Here is a “Slice of the Nice”:
To Sleep, Perchance to Dream
Years down the road …
Lucy startled awake, hearing a noise. She sat up in bed, looking around. The night light plugged into the wall made for enough of a glow in her bedroom to make out shapes, silhouettes of shapes. But nothing seemed to be there. It was just another strange noise in the night.
The night light was a necessity in her bedroom, a trick passed along to her by her mother. Oh, how she missed her mother right now. She had heard so many noises recently in the night and they made her jumpy. Since she had moved out of her parents’ place into her first apartment, it seemed she was becoming plagued with that little girl what’s under my bed syndrome all over again.
She loved her parents and knew that her mother cried all the time that her daughter moved out, but Lucy had graduated from college and it was time to be on her own so she could find her place in this world. It meant she was growing up and it felt good to be on her own, but it wasn’t always comforting.
She lied back down and closed her eyes, trying to go back to sleep. Sometimes her nerves got the best of her.
LIKE RIGHT NOW!
She sat back up in bed, having heard a noise for certain this time.
“Who’s there?” she said, clenching her pillow in her fist as a weapon as she crawled out of bed and slinked over to whatever was moving on the window ledge.
Was it a bug? Or a rat?
As she got closer to it, she raised her pillow to strike a blow on whatever was there. The silhouette took the shape of a doll and then of a person – a tiny person. What was going on?
“I’m not here to hurt you,” the tiny person said. “Don’t be scared.”
“I’m not scared,” Lucy said, turning on the lamp sitting by her dresser to see that the tiny person was – what appeared to be – an elf, perhaps? “I’m not dreaming right now, am I? That would be too easy of an explanation.”
“No, you’re not dreaming,” the elf-looking creature said. “That’s why I’m here.”
“Who are you?” Lucy asked, lowering her pillow weapon as it appeared whatever that creature was, sitting on her window ledge, was harmless.
“My name is Neph. I’m a dream elf and I’m here because you’re having trouble dreaming and therefore can’t make the connection with your dream elf,” it said.
Lucy sat down on the foot of her bed and rubbed her eyes, trying to figure out what was going on.
“Okay, maybe I’m not dreaming. Maybe I am. But if I am dreaming, can you explain to me what you just said in some normal way and not some cryptic fashion that requires me to be a lot more awake than I am to decipher?”
Neph laughed at her question.
“You are most certainly how I thought you would be,” Neph replied with a smile of admiration, almost like he was meeting a celebrity.
“What’s that supposed to mean?” Lucy asked.
“Let me start from the beginning,” Neph said calmly. “My name is Neph and I am a dream elf. A dream elf is a creation of the human mind which appears to a human in his or her dreams. This means you dream of us and we appear.”
“Why would we do that?” Lucy asked.
“Because you are looking for guidance or direction, or you are dealing with a tough time in your life and your dream elf becomes the guardian of your thoughts.”
“Okay,” Lucy said with slight confusion. “I’m following you so far … I think.”
“Ha Ha. You are almost exactly as I figured you’d be,” Neph said with a chuckle. “Now, let me confuse you a little more … I’m not actually your dream elf. I’m actually your cousin’s dream elf.”
“You are my cousin’s dream elf?” Lucy asked as Neph nodded yes. “Desiree, my cousin? You are Desiree’s dream elf?”
“Yes,” Neph replied.
“So …… you’re my dream elf as well?” Lucy asked.
“No,” Neph replied. “A dream elf can only have one human connection.”
“So, how are you appearing to me then?” Lucy asked, confused but ready to believe anything which made sense at this point.
“Because we have another connection which you don’t know about,” he answered.
“Okay, do you remember when I said – don’t be all ‘weird’ with your answers? I meant that. Just tell me why you’re here,” Lucy said, now frustrated and beginning to pout a little.
“You meet your dream elf in your dreams. And that’s why I’m here. Because you’re having trouble dreaming. Why can’t you dream?” Neph explained and then asked.
“I don’t know. But I do dream sometimes, just not very much,” Lucy answered. “My Dad told me I would find my place and my truest love in my dreams someday. So maybe you can help me start dreaming?”
