. Oh, and here’s the catch—you’re not allowed to use the jetpack. You’ll have to climb, branch by rickety branch, as punishment for insub… insubordi… uh… anyway, you’re an idiot and that’s what idiots deserve. I’ll keep track of your progress using my tablet. Now go. And don’t forget to shut the airlock on your way out!”


Maya sits back as she taps into what’s left of their rations. He deserves this, she convinces herself between bites. The old pilot wouldn’t have gotten us into this mess.



🚀



You shut the trapdoor overhead before taking the rope ladder, just like she’d ordered. You are a rat being flushed from a household as you scurry down the rungs, finally leaving the paradise Maya’s king molded for her. The paradise you were hijacking, just to be near her.


You set your gaze on the tree at the other end of the garden, on the splashes of crimson speckling the green like blood. Of course Nectar Beads are lychees. The windows into Maya’s soul all belong on a train, streaking through the dark in an infuriatingly indecipherable blur, but one sliver of her you’ve managed to glean is a fondness for those little red fruits. Rough on the outside, but sweet on the inside—you hope, with every fiber of your being, that Maya is what she eats.


Crispy deep-fried tofu is what she currently is, you note with a smirk as you crane your face up to catch hers dusted with oily crumbs. Never with green chili peppers, because the poor thing is yet to hone a spice tolerance.


“Get moving, pilot,” she snaps. “Your oxygen reserves aren’t going to wait for you.”


“Oh, right. Sorry, Captain.”


With your reverie left in tatters, you trudge through the backyard/inhospitable wasteland. The plastic helmet sticks to your flesh and pressure cooks you like a bowl of rice; you briefly consider adopting the paleo diet for fear that this is the steamy, sweat-drenched hell those poor grains have to endure every time you need an accompaniment to your Beef Rendang. Indonesia at noon is no laughing matter.


The tree towers overhead, all the emasculating daunt of a legacy you are never in your wildest dreams going to live up to. Its bark is a desert of longing against your palms; you’re not sure these skinny branches can even support you and the Nasi Goreng you demolished for breakfast.


But your little Maya has expectations. With a sigh that condenses on your visor, you find the first handhold.



🚀



Maya props the tablet up on the charred remains of the dashboard. Since it’s conveniently linked to a video camera in the pilot’s suit, she gets to enjoy a delicious first-person account of a man locked in a duel to the death with a lychee tree.


No, a Bead Bush, she snaps at herself. No one in this galaxy, biped or triped, would know what a lychee tree is. Her included. So, instead of lingering on what should’ve been a moot point from the get-go, she settles into the comfort of her chair and lets the entertainment commence.


Ha, it’s like a video game, she muses as a pair of hairy knuckles appears on the screen. They extend from some unseen source, groping through purple leaves and unripe Nectar Beads, hauling an offscreen weight ever-so-slightly skywards with each grunt.


But the video game reminiscence is also reminiscence about other things, and suddenly her little giggles at seeing the hands flinch when they blunder into space-ants are laced with cruel intent. So, when a gasp bursts from the speakers, followed by the camera shuddering as the pilot slams into the ground, she feels… satisfied.


“That’ll teach him to try and be my pilot,” she says as she pops another Meteor Munchie (her favorite flavor: stardust and vinegar) in her mouth.


Heartbeats march past in the eerie loneliness of the ship, and still there is no sound of the airlock opening. Through the cracked windshield, Maya surveys an ocean of violet sand under a sky-wide pupil peppered with stars.


And in the distance, a figure in a spacesuit, quietly groping for a branch as he tries again.


And again.


And again.



🚀



The air abandons you like a tire, slashed mercilessly by your daughter’s razor-sharp gaze. You are a warm puddle of sweat when you dig calloused fingers into your weary soul and haul it back to resoluteness. Like Maya’s approval, the top of the tree is nowhere in sight. But that’s just life with her.


The leaves pester your skin with each surge in height, a crowd to condemn your journey. Yet you find handhold after miraculous handhold, never mind the fireworks in your biceps or the armada of cuts waging a war with the ants on your palms. The cardboard squares that are your “spacesuit” offer about as much protection as a torn condom.


