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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Nightly Visitor

Albert fussed when his mum told him to go to bed. “I want to stay up, Mum,” he whined.

“But Albert, you have to go to bed. You need your sleep,” Mum said.

Albert didn't want to tell his mum that he was afraid of the dark. He was ten years old and far too big to be afraid, so he made up lies. “I can't go to sleep, Mum. My bed is lumpy.”

His mum went into his room and punched the bed. “Your bed feels fine to me. It's rather soft and comfortable. You should be thankful to have a bed like this. Now, off to bed with you.”

With no other excuses in mind, Albert had no choice but to get into his bed.

“You'll sleep fine. I'll put a candle on the table so it won't be so dark.” Mum kissed his cheek and closed the door.

Albert lay awake, listening to noises and fearful of monsters under his bed. When morning came, he could hardly move. He was so tired, but the next night, when it was bedtime, he came up with another lie. “Mum, I can't go to sleep. The wind blows the tree branches against the bedroom window.”

Mum opened the window and snipped off a few branches. “There you are now. The branches aren't touching your window.” She kissed him goodnight. “I'll leave the candle for you again. Get to sleep.”

Albert lay awake all night, listening to noises and fearful of monsters under his bed. He sat up, shaking with fear. The next morning his mum saw the circles around his eyes. “Albert, did you sleep last night? What is going on? You're not afraid of the dark, are you?”

Albert's cheeks turned red. “Yes, Mum. I am afraid of the dark. I hear noises and I think there's a monster under my bed.”

That night his mum went into the bedroom first. She lifted up the covers. “Look, Albert. There are no monsters under your bed.” She opened the closet door. “There are no monsters or ghosts in your closet. The house is safe and your dad and I are in the living room.” She lit a candle. “I'm leaving the candle for you, so it won't be so dark.” She shut the door behind her.

Albert knew there were no monsters under his bed. His mum had checked. He knew there were no ghosts in his closet. She'd checked there too. Still, he was afraid. He sat on the bed and laid his back against the pillow, watching the candlelight flicker. Just then a few twinkling lights appeared at the bottom of his bed. He pulled the covers up over his face. The lights got brighter and bright green sparkles glittered. Albert peeked out.

“Hello there.” A strange little man sat on the bottom of Albert's bed.

Albert pulled the covers over his face again. “Go away!”

“Albert, I'm your fairy. I'm here to watch over you at night. I've been here every night, but I've never let you see me before. I watch over you while you sleep. I'm not supposed to let you see me at all, but I thought you needed it tonight. Albert, you've got to stop being afraid of the dark.”

“You're my fairy? You watch over me at night?” Albert sat up.

“Yes. I stay in your room from the moment your mum leaves until the sun rises in the morning. I'm always here. I make sure the ghosts and monsters stay away and as long as I'm here, you'll be safe.”

Albert looked at the fairy. It wore an orange hat with a star at the end of it, an orange shirt with green polka dots and yellow and green striped pants. Red shoes hung from its feet. “What's your name?”

“What do you want my name to be?” The fairy raised into the air.

“I want your name to be Gary, no Peter,” Albert said.

“Peter it is then. I'm Peter, the fairy.”

“You promise to stay and keep me safe?” Albert slid back under the covers.

“I promise. Just because you don't see me doesn't mean I'm not there. Now, I'd better become invisible again before I get into trouble.” The fairy disappeared. “I'm still here,” it said from the corner of the room.

Albert rolled onto his side and for the first time in months, fell asleep and slept all night long.

In the morning he rushed to the kitchen table. “I'm starving.”

His mum smiled. “I trust you slept well last night?”

Albert nodded and smiled. He was going to keep Peter a secret. “I will sleep good every night from now on. I'm not afraid of the dark any more.” And he did.

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