Go To Sleep, All My Children This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Go To Sleep,

All My Children

by P. C., W. Buxton, ME



Shh, now, shh, it's time to go to bed. I know, I know, but the sun will shine tomorrow and, quick as jackrabbits, you'll be up and around, ready to conquer a new day. But now, a story.

It's a common story, one with black knights and white knights, princesses and wolves, heroes and villains most foul, and a dragon. It's a story of the evil sorcerer who traps the princess in a tower of gold and ivory, and the young, dashing, naive prince who saves the princess. But more than that, it's a story with no troubles, a story with a joyous beginning to end the tale. It is a story that feels happy.

What is that, you say? A story cannot "feel" anything? Ah, my children, you do not know the power of stories. As a story is woven, it lives, it breathes, it drives ever onward into the stages of our minds and then lingers after the final sentence is told, long aft the final passage is uttered.

And I know those puckish grins well. You think that I am crazy, do you not? You think me a silly old man. Well, young ones, let me tell you, one day you will see the power of the tale. You will understand the glory that lifts our hearts when the princess is saved and the dragon is slain. You will understand the pain that crushes us when the hero dies and the sorcerer laughs his mocking laughter. For a story is not a story as a man is not just a man, he is the whole of his experiences. A story is the whole of its meanings.

But the power, the magic, of the story is never to be mocked. Stories are told every day, thousands upon thousands, some merely anecdotes from old friends, others powerful tales from strangers in need. Every single one affects us. Every single one influences our lives. We do not control the stories, the stories control us. They determine the fullness and fiber of our being, the breadth of our goodness and the depth of our evil.

I want you to remember this, the next time we sit here, and you wait for me to tell you a story. Remember the power traversing from my lips to your soul. Remember that each story, once told, contains a part of you, and each time you share that story, that part enlarges by ten. He who tells false tales shall become a false, empty man not worth beholding. He who tells fanciful tales with happy endings shall become a dreamer, a starry-eyed babe with the world at his fingertips. When the good succeeds, you live, and when the evil succeeds, a little piece of you dies.

Now, to the story ...

Ah, but I see I have done my job well. The carefree, feathery crown of sleep rests upon your brow. No matter. One day, you will know, when you are telling your grandchildren tales at night, you will understand. And now a kiss upon your foreheads, and I will take my leave. Good night, my children. Hold my love in your hearts throughout your lives, through the comedies and the tragedies, and I will always remember you, long past the final page.






This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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dancer13 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm
I think this should be in the nonfiction section. It's absolutely, ridiculously, illogically true. :) I loved this.
 
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