Seven times your foot misses its mark, and seven times you are evicted from your daughter’s heart, every obstacle you thought you’d conquered jeering at you on your merry way down. This time, as you lay sprawled in a corner of your mind that whispers half-hearted consolations and nurses your bruised resolve back to life, your gaze stumbles to the ladder resting against the shed.


The “jetpack” that can banish your qualms. But Maya’s love isn’t something you’re about to cheat your way through to. Not after she’s had one sliver of innocence too many cheated out of her by a man that just couldn’t give a shit.


You return to your feet and flash a reassuring thumbs-up at the treehouse, where it is met with startled eyes.


You’re fine. You have to be.


For your Maya.


For your family.



🚀



There’s something in his face that threatens to soothe all of Maya’s hostility into regret. Even though there’s leagues of disconnect separating the two of them, even though there’s a visor to filter the laugh lines.


Maya is about to reprimand him some more; maybe exercise her Captain’s disgust for incompetence, shrillness in her voice to ensure it burrows through all his layers.


But she doesn’t.


She—


She can’t.


Not when there’s a lump in her throat that the words can’t slip past.


Not when it’s killing her to see him this way.



🚀



The next time you dust yourself off and prepare to dive into a darker place, a voice reaches out.


“You’ve wasted enough time, steward,” calls Maya from the treehouse. “I grant you permission to use the ladder. I mean, ahem, the jetpack.”


You’re taken aback by the insistence in her tone, by the rawness splashed around the edges. So much so that you wonder whether the heat’s finally getting to you.


With tentative hands, you retrieve the ladder. You fly to the top of the tree, the ache in your limbs dissolving like a vitamin tablet, because that is the privilege you have been granted. The cluster of lychees is a beating heart in the palm of your hand; fragile, precious, life and death in the same pulsing moment.


You climb down.


To find your daughter waiting. Not in a treehouse, but… there. Right in front of you, and slightly below because she’s only ten and she’s not even half your size and how can a rush of golden pride not flow through you as you present her the literal fruits of your labor?


She hesitates instead of taking it. “You didn’t give up.”


There’s a shatterable, glasslike quality to the statement that you’re only now noticing. You can watch it fragment irreversibly into a million hopeless shards, or you can polish it, nurture the facets to a glow.


“Of course I didn’t. Wouldn’t want to disappoint my Captain, would I?”



🚀



Maya gazes up at the man before her. He’s an ethereal sight, the dark void of space framing the even darker void of his helmet. Days gone seem to flash against the visor, a showreel of injustices; all the smiles she’s flipped, all the warmth she’s thrown frigid water over. Here stands the man that has been picking up the pieces after she crumbled, and not once has she given him a hand.


“I don’t think the old pilot is coming back,” she says, and she has to say it to make it true. “Maybe… maybe you can fill in for him after all.”


She falls into him then, because she’s only ten and there are only so many emotions her current vocabulary can express that a hug cannot.


For the first time in forever, she doesn’t need a spaceship to fly.


“I know I’ll never be the old pilot,” says the new pilot as his arms caress her rough edges to smoothness, “but I’ll never leave. Ever. You can chuck me into a black hole all you want if I ever break that promise.”


That must be what she needed to hear, because she doesn’t feel like pulling away.


Until a grotesque, tentacled blob materializes out of the sand behind him. “Ack! A wild Face Shredder! To battle stations!”



🚀



“Did she just call me a Face Shredder?”


You remove the helmet and laugh while Maya continues to fire finger-guns at your wife. “That’s what we call monsters that ruin our role-playing.”


“Well, this Face Shredder just made lunch. Come inside before it gets cold. God, I don’t know how you two can survive in this heat.”


Maya runs indoors, all her sentimentality evaporating at the prospect of food. You can’t help but smile.


“She seems… different,” observes your wife. “Is she…?”


You shrug. “She hasn’t called me ‘Dad’ yet, but we’re getting there. I hope.”


