Canto 4: The Birth of a Soul

Canto 4: The Birth of a Soul

A Chapter by Amanda

King gives us a clue of what his mission is, exactly


I heard Stephen King’s voice again before I saw his face. Hesitantly, I opened my eyes, surprised to find the painfully brilliant morning light completely absent. “As it turns out,” King began, “Every character ever to appear in print, on-screen, or brought somehow into existence by a writer, has a soul.”

The four of us stood on the shore of a vast grey lake. The skies overhead were blotched out by dark, heavy clouds that thundered and rumbled without ceasing. My eyes grew wide, the skin on my arms tightening against the chill of the frigid air, despite my hiking thermals. “A soul?” I asked, once my senses began to return to me. “What do you mean?”

“A soul,” reemphasized King. “Just as my immortal spirit stands before you, every character to ever be penned or cast stands somewhere in the afterlife.”

“How is that possible?” I asked, gazing out across the choppy water. “Characters are just fictional compilations of words, mental images, and perceived personality.”

Stephen King shook his head. Beside him, Joan stared across the lake, her expression somber and hollow. “You must imagine them as people. At one point, people were imagined into existence. In a similar way, writers imagine their characters into existence. Though they may not have bodies or exist in any physical realm, they still exist. And once they are introduced to some form of physical media, be it paper, computer screen, internet, television, or song, they pass into eternity. Even if no one but the author ever meets them, they become eternal beings."

I took in King’s words and allowed my mind to chew on them, process them. Finally, I replied. “That makes no sense.”

King smiled his frail, sad smile and turned his attention across the lake. I hadn’t noticed it until just then, but while King had been talking, a spot had appeared on a far-off surface of the lake. A boat, tossing and reeling against the rolling waves. “As I said,” sighed King, a bolt of lightning streaking across the shadowed canopy overhead, “you must be shown. Then, you’ll believe.”

© 2011 Amanda

Author's Note

Another short, sweet tidbit, a forewhadowing of things to come. Again, I beg you, no comments about religion, blasphemy, or any such wasted breath. Read Dante's Inferno. Then, we'll talk.

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Added on March 25, 2011
Last Updated on March 28, 2011
Tags: dante, modern, fiction, humor, satire



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