by Jake Christie

THE STORY.
a story.

The story started out as a word. It wasn't any special word, or even a very long one. An article, perhaps, or a β€œthe.” Not an extraordinary word by any stretch of the imagination, but that's all it took to get the story going.

After the word came a sentence. You could say that the sentence was a bit more special than the word because it introduced a character, but when you start saying that a sentence is more important than a word I don't think I have to tell you that you're standing on a very slippery slope. This character had to be someplace, so the next sentence introduced a location. You could argue here that this sentence was a bit more important, because what is a character without a location, but then you'd have to ask yourself: what good is a location without a character? Another sentence gave the cahracter something to do – see previous arguments about various words and sentences if you're feeling contrarian about their relative worth. With a character and a location and something for them to do, it was only a matter of time before there was a paragraph, and then the story couldn't stop even if it wanted to.

The story moved. The story started to run. The character met other characters. They went other places – rather, the story took them other places. They did things. The story did things to them, some of which they didn't like one bit.

I wish I could say that the story tried to be kind, wanted to be kind, but things like kindness didn't concern the story. The story didn't do what was kind, or even what was just, but it did what was necessary. These characters, word after word, sentence after sentence, needed to change. They needed to be shaken up, even if it was only by the tiniest bit. The story's only consolation, if it was at all concerned about such things, was that they may be better for it when they reached THE END.

 


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