By Nandy Ekle


I was born a long time ago with an enlarged imagination.

Pretend you have a box that jiggles and thumps and makes all kinds of noises constantly. Something inside that box whispers, knocks, and calls begging you you to open the lid. It tells you how much fun you would have if you let it out. Then it tells you what a great friend it would be. It tells you how it’s suffocating locked in that box. It begins to sound weak and sickly, sometimes hardly able to speak at all.

So you open the lid.

A dark shadowy shape jumps out sucking in a deep breaths of oxygen. Suddenly all the characters begin talking at once and a hundred scenes act out simultaneously as the shadow unfolds itself. You sit back and enjoy the show for a while, picking up bits and pieces of stories. And the shadow grows bigger and the voices grow louder. It’s now the middle of the night and you know you’ll never get to sleep like this.

You grab the dark thing by the hand and tell it play time is over; it’s time to get back in the box. It giggles and jerks away. So you chase it a while, trying not to get too caught up in its game. You finally catch hold of it again and try to refold it so it will fit back in the box, but it’s like trying to refold a map–just not gonna happen.

You get an idea. Grabbing a pen and paper you write down some of the stories the characters acted out. The more you write, the smaller the shadow gets and the quieter the voices get. Finally you can grab the dark thing by the ear, drop it in the box and close the lid. Now you can sleep.

This is why I write.