“I Never Want To Read That Story Again”

That’s what my mom just told me about the story I had her read.

You’d think that when someone says that about something you wrote that it would be a bad thing.

Don’t you want readers to love a story so much they would read it again?

Except in this case, it really was a compliment on the story.

Because the story in question was one that was strongly based upon my dad.  And she recognized him (and herself) enough in the story that it made her uncomfortable to go back there again.

Whether it’s a good story or not, I can’t say.  But it is a story that at least resonated with someone who had been there.

And she wants to share it with others, too, which I always see as a good sign.

But it reminds me that sometimes the best art isn’t the art that makes us comfortable or happy.

The best art sometimes disturbs us to the point that we wish we’d never experienced it.

I remember watching the movie Seven when I was in college.  It affected me so strongly that I can’t imagine putting myself through the experience of watching it again.

But here we are, eighteen years later, and I still remember it where a lot of more enjoyable and fun movies have faded away in my memory.

I don’t know why it hit me so hard, but it did.  And I think it’s powerful to have that kind of impact on someone.

Not that I think this story is going to affect anyone else in the way it affected my mother.  But if someone else ever does tell me that a story I wrote upset them so much that they never want to read it again, I’ll consider that a compliment.

(Right after I cry in the corner…)

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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