A few of my stories actually have some history to them. For example, ‘Beams’ comes from my own childhood, where I thought fairies lived in the streetlights and guided us home at night. Of course, I’m a twisted bitter fuckbunny nowadays and so I had to go and make it macabre. But it did stem from something beautiful and hopeful.
The story, ‘All’s Fair’, was a short story I wrote in high school. I have no idea why. I think I took a creative writing class?? I dunno. It was, like my streetlight fairies, full of positive, uplifting, optimism that I’ve just not truly felt in the same way for a long while. When I rewrote it, it wasn’t even my intent to rewrite it. At all. I was just gonna copy-paste and call it a mediocre day.
But I started typing and a whole mess of hurt latched onto my characters. ‘All’s Fair’ became my first story to put the reality in my dailies into a fiction setting. I’d wondered if I’d eventually meander that way; putting things that were immediately current into stories I’d known for years. I had kinda hoped that at some point I’d be able to, in a way that wasn’t forced or artificial. (I’m also moderately worried that I am jinxing whatever metamorphosis I’ve managed in that direction. #typical)
Anyway, here’s the original:
CW: I call this princess beautiful, like it’s some sort of gold fucking standard. I was not the same person back then, as previously stated. I’m sure that as I’m re-typing this into the blog, I’ll find 47 other awful things I catered to. YAY THE JOURNEY OF IMMORTALIZING WHO WE WERE hahaha ok shhh. I’m shh now. Here’s the original.
Once upon a time, there lived a beautiful princess. She lived in a gorgeous palace high on a cliff that overlooked the Ocean of Experience. The princess loved her home. She had fifteen rooms all to herself. Two or them were devoted solely to her clothes, and three of them were complete bathrooms (current me note: who the hell needs three full bathrooms y’all what the fuck was I on omg). She had two bedrooms furnished in completely different textures and colors in case she ever got tired of sleeping in the same old room every night. Her favorite room was her Thinking Cave. It was arched at the top and carpeted so thickly that all sound was swallowed upon entering. All the walls but one were draped with tapestries that vividly illustrated the adventures of all the heroes in the world. There were no chandeliers or fireplaces or candleholders in the Cave; the only light came from a gigantic bay window that covered the wall that hung over the Ocean.
The princess would sit for hours and sometimes days gazing out at the Ocean. She enjoyed the Ocean because it made her think. She liked to think about things she didn’t understand because there was so much to think about the things she didn’t understand. Once she understood something it became natural and familiar and she didn’t have to think so much about it. And when she looked out at the Ocean, she was confused because she couldn’t really define its color –grayish blue or aqua-opal?- and because she didn’t understand its vastness. Did it go on forever and somehow completely surround her on all sides? Or did it end at some point? And what then? Was there another Ocean? An Ocean, perhaps, of Ideas? Or was there land, like the one she lived on? And if so, was there a palace on it?
It was thoughts like these that one day led the princess to think that maybe there were people on the other end of the Ocean, like herself or her admirable parents. And if there were people, what did they do? Did they understand the Ocean? Did they know what color it was? Or that she was at the other end of it? And in that same day, she found herself thinking that maybe she could understand the Ocean if she went across it to the people on the other side, and asked them to explain it.
This idea took three or four days to mull over, it was so big. Traveling across the Ocean presented all sorts of distressing problems: what if they didn’t live in palaces at all and what if they spoke differently and didn’t understand her? And if that was different, then what if they had other different things to look at and understand and didn’t have time to explain things to her? What if they had nothing left to understand and thought she was not worth the trouble of explaining already understood things to?
But curiosity and the need to learn and strive for more are powerful things. And one day, she left in a small boat without looking back at her familiar rooms, her loving parents, or her secure palace.
The princess did make it to the other side, and found many answers to her questions. Years and years later, she looked back and realized several things. The first thing she realized was that the color of the Ocean was whatever color she perceived it to be, whether it was purple, gray, or orange with green spots. The next thing she realized was that her perceptions changed all the time (stormy gray in the morning and pale aqua in the afternoon and purply navy), and so her understanding of things constantly changed as well because each perception led her to understand things a certain way. So for the rest of her life, she would always have things to understand and things to learn about. The last thing she realized was that the Ocean of Experience did not give you things to experience as she had thought it might, but rather, it showed you what things there were to experience. And that is a vast thing indeed.
*(remember: I was a kid. Editing is a real thing that helps certain folks a lot. You hush.)*