It was a Thursday, I remember that. I also remember the traumatic domestic environment we were in, my sister Alex and I.
She was Inky, a plastic ocelot animal figure. I was Alli, an alligator.
We played all night, into the morning, skipped school and played some more. I remember being mostly on the floor of the attic, while she moved around the room; shelves, walls and furniture.
I wish I remembered the exact details of the story we lived that night many years ago. It would make a great book unto itself. All I know now is that it was wildly imaginative and healing, Alex, being about five years older, led the way.
This started years of imaginative adventures…and an ever expanding palette of characters and creatures, including animals and hot wheel cars, which we nabbed from the local drug store, Kresges, and whatever was around us.
At some point we added music; Tchaikovsky and Uriah Heep, especially their song, The Wizard.
Thus we survived dark times. And, of course, this led us to Tolkien, Lewis, Alexander and Michael Moorcock, especially his Corum Chronicles, Elric came later for me, then Fritz Lieber and, even later, Jack Vance.
Fantasy kind of saved us. Our imaginings were a way to process, survive and grow. They were much more real to me than the bland goings on of dismal surroundings and bad schools.
I began writing my own stories. At some point I found music and lived the life of a composer for years, but my stories never left me, I imagined them every night when putting myself to sleep. I emerged from music conservatory with a Doctorate in Music Composition and a full-fledged fantasy series in my head, titled Tales Of The Ocean City.
I tried writing it down, but it wasn’t…“It”…then I started narrating, recording and combining the story with music…and there it was, like when Alex and I did our D&D-like imaginings to Tchaikovsky and Heep.
I finished the initial series just a month ago…finally.
That’s my story with Fantasy…what’s yours?