Hello Nerds and Geeks!
We received a short story from a fan, who wanted to open up a discussion on story arcs. She gave us permission to post her story on our site, so that fans will have some foreknowledge when we discuss it on the podcast next week.
Behind the Scenes [by Erin Sterling]
They don’t tell stories about middle brothers. We’re just not as important as the rest of you. It’s almost become a cliché that middle brothers don’t get as good a deal as the oldest or the youngest, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And the worst part? The worst part is that we’re the same. Three. Brothers. Every time. Every story. It’s always us.
We don’t have names, you know. Not really. Sometimes some enterprising storyteller will try to tack an identifier onto each of us as a way to differentiate themselves from the myriad storytellers before them, but it makes no real difference. We are 1, 2, and 3; a, b, and c… even just John, John, and John. John is brash, reckless, and prideful as only eldest brothers can be. John is caring, competent, and clever, as youngest brothers must be. And me? Well, I’m just John. In the stories I’m prideful or dutiful or just silly, following my older brother’s example even though it is sure to lead to my doom.
Out here, though, I’m different. I’m not entirely sure why – after all, no character can escape the classification of their type. Perhaps it’s the swirling uncertainty that surrounds me – I was never fully formed through stories, and the uncertainty that surrounds who I am has allowed me to have some measure of control in shaping myself. For whatever the reason, I have found that I am more aware of our nature than either of my brothers, and certainly more than any princesses or kings that we’ve found. Jack understands, but then… he’s Jack. Everything to everyone, and nothing to himself. He sees the curtain, and knows what it’s like here, backstage.
Sometimes there is a spark. Some new storyteller will take up the words and weave them anew, pushing us and shaping us into something that is more complex, more solid, more real than our usual ghosts of characterization. When that happens, I can see the others awaken. The realities of our existence come crashing in on them, and then a choice is made. The outcome is invariably the same.
So here we are, your puppets of legend, dancing on a stage of imagination just for you. Between the pages, during the pause, we wait for our next appearance, knowing that it will ever be the same as the last. Sometimes I wonder if we make the right choice, selecting the mundanity of a repeat performance over the unknown of unbeing. But, after all, it’s all we are, and all we can be. Treat us well, storyteller. Our lives are in your hands.