Your wife nods. “Good. That’s… that’s good. Sweetheart, where are you going? And are those our lychees?”


“Be back in a sec.” You gaze up at the treehouse, the little fruits in one hand. “We can finally restore power to the ship.


“What?”


“Oh, you wouldn’t get it.” As you race up the rungs on euphoria-fuelled feet, you conclude that this is all your family ever needed.


A second chance.

September 12, 2020 03:24

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73 comments

Rayhan Hidayat
04:05 Sep 12, 2020

So I did something probably controversial for this one—combining two types of POV, third person and second person—and I’d love to hear feedback on it. Was it a hit or a miss?

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It worked. :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:58 Sep 13, 2020

Glad you think so! 🙂

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Elle Clark
21:10 Sep 17, 2020

A hit 😀

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Rayhan Hidayat
03:58 Sep 18, 2020

That’s so awesome to hear! 😆

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Rhondalise Mitza
14:14 Sep 17, 2020

Wow, favorite story of yours so far, Rayhan!

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Rayhan Hidayat
14:20 Sep 17, 2020

Much appreciated 😙

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Itay Frenkel
15:26 Sep 18, 2020

This had the potential to be the best story of yours yet! This one hit me pretty hard. The twists, first from a fantastical story to a more grounded one, then the shift from the third person to the second person, felt natural and made the story more interesting to read. You included just enough background about Maya's biological dad, without slowing down the story or creating any confusion. One question, when Maya looked at her father through the tablet, was that in the real-world or her imagination? That being said this was still a power...

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Rayhan Hidayat
21:27 Sep 18, 2020

Thanks so much for stopping by! :D Ah yes, the tablet part. You're not the first person to point that out. It was originally part of the fantasy world, but I can see Maya doing that in real life as well, so it's really up to the reader's interpretation!

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Elle Clark
21:10 Sep 17, 2020

Rayhan! I loved this! The structure! The perfect perfect structure! Okay, please allow me to geek out a little. The structure of this was just SO well crafted. The back and forth between viewpoints and the sci fi world that seemed so convincing and real at the beginning. The gradual fragmentation and slips in the illusion as the girl’s walls became fragmented too. It mirrored so beautifully and was such a lovely framing device. I also really loved that this wasn’t set in a Western country and had some context and details that were re...

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Rayhan Hidayat
02:36 Sep 18, 2020

Thank yooouuuu! 😅 I submitted this thinking the structure might be too much of a risky gimmick, but the surprisingly positive comments so far seem to indicate I need more self-esteem haha. I am also guilty of setting a lot of my stories in the West by default, despite not being a Westerner 😅 I guess because it makes more sense for the characters to be speaking English in those countries? And a UK setting DOES justify the incorporation of crumpets, so there’s that... but I’m glad you liked the setting anyway! Ah yes, the tablet part—tha...

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Shreya S
05:14 Sep 16, 2020

I did not cry. Nope. Not at all. .... SO FREAKING GOOD. HEARTWRENCHING 😭. When I read ‘Relation Ship’ and the first para which was like fantastical (I mean fantasy-related, is that the right word?) I was just going ‘noice noice noice’, but then you turned it into this emotional, beautiful story and I read ‘Relation Ship’ again and it HIT. WHY DO YOU DO THIS TO ME. I’m not sure if I’ve conveyed my message, but this was SO GOOD. EXTREMELY GOOD. I loved loved how it really was all her imagination, but her father (uh, me) kne...

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Rayhan Hidayat
06:45 Sep 16, 2020

Hey, I was waiting for your comment! Thanks for stopping by as always! I love that you love this, because it’s a little different to what I usually write and the two POVs thing was a bit risky. I’m sorry if I made you cry, I cried a little too when I was planning this out 😭 Lmao no, don’t stop explaining my story to me. I like it when people talk about my stories haha 😜 Are you entering this week btw? I’m still waiting for your next story!!

