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Literature / The Golden Feather

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"Shy, socially-awkward Elijah had limited his existence to that of a background character. A sidekick. A nobody. This changes when he receives an anonymous letter one day that reads more like a desperate call for help—from one of the school's players, no less. What does he do? Follow the cliché. What does life do? Kick his balls and remind him things aren't as simple as they seem..."

Set up to be a deconstruction of the usual Boys' Love Genre clichés—particularly on the site it was first posted on—the story follows the usual Brooding Boy, Gentle Guy pairing in a rather... unusual way.

It was first published in 2016 and is still ongoing.


This story provides examples of:

  • All Gays are Promiscuous: Averted with Elijah, who is as much of a virgin as they go.
  • All-Loving Hero: Despite himself, Elijah can't help but be sympathetic to others, even if these 'others' are the ones picking on him all the time.
  • Animal Motifs: Isaac is often compared to small mammals. Cats, rodents, chihuahuas... you name it.
  • Armor-Piercing Question: Often delivered by Elijah. Justified, given he wouldn't be able to get anywhere with Isaac otherwise. This is implied to have happened with Milla, too.
  • Asian and Nerdy: Defied In-Universe by Elijah, who is of Vietnamese origin, gets bad grades and is constantly annoyed by those who assume he's "smart" just because he's Asian.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: A big factor in Isaac warming up to Elijah was the latter's reaction upon finding out Isaac had written the letters. While he did get pissed at first, he ended up being surprisingly comprehensive about the whole ordeal, even growing more outgoing towards Isaac later on.
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  • Becoming the Mask: According to Isaac, he used to be a much nicer person back in his old school. Once he came to the new one, he decided to put up a tough guy act in order to fit in. He ended up letting this slip into his real personality, which alienated his original friends and ended up turning him into an authentic, bitter jerkass.
  • Berserk Button: To Isaac, anything. Notable examples include his height, his family and English class.
    • Messing up with Elijah's videogames is a terrible, terrible idea. Milla would know.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Elijah may be passive and all, but even he has a breaking point.
  • Bookworm: When not at school, Isaac is usually reading, to the point this is his only definite hobby.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: To a degree, Isaac. He's quite savvy about general knowledge, has a rather sharp intuition and claims to possess a good memory, too. And yet, his grades are atrocious. It's implied this didn't use to be the case.
  • Brooding Boy. Gentle Guy: Isaac and Elijah follow this dynamic, with the former being sour and ill-tempered and the latter being patient and comprehending.
  • Big Little Brother: Elijah is a few inches taller than his sister, who is four years older than him.
  • CloudCuckooLander: Rose, Isaac's stepsister, has no qualms with randomly mimicking videogame characters and rolling around on the floor within the first twenty minutes of knowing someone just because said someone happens to like games, too. To be fair, Elijah doesn't fall that behind.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Expect either Isaac or Milla to fill this role, especially around Elijah. At one point, he even ends up wondering just why he is such a snark bait, or why everyone he seems to befriend is so sarcastic.
  • Dismissing a Compliment: Whenever Elijah tries telling Isaac just why he likes him, the latter ends up hand-waving it or just plain ignoring him.
  • Disgusting Public Toilet: Apparently, the guys at their school would rather go to the girls' bathroom or even do the deed in the garden as an alternative to the boys' bathroom. This comes in handy for Elijah and Victor, for they find each other...
  • Eating Lunch Alone: and in the bathroom stalls, no less. Admittedly, this comes across as a shock to both of them, who were clearly not expecting to find another soul in the room.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Isaac's debut on the story has him slamming the classroom's door open, stomping to his desk and then making fun of Elijah with Victor (who isn't that much pleasant, either) not too long after.
  • Extreme Doormat: Subverted with Elijah. He may claim to be one, but will stand up for himself when having his buttons pressed for too long.
  • Fetishized Abuser: At some point, Elijah daydreams he's this towards Isaac. Right in the middle of class. With a NSFW sequence and everything.
  • First Kiss: A tragically non-romantic example. At some point Elijah asks Isaac if he is 'into guys'. His response? Kissing Elijah to then pull away with a frown and reply, "Nope. Definitely straight."
  • Friendless Background: It is implied Rose has little to no friends at her school.
  • Gay Guy Seeks Popular Jock: Played with. Isaac is popular all right, but not very athletic. On the other hand, Elijah is well-built and is a social nobody.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Isaac's underwear ranges from the usual rubber-duck print to Van Gogh's Starry Night.
