An author of a documentary book tangles up the boundaries of reality and fiction by falling in love with a character of his book, Liepa. At first he loves Liepa as an autonomous creature beyond his control. Later he starts perceiving her as part of himself, a creation he owns. The opera debates whether fictional characters and images may become independent and out of control of their author. Or vice versa – perhaps they exist as an alter ego of the author, thus making it impossible to regard the writer and his characters as separate independent beings?
The main character, the Author, is writing a documentary book on the history of matches by reconstructing the work in the match factory. However, sometimes he crosses the boundaries of the documentary genre finding himself in the realm of imagination. He creates uniform, mechanical characters in fictitious circumstances. From the faceless, numbered workers the Author distinguishes one particular character, Liepa, who does not obey the fantasies he is creating. Documentary side of the story is increasingly overshadowed with fiction, while the writer gets progressively preoccupied with the object of his lust, Liepa. He is torn between his work and the imaginary woman, whom he loves desperately and absurdly, until he realizes he should rather marvel at himself and not the character, since Liepa is his creation and a manifestation of his own talent.