Tag: bedtimestory

A Short Tale About a Lot of Things

Jane sat up in her bed as her mom started to leave the room. “Wait! I need another story.”

Her mom turned with a sigh. “Jane, it’s time for bed. I already read two stories. My voice is tired.”

“I’ll tell you a story.” Jane patted the bed. “Come sit down. Please? It’s a short story. You’ll really like it. Pleeeease?”

With a smile, her mom sat on the edge of the bed. “All right. As long as it’s a short story.”

“It’s going to be short.” Jane cleared her throat. “Once upon a time…”

“Oh, it’s a fairy tale,” her mom interrupted. “Which one?”

Jane frowned. “It’s not a fairy story. There aren’t any fairies. It’s a story about a lot of things. Just listen. No talking.”

“Okay. I’m sorry I interrupted. Please continue your lots-of-things tale.”

“Once upon a time there was a ladder…”

“A ladder?”

“Listen!” Jane looked upset.

“Sorry.”

“Once upon a time, there was a ladder. It was green and tall and lived on someone’s back porch for when they needed to pick apples or climb on the roof to fix things. If they didn’t need it, they didn’t really look at it, so they didn’t know the ladder was really an alien…”

“An alien?”

“Mom!”

“Sorry.”

“It was an alien. It was studying people and animals and houses and back porches. One day, it was done studying everything, and it was ready to leave. What the ladder didn’t know was that someone was watching. The family dog saw the ladder was going to leave, and he followed him when he left, because the dog was really an alien, too.”

“Wow. I wouldn’t have guessed that.” When Jane frowned, her mom looked embarrassed. “Sorry. Keep going.”

“The dog was an alien, and he called his friends at home to tell them about the ladder alien. But he didn’t know that someone was watching. It was the tree.”

“Was the tree an alien too?”

Jane rolled her eyes. “Of course not. That would be silly. The tree was a dinosaur.”

“Really? Wouldn’t people notice?”

“No. She was in disguise.”

“How did that work?”

Jane shrugged. “It was a big tree. The dinosaur was waiting a long time and watching. When the dog left to follow the ladder, the tree followed the dog.”

“He didn’t notice?”

“He was an alien. He thought some trees could move. And really, some trees can move. So, he wasn’t wrong. Except this wasn’t a tree, really. It was a dinosaur.”

“What kind of dinosaur?”

“Velociraptor. Let me finish!” After her mom nodded, Jane continued. “When the ladder was going to get beamed up on the spaceship, the dog and the dinosaur went too. They wanted a ride home.”

“I thought the dinosaur wasn’t an alien.”

“She wasn’t. Dinosaurs are from earth. They just moved somewhere else. They come back to visit sometimes. The dog and the dinosaur both needed a ride because they lost their spaceships.”

“How did they lose their spaceships?”

“A wizard stole them. He lived in the house they were watching, but they couldn’t get in because of a force field. The ladder didn’t know he was a wizard that stole spaceships. Good thing he hid his spaceship in invisible space.”

“Or nobody could go home.”

“Right. Because the dog and the dinosaur waited a long time to try to get their spaceships back and the wizard’s force field was too strong.”

“Why did he need spaceships?”

“He collected them. He liked them. They’re like big sparkly rocks.” Jane pointed to her windowsill. There was a line of pretty rocks she’d found on various adventures.

Her mom nodded. “That makes sense. What happened next?”

“They went home. The wizard was mad the tree was gone. He planted a new one and used magic to make it grow fast. The end.”

“Already?”

Jane grinned. “I told you it was a short story.” She fell back onto her pillow with a giggle and pulled up her covers. “Good night!”

“Good night, Jane. Will you tell me another story tomorrow?”

“Yes.”

Charlie’s Room: Too Late?

It was finally time for the release of the latest dinosaur book. The local bookstore was just a few streets from work, so Isaac was planning on picking up a copy of the book on the way home from work. It was so exciting! He had a hard time concentrating at work.

