I’m switching gears and for September, I’ll be pulling from several related short stories I wrote this summer, all dealing with the apocalypse.
The first one, “Special,” is about a pair of twins, Niko and Tevi, and a unique ability Tevi has.
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“Mishla,” our grandmother Yaya told Mother even before my brother and I were born, “the baby you carry is special, like my uncle Niko, the great general who fought so hard in the third war. You must name your baby after him.”
Mother had just learned Father had been killed in the fifth war, despite fighting so hard, and although she would’ve preferred to name my brother after him, she was too heartbroken to argue with Yaya.
Growing up, Niko didn’t do anything special. He played with the other children in the caverns into which we’d moved to shield us from the airstrikes. He matched their outlandish stories about their dead fathers’ exploits with ones about our own father, trumping them by including the adventures of his namesake, even though no one had heard of him.
One day, when we were about eight and Niko was running screaming with the others playing king of the hill, he pulled out the boldest story of all: “I have grass growing under my bed.”
Szymon paused from shoving him off our dirt pile hill. “No one has grass growing anywhere.”
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