I don’t know a single person who doesn’t need an escape from daily life. Even if you’ve managed to arrange your life so it’s happy and fulfilling, even if you don’t follow the news and have no idea what kind of weirdness is out there. You may not need to escape your life all the time, but escapism- which can range from a change of environment to learning a new skill to consuming entertainment- is an important part of keeping stress from becoming overwhelming or routine from becoming too boring for words.
There are a zillion types of escapism- movies, books, vacations, a walk in the park. Naturally, I’m talking mostly about the literary kind. Books are portable, cheap, and can be consumed over and over, in tiny nibbles when you only have five minutes to spare, or hours if you’ve picked up an engrossing goat-gagger (I don’t recommend escaping into a novel for more than a few hours at a time, unless you’re absolutely certain you’ll be able to use the bathroom, have a snack, and sleep immediately afterward. And that you’re young and/or flexible enough to sit for hours without killing yourself when you get up. Escapism is serious business, and not for the faint of heart).
I’m not going to tell you what is the correct genre of literary escapism. Personally, I find light, standalone stories work best. Some of my favorites were originally published as children’s books- Wind in the Willows, The Enchanted Forest Chronicles, etc. The Beautiful But Evil Space Princess reads Jane Austen fanfiction. Others might find darker and more complex stories to their liking, possibly on the theory that real life looks better after a dark story.
Today, I’m going to partake of the non-literary escapism known as ‘riding my horse.’ ‘Working in the garden’ might also fall in that category- it’s part of daily life, but it’s soothing, and in any case, the tomato plants need to find permanent homes.
But I have something for you. Remember the forgotten story from a few weeks ago? It’s live, and a great way to escape from daily life for a few minutes. A very few minutes; it’s quite short. But if you find yourself in need of a meringue of a story- sweet and fluffy- have a look at The First Adventure of Sir Garamond de Crecy.
Sir Garamond- Gerry, to his friends- has been knighted for less than a month, and he’s already found his first great quest: saving the beautiful and helpless Princess Alyssia of Ollandra from the dragon that is holding her in dreadful captivity. Or so he thinks…
A lighthearted short story.