‘What happens in the end?’

‘There is no end. The characters disappeared.’

‘Disappeared? How can they be lost if you created them?’

‘Well, they were stolen to be precise, but that is another story,’ the blind man sighed. ‘Besides, characters are not purely invented. They exist in the world, as do you and I, except that they have the ability to choose when and to whom they reveal themselves.'

Almo Caniffi was often bewildered by the lucid ramblings of Eduardo and it was times such as these that he found it hard to contest the view of the others that he was on the cusp of, if not plummeting towards, dementia.

‘And after all these years you’ve no idea what might happen?’

‘Guessing would be a futile, if pleasurable, pursuit.’ Eduardo allowed his mind to wander a moment, only to find it empty. ‘The messenger has no control over the message, only its delivery.’

‘What if the story is never finished?’

‘Then it will float around with all the other unfinishes in the universe in search of its other half, until it is found – in this world or another.’

Illustrated by Elise Martin