Something to Prove: Ohio
Everything about Ohio was surprising to America when he first laid eyes on the little girl on March 1, 1803. For one, he wasn't expecting her to be a girl. She was his first daughter since North Carolina. He also was surprised she wasn't near her capital of Chillicothe when he found her like the others. The little wavy haired brunette with blue-green eyes was wandering around the wilderness in the northwest part of her state, an area known as the Great Black Swamp. But despite the strangeness of her birth, America immediately fell in love with her. Like all his other daughters, he was wrapped around her pretty little finger. He gave her Marie Margaret Jones as her human name.
When America brought her home for the first time, he found France in his house, much to his surprise, instead of the human woman he had asked to watch the older states. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh? I'm watching the cute little states. I see your family has grown quite a bit. That is number seventeen, non?" France replied.
"Yeah." he replied sheepishly. "To be honest, I was expecting another boy since that's what my last several have been. This is Ohio."
"Ah, the area Angleterre and I fought over in the Seven Years War." France commented. "She is so cute~"
Ohio shied away from the Frenchman and buried her face in America's shoulder. France smiled and stroked her soft brown hair affectionately. "It is okay little one~ Uncle Francis will not hurt you." He turned back to America. "What is her human name?"
"Marie." he replied.
France's eyes lit up. "Ah, that name is très bon. Marie Antoinette would be pleased to hear that the state where her town is was christened with the same name as she."
Kentucky came in and pulled on America's coattails. He pointed to Ohio in America's arms. America knelt down to the boy's height and ruffled the state's red hair with his free hand. "Kentucky, this is your little sister, Ohio. Ohio, this is one of your big brothers, Kentucky."
"Sister?" Kentucky asked curiously. He studied her before scrunching up his face with distaste. "Take her back."
"Take her back?" America repeated slowly. That was the first time he had heard that one, but he was sure it wouldn't be the last. "Why?"
"'Cause she's a girl, Pa. Girls are weak." he told his father with a firm look in his emerald eyes.
"Am not." Ohio pouted from America's arms. "I'm tougher than you."
"Prove it." the older state challenged.
She struggled to get out of her father's arms ,but he wouldn't let her go. She let out a whine in protest. "Daddy, let me go!"
"Nah, I don't think so." he told her. "You have your entire life to prove yourself. Let's go see your other siblings." He looked at Kentucky with a stern look in his sky colored eyes. He was none too pleased with the state for trying to bait his youngest into a fight. "And you, don't pick fights with your sister. You need to look out for her."
Ohio looked over her shoulder as America carried her off and stuck her tongue out at Kentucky. There was a determined glint in her blue-green eyes. She was going to show her brother that she wasn't weak.
France watched as America took his newest addition to meet his other states. The older nation just shook his head with a chuckle. "Oh, Amérique... I think you're going to have your hands full with that one."
By 1810, the states had aged a few years. The original thirteen were around the age of eight. Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee were about seven. And Ohio was five. Little Ohio followed Kentucky and Tennessee around, wanting to prove that she could hang out with them. Unfortunately for her, they wanted nothing to do with her. They were older and bigger than her, and they pushed her around easily.
But she was relentless. If they were climbing trees, she'd climb a higher one just to prove she could. Kentucky and Tennessee just couldn't shake her. She followed them everywhere and no matter how many times they made her cry, she just wouldn't go away. They burned her rag doll, but she just made a new one and followed them into the forest. They pulled her hair and pushed her to the ground, but next thing they knew, she was right beside them again. They'd throw mud and chase her until she fell and ripped her dress, but she'd just take off her dress and run around in her undergarments, jumping in the creek and running after them to keep up.
The three of them drove America up the wall. Everyday, they'd come home covered in mud and dirt and their clothes would be torn. Their knees would be all scrapped up and they'd be covered in bruises from fist-fighting each other, mainly the two boys ganging up on their sister. They would push her down and hit her, but she would just hit them back.
Kentucky and Tennessee constantly told the other states that they hated Ohio. Pennsylvania and Virginia would scold them and say that wasn't true before taking her from the room to clean her up. The older girls adored their baby sister and always took her side whenever she came home after another day of torment at the hands of her brothers. And Delaware and South Carolina would chastise the two boys, telling them it was their responsibility to protect Ohio instead of hurting her.
"One day," Delaware said as he gazed at them with a stern look in his sky blue eyes, which matched America's perfectly, "you'll see."
One sunny day in April of 1811, Ohio was following the two boys to the creek where they liked to hang out.
"Wait for me!" she cried as she ran with her rag doll flapping behind her. "Benny! Georgie! Wait up!"
She was using their human names, as America told her to do outside the house. Tennessee's human name was Benjamin Earl Jones, but the whole family called him Benny for short, which rhymed with Tenny, his other nickname. Kentucky's human name was George Roy Jones, Georgie outside the house, which was confusing at times because that was also Georgia's nickname. That's probably why the whole family normally just called him Kentucky unless they were out and about.
"Go home, Marie." Kentucky told her, giving her the benefit of the doubt. He could understand why she wanted to hang out with them. Geographically, they were close to her. And she didn't have anyone her age to hang around. She was still annoying though.
"But I wanna play with you guys. I brought my dolly. We can have a tea party." she told them, holding her beat-up rag doll in front of her. It was her longest lasting one to date at a whole five months, and hopefully it was her last. She had asked America if she could have a real doll, one that couldn't be destroyed.
Tennessee stopped and towered over her. He snatched the rag doll, causing her eyes to well up with tears. She knew he was going to destroy it, again. It was the sixteenth rag doll Pennsylvania had helped her make because Kentucky and Tennessee were always ruining them. He threw it on the ground and pushed her into the grass.
