My name’s James Duffy, but everybody calls me Jimmy. I’m eight and a half. I go to school, and I like drawing pictures of rockets and skyscrapers, and playing videogames with my friends. My parents both work. Mom’s a teacher and Daddy works at the battery factory across town. We stay inside mostly, but when the weather’s real good, I go with my friends down to where the old road ends, and we throw rocks into the waves until our arms hurt.

If it’s extra nice out, we take a picnic lunch up to Hunter Hill. That’s the place in town with the best view. Mom says when she was a kid, you could see all the way to the mountains, and if the wind’s blowing real hard, and all the smoke from the fires out west gets pushed out to sea, I squint and can almost see them, blue giants in the distance. The wind whistles through the grass and I pretend it’s the birds come back to sing.

Today, Daddy’s driving me to the hospital to meet my new sister. I don’t know what her name’s gonna be yet. Daddy won’t tell me, and last time I saw Mom, a few days ago, before she started yelling all loud and Daddy said she needed to go push the baby out, when I asked her about it, Mom just said I’d find out when I meet her. So, now I will.

I’m super excited. I only know a few other kids who have a brother or a sister except for a coupla older kids who got theirs before “population stabilization” happened. We learned those big words in school. They mean the planet got tired, so people needed to stop having babies for a while. I raised my hand and asked teacher if we were gonna be stabilizing forever and she looked kinda sad and said she hoped not. I hope not too.

I think Katie would be a nice name. I tell Daddy and he smiles at me in the mirror. Outside, the ash is falling like snow.

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    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    2 years ago

    Thanks for the beautiful scene you drew in my mind, Tim. Good job.

    Welcome to Voice club. Hope to read more stories from you.

    Christer Norrlof
    Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
    2 years ago

    Hello Tim and welcome to! I like your story, especially the excellent way you use the language to take the reader into the mind of an 8 year old boy. There are several expressions that make me smile as I read, for example, “…we throw rocks into the waves until our arms hurt,” “I squint and can almost see them,” “Daddy said she needed to go push the baby out,” and… Read more »

    Linda Rock
    Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
    1 year ago

    It takes real talent to write from the point of view of a young child and you mastered this so well. Mixed in with videogames, picnics and the arrival of a baby sister are the underlying more chilling aspects of the story as summed up in the final paragraph. This was very cleverly done Tim. Look forward to reading more from you.

    Sandra James
    Sandra James(@sandra-james)
    1 year ago

    Through the eyes of young Jimmy you’ve shown us the very scary possibility for the future, so very different from the childhoods we’ve known. Well done, Tim!
    The name Katie means ‘pure’, let’s hope we can work together to ensure all the little Katies have a pure future 🙂

    Carrie OLeary
    Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
    1 year ago

    Hi Tim and welcome to Voice club. This is such a bittersweet story, and nicely written from the perspective of your eight year old protagonist. Seeing the world ‘drawn’ with his interpretations, I found rather charming. Nicely done.

    David Kau
    David Kau(@david-kau)
    1 year ago

    Beautiful story

    Megan Ritchie Jooste
    Megan Ritchie Jooste(@megan-ritchie-jooste)
    1 year ago

    It’s gonna be downright awful for our kids and our grandkids (and beyond). This is why we have waffles and ice cream for dinner a whole lot. Thank you for this beautiful story.

    1 year ago

    Congratulations on your win, Tim!

    Lotchie Carmelo
    Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
    1 year ago

    Congratulations on your win, Tim.

    1 year ago

    Margarida Brei
    Margarida Brei(@margarida-brei)
    6 months ago

    Tim, although you tell this story through a child’s innocent account, it hides many chilling horrors. “Ash falling like snow,” is a particularly scary image!

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