For an Anonymous prompt: A is for Alpha
My Giraffe Call is open! Leave an alphabetical prompt!
It all began with the first of us, called, as was appropriate and due, the Alpha.
I never knew what other name the Alpha might have held, before this place, before Everything Else. But sometimes we called her Anna, or Angie, when we were being informal.
There were not all that many minutes in which we were being informal, truth be told. The formality was something to lean upon, something to prop us up. And we needed all the props we could get, then.
But I was saying. Alpha came first. That much I was told: Alpha, and then Beta, of course, who we called Bill in those rare informal moments, and then Gamma (Gail) and then me. Delta, fourth-arrived, fourth-in-line, and sometimes Dean.
“It was more relaxed, when it was just the two of us.” I never knew if Beta was complaining or explaining when he said that. I did know that, as we went from the four of us to the whole alphabet, twenty-four of us with Omega playing last-in-line, everything got more and more formalized.
Our sanctuary was none too large – a half-sunk building in what had once been a park, surrounded by the wildlife and the monsters – and twenty-four people filled it to capacity and stretched our food supplies even more than it stretched our space. “We’ll stop there,” Alpha said. “One for every letter. It only seems fair.”
We all knew it wasn’t really going to work that way – well, I can’t speak for the first three, but I knew it, and Theta and Iota knew it, and they were the ones I spent the most time talking to. But Alpha, Beta, and Gamma seemed insistent on sticking to it. They even sent away the first two or three people to show up after that.
That’s when the rumbling began – no. That’s when the rumbling got audible. I think the rumbling had begun the minute Alpha said “I was here first, and I’m in charge.”
But now our alphabet starts at Delta, and we’re building a new wing onto the building, and we’ve started giving people Arabic letters.
There can’t be that many survivors left in the world. We shouldn’t run out of letters again, I don’t think.
And if we do, we can start again at Alpha.
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