Eric suddenly felt ill at ease. "What do you mean?" He asked nervously.
The man leered closer still, grinning. "Everything you have ever known...is fiction."
Eric narrowed his eyes. "I don't have time for philosophy. What, exactly, do you mean by fiction?"
The man leaned back, gesturing impatiently with his free hand as he sipped from his mug. "What I mean is - you, for all your arrogant pretences, are merely a figment of somebody's imagination. You are a character within a piece of literature."
Eric scoffed, though something in his soul stirred. "I paid good money for this meeting. I will not tolerate your lies."
The man regarded Eric coolly. "They aren't lies - you know this. What do you truly know about your life? What do you remember?"
Eric hesitated. "I remember...being sent to boarding school by my Father. I remember arriving in this street and ascending the stairs - the door had the number 0 on it and -"
"You only remember that which has been written about you. You are a character, but not a fleshed out one. You can not feel, you can not think. You are ink on parchment, nothing more. You, for all intents and purposes, do not exist."
"I don't believe it! I cannot believe it!" Cried Eric.
"You aren't even the finished article. You are a rough draft. You are incomplete. And I'm sorry, I'm truly very sorry - you and this world are about to be destroyed."
Eric Erwin jr. scrambled out of the door as the walls around him collapsed. Reality itself was folding and contorting around him. For the briefest of moments, Eric thought he could feel the rain once more upon his face - but then it was gone, replaced only with the dim, flickering lightbulb. Eric continued down the stairs, unable to remember where he had been five minutes ago nor where he was going. He reached the foot of the stairs and the door in front of him merely crumpled as he touched it. Then, he was falling. Falling. Eric realised he could not die - because he had never been alive.
He closed his eyes.
The Author finished crumpling up the piece of paper and tossed it into the bin. He sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. It was late, and The Author was suffering from the dreaded curse of writer's block. Still, persistence was the key - he thought to himself. He grabbed his biro and, on a fresh sheet of paper, began his next draft:
It's raining. Pouring, actually. Eric Erwin jr isn't used to being rained on. On a normal day, he would have someone holding an umbrella above him. But this isn't a normal day...