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Shreya S
09:56 Sep 16, 2020

The tears that fell from my face flooded our house. I hold you responsible for the damages incurred. Hahah it was different for sure, but really just the same as every single one of your stories that don’t miss out on the FEELS. Um. Well. I was busy the last two contests because, exams, but I don’t think I’ll be writing anything this and the next contest either. I’m doing a bit of art now (and no, it is not coming out too well 😂) and theres some other work I have to finish too. Mayyybe after a while. But I will log in to see your...

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Rayhan Hidayat
10:56 Sep 16, 2020

I am honoured to be able to elicit such an emotional reaction from my reader ☺️ Oh shoot, alright, do you take PayPal? 🤣 Anyway, jokes aside, yeah, I figured school is getting to a lot of people this time of year. Which sucks because a lot of those people are some of my favorite Reedsy authors... but oh well. 😔 Oooh doing art now, huh? I tried that too at one point, and let’s just say I decided to stick to writing haha. Since I tend to submit less than an hour before the deadline, you should check back in around that time lol. Yes, ...

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Shreya S
17:45 Sep 16, 2020

Hahaha Oh well. It makes me happy other people are facing the same problem, on the same boat and all haha but yeah it’s sucky. If only learning trigonometry and writing a story about a boy saving the world could be done simultaneously. 😂 not sure about art, but writing is your forte. Ohh okay haha really though people who submit like 2 days before the deadline or something have no business being that organised. Painfully slow writing is worth it if it turns out a masterpiece hah

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:24 Sep 17, 2020

When I was in school I definitely tried to juggle exams and writing. Big mistake lol, good to see you know your priorities 😂 Yeah you have a point, though I’m still amazed by how fast some people can pump out stories that are good... take Zilla for example, there’s a reason she’s no. 1

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Awww I love this so much!!! It was beyond creative, an intriguing story in space. I really liked it. I kinda like Maya...idk why I just do, even if she doesn’t seem that likeable. The Necter Beads are super-cool! And I love this line: “ That’s Captain Maya to you,” she snaps. “One more screw-up and I’ll send you on a paid holiday to a black hole.”” NOICEEEEE. Awesome job, Rayhan! As always, looking forward to more stories from you. Keep writing!

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:16 Sep 15, 2020

Hey, thanks so much for the supportive comment as always! Lmao Maya’s threats and insults were so fun to play around with so I’m glad you got a kick out of that one haha 😂

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Doubra Akika
09:56 Sep 14, 2020

I loved this! So glad I read this. The perspectives were great! It was so heartwarming reading about their relationship as step-father and step-daughter and how it evolved. The plot is so touching. You did an amazing job! Hope you're staying safe!

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Rayhan Hidayat
10:01 Sep 14, 2020

Thank you so much for the kind words! Glad that the perspectives are working out well for most people 😅 You stay safe too!

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Doubra Akika
10:05 Sep 14, 2020

My pleasure! It was a fantastic piece. And thanks! I am.

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S. John
04:34 Sep 14, 2020

This is so well-written. A winning story in my opinion. Not only was your writing absolutely engrossing, the story itself was touching, personal, and mature. The bridge connecting the step-father with the Pilot in Maya’s game is so wildly creative. Very good job!

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:04 Sep 14, 2020

You just made my day, thank you so much! 😮 This story was a bit of a risk with the two different perspectives and whatnot so I’m glad you liked it!

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S. John
13:07 Sep 14, 2020

That can be so tricky! Honestly, I’m not sure I could have pulled it off as gracefully as you did!

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S. Closson
09:47 Sep 13, 2020

This was fantastic! From the excellently crafted Sci-fi elements to the Calvin and Hobbes-esque levels of playtime imagination, I thoroughly enjoyed this story and all of the 'feels' that came along with it. I'm proud of that Captain/Steward/Step-Dad for not giving up!

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Rayhan Hidayat
09:52 Sep 13, 2020

Thanks so much for the comment! Calvin and Hobbes was definitely one of my inspirations, so good job on picking that up haha

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Lynn Penny
17:25 Sep 12, 2020

That ending was killer! I love how you slowly mixed in the two different concepts in the story then right at the end it just hits you. Spectacular, I haven't read anything like that on here, and I'm glad I got to read yours. I believe this is a candidate for a winner!

