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The Unpredictable Bedtime Story

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Supporting Characters

A/N: A very brief note before I continue. I wrote this story over two years ago, and my writing style has improved a great deal since then. But I still hope that you enjoy the satire written a long time ago.


The kids stared at Shania, mouths wrenched open like there was a huge wad of gum stuck in their jaws.

“The End,” Shania concluded with a wry smile.

“That’s it?” Dylan and Alice burst simultaneously in a fit of fury clawing at the carpet like wild animals. “You can’t just end it there!”

“Can and have,” Shania said with a satisfactory glee to her voice. “You said that you wanted a different story.”

“But it was so cool!” Dylan protested. “You can’t just end it there! You have to keep going.”

Shania realized that the kids actually did enjoy the story. If she continued for a little while longer until the kids were satisfied, she was guaranteed a much better pay. She intended for the kids to give their parents the best report they had ever given.

So, she continued.

The characters stared blankly at Steve’s ashes.

“Is he dead?” squeaked supporting character Jilly. She was grasping at her pigtail braids and breathing very heavily like she had heavy asthma.

“He can’t be!” argued Billy, shoving his glasses up his nose again. “He’s the main character. Just you wait,” he wagged a knowing finger at Willy. “He’ll probably regenerate into a ninja or something.”

They waited for several more minutes, but their friend did not return. The most excitement they saw from the late protagonist was the wind rustled through the broken windows of the house and blew the ashes all over the floor.

“He’s not coming back,” Willy sighed dejectedly.

Suddenly a buzz seemed to penetrate through the group as they began to wonder what they were going to do. You see, in normal stories, the main character usually would survive until the end, but these characters didn’t know what kind of author they were up against.

“Do you think that maybe the author made a mistake?” asked Jilly hopefully. She supposed that maybe the author would see that she accidentally killed off the main character, and she would somehow bring him back.

“No,” said Willy darkly, his voice going about as low as it could, considering it was up several octaves a minute ago when he screamed. “I think that she wants us to carry on the story without a main character.”

“Maybe Steve’s going to reappear later. Maybe he faked his death.” Billy suggested knowing that in many stories characters sometimes would seem dead, but they would reappear chapters later and surprise everyone.

He glanced over at the ashes again. They swooshed pathetically with the wind.

“Never mind he’s not coming back,” Billy gulped.

Suddenly a thunderous array of footsteps paraded down the hallway. The dragon, with a green forked tongue sloshing over dry lips, had returned to finish off the supporting characters.

“Oh no!” Jilly screamed. “We’re the supporting characters! You know what Steve said. We are always the ones who die!”

Willy began to scream in the key of E# above the staff line. Jilly and Billy would have been impressed with this feat, considering most girls in the Normalville Community Choir could not hit this note, but they were too busy shrieking to notice this accomplishment.

The dragon batted painfully at his ears because of the horrible noise coming from the screams, so he decided that they weren’t really worth killing, and he left the house without a word (not that dragons in Normalville can speak, anyway).

“Am I dead yet?” Jilly whimpered with her eyes clamped shut.

All three simultaneously opened their eyes and gasped when they realized that they were indeed alive. The author didn’t kill off the supporting characters, but she slaughtered the main character!

“Guys, I think that our author isn’t like the type that we’re used to.” Billy remarked as he turned the corner to see that the dragon was truly gone out of the haunted house.

“Why do you say that?” asked Willy.

“I think that she wants this story to be different from the rest. Usually the main character doesn’t die, but Steve died. And usually the supporting characters will die, but look! We’re still alive.”

Willy and Jilly slowly nodded their heads in agreement, and a roguish smile crept across all of their faces.

They were invincible. For some odd reason the author didn’t want them dead, at least, not yet.

“We should probably put on our fireproof suits that are conveniently hidden in this closet before the dragon returns,” Willy suggested as he handed the others a suit and put his on.

“Have you known about these the whole time?” Jilly asked slipping into the suit. It had a bright red “fire proof” embroidered in large letters on the front.

Willy nodded, “‘Course, I knew about them! I spotted them the minute that Steve opened up the closet and the dragon emerged.”

“Then why didn’t you tell Steve about it?”

“You see we’re supporting characters,” Willy explained, struggling to get the left pant leg to budge in his suit. He corrected himself when he realized that he had suit on backwards. “We’ll give the main character life-changing advice, but he’ll totally disregard it. I decided that he wouldn’t listen to me if I suggested putting on these suits.”

Jilly pouted and declared that she felt unappreciated as her role of the supporting character.

“There are some benefits to being a supporting character,” Billy argued. “For example we could be the beginning of fandoms everywhere. Perhaps we’ll see a team Billy versus team Willy thing coming soon.”

Willy laughed, “I’m not sure this author is in love with the idea of love triangles. We do see those often in stories, don’t we?”

The supporting characters decided to select a designated main character by drawing straws. Billy yanked the shortest, and they had him stand in Steve’s place for the time being.

“What do you suppose we should do now?” Jilly asked. “We’re nearing the end of the chapter, and we should probably begin to wrap it up.”

“I’m hungry,” Billy admitted. “Maybe we should go and get some food.”

“What?!” Willy exclaimed. “What kind of chapter ending is that? We’re supposed to leave our readers with some sort of cliffhanger!”

But Jilly and Billy listened to their stomachs and decided to go to a restaurant leaving a very anticlimactic ending.

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