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The beginning from Za’s perspective

Once upon a time, long, long ago, in the faraway Land of Safe and Certain, there lived a little girl, and her name was Za. She was blessed (or cursed – it depends on your viewpoint) with a vivid imagination and the gift of a secret that should never be told – and that is the start of my story.

Once upon another time (also long ago, and in the same faraway land) there lived an old woman, whose name was Za. She had lived her whole life with the curse (or the blessing) of a vivid imagination and the secret that should never be told.  It wasn’t just a little secret. It was a massive one. And it wasn’t the kind of secret you could forget by keeping busy and doing things to keep your mind off it. It was a big, bothersome secret that every now and again jumped out at her and put her life all in a spin. But she wasn’t ever supposed to tell anyone. If she did tell then she knew there would be Very Serious World Shaking Consequences.

In the years between being very young and being very old, Za lived her life. She went to school, she grew up, she made a life for herself doing the best she could with the blessing (or curse) of her vivid imagination and the secret that should never be told (or there would be Very Serious World Shaking Consequences).

Just imagine how it would be, to live your whole life with a secret that you should never, ever tell to anyone (not even to your very best friend who promised not to tell anyone in the whole wide world). Never telling the secret would mean living a double life, one for real and another for everyone to see. (I don’t know about you, but I have enough trouble with living one life and trying to keep that one life in some kind of order.)  As for secrets… they seem to have a life of their own. Even the tiniest, little secrets have ways of wriggling around inside you and doing all they can to escape and go out into the world. Za’s secret was a great big one, and it wriggled and wriggled and tried its very hardest to get out into the world, where it could meet people, and have adventures (even though there would be Very Serious World Shaking Consequences).

It took Za all of her imagination to find ways to stop the secret from escaping (for she was very frightened of what might happen if it did burst through her lips). All of her long and imaginative life she lived with the secret, and she used her vivid imagination to find different ways to stop the secret wriggling and wriggling and tormenting her. She could never escape the fearsome and mysterious knowledge that if the secret did get out and about in the world with a life of its own there would be some kind of Very Serious World Shaking Consequences – and it would All Be Her Fault.

But I’m forgetting my manners.

We haven’t been introduced.

My name is Za (Za isn’t really my name, but I’m borrowing it for the purpose of my story). Like my namesake Za in the story I’m blessed (or cursed) with a vivid imagination. That is how I became a storyteller. As for the secret that should never be told, well a secret is a secret, and maybe I know it and maybe I don’t, and maybe I’ll tell you and maybe I won’t. Just remember I’m a storyteller (and being a storyteller means working magic in other people’s imaginations). Where there is magic you can’t expect the usual rules to apply.

People say you should never tell a lie, and people say you should never tell a secret. People say all kinds of things, and sometimes you can believe them and sometimes you can’t – and sometimes they’re “only joking” or “just teasing” (but they don’t say how you‘re supposed to know).

As for me…  well, what I say is “I’m a storyteller, I don’t live in the world of facts and figures. I live in the world of imagination. I don’t tell lies. I tell tales.”

As for secrets, those little secrets and big secrets that wriggle around and try ever so hard to escape (even if there would be Very Serious World Shaking Consequences)…  do I tell them or don’t I? That’s my secret.

So that’s who I am. I’m Za, and I’m the one who will be telling the imaginative tales here. Pamela will be telling you facts, and what she makes of them. It’s up to you to choose what you read – and what you choose to believe.