A collection of short stories for my "Fictionalizing Life" class at uni.
These stories all revolve around, or are inspired by, personal experiences.
When I was in elementary school, there was a hill that ran along the building. It was responsible for half of the first floor being a basement, and it was where I spent most of my recesses. A field lay at the base of that hill, and halfway up, an area of land was flattened out to make room for a playground. Above that was a parking lot that our parents drove through to pick us up after school. But for the rest of the day, it was just a vacant blacktop. Every recess, the soon-to-be-jocks would play touch football at the top of that hill while everyone else frolicked on the playground. Meanwhile, I was the kid who always role-played by himself. You know the one; that one kid who kept shouting “Look out, he’s shooting laser beams!” and then dove headfirst into the grass with his arms covering his head. I’d go up and down that hill as a part of my adventures, and while the blacktop was meant for football, I was always sure to stand at the top of the hill and look into the distance. I’d look past the playground, past the field below it, and past the forest beyond.
I would look at The Castle.
Some miles away from our school, a cathedral sat atop a tall hill. If you were to stand at the edge of the blacktop, in just the right place, you would see that cathedral in the distance as it barely escaped the fog where your vision ends. All the other kids - myself included - thought it was a castle, so that's what we called it: The Castle. It would inspire an epic journey that I played out in my head every recess. One where a simple kid would be locked in mortal combat against an onslaught of evil spirits in the endless forest beyond the playground. One where he’d discover who he truly was as he trekked through uncharted territory until at last, as rain poured down in the dark of night, he’d reach the doors to that castle. Those doors would creak open, a thunderbolt would cross the sky, and from the rear of the castle, a deep voice would say: “Welcome home, your highness.”
As far as nonfiction-inspired narratives go, I think that one was my first. I shouldn't have to tell you that there would be more to come after that.