Close Your Eyes and Tell a Story

You get into a car with a stranger. Maybe she’s offered you a ride on a rainy day. Maybe you just make stupid life choices, who knows. It doesn’t matter. What does matter is that during the ride you realize that you have no idea where the driver is taking you — and the doors have been sealed. You cannot get off this ride. You have no control.

We are all in the car with a serial killer, and she’s going to kill each and every one of us. Welcome to life.

So, that sucks. The good┬ánews is, we have these crazy brains that allow us to do creative and beautiful things. We create art. We invent new sexual positions. We make up a sort of magic known as language. We tell stories about the dark, about the journey, because the story is a linear. The story makes sense. It’s a pretty reprieve from a life that doesn’t.

I don’t think the escapism and hope and control we, as humans, derive from storytelling is a bad thing. In fact, I think its remarkable. Its soothing to slip into a book and become the princess or the warrior for a while. Or maybe to become the monster; we are all dark and vicious animals on the inside, after all, with enough socialization to hide it.

There are more benefits to the story, of course. We tell tales of “what if,” both good and bad. A great story can change thousands of minds. We influence strangers; we exert power over them with nothing but words. Have you ever written something that made a person cry? Let’s face it — you loved it. I sure as hell did.

We explore our dreams and fears. We discover little bits of ourselves in both the reading and the writing. We empathize with the characters as people, so deeply and intensely that sometimes we create whole fandoms to cling to them, to keep them when the story is over and we’re left alone again.

We close our eyes so we don’t see the countryside slip by. We whisper stories as our prayers, and we hope that maybe its a long way to the killer’s destination.

Ashley M. Hill found her voice in science fiction when her curiosity about technology coupled with the lifelong urge to tell stories. Her interest in social and feminist issues shapes how she approaches the genre. She's pursuing computer and network repair for her day job.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.