I could hear his footsteps. I could see his…Ugh, he’s here!
I turned around to run in the other direction again, but as the sound of something rustling and hitting the ground behind me softly entered my ears…
“Hi there, Miss Loopy!”
There he was…There he was again…Slaughterface…That ruthless time traveler…The bane of my existence…Right in front of me again…With a gun…With that disturbingly light voice…and that ridiculous smiley mask of his…
“Why are you trying to ruin my life again and again, Slaughterface?” I asked him as I prepared to take a gun from the hyperspace pocket from the back of my skirt.
“Well, I thought you’d never ask, Miss Loopy! I would’ve killed you if you didn’t do that!”
Why…What is going on in that broken brain of his…?
“Explain, Slaughterface,” I told him with a glare and a gun pointed at him.
“Remember the time when you asked me about why I’m chasing you and why I’m killing your family and friends?”
Oh yes…I asked him about that once during a past time loop.
“Yes, I do remember. You said that you wanted to teach me a lesson by ruining my life.” Ugh, remembering that pisses me off. “Why didn’t you explain it more back then?”
“Because I thought that ending the sentence with a bang was cool!”
I let a palm meet my face upon hearing that answer. He is insane. Why did I not think of that?
“Explain already, or I’ll blow your brains out.”
“Alright, alright! Geez, give me a break, will you? Besides, it’s not like I’ll stop just because I got a bullet in my brain…I’m freaking durable, you kn–” *BANG* “Hey!”
“Fine…I wanted to teach you a lesson by ruining my life because…” And then he spins in place (He never stops trying to be ridiculously flashy, huh?) “…There are people watching us, Miss Loopy!”
He seems to be pointing behind me.
There was no one behind me, though.
“What are you talking about?” I asked as I turned to face the insane time traveler again. “I don’t see anyone behind me. Speaking of which, why am I even trying to reason with an insane person?”
“Hey, I may be insane, but I’ve still got some sanity left in me, even if it’s a teeny-tiny bit. It makes me more interesting, you know! Anyway, cool down, Miss Loopy. Here, have a crystal ball!”
Suddenly, he took out a small crystal ball from his jacket and threw it towards me. In the midst of my chaotic mind, the decision to catch was immediately chosen without a second thought.
“What is this supposed to…be…?”
When my eyes gazed upon the clear crystal ball in my hands…things suddenly made sense.
“We’re…We’re being watched by so many people. So many people from different universes…and we’re all just…made-up characters in a made-up universe…?”
I found it hard to believe, but it was so easy to believe at the same time. I could feel it. I could feel the teary gazes of the readers who saw my life being ruined by Slaughterface. I could feel the happy voices of the readers who watched me make new friends, inspire people, change into a different person…
And I could feel the readers’ surprise as surprise rose from within me.
“Do you see it now, Miss Loopy? Their eyes are on us. Some of them are letting us inspire them, letting us move them into better directions. And then there are some who are letting us control them, letting us into making them forget about their own free will. Do you understand what I’m talking about now, Miss Loopy?”
“…Yes.” I found it hard to speak. I was in a whirlwind of emotions. I felt happy that I was able to inspire someone, while I also felt sad that there were people who forgot that they had free will. I felt fear, hope, curiosity, so many emotions…
Suddenly, I remembered that Slaughterface and I were just inventions of some person’s mind, that we were made to influence people. We were influences, yes, but what sort of influences we will be…It doesn’t just depend on our author, but also on our readers as well.
And then I noticed that my gun was on the ground. The script said that I am supposed to die. The script said that I will struggle to stay in the same repeating days over and over. The script said that I need to remind the viewers that change is constant, that things can go right, that things can go wrong, that–*BANG*
“Better not let a sane person hold that thing for very long, Miss Loopy. I can handle having it because I’m already insane, you know! Now, let’s not think about what we just saw in that crystal ball, since we have a job to do and also because the crystal ball had done its job already. Besides, with that crystal ball broken into bits, we’ll all gradually forget what we saw beyond the fourth wall.”
I’m not real. Only my creator can control my fate. What I did, what I’m doing, what I’ll be doing…No matter how many people beg for me to live, my creator has made it’s decision:
Before my hands could even reach the gun, I felt a bullet go through my abdomen and a hand grab the back of my dress. Is Slaughterface going to kill me brutally?
“You know, the boss changed his mind. He’s thought of a better way to deliver the lesson he wants to deliver to our dear readers.”
What sort of torture will I experience now, then? I want to go back to the old days…
“I’ll leave you to live the life that you wanted to live! But first, we need to go to a hospital and get you patched up!”
“Yeah, really! I said that it’s the boss who said it, but you don’t need to believe me if you don’t want to believe me! Let’s go, then!”
I did not even speak. I was speechless again. I am going back to live the life that I wanted to live? A life without dead loved ones? A life without an insane time traveler chasing me? A life that absolutely follows my will?
Suddenly, from beyond the fourth wall that was gradually being fixed…I felt reactions…fear, hope, disappointment, curiosity…and a smiling author who said:
“Change is constant. Things can bring you down. Things can lift you up. Where you want to go, however, is your choice.”
I felt like that’s what he said…but maybe it was just my imagination. What am I even thinking about, anyway? Being exposed to this insane man probably did a number on my sanity.
Oh well, at least I will be able to live the life that I wanted to live again! Nothing can go wrong!