I’m reading a YA fantasy series right now and it has me thinking about Chosen Ones. Not my favorite trope all told, though not my least favorite either. Recently it occurred to me how rarely the Chosen One in a book knows they’re special, how usually they dismiss the strange things that happen to them and someone else has to eventually tell them they’re Chosen. It struck me that it might be interesting to read a story where the Chosen One figures it out themselves – but in a Cassandrian twist, maybe none of the adults around believe them? It might be fun to write a story like that, too. Here’s a tiny bit of an imagined first chapter of such a story. I don’t know if I’ll ever write it, but maybe. We’ll see! In the mean time, I hope you enjoy it:
“What’s that on your shoulder?” Deena said as I hurriedly pulled my top off over my head and dropped it on top of my gym shoes on the bench. We were late, and if we weren’t out there in two minutes, our P.E. teacher would make us run laps.
“Huh?” I responded, craning my neck to see what she was talking about. A small, dark brown mark crowned my shoulder, just behind it. The uneven shape seemed vaguely unfamilar to me but then again, who kept track of every little splotch on their skin. Not me, that’s who. “I dunno, birthmark, I guess.”
Deena peered at it for a moment, then looked up to meet my eyes. “Kinda looks like a rose.”
I shrugged, and she shrugged back and then disappeared partway behind the door to her locker. After a moment, the goofy chuckle she saved for private moments like this rang out. “Hey,” she said. “Maybe you’re the Chosen.”
I laughed. “Yeah, sure,” I said as I plopped down, once more dressed, on the bench and pulled my shoes on.
“Lo, there she stand, roses round her shoulders and stars in her hand,” Deena mumble-sang as she bent down to tie her own shoes.
“Shut up!” I threw my discarded t-shirt at her, but she waved it away with her hand and it fell to the floor. We laughed as we headed for the door, the sound dying to a quiet giggle as we joined the rest of the class. It was the sort of silly joke that was only funny between me and Deena, because the absurdity of it all would fade to pointlessness if we tried to explain it to anyone else.
That evening when mom asked what I was laughed at I told her “nothing”. That night, I dreamed I was holding a star in my hand.