The First-Ten-Millennium

Written for: Finish That Thought

Challenge: First line of Pride and Prejudice

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife,” the instructor read.

Mineral’s hand shot into the air.

“Yes, Mineral?” The instructor prompted.

“What is possession?”

“And what is a wife?” Wave interrupted.

“Not out of turn,” the instructor warned. “Let’s go in depth with this sentence as a general study of the first-ten-millennium of human culture.”

The instructor wrote the sentence on the board. She bolded the words UNIVERSALLY, SINGLE, POSSESSION, FORTUNE, WANT, and WIFE.

Then, the instructor circled in Red the words UNIVERSALLY and SINGLE.

Then, the instructor circled in Green the words POSSESSION and WANT.

Then, the instructor circled in Blue the words FORTUNE and WIFE.

Then, the instructor looked towards the circular window and out to the Earth rotating below. The classroom’s sphere turned slowly in its own orbit.

“Gravel?” The instructor asked the pupil sitting next to the window. The boy absently stared at the Earth as well, but sat up at his instructor’s call.

“Yes, instructor?”

“What are the words of Earth?”

“We are One.” He said without pause.

“What were we for the first-ten-millennium?”

“Separate,” Gravel answered. “There were boundaries.”

“Exactly, now there are no boundaries between countries or families. We are One.”

The pupils nodded.

“In the first-ten-millennium there were concepts of couples and SINGLES. This man in the book was a SINGLE but he was experiencing something that, at the time, was one to all.”

The pupils nodded.

“Bird,” the instructor called a girl in the back –one chatting with her neighbor. “What is the currency of Earth?”

“Give what you can, take what you need.”

“Correct. This is different from the economies of the first-ten-millennium. Well, outside of the barter system, one could argue,” but the instructor knew that discussion would be too advanced for these pupils. “Since the Grand Unificacion, there is no longer POSSESSION – which was a true a legal ownership over currency or things, even people. Nor is there the struggle and stratification that comes with possession: WANT.”

Some pupils nodded, others yawned.

“Now Stigmata,” the instructor summoned one of the yawners. “Please explain to me how FORTUNE and WIFE relate to themselves and the other two categories.”

The pupil thought for a moment before shaking her head. “I do not know, instructor.”

The instructor sighed. “Did anyone do the reading?”

A few hands rose but the instructor continued by ignoring them. “FORTUNE is a large amount of currency – it was thought UNIVERSALLY that a large amount of currency would appeal to a partner. In this novel, that partner was a WIFE. However, it wasn’t uncommon for the wife to claim a FORTUNE and attracted what were called ‘husbands’, during this time period as well. Also, in some cultures in the first-ten-millennium, wives were considered POSSESSIONS.”

“To be traded like currency?” Gravel asked.

“Sometimes, yes.”

“Whoa.”

The boy looked out the window and towards the Earth.

“Okay class, let’s read the next line.”

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