I didn’t see any massive structural/content concerns, so I went through and line edited. Overall, this is pretty good, and it’s definitely at least a 7/10. I can’t make any major heart warming comments since this clearly isn’t my genre, but the ending made me feel really mellow and I don’t know why. You really have a voice for dramatics. No major concerns from me aside from a few grammatical edits
and, even so, some of them were done solely for flow, so they might be stylistic.
Child's Play | 03 | Fall EXTRACT (Click to open)
Then, he left in search of the Servant child. He was chasing loose leads at this point—all he knew was that the child was likely from the northern district and was therefore extremely likely to have no close relatives to flee to. If that was the case, then they'd either move to the hazardous streets and risk assault, or they'd return home to the outskirts of the northern district. To return home, they'd have to pass through the central district, and there was fighting here.
Maybe they were already dead.
Hidayat pushed onwards down the street. He heard gunshots behind him, and that heightened his alertness. There was no guarantee how long the current position would be held. Eventually, the rebels would advance. And his safety would be lost with that.
He ran when the final wave of anxiety hit, thudding through dusty, unpainted streets. There were still people here, strewn about outside their own houses, chewing leaves and collecting their belongings. However, at the end of the street, he saw what he was looking for. The Servant child and his father, hand and hand, standing straight in the line of fire.
Hidayat then realised he didn’t know the child’s name.
“Servant child!” he called, running to the edge of the buildings, but no further. The Servant child turned to look at him, wide-eyed, though soon his gaze softened, and he gave a grimace portraying only one thing—the desire to give up.
One thought immediately struck him. Are they suicidal?
“Servant child!” he called out again. His words had no positive effect. The Servant child shuddered and turned away. It was clear that those words hurt him, but Hidayat had no idea what else to call him.
His father turned too, waving his hand and giving a faint smile. His unkempt hair and scraggly beard betrayed his previous grievances. Hidayat felt sympathy but, at the same time, his mind had stopped functioning.
A bullet pierced the air. Loud, like thunder. In a flash of crimson, his father fell. It took a while to register—the Servant child fell silent for a few moments. Then, he screamed. Hidayat tried to motion him out of the line of fire, but the Servant child just fell to his knees, coiling his father’s fingers around his own. It was then that Hidayat realised he had to take more drastic measures.
He headed out into the battlefield himself. Glancing around, he noted a sniper. There was no time to make a contingency plan, though; Hidayat gripped onto the Servant child’s shoulder and tried to pry him away. The child screamed louder.
“No!” he cried. Hidayat didn’t immediately respond. Instead, he let his hand atop the other boy’s own, locked eyes with him, and said with absolute certainty,
“You will die here.”
“Then let me die!” he screamed back. Tears, like stardust, slipped down his cheeks. Then they grew heavier, like a storm. “I don’t care!”
“You will die here—”
“There is nothing left for me here! I give up! I give up!”