Me, Myself & I
This wonderful little story from 2017 by Akane starts rather straightforwardly with an opening you wouldn’t expect on a site featuring stories dedicated to superwomen:
“This is the story of a normal 10 year old in a small rural town in Louisiana.”
Perhaps for that reason, it captured my attention.
The protagonist, Steve, has a challenging childhood, dealing with parental strife, bullying, and nightmares. The lone joy in his life is his friend Serena, who, initially unbeknownst to Steve, has cancer.
When he eventually finds out, he is understandably crushed, leading to worsening nightmares. Within the nightmare, however, the story suddenly twists in a more hopeful direction, this change in direction prefaced by the brilliant use of sound – the clicking of heels.
I don’t want to give away the rest, but the story ends on a perfect, uplifting note. Likewise, it includes, as is typical of Akane’s stories, some fantastic artwork as well.
The story is also written in a way that the “reality” scenes are simplistic and hazy, flying through years in a few dozen sentences, while the writing of the dreams is more visceral and descriptive, putting in a similar word count to an action scene that lasts less than a minute as to Steve’s entire childhood.
The contrast in style is the precise opposite of the manner in which dreams and reality are commonly depicted. But it makes sense within the context of the story, enhancing its climactic scene in a subtly creative way.
So without further adieu, let me present…