A young woman awoke in her room. To her, it was just an ordinary day.
But little did she know that today was a day of destiny.
"Wh... it's a WHAT?!", she exclaimed, rubbing her eyes. "No, no, no, I want NO part in this!"
Of course, rare is the hero that is willing to accept his or her duty at the onset.
"I know how this works. This is going to RUIN me. It's going to turn my entire life topsy-turvy, and I don't want ANY of that!"
And indeed, such was the way with young -
"DON'T SAY IT! Don't tell them my name, that'll completely seal the deal!"
She glanced around her room in panic.
"Listen, you don't need to do this, alright? Find someone else. Find a... a kid who works his way up from the gutter. Some wimpy kid who gets to show what he's really made of. Just not ME!"
Unfortunately, she made things difficult.
"You think it's difficult for you! You have no idea, buddy..."
She had a sudden thought, and pondered it for a bit.
"...Okay, well... I can see where you're coming from."
"You've got a story to write, I'll bet. But I don't want to be the main character of it, so we're at a bit of an impasse."
She began to understand the situation at hand. Now, she could devise a plan of action.
"Well... Sure, but gimme a time lapse. You'll do that, right?"
"I've got it!", she announced, following much browsing of the internet and general procrastination.
"So what you need's a story, and my story's no good. But in a place like..."
She paused briefly, then resumed. "In a place like... here, you're bound to find someone on the street with a story to tell."
"So it's as easy as that. I'll just find some interesting person on the street, let them take over, and I'll be free again."
If only she knew the truth. "Oh don't be such a foreshadowy pessimist."
"Sir! Excuse me! Siiir!"
Another passerby slipped out of her reach.
In a place such as the one she lived in, people always had places to go and people to see. They simply had no time for poor little -
"Hey! You were gonna do it there, weren't you? Don't think I'm letting my guard down."
Regardless of her sass, she felt as if she were running out of time.
If she couldn't find someone soon, it could all be for naught.
"I mean, I know countdowns are generally meaningless in fiction, but when they're more metaphorical, I'm not so sure..."
"Which means I'd better hurry! Hey! Miss! Miss, can I talk to you for a sec -"
"Hm? Oh!" The accosted girl turned around, and was surprised by the face she saw. "Fancy meeting you here!"
"Ack! S-Sarah! I mean, oops!" The young woman covered her mouth.
"Oops? What's the matter?", Sarah asked quizzically.
"It's, uh... nothing! Sorry! I'm really busy, gotta go!" Her friend turned to go before remembering something.
"Oh, and, uh... don't... don't say my name at ALL until I tell you you can!"
She fled the scene, and Sarah tilted her head. "...Hm."
Sarah arrived home at her high-end estate.
She'd had a rough day at work, and yet she found her odd encounter with her friend was weighing heavier on her mind.
"What was it that troubled her so?", she pondered. "I wonder if it might be something with her parents? She prefers not to talk about them, I've found."
"And what a strange request! I'll honor it, to be sure, but to never say her name...? What could be the reason for it?"
After much pacing around her room, Sarah could take it no longer.
"That's it, I'm calling her up! I want no secrets kept from me by a good friend!"
"Hello?" "It's Sarah. Is this -"
"Y-Yes, it's me! Remember what I told you before?" "My, I'm sorry. Yes, yes."
"Do you mind if we talk about our encounter on the street earlier?"
"I, uh... sure. But... try to keep it brief, okay?"
"Sorry to bother you, I really am. I know it's probably just my silly imagination, but so odd did our meeting seem that it nearly made me forget about my day at work!"
"Wait. You had a rough day at work?"
"Ah, yes, I would describe it that way. As a matter of fact, I'd like to talk with you about it, if that's alri -"
She held her face in her hands. "This is BAD! Sarah's getting character development now! What does that mean?!"
"Oh, dammit!" She slapped her forehead. "I bet this is a short story, that's why things are happening so fast! Argh!"
The phone rang again. She was beginning to realize what would have to be done, and so she answered.
"H-Hi, Sarah. I'm really sorry about hanging up, but I can explain. I know it sounds crazy, but -" She gulped, as she'd never wanted to utter that line.
"...we need to find a protagonist."
After Sarah's disbelief was finally quelled through much thankfully-omitted explanation, the two were out on the street, once more attempting what had before failed.
Sarah joked that the addition of her general attractiveness would aid in getting people's attention, but her friend was not amused by the extra character development.
"Excuse me, sir!" "Yeah, what?" "Could you tell us your name?" "What are you, cops? Hah, scratch that. They'd never let you chicks on the force."
The snarky punk swiftly walked away. "Well, now that's just rude," Sarah's friend muttered to no one in particular.
"True, but he does have a bit of a point, I find. I believe we may want to devise a good reason to be asking personal information of these people."
Sarah's friend groaned. "Man, are you kidding me? What "good reason" is there to ask random things about -"
She snapped her fingers. "SURVEY!"
And so the girls designed a survey suited to their purposes.
Ultimately, they decided it best that they split up to cover more ground.
The central question was how the survey-taker would see themselves as the protagonist of a story - though she quickly found it more effective to switch the terminology to "hero."
At any rate, she was having considerable success, and found herself intrigued to hear more about many of the people she talked to.
"And yet, the story doesn't seem to have moved onto any of them... Or maybe it has? I can't quite tell..."
"Hmm... I wonder what Sarah's turning up?"
"Yes, this is perfect! If it's interesting stories we need, this part of town is certain to deliver!"
"Aha! You there, sir! If you were to be the protagonist of a story, how would you picture yourself?"
The caped figure chuckled. "I think I'd fancy myself more of an antagonist, actually."
"Ah, most interesting! Well, could you describe to me what kind of antagonist you would be?"
"The kind who would do THIS!"
"Pick up... please, just answer...!" Beg to the phone as she did, it was to no avail.
"Why is this happening to me...?! I mean, I know why it's happening to me, but... WHY?!"
"And the worst part is..." She tried to hold back tears. "And the WORST part...!"
"I did everything I could to avoid developing her character, but now that means the readers can't sympathize with me at all, and that's awful because I'm REALLY torn up about this!"
She felt unbearably guilty. "If I had just gone and let things happen, maybe... Maybe it'd be some other friend...? But... but I don't want to lose ANY of my friends!"
Suddenly, she saw something flash on her computer. She wiped the tears and went over to investigate.
It was an email from Sarah.
"...I know how I got into this mess. It's because I wasn't willing to accept what I had to."
"Whatever happened, I'd still end up having to take the responsibility to protect my friends and family."
"I'm going to find you, Sarah! For your sake, and everyone else's... I'm NOT shirking any of that responsibility anymore!"
She stood up and shouted: "OR ELSE MY NAME ISN'T -"
A young man awoke in his room. To him, it was just an ordinary day.
But little did he know that today was a day of destiny.
He stared at the ceiling for a moment, then turned his head into his pillow. "Nuts to that."