Family’s in town for Christmas, and my sister and I find ourselves sharing a bed again. The lights are out, and as we stare at the ceiling, hyped up from caffeine and the holiday, she tells me a story that’s ninety percent a snail on a patio. “Sometime after the beginning of the universe,” my sister begins, “there was a snail.” She describes the snail, going about it’s snail life, consisting of “being bored” and “moving really slowly”. The last sentence of the story reveals that the snail witnessed the beginning of the world, and was then immediately eaten by an unspecified animal. From then on we tell stories like flipping through channels. “Now tell me a story.” My sister says.
“During the time of dragons-”
“No. Try again. No dragons.” My sister cuts me off.
“Hovering somewhere over the hole in the ozone layer, an all seeing eye-”
“Gross. No.” Also rejected. “A bedtime story. Something nice.” My now-twenty-one-year-old-accountant sister demands.
“A bunny and his wife live in small cottage in a field,” I begin again, hating myself-and her-just a tiny bit. I continue to tell a fairly charmless story about a fair and a pie baking contest. My sister tells me it sounded like I “just wasn’t that into the story.” She is not wrong.