How to Tell a Story
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Let's talk about stories.

The world is full of strange things. Have you ever heard of dwarf dolls that move around when unseen? Do you know the woodland elf who comes to look into the faces of snotnoses who are up late at night? How many serial killers do you think still wander around there with their prey in their hands after climbing the steps of the gallows?

These guys are stories.

Hey, hey, wait a minute. Don't put your finger on the trigger. There are orders to everything, you know. Don't get so mad, just listen to me for five minutes, that's all.

Stories exist in all ages. Long ago, when our grandparents were just little snotnoses, these guys were our homies. Of course, sometimes we had our differences, and killed or got killed. But you know, most stories were just harmless fairy tales that were passed down from person to person. Otherwise, how did our ancestors protect our cities from the beasts of the wilderness when there were no guns, napalm, plastic explosives, tanks, helicopters, and all that?

Stories do exist. It's not quite the same as being real though. They may or may not have forms. They talk to us, offer us some kind of deal or trouble, or give us a bad time. In some cases, they have not been heard from for hundreds of years. These are the kinds of folks that are talked about in myths and legends, and they probably got bored with humans long ago, or they are already dead, or they have gone somewhere really far away.

According to the delightful folks at Site-44, there is some sort of self-propagating interaction between humans and stories through literary creation… or something like that. Don't ask me, those folks are thinking about it all the time, but I don't have time for that. Ask them directly when you return. They'll talk about memes for a few hours, blah blah blah.

Yeah, I'm intending to return. Isn't that obvious? Hey, I don't care how much of a rookie you are, you can't lose your shit over something like this. I want to get back to my quarters and take a hot shower as soon as possible. I'll excuse myself from getting shoved into this stifling place, smelling shit that belongs to who knows who, and having my body melted by mucus that looks like it's been building up for a hundred years. There's nothing fun about this, right?

In my view, us right now are stories.

Did you think of something strange? Hahaha. Don't take folks who spout crap about this world being someone's literary creation seriously. I don't know what they think they're doing researching such nonsense, but it's not going to do much good in this stupid situation.

The point is, say there was a basement that ate everyone who stepped in it, and everyone who was unlucky enough to fall into the trap ended up dead, then there's no way that story would be left. In that case, either the whole story was invented from the ground up, or the survivor had the leeway of sharing it with a curious acquaintance whose hobby is journal writing. And we're deep into this trap, but first of all, we heard about the basement, didn't we? That means we have a chance of getting out of this goddamn surprise box alive. I didn't know that the entire kitchen floor was a pit, though.

What's important is that the story and we are interacting, and our actions become part of the story. If the story exists only to scare people, then we are victims #1 through #4, melted down in the stomach of the monster and that's it. However, if we stand shoulder to shoulder with each other and act wisely, this can turn into a cautionary tale that teaches about bonding with companions.

That's why, recruit, you should put that gun away first. It's not going to look good if you just keep shooting up at the ceiling panels. It won't do any good if it speeds up digestion, and I don't think it has enough effects to flow up the foods.

There, that's a good guy. Calm down. Come on, don't cry, you save that kind of thing for the ending.

It's been five minutes.

Well, the conclusion of this story is that most stories in the world are harmless, and as long as they're stories, even those that aren't often have a solution. There are no rooms without a way out. It's essentially meaningless, worthless, and those things won't be passed on. The real danger is the one that no one knew about. We knew this story, and that's why we came. That means we can return.

Do you understand? You're a little skeptical, aren't you? That's fine too. Believing in my story will lead to better outcome than becoming desperate and blasting away like an idiot. I guarantee it.

Come on, let's go. If we're lucky, we'll find a door, or a hidden vital point in the belly, or we'll meet some of our peers who've been eaten as well. I don't know if they're alive or dead, but luckily we're wearing acid-resistant boots, have three days' worth of food and goggles to see ectomorphs, and we all have rifles. We have a better chance than going into the giant's belly with a single needle as a weapon.

Don't give up hope. Right now, we are the protagonists.

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