What is an abstraction but something that deals with an idea. What is a narrative? A spoken or written account of connected events. Surely, the two definitions are connected since, in D&D we are talking about ideas but it's all how we connect ideas to create a story.One could argue that's an abstraction rather than a narrative mechanic, since it's still based on actions the PCs are taking.
The story is different if you use Stealth to find the missing person vs Survival. And it's the player who decides what skills they want their character to use. They, therefore, are controlling the narrative. In that particular example, the player would choose the appropriate skills, tell the DM how they want to use them and the DM would narrate success or failure - but that narration is strongly influenced by the players choice.