By K. Caine
It’s fitting, I think, that the first stories I told to myself were stories of first meetings. I hadn’t intended to start telling myself stories, when I started—I was ten, maybe, or twelve, and I’d had this dream, you see. I was very big into the Robin Hood mythos when I was a child—not just the fox, but any of the stories that I could get my hands on. And I’d had this dream, one night. As far as dreams go, it was pretty simple—I was walking through the forest, I discovered Robin Hood’s camp, and I got to join up and have adventures. I don’t even remember what we did, but I had a particular crush on Will Scarlet at that age, so I’m sure it was something to do with either him, or Robin himself. And I remember waking up from that dream feeling completely bereft, because it was over, and how was I going to get that sense of wonder and newness back?
I came up with a simple strategy—I would simply recreate the opening of the dream, in my head, as vividly as I could, as I was falling asleep. And so I lay in bed, and I imagined walking through a forest, and I fell asleep—and then I woke up, with no dream.
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Well, I thought to myself. This is bullshit.
So I did it again the next night, but slower.
Still no dream.
The night after. Slower again.
After a few nights of this, I was imagining myself walking in the forest so slowly that I might as well have been moving backwards—and I was bored. I was so, so bored.
So—whatever. If I wasn’t going to dream the dream that I wanted, maybe I would just tell myself the story that I wanted to dream.
And that was how my fascination with stories began—by lying in bed at night, telling myself the story of a dream that I wanted to have, a story about the time that I wandered into the forest, and I found a group of friends, and romantic possibilities, and the chance of adventure.
I joined Robin Hood’s band of outlaws more times than I can count—and, as I got a little older, I had a lot of first days at Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy as well.
(Considering how that turned out, it’s probably for the best that I wasn’t actually there.)
This exerpt originally published on K Caine's Patreon; used with persmission.