The monster's first tale is about a regent (a witch who wants to marry her own step-son to keep herself in power) and the rightful heir (a good ruler who we later discover committed a heinous and unnecessary act to assure himself the throne).
But Conor is confused.
"I don't understand. Who's the good guy here?"
There is not always a good guy. Nor is there always a bad one. Most people are somewhere in between.
Conor shook his head. "That's a terrible story. And a cheat."
It is a true story, the monster said. Many things that are true feel like a cheat. Kingdoms get the princes they deserve, farmers' daughters die for no reason, and sometimes witches merit saving. Quite often, actually. You'd be surprised.
-From A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
inspired by an idea from Siobhan Dowd
The story is a good one. It's the one Conor needs to hear, even if he doesn't understand yet.
Sometimes we as writers have to tell the story that demands to be told--even if it doesn't fit the patterns. Even if it blurs lines and breaks rules. Even if some people will call it a terrible story and a cheat.
Because sometimes these are the most powerful.
Go Nomad: “Hunting Mushrooms in Wallachia.” For some free short fiction, read “Stalked” on On the Premises or “A Learned Man” on Electric Spec.. Visit her online at melindabrasher.com