Hansel Daggerfjord looked into the perfect circle of his cup of espresso. The thin khaki froth had worn away to the very extremes of the cup, leaving a mirrored black surface that reflected Daggerfjord's eye back at him in a sort of masonic symbology that a practiced master of semiotics would have presumed meant that the Rosicrucians were on the warpath.
But Daggerfjord couldn't even spell semiotics. Nor had he ever read Kierkegard, Eco, or Percy, who seem to be the sole proofs that such a thing as semiotics is anything more than a farce-science used to pad the blurbs on obscure author's dustjackets. And it was a damn good thing Daggerfjord was not a practitioner of that most dubious of sciences, for it would have distracted him from what was, for him and for us, a pivotal moment.
For, you see, though only a character in a story, that Jagger-lipped gypsy somehow sensed the End of The Exposition, even through the thick curtain that divides fiction from creation.
And though he felt it as something of a brief ennui or even malaise, he had the strangest subconcious awareness that suddenly things would begin to come together, that a profusion of characters would begin to wane, and that many threads left dangling would either be snipped away by the shears of the merciless fates, or would be woven into a tapestry that would convert this chaotic panolpy into a semiotic panorama.
And thus it was, that at the very moment that Daggerfjord tore his eye away from the espresso cup, one of the collaborative authors of Storyline declared:
"THIS IS THE END OF THE EXPOSITION! THO WE ARE FAR FROM DENOUMENT, AND THO THE CLIMAX SEEMS NE'ER SO NIGH AS IT WAS WHEN WE COMMENCED, NEVERTHELESS I SAY THAT THE EXPOSITION HAS DEPARTED! LET NO MORE SUNDERED CHARACTERS ENTER OUR TALE! LET TIMELINE AND STORYLINE BECOME ONE, LIKE AN ARAB HUMPING HIS TEMPORARY WIFE!"
And so it was written, and so it was done.