By Stu Whitley
This is fourth in a five-part series.The end of anything must be at least as interesting as the beginning of it, even if we think it’s not a particularly happy ending. As a novelist, the end of a story I’m writing doesn’t always present itself to me initially, and even if I think I’m working toward a particular conclusion, the climax consistently turns out to be quite different than that which I have conceived somewhere along the way. Oddly, I’m as interested in the outcome as I hope a reader might be.
The point is not that every story ends: it is that every story has a surprise ending that has everything to do with the way a life has been lived.
I contemplate the decline of those once-grand and now-ancient
paddlewheel steamers on the Yukon River, it occurs to me that, in not
many more years, they will be gone almost completely, leaving only a
few rusted pieces of machinery to mark their passing. I wish there was