Once There Was a Story
Once there was a story.
It was a story that updated irregularly. This could have irritated its many readers, but instead the unexpected surprise of getting an update from this author was like Christmas and Easter, all rolled into one. Giddy happiness was what her readers felt; indescribable pleasure was ours when she honored us with the gift of her writing.
It was a good story, a gripping yarn right from the start. It had all the required plot elements: a hot, seductive Edward; a passionate, sexy-without-knowing-it Bella. They longed secretly for each other, publicly hated each other, lusted after each other, adored each other…both pined for the other’s notice. Their untenable circumstance made any sort of relationship impossible, yet a relationship was what they craved. When soul mates meet, even when forbidden to be together, there is no fighting destiny.
And the sex? Mind-blowing, explosive, erotic, all-consuming, passion-filled, never-ending heat.
Once there was a story.
It was different than the others: the concept was original and extremely well-written. Readers couldn’t resist sharing their enjoyment with others. It was too good a story to be selfish about it. Other Twi-fans had to be brought into the fold; introduced to the glory of this author’s Bella and Edward. It was heavily recommended and its popularity soared.
Once there was a story…that saved us from our drab never-changing daily existence. It gave us joy and scintillating fun; it gave us sorrow and unbearable angst. It brought us laughter and tears in equal measure. It made us feel; it brought us to life. It was the perfect written escape…
And now the story is gone.
Yet we are the lucky ones. We knew it well, memorized its passages; our thoughts even dwelt there with relief when Real Life became unbearably troubling. The unlucky among us, the newcomers to the Twidom, will hear the descriptions from us oldtimers and know that they missed something special. Yet they will never get to experience this particular fic for themselves. They’ll hear our hushed tones when we reminisce, see our sad eyes and wonder if any story really could have been that good.
We lucky ones can escape Real Life and dwell there still. Until…
Until the day comes when our minds forget. Time will pass and the details will slowly become fuzzy. The scenes replaying in our minds will inevitably crumble to nothing. “What was it that Edward whispered in her ear that day? Where did their third encounter take place? What were their nicknames for each other?” Our human memory is no more than a sieve per Edward. When the last fan forgets, it will be as if the story never existed.
Books are forever. Gatsby will forever be yearning for the unattainable Daisy; Atticus will always be defending an innocent man against an angry mob while Scout will forever be astonished by the wonder that is Boo Radley. Dante will always have his spiritual love Beatrice placed high on a pedestal and yes, canon Bella will always desire her tormented, bronze-haired vampire, but fanfics are different. They don’t exist on a bookcase or a library shelf; they are only points of light and dark on a computer screen magically appearing through space and time. Dear reader guard your heart well, for words and favorite stories that can magically appear on your screen can also disappear into the ether suddenly, with no notice and no warning, lost to us for eternity.
Once there was a story and now that story is gone. I point no fingers, I cast no blame. Real Life is messy. Sometimes writers go on hiatus, or give up on their stories to start over. Sometimes bad things happen to good stories…and good people. It is the chance we readers take, every single time we find ourselves hooked on a new story. We can choose to childishly bitch and moan about a story’s untimely disappearance, or we can choose the high road and appreciate the author for sharing her incredible gift with us, for however long a time that gift was available.
Once there was a story and now that story is gone.
And so we readers grieve, feeling slightly bereft because we miss both the pure delight of the story and our taken-for-granted ability to escape into it as needed. Our feelings will recover in time. The author too will eventually heal. In the mean time, your readers thank you dear author, for gifting us with such pure delight in the first place.