Unfortunately, there was a meeting scheduled an hour before the end of the work day. The meeting wasn’t an hour long. It was three hours long. Everyone left the conference room grumbling.

As Isaac walked to his car, he watched the stores close up. Was it really that late? He walked a little faster, even though he knew that a few seconds wouldn’t make much of a difference. It felt like it took forever to get to his car and drive to the book store.

Fortunately, the bookstore was still open. Isaac hurried inside and looked around the room. The dinosaur display was easy to spot. There was a giant green cardboard dinosaur holding up a banner near a table by the windows.

Isaac hurried over to the table. Sadly, the table was empty. Isaac checked the bestseller shelves and the children’s books. He found some of the other dinosaur books, but not the new one. He went to the customer service desk.

“I’m looking for the new dinosaur book,” he said.

The woman at the desk looked tired, but she smiled anyway. “Did you reserve a copy?” She typed something into the computer. “What’s your last name?”

Isaac felt his hopes crack into tiny pieces. “I didn’t know it was possible to reserve a copy. Do you have any left?”

The woman sighed and shook her head. “They sold out pretty quickly. All we have left are the reserved copies. We’ll get more in stock later in the week. If you give me your name and number, we will call you when they come in.”

Later in the week? Isaac didn’t want to wait that long. Charlie would be so disappointed. And how would they avoid hearing all about the story before they got a chance to read it? Isaac was sad, but smiled anyway. “No thank you.”

He drove to another bookstore. He drove to two department stores. He even checked the grocery store. He couldn’t find a copy of the new dinosaur book.

Isaac drove home feeling discouraged. He could just imagine Charlie waiting for him by the door with hopeful eyes. He didn’t want to see that hope turn to disappointment. But what could he do?

He should have gone to the bookstore at lunch. No, he should have reserved a copy of the book. Maybe it wasn’t too late to try a few more stores?

But he was already late getting home. Dinner was probably already on the table. He couldn’t make Marianne and Charlie wait any longer. Maybe he should have picked up ice cream at the grocery store. That way he wouldn’t be coming home empty-handed. Marianne and Charlie love ice cream. Was it too late to go back to the grocery store? Probably.

Isaac drove home. He went inside, and quietly closed the door. Charlie wasn’t waiting for him by the door. Isaac could hear Marianne and Charlie talking in the kitchen. They sounded happy.

Isaac quietly changed his shoes. He dropped one, and it made a thumping sound as it fell. Charlie’s happy voice called out from the kitchen, “Dad’s home!” He came racing into the entryway.

Isaac took a deep breath. “Charlie, I didn’t get the dinosaur book.”

Charlie smiled. “That’s okay.”

“It is?”

Marianne appeared in the kitchen doorway. “It is. I ordered a copy online, and it came today.”

Charlie and Marianne grinned at Isaac. Isaac smiled back, feeling relieved. It was good to be married to someone brilliant. “Well done,” he said. Marianne’s smile grew just a little brighter.

“So, are you going to read me a chapter at bedtime?” Charlie asked.

“I have a better idea,” Isaac said. “Let’s read a chapter now. And then maybe a few more. We can stay up a bit late. It’s Saturday tomorrow.”

Marianne tousled Charlie’s hair. “Go get your pajamas on. I’ll go get the book.”

Isaac raised a hand to volunteer. “I’ll pop some popcorn.”

Charlie clapped his hands. “It’s a party. A book party! I’ll be right back.” He raced down the hall to his room.

Marianne chuckled. Isaac pulled her into a hug. “Thanks for taking care of that. My meeting went late and everything was just awful for a while,” he said.

Marianne hugged him back, and then they let go with a smile. “No problem. I’ve been looking forward to this too. I’m sorry I forgot to tell you I’d ordered the book.”

Isaac shrugged. “It turned out to be a nice surprise.”

Charlie appeared at that moment, already wearing his pajamas. “Where’s the book? And the popcorn? I’ve been waiting forever for the new dinosaur book.”

Isaac and Marianne hurried to do their tasks, and the book party started soon after. It was worth the wait.

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