Peer Review by Daisy (United States)

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Earth spins on in an eternal orbit - I pass the pen to you and let the stars carry me away

By: A Breath Into Silence


We have reached the end of the story, and you put down the final page with a sigh. That sigh echoes through space and time, through mountain halls and starry nights, through abandoned castles and fluorescent-lit classrooms, until it comes rushing back to this room at the end of the world. 

"And so it ends," I say, because I have given all my words to the paper and ink in your hands. And when the Moon crawled over the horizon, and shone down on the final manuscript, I had known this was the way it ended. Now I sink down into my chair with my own sigh, scrub my face with my hands.

You frown, shove the papers in my face. "But that can't be the ending!"

"There once was a boy named Evan, and a boy named Ash, and they faced their problems together. Is that not an ending?"

"Yes, but what about --"

"That's not my story to tell," I say, turning to the hearth. A great fire roars into existence at my command, and I watch the flames dance against the stone. Never in the same place, never with a pattern, but still so beautiful. "It never was."

And I turn, pull the pen out of the air and hold it out to you. It rests between my palms, a balanced line in an ever-changing story. "But maybe it's yours," I tell you, and I watch as your eyes grow wider than the moon. "After all, anything can happen in stories - don't you know that?"

"My turn as storyteller is done," I admit, and it feels like a great weight has been lifted off my chest. Gravity has no grasp on my heart anymore, and I feel that I could fly away into the vast sky above this place. Finally, I am unafraid of what the future will bring. I close my eyes, seeing the stars painted across the inside of my eyelids, and let go. I fly among the nebulae, dance with the black holes. Star-song and wormholes, planets and moons, white holes and stardust, emptiness and beauty. This is how the universe spreads itself out before me one last time. My story is over, and it feels wonderful and terrifying, exhilarating and final.

"Yours is just beginning."

You watch as I fade away from existence, dissolving into the stars I have always loved. Here in this place at the end of the world, you will capture your dreams and pass them on just as I did. And when I am gone, I know, somehow, that you will pick up the pen left on my red satin chair and you will begin the story once again. 

I turn to you, in some land far away from here, and I say, "Now, don't you think that was a good end to this story?"

And you look at me, say, "It's just a new beginning."

And so it ends. Here's the rest of the series, in all of its messy glory. I could keep making pieces (the Moon, the Sun, asteroids, etc) and stretch out Evan and Ash's story for all of eternity, but this is where the story has ended itself. And I'm proud of what I've made. Ash and Evan, you are both amazing characters, and I really enjoyed telling your story, even if I only ever managed to capture the smallest fraction of it. 

Of course, that doesn't mean that the story doesn't continue on, somewhere far away from here.....
    Part 1: It turns out Saturn is beautiful after all ----- but I've run out of words to describe it 
    Part 2: Mercury burns brightest in the sky ----- you told me it would be so     
    Part 3: Somewhere in the Solar System, Pluto mourns ----- the words we want to say get stuck in our throats [NOT TRANSLATED]     
                Somewhere in the Solar System, Pluto mourns ----- the words we want to say get stuck in our throats [TRANSLATED]    
    Part 4: We whisper tales of Neptune's exploits ----- sometimes the stories we tell sound better than the truth     
    Part 5: Jupiter shakes his fist ----- the storm begins to brew on the horizon  
    Part 6: Uranus wishes to cast away his omnipresence ----- we resolve to change the end of this story  
    Part 7: Mars beats his war drums ----- I left you behind in the castle on the hill
    Part 8: Venus passes by in orbit ----- we pick up the pieces and learn to heal

Message to Readers

I've run out of words to tell this story, and we both know that you told me this would happen. This is where the story mixes with the truth, and when we want to speak the words we want to say will always get stuck in our throats. I've learned to tell beautiful stories to get the words out anyway, and they tumble out in a visceral rush until I run out of things to say.

I have run out of things to tell you, now.

The stories we tell sound so much better than the truth all by itself - don't you know that? I have to go soon, friends, because the storm is brewing on the horizon and I have to get home before it begins to rain. But before I go I'll tell one more beautiful story. And I promise this one won't be sad - together we'll change its ending, so that the hero doesn't leave their loved one behind to face the aftermath by themselves. We'll help these characters pick up the pieces of their lives and begin to heal, and it will be so much better than the ending we have all heard a thousand times before.

We are the writers, and this is our story.

Peer Review

How the storyteller recognized that their job was done, recognized where their story ended to make place for a new one to begin. So often we cling to the old, and it was refreshing if bittersweet to see this acceptance.

This idea of endings and beginnings could be expounded on a little more. Maybe not in this piece but maybe as like an ending poem or thought.

Reviewer Comments

Great work! This truly was an amazing series. I love how you left the rest to our imaginations.