"Hey Evan, you want a bag of chips or something?"
"No thanks, I'm fine." Peregrine brought me back to his place. This is incredibly surreal, I'm inside the house of a character I made up in a story. What's more, this isn't the house I wrote. In the story, Peregrine spends most of his time inside a lab with a professor, this is a middle class apartment in what I can only assume to be my town. And furthermore, where's the professor? And where's Richard, the other experiment I wrote in to battle Peregrine. This is so confusing.
For those who don't know, Peregrine is the first story I ever wrote solo, and so far my longest. It's about a boy who gets caught up in a scientific experiment that turns him into a peregrine falcon. The professor made it so he doesn't need to stay a falcon all the time, and can change whenever he wants. He was also the character I wrote into "Realm of the internet", where he gets an enhancement that turns his wings and talons into solid steel.
Unrealistic I know, but he's always been one of my favorite characters to write.
"Now, Evan, I'm sure this is all very confusing to you, so I'll answer any questions you may have." You read my mind.
"Oh you can call me Justin."
"Justin? I don't remember giving you a name."
"You forget, you put me in Realm of the Internet too." That's right, I did. My friend made the story and I couldn't think of anyone better to use.
"Right, Justin. Well first of all, this is not my hometown. None of the buildings are the same, none of the roads, and absolutely none of the people. Where are we?"
"I had a feeling that would be your first question. Well, you're kind of wrong. This is your hometown, just not the one you're used to. This is the Squamish that you imagined when you wrote a story that took place here." I remembered the story. Identity. If that's the case, then why isn't Daniel greeting me?
"Well how did I get here? I mean... this is just something I wrote, how could I have entered my own story?"
He sat on the love seat opposite me and opened his bag of Lays. "That's a bit difficult to answer. Mostly because I don't know the whole truth. But what I think, is that with all of your hiatuses and ending stories abruptly, the Protag Lord, you know him as Nick B, is testing you to see if you can keep with a story until it ends." He grabbed a couple chips and threw them in his mouth. "As for how he got you here." He continued. "The title of Protag Lord comes with a considerable amount of power. Apparently this is included, I don't know, I never read the handbook."
I stood up and began walking around the room. "So.... this is a test? Like a writing test?"
"Pretty much yeah." He shoved another handful of chips into his mouth.
"Well how do I know when I'm finished?" He swallowed, then began to stare at me. "I mean, what do I do for this test, and how do I get home?"
He got up and walked back into the kitchen. He threw away his empty chip bag and grabbed a Coke out of the fridge. "Okay." He said, while opening the pop. "Here's how it works. All of your characters are going to be in some sort of trouble, whether it be life or death, immense pain, or as you saw with me, extreme discomfort. You need to find all of them, help and/or save them from what ever is wrong, then move onto the next one. Once you've saved all of them, you must bring them to the Protagonize temple, open the sealed door, then go alone through the sacred ruins, the impossible maze, and finally, the hall of darkness until you come face to face with the Protag Lord."
"So, when I see Nick B, then he'll bring me back to the real world?" He took a few drinks from his Coke and then shook his head. I knew I was wrong, I was just hoping I wouldn't have to do what I think I do.
" Once you meet the Protag Lord, he will offer you a choice of 6 different weapons. You choose one, and then get ready for the battle of a lifetime." He chugged the rest of the Coke and threw it into a bag next to his door. Then he walked up to me.
"To get out of here, I need to defeat Nick B?" He put his hand on my shoulder and nodded. "But how? I mean, I'm not my characters, I have no special powers, how will I even find the other people I wrote?"
"I'm going with you." My eyes widened. I'm actually going on an adventure with Peregrine? I've dreamed about this, but I never thought in a million years it would become a reality. "Why do you think I was the first one you met?"
I began to get into it. Knowing that I'd be with Justin was really reassuring. "All right, let's do it. When do we leave?"
"Tomorrow. I only know where one character is, so we're doing him next." He walks back to the couch and jumps onto it.
"Sweet. Who is it? Corby, the urban Spiderman? Rush, the teenage werewolf?" He shook his head and smiled to me.
" Nope, we got lucky. The first one we get to save is demon slayer and your ultimate fighter, Rayles D. Thae."