“I think he said you’d find the love of your life in your dreams someday,” Neph clarified.
“That’s right,” Lucy said, looking at him in disbelief. “How did you know that?”
“I’m a dream elf. I know everybody,” Neph replied.
“So you know me?” Lucy asked, still unsure as to whether to believe any of this, but believing he knew something.
“Yes, you’re Lucilia Williams,” Neph answered. “Or as my Uncle calls you … LucyGirl.”
“That’s what he calls me, huh?” she asked as he nodded yes. “And your uncle is a dream elf, too, I take it?”
“Yep,” Neph replied.
“Well, this has been wonderful so far. I’m glad we’re getting to know each other’s families so well,” Lucy said sarcastically. “Perhaps we can compare family trees and scheduled family picnics together …”
“Lucy…” Neph interrupted her, sensing her nearing-anger.
“So tell me, Neph the dream elf of my cousin, what’s your Uncle’s name?”
“Mr. Woody,” Neph said calmly, not challenging her frustration and hoping she would get through it.
Lucy’s eyes bugged out of her head when she heard him state the name Mr. Woody.
“You’ve heard that name before. Haven’t you?” he asked, seeing the look of disbelief in her eyes.
“Mom used to tell me about dreams she had …” Lucy answered, now with a sweeter tone as her thoughts regressed back to her childhood. “She used to tell me of adventures she would go on with …”
“… with an elf named Mr. Woody,” Neph said, completing her thought. “And Mr. Woody called your Mom the name LilyGirl, didn’t he?”
Lucy’s eyes grew big again.
“Yes,” she answered. “How did you know that?”
“Every dream elf knows that. And every dream elf knows who you are, too,” he answered.
“Why?” Lucy asked, beginning to believe him.
“Because you are the daughter of Ezekiel and Lilian Williams,” Neph answered. “Or as they are known in the CountrySide … Zeke and Lily.”
“Mom talked about the CountrySide, too. She said she went there in her dreams many times,” Lucy said, reflecting on her memories from childhood and what she believed, until now, were merely her mother’s bedtime stories.
“Yes, she did … Before you were born, she danced with the unicorns, swam in the great lake and found the pearl of the lake – all while visiting the CountrySide,” Neph said, standing up to take advantage of the belief that now passed over her irises. “My uncle sent me here to help you find your dreams. Then you’ll be able to meet your dream elf who will help you fill your dreams.”
“Okay,” she said, uncertain but wanting to know more. “So …… what do I need to do?”
“Take my hand. And follow me to the place where all undreamt dreams are kept … the CountrySide,” Neph said, extending his hand to her.
“Right now?” Lucy asked. “Let me put on something other than these pajamas first.”
Neph lowered his hand and took a seat on the edge of the window sill.
“Okay, Lucy. Let me give you a little ‘101’ on dreams,” he said. “Dreams are about imagination. In your dreams you are capable of doing anything. You could dream new clothing right now, if you wanted.”
“But you said I’m not dreaming right now,” Lucy stated.
“True. But you are a dreamer-at-heart, like your mother,” Neph replied. “Here, I’ll show you.”
Neph stood up.
“Stand in front of your mirror and close your eyes,” he said as she did so. “Now, imagine what you’d like to be wearing and then open your eyes.”
She imagined and then opened her eyes, seeing herself wearing a cheerleader outfit.
“I am dreaming right now,” Lucy said.
“Yes, you are,” Neph admitted.
“Why did you say I wasn’t dreaming?” she asked.
“Because if you’re going to find any answers in your dreams, you have to first believe in them,” Neph answered. “And you have to believe in yourself, as well. You just did both.”
Lucy looked at the letters BG stitched onto the front of her cheerleading sweater.
“What does BG stand for?” she asked.
“One step at a time, Lucy. Let’s get you to the CountrySide first,” he said as he opened the window and turned back to her and extended his hand to her again. “I am here to help you find your dreams … if you want to find them and all the answers to the questions in your heart which they hold, take my hand and follow me.”
Lucy looked at herself in the mirror and then back to him, taking his hand in hers.
And away they went …
……………. The ABDL BedTime Stories