NEW Story: Drip
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⚠️ This article is archived, and should be considered non-canon.
This is Tzipora. She goes by two names – Tzipora, her birth name, and Zelda, a name she mistakenly thought sounded less Jewish. She lives in Lola in the Vekllei city-state.
As an immigrant, she struggles with school but holds her own on in track and field, an inversion of her otherwise quiet and bookish nature. She is intimidated by pretty girls and can throw a half-decent punch.
Genetic Freak #
Gregori babies, as they’re called, suffer from Gregori-Heitzfeld syndrome. It’s usually described as agelessness at menarche, since about 90% of cases are girls. It’s essentially a genetic malfunction that puts the body in a cycle of eternal growth – they effectively continue to grow (without actually growing bigger), but do not develop and are more or less suspended at the onset of their first period.
The question of whether they’re ‘mentally’ children is an interesting one that there’s not a simple answer to. Their minds are not fully developed the way an adult human’s would be, since ageing stops in early teen-age years and before pubescence. They tend to retain some childish characteristics – mostly decision-making and emotional control. But this sort of speculation risks dehumanising otherwise very functional and capable people. The effects of long-term childhood and social isolation are far more profound on the personality of a Gregori child than any biological limitation or squabbling about the teen-age/adult schism.
Boys can also have it, but are always hyperallergic and suffer from a broad anaphylaxis at onset of the condition (usually a little earlier, in early thelarche at 8-10y/o). It will almost always kill them. The discrepancy between the sexes is still being researched.
Girls also have a risk of developing hyperallergies. Gregori babies have never developed cancers as far as anyone is aware, and these hyperallergies are a result of this hyperactive immune system.
Gregori babies fulfill the first of two miracles required for sainthood in the Catholic Church. In other parts of the world they are targets of violence as practicers of witchcraft or demonic pacts. The oldest Gregori baby, Tzipora Desmoines, is 120 years old and is set to overtake the human lifespan. She was 13th overall to have been diagnosed, but Gregori children have high mortality rates (largely violence, car accidents and suicides) and she is the first to pass 60 years of age. So, somewhat ironically, the children with speculated immortality almost always die young.
Knowing her #
A lot of how Tzipora would be remembered would be in the way she appeared in the person. She was a good-looking young teen-ager of quiet and unusual movements. As she became known to the wider public, her physical appearance would come to define her as both a phenomena and disability — a victim of blessings; a sweet child of cotton and gingham carrying on in the dark schism between teen-age impetuosity and the adult world of power. What a tragedy and miracle she was.
Zelda, which was how she introduced herself among friends, was as intricate as she was indecipherable. She had her own internal logics; a unique carousel of intuition that marked her out as some unfortunate undamoispotet among other teen-agers. In conversation that stirred any emotion in her she was susceptible to spasmodic, defensive movements that distracted from her talking. Most frequently she would pull on her nose as if to wipe it, or reach for her shirt at the shoulder and adjust it. If she was particularly self-conscious, which could be brought on even by the spasms themselves, she would take hold of her shirt and keep her hand there, as though her thin girlish arms could shield her breast from judgement. She confided in her father that she did not like the tics. The more conscious of her imperfections she was, the more her idiosyncrasies flared. He asked her once how long she’d had them — the nose rubbings, the shirt pullings — and she said she couldn’t remember, but thought it might have been after she arrived in America. Which was possible, he supposed — trauma could bring on tics, even laymen knew that. If you spend a while with her, however, it becomes more obvious that her tics are symptomatic of a nervous, fidgety subconscious not cowed by the supposed tomboyishness of her movements — she jigs a leg, and run the back of her hand beneath her nose. Then, when she realises people notice those things and judge her for them, the same synchronistic hyperactivities became shirt-pulling and face-touching.
I love questions, so please let me know if you have any! If you want to see more of her you can check my reddit profile (and there’s a follow button there now, because reddit is Facebook) for more posts about Vekllei and Tzipora.
www.vekllei.city or insta fer more. tahnk