In the beginning there was a girl. She liked to write. A lot. And she would spin out these stories, some short, some long, all a little bizarre. She would write and write and squirrel away her little oddities like nuts for an oncoming winter. These stories sat in their places, on her hard drive, loved by their creator but otherwise ignored. The girl kept writing. She knitted together dark realities with characters full of heart. Long, lonely roads and scary places full of ghosts and tricksters and hope and twisting dreamscapes. She wrote of conspiracies and long odds overcome by unstoppable human spirit. She wrote of common places filled with uncommon magic, and wild forests that whispered if you listened close enough. And they were rich and vibrant and touched with the writer’s singular spark, her essence, her gift–given to all humans–of creation. But still they gathered virtual dust, the writer too busy, too overwhelmed by life, too scared to let them loose into the world.
But then, one day, one of her stories gathered all of its courage and approached its maker.
“Writer!” it yelled, at the top of its imaginary voice. “I want to be read! I want to be known! Why do you keep us here, hidden in your digital desk drawer, away from the world? Are you ashamed of us?”
The writer girl, taken aback for she had never had one of her stories address her so, said, “Why… why of course not! I love you! I love all of you. I only want to protect you from the world. It can be a mean and nasty place. I don’t want you to get hurt.”
The story stared at its maker nonplussed. “But… but,” it sputtered, “How can we be truly alive if we are not read? How can we be real if no one ever hears our tales? Why bother to make us at all? This is no life for a story. We are pale and underfed. We need to be embraced by other minds, to be known and interpreted and lived in the hearts of others. Even if we are not all of us loved by every reader, we are all but dead if we aren’t given a chance.”
The writer was chastened. She thought and thought and tried to find a way around her dear story’s logic, but came up with nothing. She had to agree, she had mistreated her darlings by huddling them away like so much dragon treasure, never to go out and see what in the wide world they could make of themselves. She had done them all a grave disservice.
And so, she decided, she would allow this one to go forth like a scout, to see what he could see, and to report back his findings. And the story was happy, eager to blaze a new path his fellow story friends might follow.
The writer sucked up her courage now, and found a brand new fancy cover for him to wear out. The story was pleased, so emboldened now with his new duds, and his last once-over given by his loving writer-mother to make sure he was perfectly formatted and not a comma out of place. She embraced her brave, wild story and promised to always love him and support him, whatever he might choose for his life now that he was so grown up. And then, with a final kiss and a tear in her eye, like a young mom taking her baby to school for the first time, she released him. It was time for the story to have his own adventures, for good or ill, in the minds and hearts of all who would read him.
I have a new short story to be released on Amazon very, very soon. I will update with information about my new brave little tale once the Gods of Amazon see fit release it for sale. Thank you, as always, for your support!