You’re the writer. What are you going to do? This is your world, these are your words. No one can control them like you. You’ve never been in a story before, but you know this story better than anyone. You can change anything. So what are you going to do? I think to myself, doing my best to recover from the shock of my situation.
Theoretically, I should be able to control anything here with my mind. It was born of my mind, it’s a part of my mind, and no one holds power here but myself. A power that can do anything, create or change whatever I like. But no matter what I think or how I try, nothing in my present situation changes. I can’t even cause ripples in the glass of water on the table, or make that blasted dripping cease. What is going on? Is this what Judas meant when he said I’d find out? Could he have written an author-proof cell? Or am I simply mistaken about my power here? After all, the stories come to me… I just write them.
The steady dripping threatens to drive me mad, pinching my nerves and clouding my thoughts. I almost want to believe that Judas wrote the dripping in himself, just to get to me. That’s crazy Hannah. Now you’re just paranoid. I chide myself. Why did you ever make such an unpredictable and hard to handle villain anyways? This is all your fault after all, you know. I shut my eyes tightly, trying to stop the guilt from striking, but it’s too late. Images, words flash through my mind, pictures of the pain, agony, and destruction that he has and will cause. Tragedies that only I could stop from happening, but can’t. Not that you could change anything now. Who knows if you’ll ever get back again, anyways? You know how wicked he is more than anyone. What hope do you have, really?
Hope. The main idea behind this story’s plot. Or, more accurately, behind the first story’s plot. There are many different ones woven together in this land, after all. Hope was only the first. Endurance through hope. Endurance through hope that the work will be finished, whether we live to see it come to pass or not. Like in 1 Thessalonians, when Paul encourages the church of Thessalonica for their bold work for Christ, specifically their work through faith, labor through love, and endurance through hope.
“What are you thinking, Hannah? There’s always hope. You designed this prison. Judas may have thrown a couple kinks in it, but he didn’t have time to change much. You can get out of here.” I whisper aloud. My voice, so loud compared to the smaller sounds around me that moments ago seemed thunderous, makes me jump. I glance at the door, praying Judas didn’t hear. When it remains shut, I sigh in relief. Now, how do I get myself out of an Author-Proof room?
I lean my head back, staring at the ceiling as though it held the answers, and something jabs my neck. Of course! My pencil! Judas might have changed certain pieces of this world, but he can’t change his author. And as a character within it, my quirks must have traveled with me! Even if he could have changed it, how could he have known I always have a pencil stuck through my ponytail? I strain, stretch, and contort myself until I somehow wrangle the small mechanical pencil from its place into my hands, still bound behind the chair.
The door is still shut, and the only sound is that of the murderous water dripping. It’s not going to get any safer, Hannah. I hesitate a moment longer, send off a silent prayer that this would work, and take a deep breath. Then, I set the eraser against the rope and slowly, carefully, rub it back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. It doesn’t give way quickly, like I’d imagined it would, but slowly, layer by layer, like trying to erase all traces of a sentence rewritten numerous times. But eventually, the rope around my wrists goes slack. I hastily shake it off, and bring my hands around in front of me, trying to rub the aching from them. You just had to make the prison cold, didn’t you? I complain.
It takes only moments for me to untie the knot that binds my torso to the chair thanks to my years at the barn, and seconds to unwind myself. A smile threatens to lift the corners of my mouth, but I suppress it. You aren’t nearly out of the woods yet! Don’t you dare start celebrating now! I lay the ropes down on the seat of the chair, stretching the kinks from my back and shaking my legs to loosen them. I turn around, stepping towards the door as I stick the pencil back in my hair gratefully. But just as I’ve set my foot on the ground, the door flies open, and two snake-like blue eyes meet mine, and narrow into slits. No…