I like the world of fantasy: swords, magic, femme fatales that are great with weapons, that will bed you as soon as kill you, intrigue that you’re always a step ahead of, and the fate of a hostile, ungrateful world that eventually comes down to the final battle with your most lethal opponent, and it’s all on you.
Something in those stories resonated, struck a chord, sparked something deep within, whatever phrase you want to use, but after reading my first fantasy novel (The Once and Future King, by T.H White), it was a world I kept returning to over and over again. I guess you could call it the need to be needed. I’ve always liked to be the hero who came to save the day, even if it was just in the mundane things of life:
:”Could you pick up my kid after school?”
“I need help with this tire.”
“Got change for a buck?”
Not exactly high adventure like a journey to Mordor, but the concept is the same.
It was my escape, my entertainment, my chance to see the world in the mind that I couldn’t see in the natural.
The truth is, most of us would not likely survive in such a world, because as beautiful as it may be, it is also as deadly, and mercy is a foreign concept. It truly was survival not only of the fittest, but of the meanest, the slickest, the most ruthless, and the extremely cruel.
Children who lived to adulthood, much less old age, were a rare commodity.
That does not comprise the makeup of most people, generally speaking. Most of us are at least civil, if not loving, toward one another. And so, we have fantasy; a chance to be heroes / heroines without true danger, but we all imagine ourselves to some degree as the characters in these stories.
I believe it’s because in our hearts, we want to be heroes, we’d love to be needed, and to be able to come to someone’s rescue and say, “Don’t worry, I’m here.”
Never let that fire go out, Dream Reader.
You will one day be someone’s hero. I’ve seen it happen too many times for it not to be so.
In the meantime, we have our books, our cosplay, our nerdy, dorky fellowships that don’t fit in, but most of all, we have our writing; and the worlds we create within, with our abilities to set things right, becomes for a time, our reality.
In worlds where none of us can stay, both real and imaginary, we manage to survive, and find joy in the doing and sharing of it, if only for a moment.
Keep writing, keep reading, and keep dreaming, and you’ll come to know that “Once upon a time, (your name here)…..”