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The breeze went still, the scent of an indefinable flower floating from the ground far below. Sword balancing out at an angle, as though it may yet come to life and hurt her too in this moment alone, Soleil walked over to the scroll on the floor. The pen lay near it, and she picked it up with her free hand. She examined the details of its fine craftsmanship, then pointed it at the signature frame at the base of the document. With detachment, she traced the shape of a curlicue laid in activated carbon-rich ink. She looked at the pen in her palm, then the blade sprouting from the hilt clasped in the other. Holding both, she walked out onto the balcony and tilted her face up to the light, pupils widening to take in the revelation. She spoke to the painted sky.

What does it mean to be
in a story? One can be
in a story about them,
or not about them.
A story is like a place,
a story is like a time,
but is neither – it could
be a dimension, inasmuch
as a thought has dimension
along an axis; there are
people who have a
dimension for their thoughts,
where changes occur.
Do real things happen in
stories the way stories
happen in real things?
Is a story a form of
transcendence, making us
greater than ourselves?
Does one’s existence carry
more meaning for others
through story? A reflection
for others, if they are
courageous enough to see
themselves in such a way.

Can one get out of a story,
or having been in it, will one
forever have been in it?
If lives are more than stories,
do stories become more
than lives? Do they happen
about us, without us?
Who possesses a story,
the character or the one
who comprehends?
Who makes a story –
universal forces, characters,
the messenger, the recipient –
or all? It seems to me
to be all. There are
characters behind the
characters – we could call them
people, but that may confuse
between the people in the story
and the people outside the story.
People outside the story may
be in the story, as the story
becomes a part of
something outside itself.
Time passes from paragraph
to paragraph, and a story is
part of a life, a companion
that knits time into a single
piece, marking remembrance.

Time is long or short, within
a time that is long or short.
A year may have passed like
a week, or a month, or a day
where we were. Maybe
something shifted while we
sat and perceived.
What is in service to a
story, and how is a story
in service? Is perception
the only thing that links it
all together? Stories also
disappear or die; like people,
they have a life and they fade.
Like people, do they live on
in the ripples they make?
Is there an imprint of this
perception left on reality –
maybe to be reformed in a
new person outside the story,
who sees themselves in
another story? Is a story
what’s left behind? Like a
chalk outline filled with flowers –
but an outline of several people,
or billions, rediscovered
outside of its event like the
ruin of an ancient building,
something for our feet to
stand in, and wonder for
ourselves. When the rain
falls, the flowers open while
the stone melts a little more.
There was something that
made a mark in passing,
like ourselves, something
that briefly was everything.

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