Tag Archives: sleep

2236. Strange things

I glanced at my digital alarm clock to see how much longer I had before having to get out of my cosy bed. It said it was seventy-four minutes past twenty-seven (27:74). What the…?

I turned on the bedside light and jumped out of bed. My clothes weren’t there; only a great green gown with a hood. I put it on because I sleep naked and had to put on something before walking around the house. And then I noticed…

This wasn’t my room. This wasn’t my bed. This wasn’t my house. I didn’t know where I was. I drew the bedroom curtains apart and gazed out the window. It was pitch black. Not a star. Nothing. No dark shape of anything.

I began feeling my way around the house, rubbing my hand against the wall in the hope of finding a light switch. There was no switch to be found. Only the dull light from the bedside lamp cast a small glow through the bedroom door. I was in some sort of corridor. Suddenly the bedside lamp…

went out.

I was in total darkness. I could no longer even find the wall to grope along. And then…

I touched it! I touched it! It felt a bit slimy and warm and bristly. I estimated it was about the size of a human but not a human. Not that I really stood there at 27:82 in the pitch black wearing a green hooded gown finding something slimy and warm and bristly and deciding to do a logical analysis. I was petrified.

Next thing my wife was there with her phone with the phone light turned on. I was in our meadow next to the house patting our cow. It would have been funny if it wasn’t surreal. And I had to wash my feet before getting back into bed.

(Footnote: In 2235 stories I have never resorted to a character being in a dream as a resolution to a plot. It’s an easy way out. But it’s only fair that in 2236 stories at least one should end in a dream!)

2099. Putting the garden to sleep

Haralambus (known as Harry) and Hughina (known as May) Pfahlert were well into their retirement years. Harry’s main interest was the garden. With late autumn approaching he had been busy tidying the garden so that at the end of winter all the back-breaking work would be done and it would be less of a hassle come spring.

Well dear, said Harry to May after two weeks of extensive labour in the garden, all is done. Everything is weeded. Everything is fertilized. Leaves are dug in or burnt and the ashes hoed in. Mulch has been spread. Shrubs sensitive to the winter cold have been covered. I might be weary, but I’m well satisfied. The garden has been put to sleep. Let it snow! Let it snow!

It was such a pleasure in winter to view the snowed-in garden through the living room window, with the log fire roaring away and the smell of cinnamon buns cooking in the oven. All done! All done! One could enjoy the order of it all and look forward to the chaos of new life!

It was such a pity that Harry died in his sleep that very night.

2088. My side of the bed

There’s no doubt that Zoe takes up most of the bed. If she would just stick to her side! But no! I’m left wide awake and perched precariously on the brink of the bed ready to plunge down onto the floor the minute I nod off.

She does it on purpose. She pretends she’s asleep while she inches her way into the hollow in the centre of the bed. Straight away she’s fast asleep and breathing noisily. How is a man meant to sleep with all that? Getting one of those modern hard mattresses might help (there’s no central hollow) but I have to admit I do like a bit of softness.

Seriously, I’m thinking of getting my own bed. I shall have it all to myself. But of course Zoe is not to be trusted. I retire to bed before she does, and when she comes to bed, especially in winter, she likes to have the bed warmed up. So I begin by warming her bit of the bed first and then move over to my side. So probably if I got another bed there would always be one bed redundant.

It’s something I’ve put up with for ten years now. I guess there’s no getting around it. Just accept it and get on with life. Damn cat.

1971. Oh sugar!

Pamela was a sound sleeper. She lived alone. She locked the house thoroughly each night before she went to bed. The neighbours were a bit strange – especially the wife. She was a bit of a recluse. Pamela had met her just the once. Word had it that she had been in and out of psychiatric care centres throughout her life.

It may have been because of this that Pamela was nervously suspicious. She had suspected for quite some time that strange things happened in the night. She was always meticulous about things, and sometimes she noticed that some household items had been moved ever so slightly, or even that she ran out of tea bags faster than she should. In fact she counted the tea bags. She used two tea bags a day. The seventy-eight tea bags in the box should last for thirty-nine days. She marked the date on her wall calendar.

Ashley, the neighbour, was a bit strange, but not as strange as his wife. He would come over once a week to Pamela’s for a cup of coffee. Pamela had never warmed to him. But a neighbour is a neighbour and it was after all only about thirty minutes in her week that his visits lasted. His wife never came with him.

