If you had been able to choose, would you rather have been an only child or part of a very large family?
Lara stood at the back of the auditorium as the line of teenagers progressed across the stage. She understood why it was important to Midge to see his sister graduate and be given her aptitude results, but Lara wished it would go faster. Emotions were high as parents, siblings, friends watched their loved ones receive their futures, and where emotions raged, Lara struggled.
She couldn’t let Midge slip through her fingers though. He needed to go to the College to meet with the Sages. It was her duty as a Seeker to bring him there. And it was her deepest hope that he would be the key to her release.
“Chloe Bennett.” Midge got to his feet and whistled with his fingers as a bright-eyed young woman confidently strolled towards the local Education Minister. Red curls to match her brother’s bounced on her shoulders as she shook the minister’s hand and accepted her graduation medallion.
Lara restrained herself from reaching out to the girl to Read what she was feeling. The room was too full, she wouldn’t be able to sort out one person’s feelings from the next. Instead she inferred the overwhelming joy from Chloe’s wide smile and triumphant fist pump as she reached the bottom of the stairs. Lara saw Midge mirror the motion, adding a thumbs up and the same grin adorned his face.
One by one, the students shook hands with the minister, their families jumping to their feet and cheering as they did so. Most had at least one sibling, sometimes two, but a handful only had their parents to celebrate with them. That didn’t mean they didn’t have siblings; some might have had older brothers or sisters like Midge who weren’t lucky enough to get time off for the ceremony. Statistically though, some had to be like Lara.
She chuckled to herself at that thought. She was the statistical anomaly of anomalies. There were none like her. Still, there would be other only children among the graduates.
Lara wondered what that might have been like. She’d never needed to share her toys, but she also had no one to confide in. She had made friends in her early school years, but most of them had brothers or sisters who they told all their secrets to. Sometimes she wished she had someone to share secrets with. Now that she was older, she wished she didn’t have so many secrets to keep.
The line began to thin out, the graduates were almost all ready to begin their service to the Dome. There had once been a time that Lara looked forward to learning what place she was best suited for. She thought for certain she would be an educator or caregiver. Her mother’s death had changed all that, simultaneously crashing her world around her and opening it up to new possibilities.
Lara shook her head to clear it of negative thoughts. This was a happy occasion. She didn’t want to accidentally Project and ruin the first day of the rest of these kids’ lives. There would be time for reflection later, and with luck, Midge would return with her.
Notes: I know, it’s really short, but I didn’t want to go too much further than this. It satisfied the prompt, and got me thinking about some very important aspects of my world. It got me asking questions about what education would be like in the Dome, what sort of jobs are essential to keep life going and how do people decide to take those jobs. Is there population control? Space is limited, so you can’t have people being born faster than they die. I also learned that Lara is an only child, while Midge has a kid sister. There might also be another brother, but I’m not very clear on that yet. If he exists, he hasn’t revealed himself to me yet. But anyway, this was a very good prompt for me.
As the oldest of 4 girls, I can’t imagine life as an only child. I came from a family with loads of cousins too. All my aunts and uncles on my dad’s side had at least 4 kids too, so family gatherings were very large. I’m sure it would have been a lot quieter as an only child, but my mind is loud enough. I’d probably have a hundred more characters if I didn’t have sisters to play with and talk to.
What about you? Do you like the number of siblings you have? Do you wish you had more? Do you wish you were on your own? What sorts of dynamics would be different, do you think? How do your characters get along with/without siblings? Write these thoughts down! You never know when they’ll be of use to you!
Tuesday’s prompt: If I looked into your fridge right now, what would I find?
Beer and leftovers, haha! Really gotta go grocery shopping. Well, I’ll figure out a way to turn that into a short story for you. Maybe return to Emma from the Weekly Highlight prompt? She loved making grocery lists! Well, we shall see. Never hurts to have a backup plan after all. Until tomorrow!