I opened my eyes to discover that I was not in my bedroom. I was in a bedroom, one that was similar to my own, but it was not mine. The arrangement was mostly the same: the same bed, the same Tinker Bell green walls, the same bookshelf, but there was something that felt… off. Perhaps it was the that the house was too quiet for my family of six, perhaps it was the complete black void outside my window, or perhaps it was the strange girl sitting on the edge of the bed staring at me.
“Hi,” said the girl. “My name is Meagan. I have a story to tell, and you are the one to tell it.”
Before I could say anything, I opened my eyes again, and this time, I was in my bedroom, and Mom was waking me up for school. All the rest of that day, I thought about my dream. I have always had strange dreams, (like Timmy’s Monster Toes, which is the only dream I can remember from before I was fifteen) so that one was downright normal, except for the part where Meagan told me that she wanted me to tell her story. Mom said I had always been a good story-teller, but I had never thought about writing any of those stories down, unless it was for school. For some reason, though, as I thought about Meagan, I began to imagine the world she came from. I pictured pixies, and elves, and dwarves. I mentioned my idea to a friend at school, and she told me that she wanted to be a unicorn if I decided to write a book.
By the time I got home, my mind was buzzing with ideas and characters. I sat down at the family computer, opened up a blank word document, and began to write Meagan’s story. Admittedly, I never got very far. Beginning Meagan’s story woke something inside me that I did not know was there: a love of creating characters, and worlds for those characters to inhabit. Once I opened my heart and mind to writing, all sorts of characters came to be, begging me to tell their stories. I got so carried away with telling new stories, that all my old ones, including poor Meagan’s, fell by the wayside (I will get back to your story one day, Meagan, I promise).
This went on for years. I would meet a new character, begin their story, forget about the one I was writing before, only to have the same thing happen again and again and again (I did manage to get that under control, by the way…for the most part). Ten years passed since I met my first character, and in that time, I have met hundreds more. Hundreds of loud, bossy characters, from several genres (but mostly fantasy) all crammed in one place, yelling at me to tell their stories.
“Come on, you told Eirian and Aubree’s story,” said an aggravated pixie I did not recognize. “When are you going to tell mine?”
“Who are you, again?” I asked. “I don’t think I know you.”
“Oh, you will,” said the pixie.
“Great, there’s another one,” I muttered.
“Hey! Calm down,” shouted Teegan. “Everyone will get a chance to have their stories told.”
“Easy for you to say,” said the pixie. “She’s already told your story.”
“Look, I am telling Rose and Caleb’s stories right now,” I said, “and Agnes and Judith’s, then I have to come up with another short story…” I muttered before shaking my head and speaking up again. “But when I’m finished with theirs, then I can tell someone else’s. You just have to be patient and wait your turn.”
Mistake. Being in my head, everyone knew how far along I was in Rose’s story, and they all wanted to be next. They began talking all at once, telling me why their story should be told next, or scolding me for not having a set story for them to be in yet. They were so loud, I could feel a headache forming.
“And what about all the fanfiction you’re writing?” called someone from the back of the crowd.
“Okay, that’s not fair,” I said. “I’m not actually writing the fanfiction down. I’m just playing it out in my head.”
“So that you don’t have to listen to us!”
“Alright, that’s enough!” A tall faerie, with black feathered wings appeared by my side. “Angel is kind enough to tell our stories, the least we can do is wait our turn.”
“Who are you?” asked Judith.
“My name is Raven,” said the faerie.
“That’s original,” said Raven Stark.
“How many ‘Raven’s’ does this make, now,” asked Raven Pines.
“That’s beside the point,” said the newest Raven. “The point is, it is getting a bit crowded in here.” She turned to me. “I can help you make a bigger place for everyone to live. That way, we’re not all in this one house. Everyone could have their own space, and you can go visit them there.”
“That would be amazing,” I said. “How do we do that?”
“Just follow me,” said Raven.
She opened the front door, revealing a large green estate, with a garden on one side, and a forest on the other. It was perfect. Exactly the kind of place I had always dreamed of living.
“Where did all this come from?” I asked. “There was nothing out here, before.”
“That’s because you made the mistake of having everyone live here, instead of giving them their own space,” said a different voice.
I turned around to see a woman who looked a lot like me if I had come from a sci-fi tv show. Also, she looked like she could really hurt me if she wanted.
“I’m Ana,” said the woman. “Now that everyone else has gone to their own dedicated places, I can finally stop waiting in the shadows.”
“Ana?” I asked. “Are you guys named Ana and Raven because those are my go-to names?”
“No,” said Raven. “They’re your go-to names because they’re our names.”
“We’ve always been here,” said Ana. “We’ve just been waiting for the right time to show ourselves.”
“Oh,” I said, still not really understanding. “Did I create you?”
“Yes and no,” said Ana.
“You created us the same way you created everyone else,” said Raven. “You’ve just given us different names, and split us into several characters apiece. I am the basis for all of your fantasy characters, and Ana is the basis for just about everyone else.”
“Now, it’s time for us to be ourselves,” said Ana.
“And who is that?” I asked.
“You’ll find out more about us as you write, the same way you do with any of the others,” said Ana.
“For now, all you need to know is that we are your bodyguards,” said Raven. “I’m a shape-shifter, Ana is a mystery, and we are here to take you wherever you want to go.”
“Cool,” I said. “Where do you want to go first?”
“That is up to you,” said Ana. “As Raven said, we’re merely your bodyguards. We will follow wherever you lead.”
[I wrote this to go along with my Tumblr blog, authorangel.]