I have been toying with ideas for a larger story and it has defied me telling it. I have been hustling around on the fringe regarding the major themes and the hugeness of the world. Often we dumb down a story by our inability to be expansive enough. We hone it down to a character and his actions and his telling of the story. This is where I was coming unstuck. So I’ve been playing with these ideas and trying to prise an opening and then allow the inspiration released to help me write the story. The Army Eater was part of this and also The Sudden Storm. From the Army Eater I introduced seven characters – the story teller, the princess, the soldier, the common man, the inventor, the madman and the gardener. Last night I tracked the timeline of each of these characters and how they had an effect upon the others. I decided I had missed out the politician. This is the start of the Storyteller’s Tale.
What was left unsaid
In the beginning we were made to rule. We were made to bring the whole World under the dominion of man. Before you say, “And look where that’s got us!” wait one second and ponder this. Ask yourself a question, ‘Is this really how it’s meant to be?’ Is having dominion of the Earth meant to be domination? Have you ever asked yourself about our inception…before our dawning, and why we were put here? When the World was in flux and our starting point was the birth of an answer. Where we were the diadem sent to subdue the upheaval. To rule. To subdue the powers that gripped the Earth like a vice. Their principality a colony of evil intent. And into this World we were dropped like a seed with all the DNA to counter the terror.
But our voice was twisted and instead of rulers we became the ruled. All vestige of our beginning was suffocated until it became myth, a mere breath, a wisp of thought rather than a raging fire in our belly. Until all was under the dominion of D’Cato and The Order, the latest incarnation of world tyranny.
But the seed of the story lived. All hope seemed squashed but words lived on. Weak impressions that would lead to actions. Single ideas that would instil strength. A word would come and inspire a determination to stand up.
But all the time where these actions were noticed the response would be swift and brutal.
You see… the words of the story lived in everyone but the story had been locked away so securely that the locked chest, in the locked cupboard, in the locked tower, in the closed part of the castle, in the forgotten corner of the kingdom, in that overlooked and unkempt part of their lives was left well alone and people accepted their slavery.
However, these words joined. Single acts of bravery, kindness, beauty caused the story to be reborn in one. One who treasured words and wove them together. One who travailed to reach those forgotten places and opened the crumbling wing, who braved the disintegrating tower, who broke the cupboard doors and ripped open the chest and breathed in the story long and hard. And the story lived again.
When you have the words of freedom do you lock them away once more? Or do you sing them to the World. A World that needed to know. One insignificant life with the story of life…a precious gift.
What was said!
‘Where does a story begin?’
A story has no beginning, it just is!
But the telling needs to start somewhere. Where do you start the story of what has always been. How to unfold the whole of history without filling a library?
Let me begin!
In the beginning was the story. But before this story could ever be read, or told, or enjoyed, or believed, breathed in and savoured in all its rich and diverse beauty, it was locked away. What replaced it was the toil of man. Within the toil other tales were born, ones that filled our head with adventure, of love, of trial and riches, ones to distract us from the grind of life and the tears of servitude.’
Sim watched his father weave his words. Every eye in the room unblinking, every stare transfixed. These were new words. Words of fire, of belief, of hope, of expectation, of longing.
The stage had been crudely erected in the midst of the dismal hovel they had found before nightfall. They were welcomed and the room was soon crammed with a host of the destitute and lost. Loose woven clothes worn layer upon layer, each not enough to keep out the merest chill but worn in bundles that made the slightest of people look misshapen. The filth of their existence was worn on their skin.
He told them their own tales, stories of courage and daring, epics that spoke of old fears and terrible creatures, a lyrical narrative that would lift them for a time out of their cruel existence and give them solace for their woes.
Sim knew the stories. In every region different legends or the same fables told differently. Wherever they travelled stories were their currency. Stories kept Sim and his Father fed and they fed people with a fire of longing for something that had been lost. That is if no soldiers were present.
The night had been a success. The people who had shuffled in in subdued huddled silence had left with a light behind their eyes and walked straighter and taller. Sim thought back to his Father’s first words that evening and tried to memorise some of the phrases. He’d not heard them before…In the beginning was the ….story. The acorn seed he’d held aloft to represent the story and how he’d tucked it away in his breast pocket closest to his heart.
What was hidden
Sim ran from room to room. Something was not right, some new curiosity that had roused him in his sleep. All these rooms were familiar, the long stone corridors led to the richly lavish rooms to his right and left. Dark panelled wood sprang from the walls and ornate tapestries hung all around woven before his eyes. He knew the pictures. He could tell the story of every one and every variation of that tale. Doors opened at his merest touch. He knew the rooms but this night something was different. There was a new story…one he didn’t know and it was calling to him from somewhere in the house of his…
“Sim! Time to wake up!”