Chapter Fourteen

Shriveled Raisin
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You are a failure.

You are an embarrassment to the family.

You are a disgrace.

You are an ungrateful child, Jung Yunho.


It was dark, perhaps the darkest pit. There was not a single ray of light to be seen, the dimmest sight ever shown. It was as if the concept of colours were never a thing in this life, as if the universe had absorbed all of the world hues. There were not even tiny dots of white. Just plain black, the gloomiest shade of black.

Yet it was also loud, so deafening that it made one would wish to not be born with functioning ears. In the barren space of pure black, multiple voices and screams of agony and mocking laughter echoed repeatedly. The voices evolved from mere whispers to raging shouting. They came from unseen people if there were any. None of these voices were in pain but rather in extreme anger. There was no second where the voices stopped. They kept on filling the entire vast darkness. It was suffocating.


“But I am doing my best!” Yunho found himself screaming back at the nothingness, only for him to hear his own hoarse voice.

Suddenly, his vision slightly altered. There he was, like an out-of-body experience, he witnessed his own self, his own body, standing in the middle of the horrifying darkness. He barely could see as there was absolutely no light, yet he could determine that his other self was struggling to get out of the black pit while arguing with the voices. Yunho himself was somehow floating in the air, as if he was nothing but an invisible lost soul, staring down at his other self below.

The voices never stopped. No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t understand what they were saying although it was clear that they were mocking him. It was as if someone was putting both a loud, wild metal song and a soft ASMR on max volume. The whisperings were extremely ear-splitting, and Yunho could physically feel his own ears hurting.

The moment he realised he was floating, he tried to lean forward, wanting to gesture his body down so that he could somehow ‘swim’ his way downwards to his other self who was now cowering and shaking, covering his ears with both hands. Yunho began ridiculously flapping his arms on both sides, doing whatever he could to move himself yet to no avail.


Your art career is the end for you.

You should have listened to your mother.

You are a sinner, born to be thrown to the pit of Hell.

You are doomed, God hates you.


Widening his eyes, Yunho finally realised whom those voices belonged to. It was his mother. He frantically looked side to side in the barren abyss of darkness, hoping to see at least a familiar face. Yet he saw no one excepted for him and his other self, that might be just a non-existent projection of his current state of mind.

Slowly figuring out that this might be not the realm he was living in, Yunho altered his goal from trying to reach out to his other self and instead trying to find an exit. Yet that was almost impossible as he had not seen a single source of light yet. And not to mention, the never-ending voices kept on haunting and distracting him. Everything was suffocating.

Closing his eyes tightly, Yunho realised that no matter how wild he tried to swim his way away from this encaging darkness, he would probably not be able to escape regardless. Now, he focused on his breathing. The mocking screaming and whispers were suffocating, and the everlasting blackness was surely daunting. Deep down inside his heart, he knew there was an exit somewhere. All he needed to do was just… hope. Or was there any hope left? Was this just a mere relapse of the haunting memories of his forbidden past? Or was this… his ending? Was this his ‘final day’ that a certain death angel had been reminding him of?


And suddenly, there was a tingling sensation, followed by the softest, most reassuring melody Yunho had ever heard, “Open your eyes, child,” the lullaby sang.

And so, he did.

Despite the choking fear residing within him, Yunho mustered up the courage to trust the mysterious voice and slowly began to open his eyes. He was expecting to welcome the same horrifying darkness again. Yet when the sight came upon his eyes though, he saw something else.


Among the familiar vast pit of black, among the increasingly loud screaming and whispers, Yunho was left stunned upon watching a foreign yet illuminating single white feather slowly descending from above.

The feather appeared so comfortably soft and pristine, as if it was neatly brushed beforehand. It resembled a bird’s feather, but physically larger. It also radiated a glowing halo of white and golden light, eliminating the surrounding space of black, causing the once trapping darkness to slowly scurry away and disappear. The one white feather majestically continued descending as it became the only source of brightest light in the entire odd realm.


Yunho’s irises sparkled as the holy lights reflected on him. He naturally felt the urge to reach out to the feather and so he did, as he protruded his arm and opening the palm of his hand the moment the feather was getting closer to him. It was as if something from the universe was gifting him this one special feather as it flawlessly landed on his palm, instantly spreading a warm sensation of comfort and reassurance to his body.

Still visibly astounded, Yunho’s mouth left agape as he carefully brought the feather closer to his face. It was as if the feather had become his only source of life. Dust of lights started to appear around him as they circled and surrounded him, acting as a shield protecting him from the perilous darkness. The moment Yunho was fully enveloped in these lights, the deafening scream and whispers of mockery immediately vanished. Yunho felt safest with this feather in hand. It brought him a moment of familiarity that caused him to smile. He slowly brought the feather closer before giving it a soft, grateful kiss with his lips.

“Thank you,” he heard himself spoke.

And then, he finally woke up.



A ringing noise tingled in his head as Yunho eventually woke up from such a dreadful nightmare. Letting out a gasp, he immediately sat up on his bed with beads of sweat covering his forehead. His breathing was rapid, and he quickly looked down at his palm, expecting to see a white feather yet he saw nothing. Blinking blankly, Yunho managed to maintain his breath and soon realised that it was already a bright, sunny morning.

