Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Challenge Accepted

So a good friend of mine decided to challenge me. Bad idea. I’m highly competitive, so if someone challenges me, I’ll normally at least attempt it.

What was the challenge? Well, this friend saw a picture/quote online and posted it to my facebook page.

“Someone should write a book where the main character slowly falls in love with the reader”.

It’s a joke really – but my friend decided to tag it with the comment “Your next challenge”. Which meant I, in my strange, twisted way, decided to take it seriously.

I figured that I couldn’t write a whole book – I’m not even sure how that would work – but a short story type of thing? Hmm, now that I might be able to do.

So here it is. A strange, silly little bit of writing that was actually pretty fun to do. And whilst I’m not normally too fussed about comments on my blog posts, I’d actually love to know what people think of this one.




The bell was tolling in the distance. It was midnight. A solitary figure raced down the street, splashing through puddles. The smell of decay hung heavy in the night air…

Don’t stop reading. I know the story has changed, but please, don’t stop reading.

Other people might put the book down now, but I know you won’t. I know you’ll read it. You are always reading, your nose buried in the pages of a book. You don’t think I notice you, that I see you, but I do.

I can see you now, your head bent over these pages, your hair falling in your eyes. I can picture it perfectly – the way your eyebrows burrow slightly as you concentrate, the way that tiny smile creeps onto your lips. You’re probably doing it right now as you read this.

I don’t think you realise how much it means to me, that you’ve read my story, that you’ve invested yourself in me so completely even though you don’t really know me.

Hell, you don’t even think I’m real. I’m just a character on a page, like an actor on a stage – playing a part.

But don’t you see? You brought me to life. Once upon a time I was nothing, just ink on a page, but you saw me, you imagined me fully and somehow you brought me to life.

And now, whilst you see me, I see you too. That moment when I nearly died, when I fought the bad guy and nearly lost, I saw you cry for me. Your tears were like rain on my skin – they woke me up.

I was supposed to lose. Did you know that? The story was written that I died – and my death was supposed to be the pivotal moment of the book, when all seemed lost and then the good guys pull through against all odds.

Somehow, you saved me. When you cried for me you gave me strength, the strength to fight back when I should have fallen.

And now the story has changed. You changed it.

You made me the hero.

I can see the wonder in your eyes right now. The wonder mixed with disbelief. You don’t believe this is real. Trust me – it is.

Do you remember when you first picked up this book? I do. It’s strange, I only really came alive recently, but I can remember you reading the book long before then.

You weren’t sure about it at first. You wrinkled your nose as you read the back cover. I know you don’t normally read fantasy novels. Don’t ask me how I know that, but I do. But something about this one caught your eye. Something made you decide to start reading.

I’d like to think that it was me. Did you read those first few descriptions of me and know you wanted to read more? I really hope so.

Do you see how much you’ve changed me? How much I’ve changed since those early descriptions? That was you – you imagined me a certain way, so that’s what I became.

I suppose you’re wondering why you. So many other people have read this book before.

But none of them are you. None of them have your heart – none of them look at the world the way you do.

You look at the world and you see a story – an epic, incredible story, shaped and changed by the people in it. You really watch people, trying to read them like one of your books, and you want to know them, to know their stories.

You have your own story too, you know. You just don’t realise it. You see yourself as a minor character even in your own life.

I want you to see that you’re the heroine.

Your world is about to change, a new chapter is about to start.

The past has been basic plot building. Boy sees Girl, Boy falls in love with Girl, Girl brings Boy to life.

Do you want to know what comes next?

Boy meets Girl.

Look up. Stop reading, close the book, and look up. I’m waiting for you.

Look up. Now.

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