I am twenty-four years old when a good friend of mine approaches me with a question similar to the one my mother asked me when I was eleven, all those years ago. But this time she says, “My mother is afraid because of the stories I write. She doesn’t want me to have to go to a dark, sad place in order to write sad, dark stories. What do I tell her?”

Our mothers are always afraid. They want what is best for us, and they know the reality of how horrifying the world can really be. They don’t want us to have to traverse imaginary horrors when the world is already full of real ones.

“Tell her,” I say, staring at the wall above my computer, “that the truth is, we don’t have to go to sad, dark places to write our stories. We write our stories to cope with what we’ve already seen.”

Alyssa Wong
The Darkest, Truest Mirrors