A column from my beautiful and talented wife on the real nature of realistic stories. She dreamed she wrote this column, and, when she woke, decided to write it in real life.
Sometimes people say that stories of wonder and magic are unrealistic. Because they never happen in real life.
But this isn’t true.
You just have to know where to look.
Below are just a few examples of real life stories where people lived the kind of experience that Superversive stories strive to imitate.
1) I answered my doorbell one day, and a nice-looking young man asked for some directions. I told him what he wanted to know, and as I turned to go back into the house, he shoved me forward into the entry, followed me inside, and slammed the door shut.
I found myself facing a pistol he had thrust at me. First he told me he wouldn’t hurt me or my baby. Then he forced me into a back bedroom where he ordered, “Take off your clothes.”
Stunned and horrified, I answered, “No, I can’t do that. Please, let me talk with you.”
“No!” He jerked at my blouse and gestured angrily with his gun. “Lady, you’ve got five to start undressing. One!”
No human means of protection or rescue was at hand, and I couldn’t succeed in engaging him in some sort of dialogue through which I might dissuade him from his intentions. Our big collie was out “protecting” the back yard. My husband was at the office. And even if the man was bluffing with the gun, I could see no chance of overpowering him, since he was built like a football player.
Struggling to keep my thinking above hypnotic waves of fear, dismay, and hopelessness, I mentally gave myself—and my situation —up to God. I shook my head at the man’s demand.
“God is my Life,” I managed to say.
“No, He’s not. Two!”
“Yes, He is.” The strength was returning to my voice. “And He’s your Life, too.”
“God loves me, and God loves you.”
“God is my Life. God is my Life.
I never heard him say “five,” but I heard a click as he pulled the trigger, and the gun did not fire. The man smiled and shook his head in disbelief. He reached out and patted me on the head. Then he said in a subdued voice, “Lady, you’re great. I’m sorry.”
He turned and started to walk out, and as he did, I felt a tremendous surge of compassion and love for this individual, who perhaps had recognized something of the ever-presence of Christ, Truth.
“Wait,” I called. “I have something for you.”
He turned at the front door. “Lady, all I need is love.”
And that, folks, is what we want to do with our fiction.
Superversive stories, at their best, will do to their readers what prayer did in the testimonies above, what laughter did for my son:
Catch the darkness unaware and lift it out of itself into something higher, something glorious.