Not every story ends-
Happily or not.
Sacrifice has to be made, tragedy has to occur, a moral awaits or doesn’t.
This is the open-ended short story narrative that confounds and leaves
The ultimate denouement up to the imagination.
After the end of this one
What comes next?
Another one, written better, cleaner, more succinct and understandable-
Or maybe one more convoluted, byzantine, dense and impenetrable.
It will probably be the same story told differently, like Rashomon,
Full of rain and perspective.
The characters will react in similar ways with similar results.
The sacrifice is immaterial. The tragedy has no meaning. The moral is empty.
And the page turner refuses to go back and sort it all out.
Only the characters matter. But they don’t see it.
Trapped in their little snowglobe reality
Where things never quite change the way they should
But just get shaken up and settle back to rest.
The story drives the situation, their choices have no effect,
But sometimes someone sees outside the glass
And makes you put the book down so they can cling for a moment
To the significance of the bookmark.