World changing. My twin’s words ring in my ears, following me into the dark mess hall and around the vacant tables that sprouted the legs of upturned chairs like a herd of hedgehogs. I didn’t need world changing, I’m wasn’t looking for anything more than life changing, my life changing, but all the same something had tightened in my gut when Sassa flung her hands in the air and said the words. The something stayed with me, crouching in the back of my mind, running up and down my spine with equal parts excitement and trepidation.
I push past half-door, slipping into the galley dimly lit by the green exit sign and small red standby lights on the huge appliances. The heavy cold-room door stands at the end of the long row of stainless steel benches and I pull it open slowly, waiting until the flickering automatic light steadies before stepping across the threshold. Rows and columns of carefully stacked and sorted food and, towards the back, a stack of frosted plastic drawers. I slide one out, revealing a pile of orange-red, banana like fruits the gathering party collected the day before, and reach in and pick out the juiciest.
“A single genetic marker.” My breath frosts in the cold as I study the fruit, my mouth already watering. “Changing the world.”
Page two of The Hybrid Theory. Again this is in three different versions, first person, second and third. Let me know which one you like best.
Sassa is beautiful, a pale blonde vision of Nordic beauty with high cheekbones and lips the same tint as dusk. She is my mirror apart from the eyes, a classic icy blue where mine are brown, the only remnant of our father stamped on my face. The rest belongs to mother, beautiful and petite and cold.
When Sassa looks up from the microscope the artificial daylight turns her hair the colour of straw and highlights the shadows under her eyes. Her face is tired, the new lines in her forehead deeper than they were just 73 hours ago before we started down this path.
“What’s it look like?”
My twin drags a few wisps of hair back into her ponytail. “Alien?” She shrugs and the white lab coat slips further down her shoulder. “I don’t know where to start, I’ve never seen anything so …” Her face scrunches as she searches for the word to describe what has become my obsession. “… So perfect.”
“So what’s it do?”
“Do?” Sassa’s laugh is edged in glass. “I can’t even tell you want it’s made of. God Ana, this is…” She threw her hands in the air and spun around, her eyes on the ceiling like she could find whatever answers she needed in the perforated tiles. “This is world changing.”
The ficlet in its original first person perspective. Read the read the other versions (second person and third person) and tell me which one you prefer.
I am Svana, daughter of Jorge and Heidi, sister to Sassa, mother and wife to none.
There is a burning desire in my heart for I know not what. By night I am tantalised by fragments of dreams that are more than dreams, by day I bury myself in trivialities and know that I am meant for more than this, more than my relationships, more than my work and the knowledge drives me mad.
Who, what, why am I? The key to it all resides within the fragmented narratives of my dreaming, I know this like I know I have a purpose beyond my everyday humdrum. I know it with an absolute certainty that sits in my heart like a stone, strengthening me even as it weighs me down. But the dreams that border painfully on memory find no meaning within the meagre wealth of my existence, beyond the literal confusion of historical fact and scientific fantasy. And so I wait, I wait for some clue, some sign to unlock the mystery that is I.
I am Svana, daughter of Jorge and Heidi, sister to Sassa, mother and wife to none and I am waiting.