The Origin of Stories, by Leo Vail Nelson

Lisez ce texte en Français


STORYTELLER: Stories are as living beings, growing and changing like humanfolk. They become richer as they grow, taking on new titles or authors as their own. They adopt many faces and deepen over time. Trust me. I am a storyteller myself; I know the working of fictional universes better than the workings of my body. There was once one who set out to find the origin of all stories. Her name was Sara.

Enter SARA and SHAMAN.

SARA: This is our village. A backdrop for the strange practices of the villagers.
SHAMAN(to the audience): Welcome to the Village of Tujo. Here, we are bound to the almighty Xyn. And to honor the pact with the Holy One which our forefathers forged, we will pay homage to Xyn with a gift–five mighty pearls on every eve of midsummer.
SARA: It was in a world of superstition and imaginary gods that I was raised. My father was the Spokesman of Xyn, one who voiced the desires of the fictitious Holy One. Within the confines of my father’s hut, I knew naught but worship. Tujo was full of shrines and praying priests.

NADKA runs onstage with a scroll.

NADKA: As your mentor, I am duty bound to ensure you are provided with an adequate education in etiquette and worship, not to mention language. Will loitering among the oaks aid your development? Return to my hut immediately.
SARA: Yes Master Nadka.
NADKA: And do not droop like a sodden sunflower! You are fortunate to receive professional instruction from such an eloquent being as myself!
SARA: Yes, Master Nadka!


SARA: Every day was full of chiding and spiritual babble. I was left with only one to look to for comfort. He is the storyteller. He occupies me with gripping myths of his ancestors or wonderful legends of spirits and animals.
STORYTELLER: Have I told you the one about Ngirshim the tree sprite?
SARA: I think you have. Was she the fairy who fell in love with a mortal and became the Goddess of Mischief?
STORYTELLER: Indeed. A story of the Tyafu tribe, I believe.
SARA: Who first told that story?
STORYTELLER: None know but the gods.
SARA: Where do stories come from in general? They’re all so old.
STORYTELLER: I know nothing of the origin of tales.
SARA: He did not know, but I took it upon myself to find out, though I knew not whether my search would succeed, or even if an answer to my question existed.
STORYTELLER: So it was that Sara left her village, without even a goodbye to her shaman father, to find the source of stories.


TREE SPRITE: Where are you headed, little one?
SARA: I’m looking for the source of stories.
TREE SPRITE: Stories have no beginning, little one. They merely are.
SARA: That may be so, but I will not give up my quest.
TREE SPRITE: Look for the answer in the Pearl Cascade.
SARA: You said there was no answer!
TREE SPRITE: That may be so, but I will not give up my quest. I give the answers, even to questions that cannot be answered.

Exits. Enter Xyn.

XYN: You still believe I am merely a legend, do you not?
SARA: Who are you?
XYN: I am Xyn, the Holy One. Your father is my Spokesman.
SARA: What? But you’re just a myth!
XYN: I am a living story. You are as well. You have found the origin of stories, child. Every man and woman is capable of becoming the source of a tale. Every being is a story, even your father.
SARA: How do you create a story?
XYN: You need only imagination.
SARA: I’m going to return to the village and…make a story.
XYN: You are a very wise girl. Very wise…


STORYTELLER: She never found the Pearl Cascade. Perhaps it, too, was only a story. And perhaps the Tree Sprite was in fact Ngirshim, Goddess of Mischief, who speaks only lies. I know only that what she found was a truth deeper than any other. Stories are wonderful things. Trust me. I am a story myself.


Artistic  career

Leo Nelson was born on February 25, 2005. Even in his early childhood, his interests were in literature–poetry and fantasy intrigued him from an early age. He dove readily into the dominions of word created by beloved authors.
And so, not surprisingly, he began crafting his own dominions.
When he is not reading and writing, he enjoys Legos, spending time with his sisters Eleanor and Carolyn, and playing and composing on the piano.