This drabble was written for a challenge in December 2004 that needed to write a fic from the point of view of the story itself, mentioning Drosselmeyer and Fakir's involvement. And that's basically what it is. I forget if this had a word limit or not, I think it did but I didn't come too close to it. Truth be told, four years later I don't really like the fragmented and somewhat pretentious style I wrote this in, but eh. This is mostly for record's sake.

BTW, the title refers to the fact that the rafters of a stage are above it, out of sight but is in view of everything going on below. The fact that people are mentioned namelessly and by their roles in the story was also intended, mainly to convey the nature of its narrator.

Beyond the Rafters

Once upon a time. Once upon a time…

Is how the story always starts. It is simply a phrase used to recognize that a story is beginning.

Once a story begins, it is obliged to end sometime. Otherwise, the torment would never end. The characters would be forever trapped in the event and actions going on at the time of the story rift, and the readers would forever be wondering of the resolution. No, a complete story must have an end.

But who is to say when the end is?

The author, of course. Whoever writes the stories is who determines everything about a story. How it begins, how it flows, how it concludes.

The author is a mischievous poltergeist in a dimension that he had created. His stories come to life from his ink and parchment. He writes about magic, love, hope, wishes, hearts, and naturally, peculiarity. Or perhaps tales of eventual loss of the above.

Except for magic and peculiarity. He has plenty of those.

He was the one, and only one, who could turn the gears of the tale he had created.

…Until an inconsequential bespectacled character connected a descendant of the author in the story to the contraption.

The author's descendent also writes about magic, love, hope, wishes, and hearts. Perhaps even peculiarity as well. Except, his stories are full of these qualities. In effect, the two authors are absolute reverses of each other.

They write the same story. But they write conflicting things. How can a story say two opposite things at the same time?

What has not yet happened is never certain. But there remain two things that the two authors write about that are alike: magic, and peculiarity.

Which explains why a magical ballerina, tied with the character of a bird remains a pivotal, commonly shared character in their warring tales.

The Prince and the Raven.

Princess Tutu.

Two stories joined as one. Two authors entwined in a war of prose.

And the apparatus that became aware of it all.