Ricky's Mom: If there's any chance you could get him to turn off the television, I...
Belinda: Don't worry; I brought some books for us to read.
Ricky's Mom: Good luck.
Belinda: Don't worry; it's just your imagination.
Ricky Winter: That's no imagination! They're real!
Belinda: You had no idea what you were reading, did you?
Ricky Winter: Forget the stupid books, there's a...
Belinda: They CAME from books; now if you help me, you can get rid of them.
Ricky Winter: [trying to finish the story from his own imagination] Okay okay, how about this? They ran down to the basement, where he kept his... Uzi. Yeah, his Uzi! Just in case of attacks by knights, ghosts and other nasty things.
Belinda: 'Fraid not.
Ricky Winter: Why not? What's wrong with that? It's a good ending!
Belinda: Maybe for some silly TV show or something, but it doesn't make sense in this story.
Ricky Winter: What happened?
Belinda: Story's almost over.
Ricky Winter: [takes the book and reads] Never again would he place limits on his own imagination, no matter what terrors he was capable of conjuring. For he knew he could no longer live in a world of willful ignorance. The end.
Belinda: [blocking the door so the witch can't get in] That should do... for now.
Ricky Winter: For now? What do you mean 'for now'? Make it go away!
Belinda: [giggles] Sorry, can't.
Ricky Winter: You CAN'T?
Belinda: You are INTO the stories now, you have to finish them. But, since you burned my books, you're going to have to use YOUR imagination, IF you don't want to end up being HER dinner.
Ricky Winter: What do I do?
Belinda: I'd finish off the story, fast.
Ricky Winter: But the book's gone!
Belinda: Then make it up!
Ricky Winter: Make it up?
Belinda: Sure, go for it, it's YOUR story now.
Ricky Winter: [trying to finish the story with his imagination] Let's see... some weird stuff happened... then it went away, and they lived happily ever after, the end.
Ricky Winter: It didn't work!
[makes incorrect buzz noise]
Belinda: That is cheating. You're gonna HAVE to do better than that.
Ricky Winter: Cheating? How can I cheat? I don't even know what I'm doing.
Belinda: Uh oh.
[steps away as battleaxe smashes through the door]
Belinda: I hate when this happens.
Ricky Winter: When what happens? How did you know that was going to happen?
Belinda: You have gotten two stories all mixed up. It really makes things stick.
[witch enters kitchen]
Betty Ann: We tell all kinds of horror stories, about demons and ghosts and stuff, and no matter what a story's about, there's only one thing that makes it really scary.
Sam: What's that?
Betty Ann: Your imagination.
Betty Ann: If you're really into a story, you become part of it and you start to imagine what horrible thing might be sneaking around the corner, ready to pounce. And you start to wonder what you'd do if you were the one facing the monster. It's your imagination that gets you into a story, and unless you're very careful, you might need your imagination to get you out. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story The Tale of the Bookish Babysitter.