A/N: This, my dears, is what you get out of me at 5:00 in the morning when I have been awake all night long, unable to sleep. Just some rather bemused ramblings that you might find of interest. Or not. Who knows?

What happens when you close the book? Does the story continue, or does it just sit there, mute, to be carried on by another pen at another time, or to be started again at some passerby's convenience? No matter what people think, words are never dead, and I find it hard to believe that a story can simply end. If you simply end a story, are you not, in essence, cutting short the lives of the ones that live within it?

Words are power. Words can make or break people, relationships, even countries. Without words, our entire history falls to pieces. Would it not work in reverse as well? If you simply stop writing the words, does the future of the people you write of fall to pieces? Without a story to define it, how do their lives go?

I almost fancy that the characters (so we call them) lie down and slip into a peaceful sleep, much like the enchantments in fairytales. It is timeless, and when we need them, we can awaken them with just a touch of the pen or a few strokes of the keys, even just a movement of the tongue. Indeed, the characters in stories have accomplished something that no human can. Oh, of course, they can slay dragons, travel to other worlds, and even fly, but that isn't what I was referring to. The characters in books have discovered a way to live forever.

Do the heroes and heroines live happily ever after? We're led to believe that such a thing doesn't truly exist, but if our words define their lives, perhaps it does. Or, perhaps again, our words only define their hopes and their dreams, the stories they tell of what their lives could have been like. Real life seldom has a plot, after all; are we perhaps only imposing plots on the lives of others?

There tend to be empty pages at the backs of books. Are these for us to continue the story on? Are they there to tell us, "Yes, there could be more, simply imagine it!"? But when others go mucking about the realms of our imaginations and picking up our characters…what becomes of them? Are they truly ours anymore? Do they take on lives of their own? Or are they simply marionettes that have been stolen away, to operate with someone else pulling the strings? Are the endings we want them to have truly the ones that they should?

I like the idea that we are simply scribes of others' lives; not of their true stories, but of what their lives could have been like, if all the pieces had fallen into their proper places. Perhaps the idea is silly, nonsensical, even whimsical, but I have a taste for a touch of whimsy, myself. At the end of the day, I like to believe that the boy gets the girl after saving the world, and that two people truly can live happily ever after. I like to think that after a tragedy, we are reborn from the ashes of our former selves and go on to live better, fuller lives than would be possible otherwise. I like to wish that we could all have a storybook ending.

And so I leave these words, just in case someone's silver tongue or golden pen is telling my own story, and is there to see, and listen. I would like to know what happens after the book is closed. I do not want to sleep eternity away in darkness, though I do love my dreams. If it would be at all possible… Wake me up when the ending's over.