When I was little, my mother wrote stories.
I remember sitting on my parents’ bed, watching my mother write in a black binder. She told me about her characters. She told me about how the story had changed since last time she worked on it.
I started my own binder. I loved the lined paper, and the way the pen felt across the page. I still love that feeling but it’s so much easier to write and revise on a computer. Sometimes I miss that scratchy little noise that the pen made when I changed my mind and had to cross something out and start over. I still have many of those handwritten stories tucked away somewhere. I can barely read them (my handwriting is still atrocious) but they remind me that writing is something I’ve always done, whether or not I’ve done it well.
Though the details have faded over time, the essence of two my mother’s stories have stayed with me. One was about a girl who was also a unicorn; an epic fantasy and a beautiful romance. The other was about the captain of a spaceship, and a particular adventure his crew had involving some kind of poison. The unicorn story was my favourite, because then, as now, I preferred fantasy. I think the sci-fi adventure was better quality, because it was a later story, and I loved it too, but that unicorn girl has never left my thoughts.
I can’t remember her name, but I loved her.
My mother is a creator of all things; she’s a master at crafts. I have an entire box of earrings that were made entirely by her hand. She has hand-made prizes for the past three murder mystery parties I’ve hosted – kleenex box covers, coaster sets, bookmarks, you name it and she can make it. She’s a creative genius. Unfortunately, as for her writing, those two stories were the only ones I ever read. Perhaps she wrote more when she was younger, but I don’t know. I recently learned that she got back into online RPGs and I’m glad, because I don’t think her writing talents should go to waste.
Multiple times I took out the black binder with the sci-fi story, and the purple binder with the unicorn story, and tried to finish them. She had changed half of the unicorn story but the second half was untouched – I had no idea what her plans were for the ending. I couldn’t see her vision. The sci-fi story was in a similar state. Her villains had changed identities, had changed species, and I had no idea how to begin.
As a side-note, my husband has often told me I should write his stories. He has a few very good ideas but no ambition to write them out. I told him, flat out, that he’d hate whatever I did to his stories – because they wouldn’t be his anymore, they would be mine. That was why I couldn’t finish my mother’s vision. As much as those stories became a part of me, I couldn’t bring myself to alter her worlds in any way. They were not mine to alter.
I wish I’d kept my mother’s two stories. I had them for a long time, but if they’re still around now, I’m not sure where. It would be wonderful to read them again, half-finished or not, to see if I’ve done her proud. Perhaps one day I’ll find them, she’ll finish them, and my two favourite stories of all time will see the light of day again.