"A Face in the Dark" is a very short story, around one page long. It is told from a third-person point of view by an omniscient narrator. The following sentences, which are not spoken by a character in the story, are the narrator's only intrusion into the story:
And that's where the story should end. But for Mr Oliver it did not end here.
The narrator's intrusion may remind one of metafiction, however that term
is normally used for works that involve a significant degree of self-consciousness about themselves as fiction, in ways that go beyond occasional apologetic addresses to the reader. (Baldick, page 151)
The narrator may intrude into the narration by drawing attention to the story itself or even by addressing the reader without necessarily turning the narrative into metafiction. This is a device that can also be found in many other works. Below are a few examples.
"An Unfinished Story" by O. Henry:
"Do you belong with that bunch?" the policeman asked.
"Who are they?" was my answer.
"Why," said he, "they are—"
But this irrelevant stuff is taking up space that the story should occupy.
Chapter 1 of Niholas Nickleby (1838–1839) by Charles Dickens:
From what we have said of this young gentleman, and the natural admiration the reader will immediately conceive of his character, it may perhaps be inferred that he is to be the hero of the work which we shall presently begin. To set this point at rest for once and for ever, we hasten to undeceive them, and stride to its commencement.
Chapter XVI of My Bondage and My Freedom (1855) by Frederick Douglas:
You have, dear reader, seen me humbled, degraded, broken down, enslaved, and brutalized, and you understand how it was done; now let us see the converse of all this, and how it was brought about; and this will take us through the year 1834.
Book 4, Chapter 15 of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1880) by Lew Walace:
On this faith, dear reader, the Pharisees or Separatists—the latter being rather a political term—in the cloisters and around the altars of the Temple, built an edifice of hope far overtopping the dream of the Macedonian.
Chapter XXIX of The Wheels of Chance (1913) by H. G. Wells:
"Dear me!" said Mr. Hoopdriver, veering round to the new wind. "How did you find out that?" (the man was born in a London suburb, dear Reader.)
- Baldick, Chris: The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms. Second edition. Oxford University Press, 2001.