Stories are personal. Reading is a private pastime. For any single story, each reader takes something different from it. I recently re-read a book I hadn't read for years and took from it something different from the first time.
Each story has something to offer; a lesson, a perspective, a thought-provoking, emotion-rousing response. Something to ponder, re-imagine, turn over and over in your mind. Something to tell your partner about, to discuss with your friends. Something to return to, a touchstone, a talisman, a sticky familiar memory. A scene, a character, a moment that stays with you, changes you, helps you grow.
This is why we read stories, why our ancestors told tales around the campfire, why the old themes are re-told countless times. The clothing might change but the archetypal characters remain the same. These are our heroes who give us hope, who show us how to strive to be better people, and the villains they counter, the baddies we boo, the monsters we cheer to see the hero defeat.
I write stories as they flow from my heart, as they're shaped by my mind, as they spill from my fingers. I spread my hands. Here. They're yours now. Take them. Take from them whatever you need. Take from them whatever metaphors you find...