Google is being unkind to me today - I looked up chemicals and such, but couldn't find anything that could help me. So I came here. This is for an original fiction in which one of the characters is mute - I'll explain below - please help!
Just for a bit of background information, this story is based partially upon John Wyndham's "The Chrysalids." It is set in a future society, about two hundred years from now, after a nuclear war has isolated Australia from the rest of the world. Neo-Christianity has become both a faith and a dictatorship in the new country. Also, emphasis has been put upon the human ideal, a blonde blue-eyed perfect-bodied Aryan standard stolen from Nazi Germany. People with anything severely wrong with them - mutations and the like - are killed.
Anyway, one of my characters is a mute. He can't make a sound. He has been mute since birth, but is not disabled in any way - it would most likely be a physical abnormality of some sort that is not visible from the exterior, but his parents have been too afraid to get it checked out. They need to find some way to mask any mutation and also provide a fairly feasible reason for his muteness.
I was wondering if anybody would know of a way, chemical or otherwise, that a professional could use to severely burn the throat of a two-year-old boy, scorching the vocal cords in a way that could easily cause muteness? The child in question is an ordinary two-year-old in good health, and damage to the respiratory or digestive systems is not too much of an issue. The person who causes the damage can be professionally trained in medicine and such, and expert medical care of a level we don't know today is only, say, about a minute's walk from the scene, so the kid dying is not a problem we have to worry about. I was hoping for a chemical or poison so that it could look as though the boy had drunk it by accident, which would be convenient, and also one that would cause scarring around the mouth.
So I pretty much need a method of burning the vocal cords or larynx that causes scarring, could happen by accident and could feasibly be considered a cause of muteness.
I'm sorry about the sadism, I created a character without adequately considering the amount of research I'd need to do. Silly me.
If you help me, I'll love you forever. XD