I was just speaking on Twitter about heroes and the standard hero narrative and how I don’t like it. About how I try to not do heroes and how my characters tend to be really broken and flawed people. Through that I also got on a side track about how I doubt the story I’m writing will ever have a Happy Ending, because life doesn’t tend to come with a happy ending.
There are good times and there are bad times for all of us, but there is no happy ending waiting at the end of the tunnel. And when one of our lives end, it’s not the end. As this amazing tweet says; “Death is only the end if you assume the story is about you.” Life goes on, and life in itself does not guarantee a Happy ending. Life is full of dark and cruel and terrible endings.
After that I remembered that there is a character in the train world stories who collects terrible endings in her head as stories to tell herself as she waits for sleep at night. Terrible ends to Protectors she has known and cared about. As warnings.
So I tweeted parts of it, but here is a longer thing. It’s about how she’s grieving the loss of a dear friend of her’s. Who did indeed meet quite a terrible end.
She added another story to tell herself at night as she was waiting for sleep. So many times she had been asked by new arrivals if she as an experienced Protector had any stories to tell them. Just as many times she had told them that she did not tell stories. Not a single one of the stories she collected in her head would she ever tell them. They were not stories to be told to others over a cup of semi-coffee. They were not stories to warm the heart. They were all warnings. They were all stories as dark as the tunnels outside, stories as hopeless as life. They were all stories with as many bad endings to them.
Now she had another one, and hiding in the dark closet with tears trickling down her cheeks she closed her eyes and began to tell it to herself, her mouth full of the taste of his blood.
I think it is important to remember that in real life, there are no happy endings guaranteed, and often the endings to our stories are pretty grim. These stories are just as important to remember and learn from as the happy ones, the lighter ones, the ones that give us comfort and joy.
Because sometimes, if we remember the bad endings we are told and taught about, we have a better chance of avoiding them. That way perhaps, maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll find our ending when we meet it not as terrible as the endings of some of the stories we’ve been told.
/pao – 06 jan 2016 – 22.58