An Idea

“Ari!” The smile on Eliza’s lips evaporated quickly as she saw the uncharacteristically pale face, the blue lips. Keeping a watch on the big pot of soup boiling away over the old stove, she grabbed a heap of blankets from beside the fire and led Ari to the girl’s favourite armchair while Mako carried the meat down to the basement of the house and then returned to the hallway to unlace his boots.


“Your fingers feel frozen! Were you outside for long?” Eliza had gathered the blankets around Ari and fetched her a cup of hot broth from the pot. Ari clutched the pottery between her two white hands, lips quivering slightly as she moved the cup up to sip a little of the hot liquid.


“Just waited for Mako to get the meat-t. We chat-ted a little.” Ari tried to sound pipy but a bout of coughing broke the effort and she resorted to drinking the broth in silence while Eliza returned to the stove, shaking her head. As she stirred, she cast worried glancing towards the young girl, huddled in the thick coarse blankets.


Mako fetched himself a cup of broth and settled cross-legged on the furry warm pelt that covered the wooden floorboards, his back to the fire, staring up at Ari’s huddled figure. They drank the soup in silence, each peering now and again over the rim of the cup to see what the other was thinking. They didn’t need words. It had been like that since they’d met at the town’s church one Sunday. Ari had just been introduced. But she hadn’t been nervous. Not at all. In fact, even before mass was over that morning, she and Mako had known they would be the best of friends for years to come.


“Mako.” Her shivering had stopped, the blueness in her lips slowly replaced by a glowing red tinge. Her bright eyes reflected the sparks of the fire a few steps away from her. Mako knew at once the adventurous Ari was back. “I’m truly sorry about Martha.”


“You said…” Where was she going with this? “It’s alright, really. She passed away in peac-”


“No,” Ari interrupted, sticking out a skinny index finger to silence him. “I want to make it up to you. We will go star-gazing!”


A choking sound echoed from where Eliza stood at her pot of soup, a spoon halfway into her mouth as she tasted for salt.


“It’s too dangerous, Ari. Not in these storms!” Mako knew he had to be rational; the idea of traumatising his mother any further made his insides swell in a broil of anger and anxiety. No one would hurt her like that ever again, he had promised himself that.


“It’s the best time though,” Ari spoke again, eyes on the fire. She seemed oblivious to the inner turmoil taking place in her friend. Her little fingers grasping the warm cup, empty now, Ari seemed to be mesmerised by the show the sparks of fire were putting on before her eyes. “The best time for star-gazing is in between the storms. I tried it one day when the winds and snow had subsided for just a tiny part of the night, a few weeks ago. I climbed out of my window while everyone was asleep and sat on the roof. And gazed.” Ari hugged her knees, cup resting between her two kneecaps as her gaze fell on Mako once again. “It was the clearest night.”

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You are developing Mako's relationship with Ari well. You've also introduced the beginning of back story with the mother when she chokes. What causes this? and why did she react to Ari's suggestion that she and Mako go star gazing?

These are all good questions to have raised in the reader's mind. As always your description is clear and evocative. I wonder if she lives nearby. Is this a village? If so we need more activity and people. What did Ari see when she climbed up onto the roof? Is there a story there?

The story starts with the inciting incident and the quandary that follows for the protagonist. They are weathering the storm and Mako has faced a situation where he has had to choose between keeping things as they are or taking some course of action that will lead him to face and overcome obstacles. You could say the storm is an obstacle and he is choosing to stay with his mother and to protect her. He has also had to live through the death of his sister.

So why not start applying more pressure and seeing how he reacts.

He is young but he will become a man from


Thank you, Suraya! Means so much! Will work on this.