Why shouldn’t stories be sad?

People sometimes question the worth of sad stories in comparison to uplifting ones, or deplore the fact that a lot of creative fiction deals with some of life’s less savoury aspects, but personally I think that fiction is the ideal place for as much misery as you can handle.

I don’t need to write about happiness and I don’t need to read about it. I find it where I can in my real-world and love it and appreciate it and treasure it as best I can, but I can’t preserve it. To do that would kill it; bleach its wings and stifle its intoxicating flickers.

So I leave happiness free by not trying to write but, conversely, write about sadness to let it out of the cages our minds build for it. Once the sadness’s are gone, once they available to be pawed over by all and sundry, their claws are blunted.

I read well-fondled sadness’s to exercise my empathy, to feel the stretch that reminds me that feeling something for strangers, fictional or not, is what gives me everything else.