They asked Patch to tell a story.
“Once, there was a child, and the child was in love with stories. The child listened to stories, and when there was no story to hear, the child begged for stories. The child learnt to find stories, in pages and under rocks and behind the desk and between the sheets. But what the child longed for most, was to make a story. They tried lots of times, but people laughed, or said it was a bad story, or a just a lie, or impossible, or worst of all, they didn’t want to hear the story, or worstest of all, they didn’t want to hear any stories. So the child kept making stories, but the stories were kept secret, because as the child grew to understand more and more, they learnt the terrible truth. The truth that stories can never be made, and that the child’s one true dream would never come to life. For a story starts with the murder of a story, and continues with the theft of a story, and ends with the stitching back together of a story. And what monster of a story would survive that? So the child murdered stories and cuddled stories and stole stories and confused stories and told secret stories with every waking breath, and the stories stayed shut in the dark.
Meanwhile, the child grew, and the stories grew, and the universe grew. The universe stopped calling the child child, and the child moved away from the universe. All growing things must do this at some point. Then the child turned around, and knew, in the heart of heart, that the child was still a child of the universe, and nothing would change that. And the child knew, in the time of times, that though the child would never make a story, it didn’t matter, because the stories had made a child. So the child let the stories out, the stories that had been murdered and stolen and mixed up and caged and vandalised, and the stories laughed, and the child laughed. Then they lived, happily, ever, after.
And that was true.
Someone listening to Patch smiled.
Someone listening to Patch looked away.
Someone listening to Patch clapped.
And someone winked.