Stories abound. They are everywhere. Some stories are massive and glorious like a monument, a structure of marble and stained glass. Some are humble and simple like a puff of cloud or a puddle of water. And some stories–most perhaps–are somewhere in between, small, but complex, more than first meets the eye…like a feather.
Everyone has stories. Here, I will tell you some of mine.
Once upon a time, there was a thriving civilization living under the light of a warm yellow sun. As eons passed, the civilization spread. It advanced. It regressed. It advanced again. It rose. It declined. And it rose again. It changed, became unrecognizable from its past self. And as the civilization did, so did the sun that burned above it and smiled down upon it. The warm yellow sun was aging, and as it did, it grew warmer and warmer, and bigger and bigger, darker and darker, yellow to orange to red, until the smiling yellow sun became a glaring red giant.Continue reading
Audrey got home late most nights, and to break up the endless cycle of go-to-work-come-home-conk-out-repeat, she would immerse herself in faraway and fantastical worlds. She would do this by watching her favorite channel. Considering the subject matter of the programming—adventures in mythical lands, life aboard a galactic cruiser crewed by hundreds of sentient species, and so on—it came as no surprise that some of the advertising skewed toward the fantastical.Continue reading
The quacking of a duck startled me awake. It was more a honk actually. The first time I heard it in the middle of the night, it was a horrific sound. Because I couldn’t place it. I never expected to hear a duck in the middle of the night where I live. But we have a pool, and they like to land in the pool sometimes.
In the middle of the night, some of the sounds that are innocuous or even unnoticeable during the day trigger worry or fear. The creak of a stair. The weird sounds that fridges make when they’re cycling through their…cycles. A duck honking.
The epitome of sound is music. I lie awake and listen for it. The chirping of crickets is the chorus of the night. But they have some accompaniment. The distant barking of a dog, answered by another. Engines revving, droning or trumpeting, as cars pass by on the nearby cross street. The sounds begin to sooth me.
I didn’t know much about conjoined twins, but when the professor in my embryology class mentioned the accident in cell division that led to the phenomenon, I remembered my first dream in life. Before I dreamt of becoming a Noble-prize-winning biochemist. Before I dreamt of meeting the love of my life. Before I dreamt about traveling the world. Before I dreamt about having a dog. When I was just a kid.
Janet’s eyes widened when she saw the four-eyed, green-antennaed, maroon-skinned biped before her that only nominally resembled one of her students. They were waiting in the wings, fifteen minutes out from the start of the next act. She could already hear people shuffling back into the auditorium from intermission, greeted by sound checks from the kids who were manning the mixing desk.Continue reading