There’s a problem with the way I tell stories sometimes, and it isn’t a problem for me but is often a problem for others.
When I write, I write what I am moved to write, until I have unfurled as much as I could out of a given image, tale, or truth – or lie. But often times, my stories cut off before they ought to. In technical understandings. They do not often have an end. At least, not an end in the ways that we are taught growing up that a story should have an end. We are raised with patterns of writing and speech, where the tale ought to wind around from a start to a middle or some conflict, to some other bits, and to a final and solid end.
They lived happily ever after.
And the old hag was slain to bring peace to the land.
The heart of the girl slew the evil of the mighty knight, and good was won.
Often my stories share moments that may or may not come risen out of a fuller tale. You might read them and think that I’m teasing or holding out, or that they weren’t finished at all. Though those of you who are my Patrons will know very well that I am not shy about posting what I count as rough and unfinished, even those morsels that may never be finished and are instead doomed to an eternity, half divulged in a cramped desktop folder with a terrible label. My stories are about a time, a moment, an awakening, an arch of a different sort. No beginning and end with the heroes exalted and the dread beast slain for all. My stories tend to end in different ways. With open questions, new understandings, wider worlds, or horrors unleashed.
They face one another, finally equals, ready to resolve.
The girl is turned into a horrid creature, and finds her way free of the cage.
The nightmare explodes from the book, taking every child with it.
The boy wins the day, but loses his love and now must find them.
My stories go in moments, I think, because I also live in moments.
I don’t now, nor have I ever, viewed my life in a shape that fits a ‘proper’ story tellers form.
My recent move from California to Florida did not complete a chapter. We resolved a horrendous situation, had a series of stress and slow stepping freedoms, with a lot of tears and realizations as we went, and we made it into our new home with nothing of our own. Not a happy ever after or a home at last. Not even an end to the moment. If anything I’d say a moment ended somewhere through Texas, and then there was void before another began – also in Texas, because Texas is gigantic.
I’m living in a moment now that has stretched years, while also treading the edges of one near complete, watching the remains of another pass by from it’s end last week.
Things don’t come in blocks and bits that line up perfect, one to the next.
If they do in your world – what’s that actually like? It’s something I’ve never experienced.
So it’s something I struggle with. When I choose to do what’s expected. Though mostly, I don’t.
I end the story before the death, but I don’t explain the monster or the means.
I write of a mysterious fog and a ghostly child who’s stealing the town. Doom hangs in the mist.
I show you the life of a girl on the run, but never give you the why, where or who from.
These moments are immense on their own. Do they have endings? Some do.
Often I know exactly what happens.
I know that the captain who stole the girl on the harbor makes her the whole world, and they are betrayed in the end – but I’m not going to drag you through the questionable moral and relationship choices that cover the fifteen or so years from meeting on the docks to standing in a feathered cloak, drenched in blood as a storm rages.
They are different moments, and the middle doesn’t matter.
Although that was a good one.
I will continue to share my unapologetically fragmented flash and short fiction.
I will give you nonsensical poems, and I will babble at you until I forget what I was saying to begin with.
Sometimes I even keep my self imposed schedules. (Sorry Patreon. Love you.)
The question is, how do you feel about moments?