Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Lost Stories: Sleven Goes Home

I keep writing stories about myself. They are short and meant to answer a particular question. The idea is you write down questions and put them in an envelope. Later (perhaps weeks later), you sit down, look up for a moment and write a very short story. After the story is done you pick an envelope to see how your story answered the question.

So far, all my stories are about people being lost (namely me). I like them a lot even if they are odd so I'm going to share one of them here.

Sleven Goes Home

Sleven was a strange girl who didn’t know her way home. When she was leaving school, the teachers had to point her in the right direction and tell her which street to turn left on. She always recognized the street and the house once she got there and she had no problems with directions to other places. The house was friendly on the outside, but forgetful on the inside. Forgetfulness reigned in that place. It was all she could do to get her homework done properly. Her parents were merely images in her mind of kind, happy people. In real life they were just vapors hanging in space. Sleven had made good use of this trying scenario. She kept the house clean and tidy and managed herself well. She was afraid of getting sick and having no one to help her so she worked hard at staying healthy and taking plenty of vitamin supplements.

Sleven was a favorite of her teachers, but not of her fellow students. No matter, she was used to managing on her own.

One day all this enforced isolation finally paid off when Sleven was mysteriously picked up by a group of rangers misplaced on her street. They told her they were from the “place far away, so far” and that they were there to take her home. She would have to endure isolation and be self-reliant, but after five years she would get her reward. Nervously she asked what that reward would be. The head ranger, Smith, told her it would the richest reward, especially for her loving heart.

“You will find everything will fall into place. I’m not saying it will become easier, far from it, but you will find your place in this world.”

Sleven was afraid and not sure if she trusted Smith or any of the other rangers, but she didn’t know what else to do.

“It will be difficult,” said a ranger named Tomorrow, “ and you will be lonely.”

“No matter,” said Sleven, “I’m ready for it. I’m ready for the coldest isolation and the most fiery trial by fire.”

The head ranger smiled. “I promise, you will come out the other side after five years of hardship, and you will come out smiling.”

Sleven accepted the small knapsack of supplies they gave her and then turned one last time to wave at the group of gruff but kind men. They waved back and she walked into the dark forest. She never saw the rangers again.


The question this story was meant to answer was whether I could have a good relationship with this guy I was enamored with at the time. The short answer, based on this story, is no. I won't do any further analysis here, but I've done a fair amount on my own. In a way the story is more important than the question. I just love some of the details here such as the forgetfulness inside the house and there are more than one of my own personal anxieties on display here.

I've written a total of three stories so far and I may share story number two. We'll see.

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