Writing Prompt – Aging at One Quarter Speed

I can’t say I remember the details much and I certainly don’t remember who it was, but as a child I remember watching the Olympics or some other similar competition and the announcers were talking about one of the competitors, an ice skater I think. This competitor had an interesting little fact about them. According to the announcers, he or she was both the oldest and youngest in the competition at the same time.

This rather unusual factoid was on account of the competitor being a leap year baby, born on February 29th. Of what year, I have no idea. It was a while ago. Obviously in reality this just means that their actual day of their birth doesn’t appear on our calendar three years out of four, but a forty-year-old competitor would have had ten birthdays, a thirty-year-old one would have had seven.

We all know that’s how it works. We all know that and yet who hasn’t imagined that something about reality was different than it is? I was not born on February 29th, but even I’ve imagined what if I was and what if there was something special about being born on that day.

In this prompt by Writing.Prompt.S there is a very clear timeline. The point-of-view character was born on February 29, 1964 and they are now 54, so it is sometime in either 2018 or early 2019. You do not have to keep with this time, but it is worth noting. And certainly the timeline of having the body of a teenager at 54 is the point of the prompt. This is different than people who have a decease that causes them to age slowly, but how. How is it different?

This character is going to get carded for absolutely everything you can be carded for. With the physical body of a thirteen-year-old a woman might have reached her full height, a man probably didn’t. Has this affected their mental growth? Do they have the mentality of an adult or a thirteen-year-old. Imagine your teen years lasting for almost three decades and this character is only two years into it. While it’s not the same for everyone, the teen years can be very emotional and hormonal.

Speaking of hormonal, what’s the dating pool for someone in this situation? We are talking about someone who looks like they are a young teen. There are probably things they can do to make themself look older, but there are limits, especially if this character is a guy who hasn’t hit his growth spurt yet. He would be shorter then a lot of guys his age. Depending on how much he is going to grow when he finally does hit his growth spurt, this might be a little or a lot. On top of that, makeup, while available to guys, is less commonly used by them and might make him stand out more if he uses it to hide his youthfulness. More mature outfits will definitely help, but if he doesn’t like that style, they might be even more stifling then others who dislike them might find them since he might see the style as essential for hiding.

This is, of course, assuming that this character actually cares about hiding their slow aging. Maybe they don’t. Maybe it’s a badge they show with pride or a taunt they use on others who haven’t aged well despite being their same age. Can you imagine going to high school looking like a toddler and coming to your twenty year reunion looking like you just hit double digits? It would certainly catch people’s attention. However this character handles their slow growth, do you think they can make it work for them or will it end badly?

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