Looking around, Yunho found out he was on his bed alone. The empty side of the bed had its sheet wrinkled, indicating that Jaejoong had long left the room. Sighing softly, Yunho massaged the side of his head while trying to ignore the thoughts of the nightmare he had just suffered through. It felt realistic. The sounds of the voices didn’t just give him absolute goosebumps but also an unfiltered flashback to his unpleasant past. It was indeed a bizarre nightmare, yet Yunho chose not to dwell much thought into it. He had to get up now.


After doing a brief stretching, Yunho finally walked out of his bedroom. The first thing that greeted him was the familiar smell of fresh breakfast. This time he could recognised the smell of fried eggs. Yet the one thing that confused him was that Jaejoong was nowhere to be seen. He was used to seeing the angel cooking in the kitchen early in the morning so now not seeing the other was not of a daily routine for Yunho. He initially thought that Jaejoong was probably in the bathroom but given how the bathroom door was standing ajar and that there was no sound of running water coming from it, he discarded that assumption.

Slightly weirded out, Yunho walked to the living room and the adjoined kitchen. He noticed that the TV was not switched on which was also not a norm since it was Jaejoong’s hobby to watch morning shows and news. He approached the small dining table and saw dishes of breakfast were already prepared. This brought a sense of relief to Yunho for a bit, knowing that Jaejoong didn’t just ‘disappear’ since the angel had taken his time preparing meals. The food was still warm too, so Yunho guessed the other probably had left not too long ago.


“Jaejoong?” Yunho called out yet he received no response.

Quite dumbfounded, Yunho made his way to the front door before stepping outside of his apartment room. Despite the sunny day, a gust of cold wind instantly slapped his face the moment he walked outside through the door. The breeze was not too harsh, but it was enough to cause his strands of hair dancing. Yunho shuddered a bit as he checked his surrounding, yet there was no sign of Jaejoong. Did the angel go somewhere? While that scenario was indeed possible, Jaejoong himself rarely went out in the morning. In fact, Yunho doubted the male remembered the places in this neighbourhood. But given how Jaejoong once did go to the hotel by himself, there were chances the angel was indeed going out right now. Yet if that was the case, where? The convenience store perhaps?


Yunho walked to the balcony and leaned his body slightly over the railing as he tried to see the landscape below, hoping to at least spot Jaejoong or a familiar figure in the car park and apartment compound. Yet the only familiar figures he saw were few tenants who either had just parked their car or drove out, and one or two tenants who just sat on the provided bench and minded their own business. There was no sign of Jaejoong no matter how narrow Yunho squinted his eyes just to get a more accurate view.

Sighing softly, Yunho turned around from the balcony. He needed to check the convenience store, maybe the male was buying some groceries to fill in the fridge. However, the moment he turned around, by chance he was staring upward and there he was, what a beautiful sight to see.


On the edge of the roof, there were two legs dangling in a relaxed manner. And still on the edge of the roof, was Jaejoong sitting there. From the balcony Yunho was able to see the angel sitting on the roof but the Jaejoong himself couldn’t see him, or perhaps didn’t notice Yunho was just below him on the balcony.

The angel looked so peaceful with his legs slowly swaying aimlessly. A soft, serene smile accompanied his pink plump lips. His polished raven irises shone with the reflection of the sunlight. The breeze of the wind must be quite stronger up there as the angel’s soft locks gently danced in harmony, brushing soft against his eyes and temples. Maybe because of the radiating sunlight behind him, it appeared as if Jaejoong was glowing out glistening lights of his own, as if there was a thin barrier of halo surrounding him.


Yunho couldn’t help but to admit just oh, how gorgeous the angel looked like. It was such a rare sight to see. Words couldn’t bring justice to just how majestic Jaejoong looked like right now. The man was wearing a plain, oversized beige shirt that extended to his knees, without pants on, exposing his pale legs. That was Jaejoong’s usual form of nightwear. The man looked so peaceful especially with the breeze caressing and brushing his hair. It was as if someone was playing a flute or a harp, creating such a relaxing background atmosphere for the angel to pose with.

Yet Yunho also couldn’t help but to notice just how… distant and sad Jaejoong looked like. Indeed, there was a smile on the surface of the man’s whole face. But there was something particular about this smile that just seemed lonely.

The angel was gazing straight at the far horizon, seemingly drifted in his own thoughts without a single care of the entire world around him. Yunho didn’t manage to comprehend what it was that made the man looked somewhat melancholic, but it was there. Jaejoong appeared peaceful and secluded at the same time, a hint of mysterious sorrow lingering upon his gentle smile.

It was such a foreign sight for Yunho to see. Jaejoong had often presented himself as that one confident, playful, and mischievous man who wouldn’t spend a day without purposedly teasing you. Jaejoong was the type to be direct about his honest opinions and feelings, brave and daring. Yet right now, the angel was nothing like he was before. Instead, he was a diffe

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New update, yet I am slightly worried I might be rushing things. I apologize if the pacing is quite unstable, it has been long since I last wrote a story :)
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