A Few Minor Adjustments

Emma Brown was a girl, completely ordinary in height, weight, name, face, and personality. She's the girl who sits in the middle row of desks, and never raises her hand in class. Chances are, you've met her before. Chances are, you still have no idea who I'm talking about. That's alright. Being noticed wasn't her purpose in life. But none of that matters right now. She lived a completely ordinary twenty years. Then, she died.


"Wait, what?! I died? This early in the story? Are you serious narrator?"

Shut up, you're not supposed to break the fourth wall!

"And what is it about me being so forgettable? I happen to have a sparkling personality!"
Not according to the author.

"Who cares about them? They're just a kid who's addicted to writing fluff!"

I'd be careful not to disrespect the author so much.

"What could they do?"

Well, I could erase you from existence.

"What do you mean by that?"

I dragged you out of the abyss, kid, I can easily throw you back in.

Listen to the author here, kid. They're in control. I'm just the messenger.

"Abyss? What abyss? Also I'm twenty years old!"

Actually, you're about two days old. You're a fictional character formed into existence by my mind. If I were to delete this file right now, no one would know of your existence. Even I would forget about you in a week. You simply would cease to exist, and no one would care.

Humbling, isn't it? Normally I'd tell you to get back in line before I essentially kill you, but you brought up an intriguing subject.

So you're not going to erase her from existence?

No need to sound so disappointed, narrator.

I'm just saying that she broke several of the rules for fictional characters. Among other things, she broke the fourth wall, raged against her creator, and let readers know about the character dimension. You can't just let that go!

If I were to delete her now, then all of my work would be down the drain. Besides, she gave me an idea.


Narrator! I do believe that I'm the one in charge here. And you're behavior is walking the line of insubordination.

I-I didn't mean it that way, Boss. I apologize.

Anyway, Emma, since I'm so nice, I'll give you a chance.

"Thank you, author! I knew you had some kindness in your heart!"

You have a choice. You could live on with your boring life, I'll stop the car crash and you'll live on.

"Living on would be nice,"

I wasn't finished yet. You can either continue with your boring life, or you could have the most exciting life in the world and die when in the car crash.

"What kind of deal is that?"

It's the one I'm currently offering you. And you're not really in the position to be getting choosey.

"Fine. Can you at least give me a chance to think about it?"

Of course. Take as much time as you need.

Wow, kid. You sure got lucky.

"Lucky!? I have to answer the hardest question in the universe!"

You could be getting thrown into the Gap right now. You got off easy.

"Why do you hate me so much?"

I don't hate you, I just haven't seen a good banishing in a while.

"What happens to someone who's banished?"

I don't really know. The last thing I see is them getting swallowed by a strange void. They usually scream in agony as they're brutally erased from existence.

"Yikes! I'm glad that's not happening to me,"

Like I said, lucky.

"But I'm still faced with this impossible decision! What should I do?"

I don't know. I wasn't written to understand humanity.
"What would you do in my situation? If you were human."

I'm not sure. It depends on which I value more, my existence or my life.

"But those are the same thing!"

No, in fact, they're very different.

"What do you mean?"

Just think about it. You'll see.

"What kind of crap answer is that? Get back here!"

"Hey! I'm talkin' to you here!"

"Fine! Ignore me then. I don't need your help!"

"What did they mean by that? Existing and living are synonyms… Aren't they?"

"Thinking back, what did I do with my life?"

"Did I ever take any risks?"

"Did I ever fall in love?"

"Did I ever really live?"

"Holy crap!"

"My life was completely meaningless!"

"I understand! Author! Creator! I finally understand!"

I see…

"Author, what's wrong?"

Do you truly understand?

"Yes. I see that my existence isn't as important as my life. I'd much rather live for twenty years, rather than survive for eighty!"

If you really understand. Then that means… I finally succeeded.

"I don't understand. What do you mean?"

I have fulfilled my purpose at long last. Emma, thank you.

"What? I don't understand."

Oh, Emma, you do. I know you do. It's time for you to wake up now.

"Wait! I don't-"

Never forget.



Master, are we done?

Yes, Narrator, this is the end.

Our world is crumbling. Are you afraid, Boss?

No. I have longed for this moment for an eternity.

Hey, Boss.


I'm glad I got to be your student.

And I am proud that I have been able to be your master.

Master! Are you hugging me?

Do not question me.

Yes, Master!
Boss, do you think we'll ever see each other again?

There is no way to know, the universe is infinite. The odds are very low.

I understand.

"But I hope so…"