“Tell Me a Medium Story That Will Impress Me”
Child sets vague standard for bedtime story, demands nonspecific “funny ending”
The Story Bird is probably the most stressful role in my life, because he must each night invent a new story, and I feel that I have set myself up to eventually disappoint Kina by lowering the standard of tension in the tales that the bird carries in every evening by (long story) helicopter. Kina’s requests, in turn, become more and more arcane and existential. “Tell me a medium story”1 is hard enough, but “tell me a medium story that will impress me” is literally the kind of creative prompt that Scheherazade had to live with for almost three years. Writing programs are the worst.
God forbid it should be a short or long story