I participated in this, Get to know your characters challenge over at Red Lettering by a good friend of mine. It was really fun, and I encourage you to go and read the other entries that were submitted. Thanks for holding this, Athelas :)
I decided to go with this prompt: Write about your protagonist from when he or she was between three and ten. Write something short that represents how their life was that point.
Alynn's life was simply, and was filled with fun memories with her sister, Enna. Later in my novel, I mention that the two sisters used to collect Anami, and see who could find the most in a short amount of time. I based that small conversation in my story with this short prompt story.
When my main characters were an old eight and a young seven.
“Ready?” Enna cast a sidelong look at her older sister, Alynn. Both had a determined look on their face, their hands poised towards the ground.
Alynn gave a slight nod, a smile appearing on her face, “Go!”
After Alynn gave the call, both girls immediately started to dig into the ground with great vigor, looking as a dog might dig for a bone.
Huffed breathing sounded into the silence as both girls dug near the forest. Birds chirped in the trees, and the afternoon sun beat down on them, their dresses sticking to their backs with moisture.
“I found one!” Alynn called out, holding up a small stone, about the size of her finger. They were racing to dig Anami, a tiny, glowing rock that was found under the earth.
Enna frowned, her lips pursing in determination. Frustrated, she gave up on the spot she was digging in and moved towards the forest, starting to dig a new hole. A few minutes passed, and she still hadn’t found one. Again, she switched to a different spot in the earth.
Not a second later, Alynn raised another stone in a triumphant gesture, “Another one!” She looked at Enna, who was on her third hole, while as she, was still on her first. Alynn sighed, “Enna, you need to do it more patiently.”
Enna wrinkled her nose, “No. You’re just getting lucky.”
Alynn looked doubtfully at her sister, “I don’t think so. I’ve won the last three times. It’s not luck.”
Enna stuck out her tongue.
Alynn looked upon Enna in horror, “Mom!” She called, looking towards their house, “Enna stuck out her tongue at me.”
Their mom came out, her hair in a disheveled bun, her apron spattered with ingredients of all sorts, and her hands placed on her hips, “Enna?”
Enna glared at Alynn, and then turned her gaze towards their mom, “Sorry.”
“You apologize to your sister, not me,” Their Mom directed. After Enna had done so, and actually seemed sincere, she nodded with approval, “Now can I go inside? Or are you two going to fight some more?”
The sisters mumbled together, “You can go inside.”
Their mom smiled, “Thank you.”
The girls stared at each other, both feeling embarrassed and a bit angry at each other.
“Come on,” Alynn finally said, “Let’s finish up this race before dinner is ready.”
That pulled a grin out of Enna, and they set back to work. Occasionally the shout of, “I got one,” rang out, but otherwise they didn’t say much, both intent on their work.
Soon, the sun began to fall out of the sky, and their mom came out of their house, calling their names.
Enna grinned after answering their mom, scooping up her collection of Anami and averting them from Alynn’s curious eyes.
“How many did you get?” Alynn asked, covering her own findings up.
“You say first.” Enna demanded. A smug grin was planted on her face. I think I’m going to win this time.
Alynn opened her palms, scattering the rocks on the ground for Enna to see with her own eyes, “I got seven.”
Enna’s smug face fell, “How did you get that many?”
Alynn ignored the question, “How many did you get?”
Sighing, Enna opened her dirty palm, “Four.”
Trying to hide her proud smile, Alynn just nodded, “Let’s go wash up for supper. We will count our totals later.
Alynn’s pink tongue stuck out between her lips, her gaze set and focused. Both girls sat in their shared room, quiet numbers coming from each of them.
“…Wait,” Enna stopped counting, her face reflecting her puzzled mind, “Where was I?”
Alynn continued to point a finger at each Anami, reciting the designated number after.
“Alynn.” Enna poked her sister.
“What?” Alynn glanced up for a brief moment before turning back to her counting.
“I don’t remember where I was.” Enna’s bottom lip stuck out in a discouraged gesture.
Alynn sighed, “How am I supposed to know what number you’re on? I’ll help you after I finish with mine.” She started to count, but paused. “Enna,” she clasped her face in her hands, “You made me lose count.”
“Sorry.” Enna waved this comment aside, “I have to start over too.
A little while later after several recounts…
“Done.” Enna exclaimed, sitting against their bedroom wall with a satisfied sigh. She waited until Alynn finished.
“I’m done too…” Alynn trailed off, “But I have,” She stopped, tapping each finger, “I have fourteen less than last time.”
Enna’s eyes flickered to her pile. She fiddled with her fingers, “How many do you have now?”
“I have 193.” Alynn announced, “How many do you have now?”
“46.” Enna answered, hoping that Alynn wouldn’t accuse her of ‘taking’ her Anami.
Alynn shook her head, “I just don’t get it. I keep losing them, though I don’t take them anywhere outside of this room.” She shrugged, pushing the problem aside.
Their mom’s voice floated up the stairs, “Time for bed girls!”
With a flurry of movement, the girls quickly dressed into their nightgowns, and finished their routine for the night, crawling into their beds.
Their parents came up, praying with them, and tucking them in. A kiss was given to each forehead, a loving gesture to say,