[Books, Micro-story #13] A Story of Stories

By Werner Schmidt

10 July 2023

From my collection: Death by Design

Have I told you how every life is the stuff of a best-seller novel series? How every single one of us is the co-writer and main character of our stories? How every life is a story cell within the big story body, you know, the story of stories?

Not? Okay, here we go, once upon a time …

Or no, wait, let me first get something off my chest:

Some say a big story, the story of all stories, has already been told. Never changes. Happened thousands of years ago. All stories should bow before it, otherwise they will not get published, and so on.

What if the big story continuously unfolds and consists of more than 10googol story cells? [Yes, feel free to Google ‘googol.’]

Every day, story cells begin and end. At first glance, thick novels, flash prose, lyrics. One story ended, just yesterday, as first draft scribbles on a crumpled napkin, discarded, next to a dustbin. This story reads: A day-old butterfly satisfied a bird’s beak, abruptly ending the former’s first and last aerial dance. Such a micro-tale, right? But then, how many visions, thoughts, words, actions, lives, paintings, stories, poems, compositions, lyrics have been inspired by butterflies, over the aeons?

Perhaps story cells travel, providing oxygen and nutrients to the big story body. Some stories always hang around in the same place, like your uvula, at the back of your mouth. Say ‘ah’ in a mirror? Certain stories are healers, zeroing in on weakness, illness, violence and free radicals, sometimes sacrificing themselves for the sake of a bigger story, or something. Cancerous story cells face their fate and play their role.

Can our big story ever stay the same, as the nano-seconds tick away?

Story cells make up the eyes and ears of the big story. The mouth, vocal cords, tongue and genitals. Holistically speaking, some stories will always form a southern sphincter and the rest of that punky neighbourhood, where the sun rarely shines. If you doubt the importance of these murky tales, ask any other story about their last ‘anus horribilis.’

Are our story cells, our lives, drops of water rivering to an ocean? Do we retain our riverine identity up to three hundred and twenty kilometers into the Atlantic, like the Amazon, and then turn to salt, even though we didn’t look back at Sodom and Gomorrah?

Will we, the co-playwrights and main actors of our storied lives, gather around tables and fires to share in the trinity of food, drink and cheerful conversation, before we cross saline?

I digress, where was I?

Ah, yes, of course, once upon a time …

Credits: Thank you!
Cover image by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash
Narration by the author
Sound canvas:
Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre, Dance of Death Op. 40 Malgorzata Kobierska & Kamerton Orchestra on YouTube

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