The Narrator

A man sat, quite comfortabe, in his chair, watching the events of the story play out in his mind. There was no room around him, only space. A great deal of space. Black, infinite space, all around, containing nothing.

He looked young, perhaps no older than 20. He was clean, shaven and handsome, but tired. All the reading he did wore his brain out, but after a good rest he would feel better again. Ever since man had learned to write, the lordly beings of life and death had brought him into existance, for they had been irratated by the human people's new hobby. The Narrator frowned, remembering his annoyance at the fact he was employed simply to keep the lordly beings comfortable.

The book in his hands was, indeed quite amateur, but had held his interest so far. The cover was the same as always, blank, dark and glossy. Newly imagined stories always had the same cover. The older ones, classics, had rough, old leather bindings, that had worn pages from so much reading.

The book itself on the inside was blank, new words appearing as he thought them, narrated them, gave them a physical form. If he did not, then they were no more than images, floating around in one's mind. And that is his job. The job of the Narrator.

He coughed, watching a quite rude scene play out in his mind, and held up the story to give himself a break. A table, coffee machine and a large screen popped into existance just as he needed them, and he stood up, walking to the coffee maker and rubbing his temples.

He sat down with his coffee, putting the book on the table, and the screen switched on. From here, he could watch any part of the human world he wished, whether it be someone writing or someone on the toilet. It was sometimes fun, even though the Narrator knows of most things from reading, but listening to the thoughts of people, especially teenagers, was entertaining.

Soon enough, the Narrator had finished his cup, after sitting though a scene where a pompous mother had discovered her all-star son had been visiting prostitutes, and promptly becoming all flustered and distraught. These kind of events were the less-than-interesting ones, but he had chuckled at the way the mother's face had turned blue as the news hit home.

He stood up, turned, and walked over to the shiny machine floating in mid-nothingness. Simple actions followed. Place cup. Press button. Sigh. Wait. For a modern machine, the coffee maker was surprisingly slow. The Narrator hated slow. He began to look around instead, not that there was anything to look at.

But there was.

A very young girl was standing, head cocked to one side, at least a couple of meters or so away from him. And she was staring. So he stared back.

"Who the hell....?" He began, finally realizing the enormity of the situation. The girl raised an eyebrow dramatically.

"I don't know." It sounded like an excuse.

"How did you get here?" The Narrator demanded. He wasn't going to have beings randomly coming into existance in his home. Wherever or whatever his home may be. Frustration boiled gently under his skin - Perhaps the lordly beings were now using his living space as a dumping ground for Fictional Waste? His brow furrowed at the thought.

"I already said, I don't know." The girl went on. He noticed she was growing transparent. Good. Maybe soon she would disappear. "All I've been told that my name is Fin, and that I should listen to you. I see you have a lot of books..." She added, hopefully trying to end on a good note.

The Narrator pouted. Fin? He hadn't heard of her before. He looked up again. She was now semi-transparent, but the process of disappearing seemed to have stopped. She was now emitting a slightly green glow, rather like a ghost.

"There's coffee on your shoe."

He wheeled round, startled, and saw the coffee mug overfilled, coffee on the floor, and the machine whining in complaint, overheating slightly. The Narrator cursed loudly and punched the button on the front. The machine relaxed and settled back to normal, leaving the Narrator and Fin to clean up the mess. Though Fin did most of the cleaning.

The once lonely chair had become a sofa, fit for two. The Narrator, and Fin sat, watching the humans. The Narrator pondered the girl next to him, and came to a conclusion. She looked up at him as he spoke.

"La Fin eh? It means 'The end' in posh." He explained. "Would that be you then? My end?" He scoffed. It made him uncomfortable, talking about his own end, but he wasn't about to admit it, or show his uncomfort either.

"No, I don't think so." She said plainly. "If I was, I would have ended you already. But I understand my name now, thanks."

He pouted again, a common thing these days.

"If you're 'The End', then where's 'The Beginning'?" He asked no-one in particular.

"I should hope they don't come, we probably won't see eye to eye."

"Mmmm." He agreed. Then he saw where Fin was looking. "Those are mine."

"I know..." She said, watching the stash of books in the corner of nowhere as if they were something living. "What is your job, then? What do you do?" She asked.

 "I read and narrate, of course, hence the name. I also deal with unwanted fiction, hence the pile over there." He nodded towards the books.

"So you're a narrator then?"

"Uhm, duh? Anyway, I'm not a narrator. I'm the Narrator."

Fin decided that she, too, must have a job she was designed to do, and stood up. She walked over and picked a book up inquisitively, flicking through the pages. Her eyebrows went lower into a frown with every page turned.

"This is crap! Real and utter crap!" She cried, almost severely disgusted, closing the book with a snap. However, something happened that the Narrator had never experienced before. As soon as the two ends of the book were closed upon each other, the whole book, small as it was, disappeared. They watched in shock a moment, until the Narrator broke the silence with a long, jolly laugh.

Fin turned round and watched him, having never seen anyone laugh like that before.

"Ha! Very well done, Fin!" He chuckled. She smiled a little and sat down, sipping her coffee. "I see now why you're here. Good. I have a lot of stuff for you to clean up." He winked, turning on the screen with the final flick of a finger.

 

The End

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