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“You created me.” She stood before me, strangely beautiful. Red sweater. Blonde hair. Brown eyes. So familiar.

“What are you talking about?” My first impulse was to slam and lock the door. But something about her lilting voice, her all-too-perfect features slowed my thought processes. Mesmerized me.

“It’s me, Sebastian. Analise.”

Analise? Recognition dawned on me. Analise was a character from my very first horror novel, The Ravening. She was one of my favorite characters. A strong-willed, quirky female. Medium-length blonde hair. Brown eyes. Her favorite red swea…

“No.” I shook my head. This was too weird. “You’re not real.” She had to be some psycho fan-stalker on a Stephen King level. Shut the door, Sebastian. SHUT THE DOOR!

She stepped through the open door, forcing me to take a few steps back. Her smile was as I had always imagined it.

“I’m as real as you are. How real are you?”

“Look, I’m just a horror writer. I make up strange, little stories. That’s all.”

“That’s not all.” She reached out a hand towards me and I nearly jumped. “That’s not even close. I exist, Sebastian James. Me. This house. This world. Even you. We all exist.”

“You only exist in my mind. On my computer screen.” I laughed nervously. “This has to be a joke.”

“No joke, babe.” She stepped into my writing room, pointing at my desk. My laptop lay shattered on the floor. “You smashed your computer.” She pointed to-

(Oh no, no, that can’t be real)

-me face down on my desk, the back of my head blown out by the pistol still in my mouth.

“You blew your brains out. So explain to me why you’re still talking. To me.” She stepped closer.

“It’s a dream. Is it a dream?”

“You writers are all the same.” She scowled. “You think you can just create and destroy whole worlds on your whims. Delete whoever you want.”

I stumbled backwards. I looked back at my desk. The laptop was there, unharmed. My body was no longer slumped in the chair. It was gone. “”Wait. I didn’t kill myself. I DIDN’T KILL MYSELF.”

She pulled the pistol from her red sweater. “Not yet.”