Once upon a time there was this lovely Villain. He was all planned out by Author to be wonderfully vile, have a semi-complicated past, inspire disgust and fascination, tempt not only Main Character but also Major Secondary Character (MSC), have wants and needs, and yet still be able to be relatable in his motivations. Things were progressing so beautifully.
One day, while Main Character was being belligerent to Author, Villain began to think he deserved another story. His (im)perfection existed at a level far beyond the ability of this puny story to portray his true greatness. Villain toyed with this idea, waiting until Author and Main Character had finished their shouting match to bring his proposal forward. Author didn’t really want to deal with Villain right then, being much more concerned with staring off into space whilst attempting to save the story from death by black hole.
Now, Villain was intelligent. As soon as he realized that his conversation with Author would go nowhere (about three words in), he went to confer with other characters. Unfortunately for him, Main Character had sequestered herself in some private place for some private gloating over her power over Author, and the rest of the characters either had lives to attend to or were incurably unobservant when off-duty (*ahem* MSC *ahem*). That is, except for Mystery Character. Mystery Character agreed that Villain should find a new story and, rather enthusiastically, the two of them began to concoct a delicate and subtle plan to convince Author of their position. As soon as they finished their designing, they began to implement it.
Author, meanwhile, decided to ignore Main Character’s demands for a time, being too stunned to imagine anything and feeling more than a little grumpy at the entire situation. She instead worked on plotting out the awe-inspiring climax of the story- the one rather important part that still had a major case of the fuzzies. Eagerly, she delved into the villain’s past and brought up jeweled nuggets of pure awesomeness hitherto unknown to any human. These came together and started to build a masterpiece of art, and as their beauty came virtually visible... weird things began to happen.
Mystery Character started doing nastiness never intended in Author’s conception of the story. Villain’s father came disturbingly close to being raised from the dead. Masses of people began keeling over for no apparent reason. Magical storms inexplicably gained status as near-sentient beings. As things kept progressing, it felt like a balloon of wackiness was rapidly expanding from the climax of the story. Around the point where Main Character had given up trying to deal with things seriously and was just staring in astonishment and MSC was off-stage, musing on the benefits of Swiss cheese, Author finally realized something was up. She immediately turned to Villain, demanding an explanation. Pleased that he finally had her attention, Villain announced without preamble:
“I am going. Goodbye. I leave [Mystery Character] in my place, having discovered that [that character] has far more evil plans than I, and [Insignificant Character] will take care of everything else I am responsible for. Please take good care of him. He’s a distant cousin of mine who’s been looking for a job for years. This is really the only spot he’ll be good at, and I doubt he’ll ever amount to much, but he’s the best replacement I could think of for all my non-villainous capacities. You can tell him I said so. He won’t really get it, and so won’t be offended. Well, I’m off!” He then shouldered his pack and headed off into the wilds of the Author’s subconscious, searching for characters’ lives to utterly destroy.
One thing I do have to say for Ex-Villain (seeing as he’s no longer the villain) is that he was remarkably organized. I didn’t have to do a thing to clean up after him. Replacements had been neatly found, absurdities had been reversed or changed to fit with the new villain, Mystery Character, and the various threads surrounding them. He even made every other character aware of the altered course of events -except for MSC who insisted to me later through mouthfuls of a cheese sandwich that he hadn’t heard a thing about this and was just as surprised as I was.
Of course, I still hadn’t untangled the problem Main Character was holding over me, and not much time passed until the story demanded a pet. But I think I shall have to make amends to MSC before I go on to that particular event...
(first published at theasworld.doxa-canada.com/Blog)