There is only one of me.

Most things come in kinds. There are many stones on the beach; there are many stars in the sky, at night; when there are clouds, they often come in threes and fours and twelves; even the buildings, of which no two are exactly alike, are close together.

I built some of the buildings. I could make two alike, if I wanted.

I don't know how to build another one of me.

There have been others before me. They left journals – and primers, so that I could learn to read and write – as I will do for those that come after me. They built the other buildings, or most of them at least; some buildings go back farther than the journals do.

At some times the sky has only one cloud in it, and at other times it has many. I used to wonder if a lone cloud might think that a cloud could only be alone, that if I had been someone else, in another time, then I could have been with others. But all the journals say that their authors were alone, too. As far as any of us can tell, we have only ever happened one at a time.

Sometimes I look in a mirror and try to imagine that I'm not just seeing a reflection, that the eyes looking back at me are the eyes of something that might move without my willing, like an animal. An animal that can read and build and write. Sometimes I imagine that, if I knew how to make a mirror, I could make one whose reflection moved without me.

(Written for day 1 of the PICO Jam. 275 words vs. 250 words minimum.)