Davy scratched the back of his head and scrunched up his face in deep concentration. It was a lot to take in.
“So you’re saying… we’re not real?” he asked.
“No, of course we’re real!” Joe said. “If you tickle me, do I not laugh? If you prick us, do we not bleed?” How very Shakespearian of him.
“That’s a question that needs an answer,” Davy said as a hunting knife appeared in his hand.
“That was a rhetorical question mate, settle down!” Joe said as he jumped backward and landed in a poison ivy bush. “I hate you so much, you bloody bastard.”
“Was that directed at me or one of those invisible author people?” Davy asked.
“Not you Davy, of course not you,” Joe said while trying to remember if there was any calamine lotion in his apartment. “And they’re not all invisible - some of them are such arrogant buggers they’ve narrated their way into our story.”
“Well, what did you do to them? All this bad stuff you’re told me about can’t be totally unprovoked, right?”
“Nothing mate, absolutely nothing! I mean, all I tried to do was offer some helpful suggestions to make our story as good as it could possibly be! You’d want to be in a good story too, aye?”
“I’m not sure I want to be in a story at all,” Davy muttered. “It doesn’t sound like very much fun… and in all the books I’ve read the best mate dies or is in some terrible accident! Sure, the hero goes through a lot of rubbish but they all end up alright in the end, getting the girl and what not.”
“We could be heroes together mate, wouldn’t you like that?” Joe begged. “These tossers seem to like you anyway; I doubt they’d ever do you any serious harm!”
“But I don’t remember any of that stuff, how do I know you didn’t just hallucinate all of this?” Davy asked. A very fair question, that.
“Listen – I’ll show you, okay? We’ll go back to my place and I’ll show you this mental story on my computer. Then you’ll believe me, right?”
“I guess it couldn’t do any harm… but how will we get there?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, I don’t even know where we are right now – do you?” Davy asked as he gestured at their surroundings. Joe closed his eyes, took a deep breath, opened them again and looked around to find… nothing he recognized.