The Fluidity of Storytelling

And there are never really endings, happy or otherwise. Things keep overlapping and blur, your story is part of your sister’s story, is part of many other stories, and there is no telling where any of them may lead. 

Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

True stories begin at the last page and never really end. It’s only when the reader has closed the book and put it aside that the words slip into one’s bloodstream, quickening the flow.

The moment someone’s fingers pry the secrets of a book apart, the book ceases belonging to its author. The author bequeathes the fruit of his toil and joy to the individual. And every single individual who has the willingness and the patience, who bubbles with excitement at the thought of tumbling through a crack to a new wonderland, is never exposed to the same story the creator crafted.

Stories flow; they can never be static for the simple reason that they are made out of words. And words carry within them the most indestructible, the most ancient essence of the element that sustains the universe: water.

Yes, narratives are always in motion. They breathe, grow and expand. Every reader will never envision the story the way its author did. And neither will two different readers. For each and every single traveler in the journey of reading enters equipped with one’s own pair of eyes, with one’s own memories, ideas, tastes, dreams, views and expectations

It’s because of this equipment that every reader possesses the ability to blow a unique life into a story, and through this new life the story mutates into another one where events and characters shift, intertwine and pour into each other like a river into the sea.

The stories worth being talked about are the ones forged when passion couples with imagination. The greatest gift an author can deliver is to engrave the story inside the grooves of the reader’s mind and stir the cauldron of endless possibilities. Once achieved, the story flares up, blazing with an inextinguishable fire.

The reader is never truly content with the way a book swings shut, because the world one has meandered into once brought to life refuses to die. So, the impassioned lovers gazing at the sunset and lapping up honey from each other’s mouth will have to go through more troubles and adventures to test and strengthen their love.

Once the forlorn queen finds the golden chalice, she will only enjoy a brief respite; she must jeopardize herself and lose it so as to saddle her horse again and begin her quest all over. The universe in shatters will keep on hanging on the edge of a knife because it cannot end as we know it; a great hero must rise, grit his teeth and save humanity from sliding into entropy and death.

It’s an unshakeable fact: we adamantly refuse to abandon the stories we love. We ponder over them, obsess about them. We weave a web inside which all stories cross paths and feast on each other in order to give birth to new ones.

The idea of an ending is inconceivable, almost a blasphemy. We rebel and revolt against it. It leaves us with a foul taste that our tongue needs to spit out. How many times did someone jot down a story as a reaction to the one he/she read but whose denouement couldn’t stomach?

It’s human nature to let our mind wonder and wander about that which beguiles us, to let the question of ”what if” quiver on our lips. After all, is there a bigger proof than fanfiction?

In the end, the eternal desire for narratives might be a token of warmth and affection, an open dialogue of equality through which we endeavour to reach out to each other and drive away our sadness and loneliness.