The curiosity a child has towards life and the human tendency to enjoy morbid things of sort is what drove me to play with my stuffed animals. In “Happyland” almost nothing was happy. Much like a story, if there were no problems or conflict, it was boring.
In the continent of Happyland (my room), I created many civilizations, all of which eventually fell. When one fell, I simply created another. Some fell from conflict, others fell from supernatural influences.
I created heroes. I created villains. Armies were common. Governments, law enforcement, religion, and military were included in some civilizations. Others were small nomadic clans.
As I got older, the stories got more complex and sometimes violent.
On my bed, I would arrange my characters (stuffed animals) out in the order I last left them. My floor was out of the question, it not being visible under the heaps of clothing, blankets, and books. I never cleaned. Never. In my head I would give them dialogue, I would move them with my hands, making them complete actions. Oftentimes, I would have them fight or heal others.
I would kneel there, on my bed, holding two stuffed animals in each hand. Making up words and their voices in my mind. I would switch between characters, weaving a story that I myself did not always know how it would play out.
Every second the memories of these stuffed animals become foggy and unclear as they are replaced with more recent memories. I wish I could recall perfectly any of the stories and write it down, but I can not.
At the age of twelve, after five years of playing with them, accidentally left my stuffed animal collection out in the rain.
Had I grown out of them?
I wasn’t just playing and pretending… I was creating stories.
Now I will create stories with pen and paper.