The Naming of Natalie Brock

(This is thanks to Natalie for leaving her name in the comments!)

“Natalie, come take a seat,” says the Reader. You shuffle over from the doorway, to a chair set up in the middle of your living room. The space feels small, mostly because every square inch is filled with members of your family. As you take your seat, faces flash in your vision–your mom and dad, of course. Your sister, cousins, aunts, uncles–they all stand, smiling brightly at you. Seated. Wringing your hands, as your future is about to be determined by one small word.

The Reader paces inches from you. Her hair drapes over her body, long and heavy. Her stormy eyes pierce your own with a searching, surveying look. You try to look away, but her gaze holds you. She then stops; reaches into a small pouch around her waist and produces a quill and a piece of parchment. For a few breathless seconds, she lets the quill tip swim across the paper, ink forming letters you can’t yet see. But know. Know it’s producing a word that will define your everything.

Seconds feel like minutes. Which feel like hours. Finally, she pockets the quill and holds out the slip of paper. No one yet, not even the Reader can see what your Naming has revealed. Until you take the parchment in your hands. You wet your lips; swallow deep; glance at the expectant faces around the room.

Then speak.

“Natalie Brock. Nurturing.

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