Disclaimer: I own about as much of DPS as I do my father's house…
Muse is a wonderful thing! And I'm not silly enough to turn it away, which is why you have another story!
To lose yourself in another character is a truly amazing feeling. It's not like floating, or flying, or any of those emotions that are cliché and are used to describe escaping. It's not even like nothingness, another popular choice. In fact, sometimes, being someone else can be an incredibly painful experience. You take on their life story, every stinking horrible thing that has happened to them, and when you don't know it, you make it up, so that they fit the kind of person they are supposed to portray. After all, even the worst villains weren't born that way – at some stage, a switch was flipped, and part of becoming a character means understanding why. It also means that their strengths are remembered – they were the person that went their own way, that stood up for something, that had a voice. Not Neil-stinking-Perry who could only operate when no one was watching. Most of all though, when I'm a character, I'm invincible – I may not be the only person to play them, or not even the best, but that character will live on forever, through everything it is they went through, and they will still stand, stoic and challenging, waiting for someone to step into their skin.
I'm anything but invincible. I'm not even myself anymore.
Sometimes, I convince myself that I am nothing more than a character myself – that the gun resting in my hand, its weight deceptive for such a tiny thing, was scripted, and that no matter what, everything I did was always leading to this moment, the way that a story always has a climax, one that doesn't change no matter how many times you read the book. Most of the time, I wish that I were nothing more than a character, because if I were, I'd be forgotten about, at most, an hour after I made my departure, and people would only feel sadness for me for a few moments. I would still be invincible, and there would be those people that would understand what it was that I was feeling.
I am not a character though, and I cannot pretend for a moment that I am. I cannot even use the gun as Neil Perry, and instead I let myself slip into the one that I was playing only hours earlier. Puck was not sad, but he was mischievous, and impulsive, and if I allow myself Neil Perry's self-destructiveness to the part, then Puck would kill himself on the spur of the moment. Now that the moment's here, however, and the gun is in my hand, I am allowing more than just one part of me to slip through.
My terror. My confusion. My pain. They all become part of this new Puck – a Puck that Shakespeare would never have written, and one that no audience will ever see. A Puck that was never invincible, and one that will die here with the Tarnished boy, Neil Perry. It is as Neil that I rest the coolness of the barrel against my temple, and although it is still Puck's finger that pull's the trigger, it is Neil who changes his mind, and jerks away just as the bullet explodes from its chamber, deafening me before killing me. It is Neil, who screams in momentary pain. I have bade Puck goodbye now, the character smarter than I'd realised, and it is as Neil that I die, tears that will never be shed stinging the back of my eyes, and one final sense of failure hovering in my thoughts.
I'm aware there was a bit of a tense change in the first paragraph, but I couldn't seem to word it any other way. But what did you think?