Late one Saturday night, I crawled into bed. I was bushed! I had a very busy day, what with twelve children to look after. No, I don’t have twelve kids. Ten of them were the neighbours kids. I only have two! However, it was my son’s birthday.
For years I had promised Ricky that I would let him have a birthday party, but one thing after another had always prevented this from happening. If it wasn’t company coming up on the weekend of his birthday, we didn’t have any money. If it wasn’t the money, then his birthday just happens to fall on Easter weekend. For some reason, that happens quite a bit.
I lay in bed, staring at the ceiling. Tired as I was, I just couldn’t sleep. I guess I was over tired. I started to see funny little shapes on my ceiling, you know how you see things in the clouds. Well, my ceiling is stuccoed. Elephants, dogs and even a little girl could be seen. She was such a pretty little girl, too. She reminded me of my own little girl, Jenny. I blinked my eyes for a second, and the image of Jenny was gone. In her place, was a man. I’m not sure if he was a man, I think he was more like a monster! He was so mean looking. He had big teeth sticking out of his huge mouth. His eyes looked like they had bugs coming out of them! His hair looked like it had seen better days!
Try as I might, I couldn’t seem to make this image disappear. Desperately, I tried to find that sweet little girl. She was nowhere to be seen. I was frightened. I didn’t want to see that thing, ever again. Then, it dawned on me. If I were to close my eyes, maybe, just maybe, that thing would go away.
Quickly, I closed my eyes. For the longest time, I lay there in bed, staring up at the ceiling, but this time, I had my eyes closed tight. I had resolved not to open them until morning!
Eventually, I fell into a fitful sleep. That thing was in my dreams, chasing that sweet little girl. Only, instead of the little girl being Jenny, this time the little girl was me.
I ran as fast as I could to get away from that thing! I was huffing and puffing! Pretty soon, my husband, Jim, who had been fast asleep beside me this whole time, decided that he had enough of me pounding on his back with my fists. He shook me gently until I awoke.
“Honey, honey,” Jim called. “Come on now, wake up! It’s only a dream!”
I sat bolt upright in bed, with my eyes glued shut!
“Open your eyes,” he said. “Come on, there’s no boogie man in here to get you!”
“Oh yeah!” I screamed. “He’s right up there on the ceiling!”
“Well, that’s funny,” Jim said. “I don’t see anything up there.”
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“I’m positive,” he said. “Look, if it will make you feel better, I’ll turn on the light for you!”
Jim reached over and flicked on the night light beside our bed. Not until I saw a shaft of light through my tightly shut eyelids, did I decide to open my eyes!
“Where did he go?” I asked Jim.
“Where did who go?” Jim asked.
“That thing, that ugly creature that was on the ceiling,” I said.
“Well,” said Jim, now totally confused. “Whatever was there before, certainly isn’t there now?”
Slowly I looked up toward the ceiling. There wasn’t any mean creature up there. All I could see was the sweet, innocent face of a little girl, that looked like my Jenny!