Stories are like artwork. As an artist dips his brush, mixing blue with gold, red with green, creating innumerable hues on the canvas, an author paints with words. Each, on its own, only a portion of what it could be, but when blended together in the perfect array, creating a magnificent display of knowledge and imagination.
Stories are like flowers. They unfold one petal at a time, revealing a
hint of what’s to come at the center. Of pistils and stamens, glowing
in full sun, the culmination of wind and rain, spring or summer. Of
time. They are the finished garden, buzzing with insects, bent on
pollination. One seeds another and another and another.
And, again, stories are like pot roast. They’re better when left to
stew, for then the juices meld together with spice and seasoning to
create the perfect bite, one savory and satisfying, which you hold in
your mouth and wish for again when its gone. They are the perfect
dessert at the end of the day. Rested, relaxed, your feet up, you dive
into their sugary sweetness, your thoughts on nothing but cleaning your
plate. Satiated. Appeased.
They are windows to another age, lives you haven’t lived, places you
haven’t gone, people you will never meet. And yet you have. You’re the
girl in her best dress, cheeks warm, eyes wide, chin suspended in the
palm of the man in the black frock coat. He brushes his lips with yours
and you sigh, your heart lovesick at the sight of him.
You’re the sheriff on horseback, a day’s ride from the next town. The
wind blows strong in your face, swirling dust in your eyes. Your saddle
creaks, leather rubbing on leather in the ever-present heat.
You’re a soldier, your gaze searching the early morning fog for the
end of a barrel aimed at your chest. Your life flashes before you,
pictures of family you wish to see again. Children, their arms about
your neck, sweet kisses on your cheeks. You desire to live, but must
face death to do so.
In reality, the clock ticks, the air-conditioning hums, or, perhaps, a
fire crackles in the grate. Your dog rises from his bed to scratch, a
foot to his ear, toenails thumping on the floor. Yet your vision focuses
on cobbled streets, wet from a sudden rain or flower-strewn hillsides
rushing past the window of a train or the blackness of midnight,
gravestones glimmering silver in the moonlight.
You travel these places on a sea of words in a ship made of paper or
plastic or glass, floating along on the wind of the author’s fantasy, on
his or her ability to cut fantastic shapes from plain cloth and stitch
them together to become a wedding gown, a little black dress, blue jeans
hugging voluptuous curves. A man with a knife, wearing a hood; another
in a suit, flowers in his hand.
The story snares you, and it feeds you. It carries you skyward
without you ever having to go anywhere at all, and at the end, you are
better for it. You are smarter, taller, and more self-assured. You’ve
become the story, and the story has become part of you.
Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.
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