A to Z Challenge: Petra and Quinn

Character sketches that are fictional but based on real people, like you and me.

They were interesting children. Quinn, the oldest, was used to doing the planning, as in what and where they would play. Petra didn’t mind being the follower, having a lot of the same likes and dislikes, but she also added her own creativity at times. Both of them spent most of their time around well behaved adults, which resulted in their own pretty good behavior. But they were kids. Sometimes they were a bit lazy, distracted, willful, and as such were considered normal.

Both of them were cared for by parents who didn’t spend a lot of time following fashion trends and were fine with them wearing whatever hand-me-down or thrift shop outfits were available. They grew up in the country where clothes didn’t stay clean long when playing out in the garden or the woods anyway. They were appropriately dressed for what they did at home and were quite happy, through ignorance mostly. Later, they would say to their mother “what were you thinking when you let me wear that? And you had to take a picture too!”

They had long, straight hair with bangs. Petra often had a rat’s nest in the back from bouncing her head on the back of her car seat or her favorite “rocking couch”. That was her preferred method of handling boredom or discomfort. Quinn was less patient and would tell someone when she had a problem, or better yet, think of a way to correct the situation. Quinn was usually the one to get in trouble, playing with car keys and losing them, carving her initials in the furniture. Petra lived quietly in big sister’s shadow. They never fought and seemed to have a compassionate regard for each other, rare in children.

They both had a fierce love of animals of all kinds. They loved kittens, dogs and especially horses. Petra even loved insects and befriended the ants that congregated in the bathroom sink around the toothpaste. The two girls would spend hours with their toy horses, making stalls out of cardboard and listing the names of all their steeds and their pedigrees. On family walks, they rode imaginary horses that often reared and took off on them. The point was that they had wonderful imaginations and to all appearances were enjoying their childhood.

But, as usually happens, things changed. The day they heard that the family was moving to the other side of the United States, they didn’t realize what that would mean. The adventure side of things was clear. They were going to be in a mid sized city with access to cultural events, new learning opportunities, a new house, maybe new friends close by. The loss side of the move was yet to come.

It reached the point of pain, on the day of the yard sale. They had been told that they could have money from the sale of some of their toys. But to see the furniture from their rooms out on the lawn, and being loaded into other people’s cars started to be a bit traumatic for them both. The farm would be left behind with its large yard, tree forts in the wood lot, the barn and hayloft, the kittens, and even the grandparents. THE GRANDPARENTS.

Quinn was trying to keep busy. At eight years old, she was the oldest and was in charge of selling the toys but the situation was beginning to weigh heavily on her. Especially when she looked at Petra. Petra, a 5 year old, was beyond focusing on the activity of the sale. She was sitting on her beloved “rocking couch”, repeatedly bouncing against it’s back with tears streaming down her cheeks. She was singing a sad, little goodbye song as the loveseat sized rocker creaked and groaned with her movement, it’s price tag taped to its arm. Clearly, a crisis was brewing…

That was the day that two little girls discovered their own personal super-hero. Someone came along who understood the impact a move was having on them and made the decision to lessen the trauma. The price tag got marked SOLD, and Grandma sat down between Petra and Quinn. They rocked together as they discussed how rocking couch could probably fit somewhere on the moving trailer. It wasn’t the first time Grandma came to their rescue, and it wouldn’t be the last either.