"Didn't ya hear or are ya deaf? Go home!" he growled, his forest colored eyes fiery and determined. Tennessee didn't hate her, but he didn't want her hanging around them. He knew the only way to get her to go away was by being mean to her. He knew by yelling and pushing her to the ground, she'd go back to the house and pout, bothering Pennsylvania or Virginia instead of him and Kentucky.
He ran to catch up with his brother, leaving the youngest state on the ground. She started to cry as she snatched up her rag doll. There was a large grass stain on it, but at least he didn't throw it into the mud or burn it like he had in the past. She saw the green grass stain on her white shawl and a tear yellow dress. Her straw sunhat had fallen into a mud puddle and the blue ribbon was stained, again. Her stockings had a hole in them and blood was seeping through the white material. Her boot laces were untied and she had no clue how to retie them since she hadn't learned yet. Her brown hair was falling out of the braid and the ribbon that held the braid together was coming undone. America was going to be upset, she knew. He always got upset when she came home filthy, which was every time she tried to hang around Kentucky and Tennessee.
She knew that it was better to get it over with sooner than later, so she headed back up the dirt path towards their home. She couldn't help but cry harder as she made her way home. All she wanted was somebody to play with. Her sisters were so much older than her and had more important things to do around the house and her oldest brothers were too busy with farm work or errand running, so all she had was Kentucky, Tennessee, and Vermont. Vermont was really strange and always bothering New Hampshire with his pet moose, Montpeiler, so that left Kentucky and Tennessee. But they were always mean to her. They loved nothing more than making her cry and wanted absolutely nothing to do with her.
"Aw, poor little Tomboy. Did your big brothers push you in the grass again?" a voice mocked. It was one of the human boys from the town nearby. He was much bigger than her, being nine years old, which made him older than her physically and age-wise. He snatched her doll from her hand. "Oh look, they stained this one too. Might as well finish it off."
"Give it back." she demanded tearfully.
"Make me." he challenged.
Ohio was furious. She was tired of being bullied by boys. She was tougher than every boy combined; she was sure of it. She caught him off guard by tackling him to the ground. The rag doll went flying from his hand as he fell backwards with Ohio on top of him. She lost her sunhat again as she began wrestling him, but she didn't care. She was going to end this once and for all and prove herself to Kentucky and Tennessee.
The boy hit her across the face, but she had nine older brothers who all could hit so much harder and made the boy looked like a two year old in comparison. And two of her brothers were constantly hitting her and pushing her around, so she was used to it. But she was at a major disadvantage. He was a lot bigger than her. Eventually he overpowered her and pinned her to the ground. "Looks like you're not so tough now."
He pulled her up by the braid, causing her to scream. That was something she couldn't stand, having her hair pulled. No matter who was pulling it, she always screamed. The human boy threw her to the ground and snatched up her rag doll. She watched with tears in her eyes as he tore it before setting it on the dirt path and pulling out a match.
Ohio sat in the mud and started to bawl. She didn't get why boys hated her so much. All she wanted was someone to play with her. Why did the world have to be so cruel? First her brothers, now this random human boy. She wanted her Daddy.
"Say bye-bye dolly." the boy mocked with cruel laughter.
He lit the match, but somebody spoke up before he could light the remains of her latest rag doll on fire. "If you know what's good for ya, you'll put out that match and get the hell away from our baby sister."
Ohio wiped her eyes and saw Kentucky with Tennessee close behind. The two of them had heard her screams and cries and knew she was in trouble. Tennessee grabbed the boy's hand and blew out the match before twisting his arm. The sun glinted off his light red hair, making it look like his head was on fire. "Only we're allowed to do that, you little asshole."
He pinned the human to a tree and Kentucky approached them. He grabbed the boy's shoulders, which allowed Tennessee to pick up a stick in case he needed to beat the crap out of the kid. Kentucky got real close to the boy, causing him to wimmper. "If you ever come near our sister again, you'll regret it, you hear? We'll beat the living shit out of you. Now scat!"
Kentucky let the boy go and went to go help his sister up. Ohio wrapped her arms around him and buried her face into his chest before beginning to cry as the two boys watched to make sure the human boy ran far away from her. Tennessee gathered the remains of the rag doll and Ohio's sunhat before the two lead her home.
Later, when he came home, America found the three of them sitting on the floor of the parlor as Ohio eagerly showed her two older brothers how to make rag dolls, something she was a master at since it was her seventeenth one.
Some historical notes:
Ohio became a state on March 1, 1803, becoming the seventeenth state.
Chillicothe was Ohio's first state capital. It was later moved to the more centralized Columbus to make it easier for people from all over the state to access.
Northwest Ohio was a huge swamp called the Great Black Swamp. It was later drained for human development, but as a result the area's prone to flooding.
The Ohio River Valley is the area the United Kingdom and France fought over in the Seven Years War (better known as the French and Indian War).
The first permanent American/European settlement in Ohio was a town called Marietta, named after Marie Antionette. It was founded in 1788. It still exists today in Washington County.
Anyway, this is my first one-shot about my state OCs. This is a companion one-shot collection to The United States of Chaos, in which I explore the states' personalities and relationship while simultaneously doing character development. I hope you enjoy. I'll be independently introducing the states in here with descriptions the first time they're featured in a one-shot so you don't have to read the other story.
And no, I did not name Kentucky after the country singer, George Jones. I didn't realize that until I wrote his chapter for The United States of Chaos. Ohio is named after Marie Antionette.