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:55 Sep 13, 2020

Hey, thanks so much, that made me smile! This was a step out of my comfort zone so I’m glad you enjoyed it!

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Lily Kingston
12:45 Sep 12, 2020

I like how you focused on their step-father and step-daughter relationship in a science fiction story where you could have easily gotten lost in the world you created. It’s touching! And I like the twist of perspectives, but maybe write something about it each time you change so it doesn’t get confusing. Keep up the good work and keep writing!!

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:16 Sep 12, 2020

Hey, thanks for the feedback! Ah I hoped the section breaks would provide enough indication that it's a POV change, but I guess not haha. Do you mind elaborating what I could write between the shifts to make it less confusing? Anyway I added a bit at the beginning to sort of prepare the reader, so hopefully the perspective twists aren't quite as jarring.

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Lily Kingston
13:25 Sep 12, 2020

Like idk, usually when I see shifts in perspective (whether its like the character changes or the type of perspective changes) I like to see the character that’s now talking or the type of new perspective so I know the difference between just scene skip/ time skip with the same perspective or character and actually changing perspective or character. It’s just easier for me. Hope this makes sense and helps :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:28 Sep 12, 2020

Oh now I see. Like just putting their names down during the section breaks. Yeah, I’ll consider it, thanks! 😘

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Lily Kingston
13:34 Sep 12, 2020

No problem :)

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22:39 Dec 26, 2020

Wow, this is amazing! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't use extra exclamation points, but I did now, that shows how much I like this one.

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Skyler Grey
15:33 Oct 20, 2020

I love it. It's sort of comical and very well-written

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Rayhan Hidayat
01:13 Oct 21, 2020

Thanks Skyler! 😙

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Yolanda Wu
06:36 Sep 18, 2020

Once again, your language and descriptions are fun and playful, creating a great reading experience. I love how you established the relationship between Maya and 'you'. I love how their relationship is then explored and that ending was so sweet. The whole POV thing, I thought was so interesting. I always appreciate well-written stories in second person despite the fact that no English teacher ever decides to touch on it. It just made it feel so much more personal, like I was right there. I love the little rocket scene break things, they're...

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Rayhan Hidayat
06:48 Sep 18, 2020

Hey thanks so much! I’m glad the POV thing I had going on worked out for you, I personally think second person is such a fun POV to write in. And yes, the whole point was to put the reader in the step-dad’s shoes as if they were the one playing with Maya. LMAO I was actually going to delete the rocket emojis, it was just a fun little thing I did when drafting, but my story got approved so fast that I didn’t have time to edit 😂 And of course, I’ll head on over when I get the time!

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Yolanda Wu
06:51 Sep 18, 2020

That's so funny! I love fun looking scene breaks, probably more than the average person. :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
06:58 Sep 18, 2020

Same, I just want something that looks a little more professional than an emoji, y’know? 😂 But ah well. I’m glad someone enjoyed my weird section breaks lol

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Yolanda Wu
07:00 Sep 18, 2020

I thought they added so much to the story, lol!

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Kristin Neubauer
18:58 Sep 14, 2020

It was a HIT!! (responding to your hit or miss query in your comment). What an amazing story all around, Rayhan! I mean first, the ultra-original and creative take on the prompt. Never in a million years could I have come up with this. And then the writing - such rich and descriptive language, such depth and dimension to your characters and such skillful navigation of the POVs. And then, all the themes that you addressed (from adult and child perspectives) - loss, family, acceptance, grief, triumph, children, love, beginnings. There wa...

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:26 Sep 15, 2020

Thank you soooo much Kristin! I swear you have a way with commenting that just makes people’s days haha. I was actually considering submitting this into the “feeling powerless” prompt because I felt I was bending the rules a little too much... so I’m glad it got accepted and that people are liking my weird take on this haha.

