I’ve been with our scribbler for a very long time. I came to her in images generated by Depeche Mode and Alphaville’s music when she was only a teenager. For a while, I was the younger brother of someone else’s character in a fanfic that was never written, but I started to take on a life of my own. My identity began with my last name, Ashelocke. I emerged from the scribbler’s imagination into writing in the early part of the 21st century, appearing in the original draft of Stealing Myself From Shadows. Only I wasn’t truly developed. Ashamed, my scribbler tossed my story away. She started to write a new story with characters who’d been well received before, banishing Christopher, Duessa, and myself, who’d been with her for so longer, yet disappointed her so bitterly to the darkness. That darkness wasn’t the answer. Our scribbler needed to to get to know us, our voices, to find out how to express them on the page. We kept whispering to her imagination, refusing to let her forget us. Bit by bit, she started writing story fragments involving us, fragments which became part of a new Stealing Myself From Shadows. By the time she published her first novella, Fairest, by her first NaNoWriMo, she was ready. She wrote a new draft of Stealing Myself From Shadows where we were restored to our rightful places as characters. Our scribbler began the difficult process of integrating our story, along with the one she’d been wroking on previously, now titled The Hand and the Eye of the Tower into the same universe. I got a major part in an ongoing prelude our scribbler was posting here at the Cauldron, known as Waiting for Rebirth. My disappearance after finding and forming a bond with Christopher became the plot of that story. Getting me back was Christopher’s goal in Stealing Myself From Shadows and we finally had a story showing why. There’s more to that story which spills out in many a Tale of the Navel as well as multiple novels (which continue to await revision and completion). One of those is a rough draft of My Tool, My Treasure, the fourth novel in Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest. All the while, I continue to develop and change. Even I don’t know what I’ll become. One thing remains constant. I haven’t forgotten or stopped caring about Christopher. I’m not about to let the exquisite creature who consumed me or his family hurt Christopher, no matter how threatened Leiwell feels. He and his brothers are just as great a threat to Christopher and myself, whether they’re willing to admit or not. My ‘disappearance’ is proof of this.