Carolyn Yao

Why do I write?  Why does the need to tell a story bubble up inside me until it pours out, a fountain of a hundred different flavors, all clamouring to be tasted?  Why does it make me pause life, drop everything and grab my notebook, illegible scrawls filling the page?  What purpose does it serve?

I write because of the voices.  They whisper, beg, connive, their hands tugging at mine.  Then they growl, moan, scream; their fingers claw my head.  Give us our lives!  We’ve been waiting long enough!

They speak of adventure, weedling with their words.  We crave it! they declare, their voices hoarse and dripping with hunger.  A million times and places, with buildings striving to touch the stars, caves that echo with ghostly haunts – as they themselves take on a chilling quality.

A funny thing about the voices.  They…are like shadows.  Shadows of people I’ve met, known, love.  Of strangers, too.  Friendly or malicious, they are mutated memories.  They wail as I realize this, and I can take it no more.

So I write, recording his adventures or her struggles…

I write, and I do not stop.

And they leave for a moment, and I am safe.

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