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Kristin Neubauer
16:29 Sep 16, 2020

I'm so glad you put it into the submarine prompt....it was already creative, but that took the creativity up another notch. I just joined Reedsy this summer, but I'm starting to understand that a loose tie to a prompt works....as long as you can justify some know connection, then the folks here are accepting. I suppose it's all part of the creative process.

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Rayhan Hidayat
03:58 Sep 17, 2020

Same, I only found about about the godsend that is Reedsy this summer. And you’re right, it looks like only a tiny portion of submissions ever get rejected, which is awesome! 😙

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Kristin Neubauer
11:42 Sep 17, 2020

I can't remember how I found out about Reedsy....but I think it was a couple of years ago. I'd been seeing the prompts arrive in my Inbox every week, but never had the nerve to write anything for them. I don't really know what inspired me to give it a shot this summer. I think I thought "Well, why the heck not?" And then I was hooked. Btw, I just read your bio - hilarious!

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:44 Sep 17, 2020

Oh wow, you were on Reedsy for years?? Well I’m glad you finally gave in to your writing impulses, or I’d have one less awesome writer to follow on this site! 😆 I literally found Reedsy by searching up “writing contests” and I think it was the first thing on Google. I came here to win but ended up staying for the awesome company. Like seriously, Reedsy is one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. HAHA I must’ve written that bio when I was in the middle of watching Killing Eve Season 3 😂 Might update it soon, but I’m glad someo...

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Skyler Woods
14:51 Sep 14, 2020

This was amazing! I loved how sweet this story was. Each paragraph became sweeter near the end. A spectacular, realistic, heartwarming story. Reading this story was like watching a blooming rose. I loved it. You get a rose 4 this one! 💞😙🌹

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:29 Sep 15, 2020

Thanks so much for the generous comment Skyler! And a rose? For ME?? Why, I’m very much flattered 🌹🥰

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Bianka Nova
14:08 Sep 14, 2020

That was amazing! Complex and beautiful, with an ending that serves perfectly to relieve the tension that has build up throughout the story, and provide the closing touch to the power failure element, thus also fulfilling the prompt in the best way possible. I secretly suspect you've asked me to review this story just to brag and evoke all types of superlatives. I strongly believe it should be the winner, or at the very least shortlisted! 😊 I'm so jealous of your writing! 😁 Well done!

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:39 Sep 15, 2020

What, me, brag? What do you take me for, a ten-year-old? 😂 Okay but jokes aside, thanks so much for the words, I'm very much flattered and it’s stuff like this that makes my day. I’m so glad the two sides to my story came through the way I intended.

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Bianka Nova
10:45 Sep 15, 2020

Haha... actually, on here it's very possible you're a 10-year old. A highly intelligent one, obviously, but still it's possible 😂

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:09 Sep 15, 2020

True... And hey, I never said I wasn’t 😉

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Bianka Nova
13:19 Sep 15, 2020

True, true... In fact I'm still confused about your personality. In your bio it says "tiny Asian man" and yet you have the profile pic of a girl (maybe a 10-year old 😉). So, if the goal is to keep us in the dark, mission accomplished! 😁

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Rayhan Hidayat
13:33 Sep 15, 2020

HAHA ok, time to come clean, my bio is the one that speaks the truth 😂 The girl in my profile pic is the protagonist of my story “Shell,” which I submitted for Contest #53 (my sister was kind enough to draw her!) Judging by your name and profile pic, I’d say you’re a lady of Russian descent... but maybe you just have very smooth arms for a man 🤔

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Jane Andrews
13:55 Sep 14, 2020

This was a beautifully crafted response to the story. The effect of using the game to explore the step-father/step-daughter relationship was both poignant and humorous. It’s a wonderful story.

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Rayhan Hidayat
05:41 Sep 15, 2020

Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you enjoyed Maya’s little play-session, that was both fun yet chalenging to weave the story around

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Very sweet and well crafted! :)

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Rayhan Hidayat
04:59 Sep 13, 2020

Thanks! 😙

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