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2nd December
posted by amber

Strange Child

He always was the strangest child. His mother, being ignorant, blamed it on evil spirits. She claimed that her baby had been stolen from her in his crib and replaced with a changeling. She claimed he’d been missing for several hours, but no one else could corroborate this. In the village, we all just thought of him as a strange little boy.

From a very early age, he started hanging around with the old men and women in the square, asking questions far beyond his years. Some found it flattering to have one so young interested in their life story; most found it peculiar. The other children hated him, so perhaps it’s no surprise that he became bookish, such a good student that he was sent to the capital to be educated in one of our country’s finest schools. He received his first doctorate when he was only 18.

Naturally, such a shining talent was too large for our country, and before he was 25 he was a force to be reckoned with on the international stage. In the village, we would chuckle and shake our heads at this scientist, who some called the smartest man in the world, coming from such a humble beginning. Not one of us could have predicted the terrible thing that he did. Yet not one of us was surprised.

We may live in a small village, but we are hardly cut off from the world. We knew, almost as quickly as everyone else did, about the explosion at the United Nations. We watched the news as one country after another reported that their leader had perished, as investigators soon implicated the very scientist who had summoned the presidents and kings to hear about his ‘important discovery.’ For weeks, no one around our planet cared about anything besides all the details of the unknown technology of the explosive device, the images of the arrest, the video confession broadcast prior to the arrest in which he claimed that the hands that made the bomb were ‘not my own’ and that all his life ‘someone else has looked out through my eyes.’

Our governments topple and reports come to us that many scientific institutions have been destroyed, but we remain glued to our televisions and computers, watching reporters prowling the streets of our very village, asking us for more and more details about that strange little boy.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

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