Word Count: 916
Writing: 1 hour
Editing: 11 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 11 minutes
Tay stared out the window into the rain and watched as Natalie got into the car with her new family. This was one of the worst day’s he’d had at the Dump in his short life. Not only was his best friend driving out of his life forever, he couldn’t help but hate her a little for it. Which, in turn, made him hate himself for the thought and only brought on more tears. Inside, he was truly happy for his friend that she’d been chosen, and by what looked like such nice people. That couldn’t stop his own selfish jealousy from clouding his mind, though. He’d wanted to be chosen.
Tay turned from the window and his eyes fell on the picture of Natalie in his hand. He smiled lightly and the salt from his tears seasoned his tongue. The thirteen-year-old girl that stared up at the boy had long brown hair and wise emerald eyes. He dropped the picture in his lap and stared across the room at himself in the mirror. The longer he stared, the more he accepted the truth. This was his home.
Mother Mary’s House of God and Place for Lost Children—or the Dump as the children called it—was a place where the genetically modified babies and children went when they weren’t born to specifications. Tay was supposed have been a medium sized baby, with two ocean blue eyes, and a head of brown hair. Whoever his parents had been apparently were surprised when he was born with brown, Asian eyes and stunningly blonde hair. They didn’t even give him a trial period like most of the other disappointed parents. It was straight to the dump.
Year after year he watched his friends disappear to the homes of strangers who wanted a child to love for whatever reason. But no one cared to love Tay, at least not past the nuns who were forced to by money or God. And why would they? The others looked like normal children, they simply weren’t the children the parents had designed and paid for.
Rage was darkening the boys mind and he fought the urge to throw his alarm clock at the feeble, crying image in the mirror. At least he had his own room to do it in, that was one consolation to being a Dump veteran. There was one room in the house that had a single bed and was meant for only one person, his room. Others were crammed with four to nine boys and girls, all sleeping stacked on bunks. Tay had been in the single room for so long he barely remembered sleeping on the bunk beds.
He closed his eyes and let his imagination wander. Natalie used to tell him about the rebels in the cities who were fighting to destroy all of the Baby Gen facilities. Tay remembered the excitement on her face and in those deep green eyes when she told him that they would join the fight one day. Together they would help all the kids like them and create a world where there were no dump babies ever again. When Tay would ask her where she was getting all of her sensitive information from—considering television and internet were banned in their house—she would get a sly look in her eyes and say,
“I have my sources.”
Tay smiled and wondered if one day they would see each other again. At the rebel headquarters, side by side, fighting for all those children born to the wrong specifications. An excited anger grew in his belly and he watched his adult self in his mind, clear as if it had happened yesterday and was no more than a fond memory. Natalie fought fiercely and he covered her back. They waged war through eerie labs, full of strange looking embryos in test tubes.
The thought made him sick and he wished he was holding the gun physically at that moment, executing each and every scientist that brought these unlucky children into the world. Because that’s what all dump babies were; innocent, and completely unlucky.
In his mind, Natalie led them down a metal hallway, where bodies lay in piles so thick the only option was stomping on top and over them. They ducked into a room as a new wave of mad scientists and military soldiers began firing at them. They stared at each other silently, no need to speak, they simply nodded, shared one kiss, and rounded the corner, gun’s blazing.
Tay opened his eyes. He was smiling and he looked down at the picture of his friend one more time before putting it in the drawer of his nightstand. The boy in the mirror stared out at him and they nodded at each other as their eyes met. Natalie had always told him he had the most unique eyes in the world and that anyone who couldn’t see that he was one of a kind, didn’t deserve to call him family. She’d always been good at comforting him after someone else was chosen by new parents.
With each passing year, though, it became clearer that Tay was just not the type of boy a couple wanted to care for. And as he stared at himself in the mirror he accepted the fact that he was to be a dump baby for the rest of his childhood. Until then all he could do was remember his friend, and plan for the future.