Peer Review by buddingauthor (India)

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in and out of the clouds (revised) #Helpme2020 #MagicalRealism

By: Wicked!


my grandmother says that the xarae are the children of fire and water. they live in the turquoise depths of the innumerable yagha in our land, lakes that formed in the hollow craters of perished volcanoes. but the fire of the xarae is all but dead, for it comes, as the tales say, from within their souls.

they are not what you'd call fierce, though they certainly look the part-- sharp claws, large wings, eyes as brilliant as molten gold and whip-like tails with tips that they can ignite in flames at will. as a child, i used to lie down on the soft green grass in the evenings, looking up at the flocks of xarae gliding in and out of the clouds, their lithe legs folded up under their golden bellies. sometimes i used to imagine myself flying with them, graceful, elegant, free.

my people consider the xarae auspicious, and it is believed that if a woman heavy with child sees her belly's reflection in the golden eyes of a xarae, her child will be as beautiful and elegant as one. many make the arduous journey to a yagha, hoping to see a xarae up close, hoping for a child just as perfect.

when she was heavy for the second time, my mother did too. before leaving, she had told me that within a month she would have a small baby, soft and supple, with whom i could play all the time. but she never returned.

grandmother told me that the xarae loved her so much that they kept her to themselves. when i said that i loved her more, grandmother went silent. other people said that she was blessed by the xarae. but i think that going to a volcano whose fire had died made the fire inside her die too.

‚Äčlying down on the soft green grass in the evenings, i still like to imagine her flying in the heavens with the xarae, gliding in and out of the clouds; graceful, elegant, free.

Message to Readers

Republishing for prompt 1 of HelpMe512's #Helpme2020 contest as well as The Great Gabs-by's contest. Go check them out!

Feedback. Please.

Peer Review

Wow, this is such a beautiful piece! Even though it is so short, it is worded so elegantly, it draws the reader in and it also makes the reader feel an array of emotions- I felt happy at first, then sad. and then happy and hopeful again. This is a stunning piece.

Maybe you could elaborate more on the protagonist's bond with their mother, so that the readers can connect much more.

Reviewer Comments

Overall, this was an amazing piece! And as some of the people mentioned in the comments, you should definitely turn this into a series. Great work!