Cookies and Stories

She lives on two things: cookies and stories.

The best afternoons are the ones where she comes home to a fresh batch, eats three, then dashes up to her room to read. She sneaks down again after a few chapters, while her mother is occupied elsewhere, and sneaks three more.

She reads entire books in one sitting, then flips to the front and starts over.

Stories fill her mind; stories she’s read, stories she’s watched, stories she’s written. She has dozens of beginnings written, and she keeps sketchbooks and journals everywhere. Her desk drawers are full to overflowing.

She goes to university and graduates with an English degree, the fancy way of saying she spent four years studying stories.

She goes a bit nuts with the cookies.

She gets married; works a bit; has some babies. She feeds her babies cookies, and stories. It’s hard, spending her days with pre-rational creatures who have no qualms about driving her to the brink and back day in and day out. They steal her stories, for a while.

The darkness is awfully dark. On their own, the cookies are powerless.

One day she looks back at the stories she wrote. The ones she put on a shelf in her mind while she dealt with school and marriage and babies and figuring herself out. She remembers the feeling of getting lost in the words, feeling them leak and bubble and gush and pour, keys and clues to the stories that unfolded in her mind while she walked to school, while she sat in the car on road trips, while she lay in her bed in the dark. She wants that feeling again.

The words are terrible. The story is not good.

She starts over. The words come. She eats cookies while she writes, and feels alive.

Leave a Reply