    • Elijah's own undergarments show how much of a Nintendo fanboy he is.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Isaac, hands down, to the point Elijah doesn't care about trying not to anger him anymore since he knows the guy will flip off at anything and anyone for no reason.
  • Hidden Depths: At first sight, Isaac may come across as the typical Jerkass with no ambition other than to sleep around and make others miserable. However, he was the one sending the letters to Elijah under the excuse he's actually lonely and very aware of his jerk tendencies. ultimately revealing a much softer side. He's also shown to be very thoughtful and kind of a literature snob.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Milla is even short than Isaac, barely reaching Elijah's shoulders.
  • I Just Want to Have Friends: Why Isaac wrote the letters in the first place.
  • Insult of Endearment: Initially Isaac tended to call Elijah 'nerd' a lot, but the tables turned once the latter found out about Isaac's... tendencies.
  • Jerkass: Victor, though he mellows a bit after The Reveal. Isaac plays this straight with rare fluctuations to Jerk with a Heart of Gold territory.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: A variant. Initially it was Elijah who recieved a letter, although it was more of a vent than anything else. Later on, long after he'd figured out the identity of the sender, they both kept exchanging notes, anyway. One instance in particular has Elijah ramming Isaac's own locker with letters, which pretty much give away his crush on Isaac.
  • Mirror Character: Milla and Isaac, to their dismay. Both are short, ill-tempered, thoughtful and often fighting for Elijah's attention.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: A weird variation. At some point, they ended up spying Elijah's older sister through a slit in her door while she slept with some guy. Elijah was understandably freaked.
  • Nice Guy: Kind, easily-forgiving Elijah, almost to Extreme Doormat levels.
  • Nightmare Fuel: In-Universe. Milla's Eldritch Abomination paintings, when not in use by her, are covered by fabrics or are turned upside-down just so the rest of the art club can be spared of having nightmares.
  • Odd Friendship: Asocial, generally apathetic Milla and kind, unassuming Elijah.
  • One Head Taller: Isaac barely reaches Elijah's chin.
  • Passing Notes in Class: Elijah and Isaac chat through these frequently.
  • Please, Don't Leave Me: A non-verbal version. Done by Isaac, no less. A late-night conversation ends up with him pulling Elijah into a hug after the latter tells him he'll always be there for him.
  • Pretty Boy: Isaac, bordering Dude Looks Like a Lady.
  • Rage Quit: Done by Isaac whenever he loses against Elijah in a videogame. Which is always.
  • Really Gets Around: Isaac. It's implied he does it out of loneliness.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Isaac, to the point Elijah wonders if he can even formulate a sentence without cursing.
  • Sour Outside, Sad Inside: Implied through Isaac's letters.
  • Snark Knight: One can always expect Isaac to come up with a sarcastic remark even during the most ill-timed of moments.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: Which is what happens pretty much every time Isaac and Milla meet.
  • Straight Gay: Despite his rather meek personality, Elijah doesn't show any stereotypical 'gay' traits and is implied to be—or have been—very athletic, for he was in several sports teams during middle school and has a good muscle tone.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Though not exactly hostile, Isaac won't care to be nice unless you get on his good graces.
  • There Is Only One Bed: The first day Isaac visits Elijah's house, he ends up staying in a "sleepover" too. Elijah is happy... until he realizes there's an inflatable bed. He ends up poking a hole through it just to have Isaac sleep in the same bed as him. It works.
  • Troubled, but Cute: Deconstructed. While Isaac fits the role pretty well, this bites him in the ass more than it actually helps him. Because of this, up until the letter incident, he wasn't close to anyone at school, and it's his temper and Can't Spit It Out tendencies that causes most of the arguments between him and Elijah. Far from taking pride in this, Isaac treats it as a flaw and hates that particular aspect of himself.
  • Tsundere: Isaac, a (metaphorically) huge type A.
  • The Bully: Quite a few characters, Isaac included (at the beginning). Out of these, the most prominent is Victor, who keeps picking on Elijah. This is toned down after The Reveal.
  • The Charmer: It's implied this is how Isaac gets girls, more than just pure physical attractiveness.
  • The Gadfly: Isaac is not above pulling pranks for self-amusement purposes, especially to Elijah.
  • The Philosopher: Milla isn't afraid of getting deep into a subject. She usually tries to portray things like humanity on her paintings. And usually fails.
    • Isaac, to a lesser extent.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal: After a rather awkward conversation in a bathroom stall soon to evolve into a fight, Victor stomps out of the stall, with his shirt wide open, only to reveal he is (biologically) a girl.