Where…do all the stories go? When you've logged off your computer… What do the characters do?

I used to wonder that. At night, I would look up at the stars and wonder… Is there really such a person as they claim? They tell me she has ultimate power over this world. But… Is it true? Does the Authoress really exist?

When you delete a failed story… Does it just go away? Or do the characters…die? Do they leave and never return?

I know now that she does. I've met her. I am her. She created me long ago; so long ago that I don't even remember what story I was supposed to be for. I am a special case, however. She made me, crafted me, with the intent that I would become her other half. Her doppelganger, so to say. Unlike so many other characters, I stayed behind. She didn't have the heart to destroy me like she has before.

Maybe… Maybe they just cross the sea, yeah? Maybe there's a land just for them to live in peace…

In this world, there are two countries. One is composed entirely of her original work, commonly known as "Orlania", for that is the country name she uses most. Across the ocean lies all her work of fanfiction. We aren't allowed to go there. I've heard terrible stories of it… Too many fandoms should not meet in one place. There are ponies running around while elves are riding on horses, trying to save princesses, and trainers stalking the monsters of caves. It's all very confusing.

I want to know the truth, Authoress. Tell me. Please!

"You're still too young, Darhc. I can't tell you that. What happens beyond life here is my concern and my concern only. You forget that…" She chuckled softly, stepping forward to stand beside me on the balcony of my castle. "You forget that you are a figment of my imagination." She pushed back the hood of her cloak. In the light of the stars I could see her glasses flash.

"I want to know…" I mumbled. Looking back toward the sky, I could see that she rearranged the heavens again. "Why do you come here? Almost every night, I see you."

"I am not always here for you, Darhc." Her voice was low as she talked, though it was not hostile. She seemed…almost sad as she gazed at me.

I turned to her. "But you check on me?"

"It is a last-minute thought. What you mostly see is my shadow. Right before I fall asleep… I have to say good night to my greatest creation." She arced her arm through the air. At once the stars followed her example and a meteor shower began.

"So you care about me…"

The Authoress nodded, adjusting her spectacles. "I care about all my characters. I am, after all, completely and totally in charge of their fates."

"You don't seem to care about killing them."

Her body tensed. As the shower ended, she whirled to face me. "Darhc, there is a difference between killing off and deleting. When I kill someone in a story, they still have a chance here. When I delete a story… The characters didn't have a chance in the first place. I am doing them a great mercy."

"Is that how you justify it, then? Is that why it was so easy for you to kill Saidon?"

By the look on her face, I could tell I struck a nerve. She averted her gaze from me and sighed heavily. "Saidon was…an accident. He was never supposed to be created. And when he was… He went to you. I'm sorry he had to be deleted. But… He appeared without warning and I had to take control of the situation."

"So you ruined my happiness." I clenched my fists.

"No… He was an accidental test. As you know, you are my test subject."

"Believe me, I know. I've been punched, kicked, thrown, diseased, broken, battered, raped—"

"Once! Only once!" She crossed her arms. "You're making it sound worse than it really is."

I narrowed my violet eyes. "You made me lesbian at one point! Lesbian for you! Not to mention you then proceeded to turn me into a man! That was still in love with you! "

"All right, all right." She held up her hands defensively. "So I've been a bit cruel with you, Darhc. It's not so bad. You continue to live in peace, don't you?"

"In peace and alone…"

"Which is why I gave you magic to create company for yourself."

"Those black blobs can barely make a decent meal."

She sighed once more, reaching up to rub her eyes. "It's getting late and I'm not in the mood to be arguing with you right now."

I gazed at her as she turned back to the sky. Her hair curled and waved down her back, unlike my straight black locks. All at once I felt frightened. Here was the Authoress, the one person in this world that could answer any question of mine. She had the power to kill me forever if she wished. And yet, she kept me alive…

"Why do I live?"

"Because I want you to, Darhc. You are my greatest creation. One of my greatest creations. I can't let you go. Not yet." She smiled slightly. "I must go now and leave you. Have a good night."

I reached out for her. "Wait!"

With a snap of her fingers, she disappeared into the night. My hand fell through the air she previously occupied. She was always like that; stay and chat for a few minutes, then vanish without a trace. It annoyed me only a little. Sighing, I sat myself on the banister separating me from a potentially life-threatening fall and safe life on the balcony.

The moon shone down on the serene forests around my home. It was full tonight and somewhere I heard a wolf howl. Perhaps it was lonely, like me. I knew I would be invisible, even in the moonlight, should I decide to go hunting. My stark black hair and dark clothing blended in very well with the night environment.

I heard the wolf again. This time, another answered it. So they were not lonely, it seemed. I made the decision to spare their lives this evening. Standing, I turned to go to bed. "Good night…Authoress," I whispered.