Stories are alive. They display all of the characteristics. They are born as a sinlge thought, a spark of inspiration, a word on a page, a glance from a stranger. A moment that makes the storyteller think, "what if...?"
Then it grows. It gains complexity and new characteristics. It becomes a dynamic thing, ever-changing and re-defining itself. It's forming itself into the mature thing that it was always meant to be.
It grows, molds, changes, stretches, refines, bends, twists, flows, compresses, morphs, and becomes.
Like a human from a tiny embryo, the story no longer looks anything like it once did. It has been raised and nurtured into something entirely new, yet completely the same. It's ready to be set free into the world, fully matured, and ready to change other people's lives.
And so, it is let out onto the page, the stage, the screen, the instrument. It's no longer something that belongs to the storyteller. This living thing now belongs to the world, for beauty belongs only to the eye of the beholder, and all of the world is the witness.
The story lives and breaths, even as it has matured and been set free, it is still changing. Everyone that the story meets perceives it in a new and wholly unique and exciting way.
And the story never dies. While it may be forgotten, it is not dead, for at anytime, it may meet someone new who re-invigorates the story with new purpose.
One's life is finite, but one's story is immortal.