It all started with a sentence. That sentence, and then this one. More were soon to follow, like the ones below this short paragraph.

Whiteness surrounded the beginning text, and there was nothing else but the narrator. This narrator.

And this narrator cannot leave the page blank. Something must be written, but the problem is that what must be written has not yet been imagined. It can only come to be by writing it out.

‘Only by writing it out, will it be.’

The echo of the thought was not made by narrator. It looked around into the receding whiteness and saw that a figure had appeared before it. It was a basic stick figure, with a black oval head that had no distinguishable features and four random limbs of varying and unequal lengths that all sprouted from an uneven central line. It was as if the figure had been drawn by an amateur artist. It was fitting, as this stick figure had yet to have any experiences whatsoever. It had only just come into being – how could it be anymore than a rough sketch? It’s raw, unrefined form matched its complete lack of knowledge.

“There you are, Stick Figure. I was just about to call for you,” Narrator said.

Stick Figure stood before the narrator. He could really do nothing else, as Stick Figure lacked eyes, a mouth, and every other feature there was.

“You see, Stick Figure, something must be written on this blog. I created this website, just as I created you. The creation of both was to serve a simple purpose: to set up a medium in which I could practice my writing skills. And I need you, simple Stick Figure, to go along with my plan. Is that quite alright with you?”

Stick Figure still stood there, motionless and expressionless.

“Good. So here is the deal, Stick Figure. The idea of this blog is to use this platform to build you a story, an adventure, or to just give you something to do. Each blog post will put you in a new situation. In this new situation you will cease being Stick Figure and become a new character with a different name each time. You don’t have to stay as a human either. You can be a duck if you’d like, or a piece of bread, or even an alien or a mythical creature. You can be molded into anything. But at the core you will still be you, Stick Figure. The knowledge that you gather in one story you can use in the next, and so on… This kind of power will ultimately change you, and you must decide what it is that you will become.

“Yet keep in mind of my role in all of this. Ultimately, I am the one who writes out each story. So I am the one who will build the path that you will walk on. My hopes for you, Stick Figure, is that you will surprise me in the choices that you will make. Because even though it is the writer that does the writing, often times it is the characters and the situations that they are placed in that determine the path of the story.

“Also, I will not be the one to come up with all of the story ideas. I encourage my readers and my friends to reach out and give me a situation to place Stick Figure. I want you to be as much a part of the creation of this Stick Figure as I am. Where he will go… the things that he will learn… It should be an adventure for all of us. It shouldn’t just be up to me, or up to Stick Figure for that matter. We can all help determine the maturity of this character. For all I know, another, different stick figure will enter into the mix, or maybe Stick Figure will need to be reborn… the options are truly infinite.

“Now, Stick Figure, I would ask if you agree to these terms and conditions. But you don’t have a voice quite yet, and the voice that I give you will ultimately be mine. So I can’t just yet. I can only allow you to grow and mature into something bigger than what you are now. That’s all I can promise for now.”

Narrator finished speaking to Stick Figure. The Stick Figure, having been influenced by the words spoken to it, made its first, true decision for itself: it shrugged indifferently to the fact that, for now, choice was out of its control. But soon, very soon, Stick Figure will be given knowledge to make new choices.

The overall title of this story is ‘The Blank Page’, because every story, and even every idea, must start with a blank page, a clean slate. We may not ever know what to put on that blank page until words start getting written – even if we start it by thinking that we know what to write. For it is the process of writing that ultimately shapes what is going to be written.

Now, who will be the one that will give Stick Figure it’s first adventure?

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Alex Galassi

I'm Alex Galassi, born and raised in Centennial, Colorado. I currently work at a web design company, and I travel quite often, both domestically and internationally.

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