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TheJ

Guinea pig

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Hey peeps!

I'm a brand new member here — excluding the months of lurking around the story section as a guest —and what would be a better way to make a first post than dropping a prologue of a story. I'll say this in the very beginning: I'm quite bad in finishing stuff while I also hate waiting for new chapters getting added into stories I like. Talk about hypocrisy, eh? What I mean is that I recommend not to get too into this story as it will get more chapters rather slow and might never be finished. If you for some unimaginable reason actually enjoy this prologue and get into the story, let me know and that might encourage me to pick up the pace.

Without further ado, this is...

 

Guinea pig

 

 

Prologue

 

Summer, the best part of the year. At least to Jay it was. Summer meant hours in the backyard swimming pool, bike trips around the quiet town and, the most importantly, not having to drag himself to the school. These activities circled the 10-year-old boy’s mind as he kicked off the blue blanket and hopped out of his bed.

“Honey! Breakfast is ready!” a voice shouted from downstairs.

“I’m coming!” Jay answered, paying a quick visit to the bathroom before making a mad dash down the stairs. Peeking into the kitchen he found his mother and sister at the table already enjoying their breakfast pancakes. Pulling up his Iron Man pajama pants that had ridden down few inches on his hip, Jay plopped down in front of awaiting plate of pancakes. Jay’s smile from waking up to the first day of summer holiday faded a little at the sight of an empty chair across the table. Jay shook the image out of his head and dug into the pancakes.

“Someone’s excited about summer holiday, huh?” Jay’s mother said and gave her son’s arm a playful nudge. Shannon was a tall and sporty woman. Her long light brown hair was tied into ponytail at the back of her head. Jay had inherited her blue eyes.

“Duh! Always! Two months of freedom is awesome,” Jay replied before shoving in another mouthful of pancake. The messy and bit too long blond hair was trying to find its way into Jay’s mouth, but Jay kept moving the strands aside.

“Mmm, two months of lying at the pool in the sun,” Hayleigh joined the conversation. Jay shook his head.

“That’s boring! I would rather sit in a classroom.”

“And unhealthy for your skin,” Shannon added.

“Okay, okay. I’m fine with day long shopping trips to the mall as well. I’m sure Jay would love to come along, right?” the big sister teased Jay. Hayleigh was almost a carbon copy of her mother, save for being 15 and keeping her hair a little shorter.

“Nope! You can so count me out!” Jay quickly retorted. Some of the half-eaten pancake escaped his mouth.

“Oh, you two… I’m sure we’ll find something to do that you both like, although we are inevitably going to do a little shopping too,” Shannon said as she got up to take her empty plate to the washing machine, ruffling Jay’s hair on the way. Jay just grunted at her and finished chewing the last of his pancakes. He thanked for the breakfast and sprung towards the kitchen door.

“Hold up, honey! Did you forget something?” Shannon asked rhetorically. Jay threw his head back and rolled his eyes while returning to take his plate and glass to the washer before heading to the stairs.

“Thank you, sweetie!”

Shannon sat back to the table and collected her thoughts for a moment before opening her mouth to get Hayleigh’s attention, who was absentmindedly scrolling through some social media feed on her phone.

“Listen Hayleigh. I’m going to need your help with something this summer.”

Hayleigh lifted her eyes off the phone screen and looked at her mother curiously.

“What’s that?”

“We are getting ready to launch our new products in the fall, but we have to test them first and make any adjustments if needed.”

Rayleigh’s eyes widened.

“No, forget it. I’m not doing that. Haven’t you always used Jay for that anyway?”

“No, no. I’m not asking you to test them. I will be asking Jay. I’ll just need your help with taking care of him.”

“Oh… I see. What does that mean exactly?” Rayleigh asked, now a lot more interested in what her mother had to say.

“The plan is to treat him like he was special needs child for the summer, so we can test as many of the new products as possible. It will be a lot of work, which is why I need you on board. I also need you to be nice and understanding to make him feel at ease,” Shannon said giving Rayleigh the look.

“Oh please, I’m 15, not some immature kid. I wouldn’t make fun of my little brother,” Rayleigh said, meaning every word.

“Yeah, I know you wouldn’t.”

“How are you planning to talk him into it anyway?”

“I’ll try to lure him by promising him a big reward at the end of the summer.”

Rayleigh thought about it for a moment and shrugged, “I guess that could work, but I highly doubt it. You better be ready to offer a big one.”

“Oh, I have it figured out. I’m sure he’ll agree to do it,” Shannon said, smirking.

What started as a small local business 9 years ago had grown into a bigger online store. Shannon had been in nurse profession for couple of years before coming up with the business idea that had since proven successful. The idea of starting to manufacture and sell special needs products had emerged while she was carrying Jay. At the second ultrasound a suspicion had come up that something might be wrong with how Jay’s brain was developing and there was a chance he would born disabled. The news came as an enormous shock to Shannon and his husband, Rhys. The idea was so overwhelming that Shannon spent countless of nights crying, trying to cope with it. Jay’s father was helplessly trying to find words of consolation, but nothing he said could make Shannon feel better. Eventually she found an outlet to relieve her sorrow and fears: preparing for the worst.

