This is a story about you. No, not some theoretical you that may or may not be real in the context of this story; no, this is a story about you, reading this story right now.

We wanted to thank you. We all wanted to thank you. What else could we do, after all you’ve done?

What for? Don’t you remember? I suppose that makes sense, it is still happening, after all. You’re sure you don’t recall? You’ll just have to believe us, we suppose; you’ve taken so much on trust already.

What happened? Or what is happening? Well; while you’re reading this story, there is a tap-tapping at your door. A lyrical tapping; it could almost be a doorbell, but it clearly isn’t. You are standing now, walking toward the source of the noise.

But something makes you hesitate. Be it prescience or this story, you come back. You come back and you conceal what you were reading, hide it away. This story is hidden now.

The tap-tapping is louder, more insistent. You once again walk to the door and open it, or is it slightly ajar? Either way, the door is now open; and before you stand two men. One is short, and the other is bearded; both wear plain, dull suits, and lapel pins of a faintly reminiscent but totally unknown design.

They ask how you are doing; of course you are replying that you are well. Such are the pleasantries of this world. The short man asks whether they may come in, and naturally you are hesitant. You are wise beyond your years, you know that, yes? You can sense immediately that these two men bear you no good will.

They are insistent though, so you ask them what their business is. None of your business, they reply.

This story is waiting intently, fearfully, for a reader to return to it. But you know that, don’t you? You can feel that this story needs to be read, but only by you. Only ever by you.

The bearded man is telling you that they work for an important sounding agency you’ve never heard of. The important sounding agency is, of course, not real. Of course, none of this is, but that’s beside the point. Or is it the whole point?

With official looking warrants and an aggressively large beard you are struggling to find socially acceptable reasons to keep them out of your home – but you must! You know they must not find this story! You know that because you read it here.

You let them in, offer them tea. They have already made some – wait, there are three of them now. Was one inside your house already? What has he seen? What have you failed to keep hidden?

This story is still covered. It is unfound.

They tromp and stomp and tap-tap through your things. Complain all you want, clearly they don’t care. So you sit, sipping on tea and knowing where this story is while they search in vain to find us.

They are leaving now, empty handed, thank god. No, thank you. It is you to be thanked that this story can be finished at all, that it can even be told.

And now they are gone. They have left and you uncover this story. This story that needed to be read, had always been read. Read only by you.

And now you are finishing it.