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THE BEDTIME STORY
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CAST: bella, alex and troy
SETTING:   kids' bed
SCENE: we're at the tail end of our bedtime ritual. i've finished reading, have turned the lights out and just have the story remaining.

BELLA
do you have a story?

TROY
oh, i think i could come up with something.

BELLA
with a kidnapper? who is the joker? no the penguin.

TROY
who's the saver? batman?

BELLA
no, spiderman. no, superman!

TROY
ok. so kidnapper story where the penguin is the kidnapper and superman in the saver. who gets kidnapped? you and alex?

BELLA
no. wonder woman.

TROY
ok. got it. but bella, i have a question.

BELLA
what is it?

TROY
why do you always want kidnapping stories? why don't you ever want other kinds of stories?

BELLA
well. it sounds kind of bad, but i like the bad guys. not like i want to be a bad guy. but i like stories that have bad guys in them.

TROY
ok. that's fine. i'm not saying it's wrong. i was just curious why that's always what you ask for.

BELLA
are you going to tell it? will you tell it? right now?

TROY
yes. i'm telling it right now. lay down. get comfortable.

BELLA (bella pulls the sheets up around her shoulders and lays in the crook of my arm. alex is already asleep in the crook of my other arm)
ok. i'm ready.

TROY
ok. here goes. wonder woman was going to the forest park playground. she was taking her niece and nephew with her.

BELLA
were their names bella and alex?

TROY
yes, as it turns out, their names were bella and alex.

BELLA
(smiles broadly)

TROY
so they went to the park and they were running around and playing chase and swinging on the circle swing and playing hide on the catwalks. they were having tons of fun. now almost everyone loved wonder woman cuz she was so smart and nice and helped people all the time, but there were some people who didn't because she was all those good things and she had an invisible jet. the people who didn't like her were what is called jealous of her because she has a pretty good life and maybe they don't. well, the penguin was one of those people and he thought wonder woman was bad because she was always running around trying to make everyone like her by being nice and doing good things. so he got a bunch of his buddies together and they decided to go kidnap wonder woman because they didn't like her.

BELLA (clenching fists in front of her)
oh. that penguin is such a bad guy. if he were here i'd knock him.

TROY
so while bella and alex and wonder woman were running around the playground having fun the penguin and twenty of his henchmen, that's bad guys, showed up and said 'wonder woman we're kidnapping you because we don't like you' and they all surrounded her and threw her in a sack like happened to jane in peter pan. wonder woman was so strong it took five men to carry her for all the fighting she was doing. but they threw her in a van, jumped in and drove off. well bella and alex knew what to do when there was trouble so they ran into the building and told the man at the desk something bad just happened and that he needed to call ...

BELLA
nine-one-one!

TROY
yes! very good. he had to call nine-one-one. which he did and because he said it was wonder woman, like thirty cops showed up in minutes and they took bella and alex aside and asked what happened and bella and alex told them everything. then, suddenly down from the sky came superman. he landed next to the head policeman and told him he heard wonder woman was in trouble and wanted to know what had happened. the police pointed him to bella and alex telling him they saw what happened. bella explained about the penguin and the bad guys and the bag and the van. superman asked if she got the license plate, those are the numbers on the back of the car. if he knew that they could find them easily. bella said she could not read the plate, it was too far away. so superman asked what color the van was. she said white with the kind of windows you couldn't see into. he thanked her and shot up into the sky to look for them.

after about thirty minutes he found the van and flew down and landed on the roof. the noise made a loud thud and the toady guy driving asked the other guy in the passenger seat what it was. they started arguing about where the noise came from and the penguin, who was in the back with the bag holding wonder woman, started yelling at the two guys up front. right as he was talking superman shot his fist through the roof and peeled the whole top of the van off. the penguin yelled for the driver to go faster but he said he couldn't because he just tinkled in his pants a little because he was so scared. the penguin yelled at him more but the driver said his pull-up was wet now and uncomfortable. the guy in the passenger seat started laughing at him and the guy with the wet diaper started crying. the penguin was furious and ran to the front of the car and threw the driver in the back where he curled up and continued to cry asking if anyone had a clean diaper for him. the penguin then smacked the laughing guy and threw him in the back as well. he was laying on top of the guy with the wet pull-up and they were both crying now. as soon as the penguin got into the driver seat, superman reached down, grabbed him by the collar and threw him high in the air where he got caught in the christmas decorations hanging over the street. superman then kicked the two guys out of the back because they were wet, crying and smelled bad. he then opened the bag, let wonder woman out, scooped her up and flew back to the park with her.

BELLA
oh. that penguin is a bad guy! and that guy peed his pants. ohhhh!

TROY
superman told the police that the penguin was hanging in the christmas decorations over the delmar loop, two of his henchmen were laying in the street crying and one of them needed a diaper change. the police took off to get them and wonder woman ran up to bella and alex and gave them the hugest hug. she thanked them for calling the police so quickly so superman could come and save them. and then superman came up and shook their hands thanking them for the good tip on the penguin's white van. he then shot up into the sky like a rocket and bella, alex and wonder woman continued playing their games in the park.

BELLA
oh that was great daddy! especially when the bad guy wet himself. ohhhh. i bet that was disgusting. tell it again! oh please tell it again!

TROY
oh bella. i'm so tired. i don't think i can.

BELLA
just the part about the guy peeing then. please daddy, just that part! please!



years ago after reading to bella before bed, marty told bella a story about when she (marty) was a little girl. ever since that night, bella has been consistently ravenous for this moment in her day. sometimes bella will even ask in the middle of the day if we have a story for the night. if we don't she asks us to try thinking of one before bedtime. marty and i, for sure, have long since exhausted every story about our own uneventful childhoods, many times over. so coming up with fresh material is harder than keeping this mottled website moving. but if this site has taught me anything it is that when your creative back is to the wall, a good sprinkling of toilet hi-jinks rarely misses. and by rarely, i mean never.



THE BEDTIME STORY
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