When I was young, they came to me on their own from stories or my imagination. Now, I bring them out, still from my own imagination and stories I have read. They are the characters who inhabit not only my mind but my reality.
Two rows of teeth set in a wide grin hover over my refrigerator.
"Late night sssssnack?" asks the voice belonging to the teeth.
"Bugger off," I say.
A cat forms around the teeth. "Don't be ruuuuude."
"Leave me alone and I won't be rude."
"Youuuuuuu brought me here. You conjured me from a book to keep you company. Oooooor did I conjure you so you could conjure meeeeee? Ooooooh, the questions we could aaaaask."
"You're not even real, are you. Tell the truth."
"Ooooooh, the truth, eh? It is the one thing people aaaaask for but never really waaaaaant."
"And still you can't give me a straight answer. Unbelievable."
"Unbelievable is exaaaaaaactly what most truths aaaaaare. The really truuuuue truths, anyway."
I sigh. "I'm not in the mood for your riddles tonight.
"Youuuuuuu want a riddle? Answer thisssss. How do you know youuuuuu aren't a figment of myyyyyy imagination?"
"Stuff it, cat. Cujo's only two shelves beneath you. I'll bring him out in a heartbeat."
The cat disappears. Only the grin remains.