Shannon did her research and soon realized there wasn’t much information about autism available, nor were there many products to help in autistic child’s care. She found an article about problems autistic child’s parents may face and begun to think of ways to overcome them. She wrote down ideas as they came, sometimes jumping out of bed in the middle of the night just to scribble down the newest idea of a helpful garment or piece of furniture. The ideas started to become sketches underneath the tip of Shannon’s pencil. She had been into designing clothes since her preteen years, but when it became time to choose her career path, a more traditional and safe option had won. Shannon had locked down her dream at the back of her mind, but now it was time to blow the dust off and set it free.

With the furniture Shannon turned to her husband. Rhys was a carpenter and regardless of the circumstances, Shannon’s enthusiasm was contagious. He couldn’t help but start developing the concepts Shannon threw his way. Then it became time for the next ultrasound. The doctor had news, but this time they were good. Jay’s brain was developing normally and the suspicion had turned out to be just a false alarm. Again, Jay’s father saw tears rolling down the cheeks of his wife, only they were tears of joy and relief.

The hard weeks of uncertainty had left Shannon and Rhys with stacks of ideas. Sketch papers were lying all around the apartment and all of the sudden Shannon felt oddly empty. Releasing her dream of designing clothes had lost its purpose, but she didn’t want to let go of it. Then she realized there must be someone else out there who really needed the ideas she and Rhys had planned to bring to life. She told Rhys she wanted to start a business. After the birth of Jay and a year of preparations, they did. The market proved to be even bigger and unexplored than they first thought. In just about a year their business was already worth little less than a million. It kept on growing and became the base of Shannon and Rhys’s family’s wealthy life in a small-town suburban.

Although the company had grown and already employed little less than 40 people, Shannon stuck to working alongside the hired designers. Her desire to designing clothes was what started everything in the first place. She never wanted to forget it. Jay was the one who got to witness it first hand as soon as he had grown past toddler age. Shannon often asked Jay to try on her creations, and although he wasn’t excited about modelling for his mother, he never really complained about it either. However, what Shannon was going to ask Jay to do this summer was a whole new dimension.

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This intro was short and sweet, and I enjoyed the banter your characters engaged in. A little nitpick though: Since Autism is not usually detectable in the womb, I wonder whether Shannon learned about it incidentally through her research on Jay's (possible) birth defect, or if she was worried he would be born with it.

Look forward to Chapter 2.

L

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11 hours ago, Sarah Penguin said:

Is good, hope you'll be able to post more soon :)

Thank you! I'll try to get some more out, but I have no ETA.

 

10 hours ago, Lucius said:

This intro was short and sweet, and I enjoyed the banter your characters engaged in. A little nitpick though: Since Autism is not usually detectable in the womb, I wonder whether Shannon learned about it incidentally through her research on Jay's (possible) birth defect, or if she was worried he would be born with it.

Look forward to Chapter 2.

L

Thanks for the kind words!

I did some research before I started writing, being bit of a biology nerd myself. I found out that there have been trials in detecting autism from brain ultrasound during the pregnancy, although what comes to autism, it's not yet completely sure what are the signs that should be looked into. At the moment they're basically collecting data to draw lines between prenatal ultrasounds of children who were later diagnosed with autism.

Anyway, I hope taking this shortcut for the sake of the plot isn't too much of a deal-breaker for you. I'll try to make sure I don't take more of them.

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13 minutes ago, TheJ said:

Thank you! I'll try to get some more out, but I have no ETA.

 

Thanks for the kind words!

I did some research before I started writing, being bit of a biology nerd myself. I found out that there have been trials in detecting autism from brain ultrasound during the pregnancy, although what comes to autism, it's not yet completely sure what are the signs that should be looked into. At the moment they're basically collecting data to draw lines between prenatal ultrasounds of children who were later diagnosed with autism.

Anyway, I hope taking this shortcut for the sake of the plot isn't too much of a deal-breaker for you. I'll try to make sure I don't take more of them.

*nodsnods* you should tke your time an write when your muse strikes and ignore my wanting more stories all the time because even though i like having new stories to read it's not your problem and between the internet forums and internet library fings like on amazon i rarely run out of stuff to read and that gives me the chance to try games in my big pile of underloved steam games. :)

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14 hours ago, TheJ said:

I did some research before I started writing, being bit of a biology nerd myself. I found out that there have been trials in detecting autism from brain ultrasound during the pregnancy, although what comes to autism, it's not yet completely sure what are the signs that should be looked into. At the moment they're basically collecting data to draw lines between prenatal ultrasounds of children who were later diagnosed with autism.

Anyway, I hope taking this shortcut for the sake of the plot isn't too much of a deal-breaker for you. I'll try to make sure I don't take more of them.

It's not a deal-breaker at all. Thanks for letting me know about that development! It sounds like something I might read into. :)

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Since I am a child’s doctor from South America I can say that you description are very accurate and , you are right to make things simpler so everyone can identify and immerse in the story ! I hope you find your muse and write more chapters

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