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Featured Writer: Sophie Sewell Mechem

Updated: Apr 18, 2021

The Secret of Stories

Stories. My life is filled with stories. Stories of the past, stories of the future, stories of dreams, bedtime stories that grandpops would tell as I snuggled up next to him. Stories read to me and stories that I read. There were stories in mystical lands filled with magic and monsters, and then the stories with the monsters you can’t see, the ones that hide in the dark between the words. Those were my favorite stories. The ones that never came right out and told you what to expect, but the ones with things hiding in the shadows.

Ever since I was little I have had stories all around me, and I loved it when a new one would jump into my life waiting to be told. But later on, I found there were not only stories around me, but stories inside me. All I had to do was put pen to paper, and let the words come flooding out.

“This is boring! Tell me something fun! Like about a queen in a castle or something, tell me a real story!” My sister complained, pulling my shirt.

“This is a story, so hush! It’s this or nothing.” I pulled her hand away and looked up at the ceiling, thinking. Then I continued.

“I like to think that every story is a secret. A message hidden in the words. But unlike a secret, stories belong to no one. That is why they are told. It’s like a story itself. The story of stories. Long ago before there was anything there were no stories. Because there was nothing to be told. And there was no real and fake, no reality to build off of because there was nothing. But then there was something.”

“What was it?! An explosion? Was that it? Was it?” My sister interrupted me again.

“I don’t know what it was, I’m no historian or whoever studies the beginning of time and whatever, just shut up and listen!” And so again I continued.

“Once there was something, there was a reality, there were rules of the universe and whatnot, scientific laws. So because there was a reality there were stories and secrets. There was no one to tell the stories, and no one to hear them, but they were there. And then more things were created, stars, solar systems all that stuff, you know. And then the earth. And so now there were people to tell stories. That is why stories and secrets are different. Because secrets can belong to someone, but stories belong to no one person. So they must be told. So a few people were chosen. They were the storytellers. They are people who passed on stories and told the secrets of the universe. Yes, many of the stories they made up, but the thoughts that make the stories are the secrets, those, were given to the storytellers when they were born. In each story, there is a message hidden inside, it just needs to be deciphered. “

“UUUUUUGGGGG. B-O-R-I-N-G. When are we going to get to the princesses and princes? I don’t care about ‘the creation of stories’ or whatever. I want to get to the fun stuff!” My sister just couldn’t help herself.

“Hey, have you ever thought that you could be a story?” I asked her.

“What? That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Think about it. What if you were just a character in a story someone is telling. Maybe even a princess is reading you. Wouldn’t that be cool!”

“Hm. That would be cool! But wait, does that mean that someone’s always watching me? Like even... in the bathroom?”

“Haha, not if you don’t want them to. But now, whenever you get scared, you can just remember, that there’s always someone watching over you, so you never have to be alone if you don’t want to. Now, it's time to go to sleep. Do you want me to stay until you fall asleep?”

“No, that’s ok. The princess is with me.” She snuggled up under her blankets. I chuckled.

“Ok then. Goodnight.”


I left her room, climbed into my bed, and picked up my book. I thought about my sister and the story of her. I shook my head laughing to myself. There’s no way anyone’s reading her story, it’s way too boring. But whatever gets you to sleep. 7-year-olds' minds are almost too easy to mold.

That night, after I fell asleep, I dreamed of the stars and secrets and stories. I know everything I told my sister I just made up off the top of my head, but part of me wonders if it could be true.

Sophie Sewell Mechem has lived in Northampton, Massachusetts since she was born in June of 2008. She lives with her mother, father, brother, and beloved labradoodle. Sophie has always liked reading and writing, but first started writing independently around 4th grade. She writes mostly realistic fiction, fantasy fiction, thriller, and drama. Her other hobbies include swimming, listening to and playing music, dancing, skiing, martial arts and hanging out with friends. She loves Mexican food and has a massive sweet tooth.

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1 Comment

This is a very interesting and complex piece. I'm impressed with how the author slips in and out of stories, creating parallel realities all while having dialogue with her pesty sister! Hope she keeps posting here; I will certainly be looking for her.

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