Mr. Nobody

Jason woke up in the night and discovered that he was very thirsty. He was tired and his bed was warm, but his mouth was dry and his tongue felt sticky. He swallowed. His throat felt dry. His swallow seemed to stick halfway.

He climbed out of bed. The floor was cold. He swallowed again, and then yawned. The sooner he got a drink of water, the sooner he could get back to bed. The nightlight in the hallway lit the way from his room and down the stairs.

He walked down the hall, trying to keep his footsteps light so that he wouldn’t wake anyone up. His feet made thumping sounds on the stairs when he went down. He tried to step more softly, but it was too difficult.

He didn’t need to turn on the kitchen light. The light coming in the window lit the room brightly enough that he could see. He poured himself a glass of water and gulped it down. He poured himself another glass and wandered over to the window as he sipped it.

The moon looked big and orangish. It was like a round piece of cheese maybe, or a cookie or a coin. He crossed into the living room and sat in the big chair by the window. He finished his glass of water and put the glass on the windowsill. He sat and watched the moon.

At some point he must have fallen asleep. When he opened his eyes, the moon had moved and he was curled up kind of funny in the chair. His neck hurt a little from the way he’d been sleeping and his fingers felt like someone was poking them with pins.

Just before he shifted his position and began to sit up, he heard a noise.   Jason froze. It had been an odd sort of scurrying noise. What if it was a mouse? Or a rat? Or a monster? Very quietly, Jason pulled his feet up so that they weren’t tempting targets for monsters to nibble on.

He looked around to see what was making the noise. There was a rustling sound over by the closet. Jason looked over and saw a small man with pointed ears and weird furry pants. It looked like the man was stealing Jason’s homework.

Jason almost jumped up to yell at the man, but he was curious. What would the man do with his homework? The man laughed softly to himself and shoved the homework under a couch cushion.

Then he gathered up the shoes that were by the door and shoved them under the couch. It took several trips. As he turned around with the last pair of shoes, the moonlight was reflected off of two bumps on the man’s head. Did he have horns? Maybe he was part cow?

The maybe-part-cow-man disappeared into the kitchen. He returned with a dirty plate and fork from the sink. He set them on the floor in front of the television and laughed again. He took the remote and walked back into the kitchen.   Jason heard a cupboard door open and close.

The little man hurried back into the living room. He was munching on some of the cookies he was holding. He opened the front door and left, closing it behind him. Jason stood up and then nearly fell. His foot was asleep.

He hobbled over to the kitchen window and looked out.   He couldn’t see the little man anywhere. He pinched his arm.   Ouch. He wasn’t dreaming. He yawned and realized that he suddenly felt very tired. He went back up the stairs and went to bed.

In the morning, Jason woke up a little late.   He could hear his mother talking to his older sister Susan down in the kitchen. “Someone left their plate in the living room,” she said. “You all know you aren’t supposed to eat in there.”

“It wasn’t me,” Susan said.

“And someone ate half of the cookies I’d baked to put in lunches. Why is the TV remote in the cupboard?” Mom asked.

“It wasn’t me,” Susan said.

Mom sighed. “No, I suppose it was Mr. Nobody,” she said. “It always is.”

“Oh,” Jason thought. “That’s who that was.” Mystery solved, Jason got out of bed and started getting ready for his day.