All Stories Are Ghost Stories

“To tell a story is always to invoke ghosts, to open a space
through which something other returns…”
–Julian Wolfrey

There’s an absence in the room. A cold spot in a conversation. Everyone present swears they saw something, but what, no two can agree. It may have been a tragedy, long past but talked about now and forever, because it’s presence is still felt. In a story, there is always something nasty in the woodshed that drives our characters to do or not do that which must be done.

The thing that haunts our narrative is the self awareness of the audience, the secret past each one brings with them to a story. Our traumas and joys from a life already in progress, is restless. It jumps on stage and takes up residence in the pauses in the hero’s monologue, leers at us from what remains unsaid between two lovers and shouts out our hidden fears that lurk in the shadows of the villain’s tragic flaw.

I think this gets into critical theory about authorial intent vs. interpretation of a text but I’m not sure just how, yet. But there’s your morning thought…