Now the doctor had told Pamela to go easy on the sugar, so she filled the sugar bowl (in case visitors came and took sugar) and put the sugar bowl high in the cupboard. That was the last time she used it. It was a lot easier to give up sugar than she had expected.

When Ashley came over next she filled the conversation with the usual small talk. She had given up sugar. Did he still want sugar in his coffee? Perhaps he would prefer a cup of tea?

“Oh,” said Ashley, “I think you’re out of tea bags.”

1779. The days were drawing out

The days were drawing out. Summer was approaching. Spring had not fully run its course, but the sun was definitely rising earlier and earlier. Soon it would be the summer solstice.

Young Grant was about to turn twelve. His birthday was on the last day of spring. “The start of a new beginning”, his mother would say. “Grant’s birth was the start of a lovely summer.”

Grant asked his parents if he could watch the sunrise at the solstice. “Of course you can,” said his mother. “What a silly question! There’s no school tomorrow.”

The next morning, the day after his birthday, Grant watched the sunrise. The day had dawned cloudless. It was a perfect start to summer.

Grant wasn’t the only one watching it. His parents were there, as was his older brother and younger sister. It was a family affair!

After the sun rose, Grant went to bed. He was dog tired having stayed up all night. The rest of the family were fine. They had gone to bed, had a good night’s sleep, and simply got up early.

1385. Sunday afternoon snooze

It was not unusual for Danny to have a full-scale afternoon snooze every Sunday afternoon. This wasn’t a gentle doze in front of the television; this was a get-into-bed affair. His wife and kids would hear him snoring away for an hour – sometimes for an hour and a half. Then he would get up and life would return to normal.

“Work for your parents tomorrow,” he would say to the kids. “And school for you.”

This particular afternoon the children decided to play a trick. They adjusted all the clocks, even the clock in the car. They convinced their mother to wake their father up.

“Hurry up, dear!” said mother. “You’ve overslept. You slept all the way to Monday morning. You must’ve needed it. You’ll be late for work.”

Danny leapt out of bed.

“A quick breakfast?” asked mother. The kids were all sitting around the breakfast table eating morning cereal.

“I’m not hungry,” said Danny. “I’ll grab a coffee on the way to work.”

Off he set in the car for work at four o’clock on a Sunday afternoon. The kids were ecstatic about their trick! It worked!

Twenty minutes later, Danny reappeared. “I’ll get you lot sometime soon,” he grumbled. “I want everyone seated in the dining room in five minutes.”

The event began. “I’ve got these family tickets to Disneyland,” said Danny. “We’ve always wanted to go, and now we are.”

The kids didn’t believe him. “You can’t fool us with this one,” they all said. “We don’t believe you.”

“I knew you’d think that,” said Danny. But that was Danny’s real trick. They didn’t believe him, and they never knew they were really going to go!

1166. Worries

Vernon was a worrier. Every night he lay in bed, wide awake, and worried.

He worried as to what he would do if his wife died. Would he cope on his own? Would he sell the house and move to something smaller? Would he…?

He worried that his pet canary might escape its cage and fly into the world outside. What would it eat? Would it sing in the trees? It would get cold and probably die in a couple of days. Poor thing. Oh the poor thing..

What if he died before his wife? Would she be alright? What if the car broke down after he’d died? He should really make arrangements to join some Automobile Association so his widowed wife could simple phone up and say “Help!”

What if his dog barked too loud and the neighbours phoned the city’s Animal Control people and they came and took the dog away. It would be so lonely. It would whimper. It would be awful; just awful. People can be so cruel.

What if there was a knock on the door in the middle of the night and it was the police saying that one of the kids had been killed in a car crash? These things happen, and regularly.

What if North Korea dropped a bomb? What if he lost his job? What if? What if?

And tonight was the worst of all. The bed was hard. His every joint ached. Not a wink of sleep all night. He was glad when morning came. He had tossed and turned and worried in case he was getting some sort of alzheimer’s. He couldn’t remember what he was worried about.

1165. Grinding

Each evening Nerissa would grind the coffee beans and tip them into the coffee machine in preparation for early morning. Nerissa rose at six and the first thing she did was to turn on the coffee machine. Her husband, Charlie, didn’t rise until seven and usually had to reheat his coffee in the microwave.

Charlie had an annoying practice. If he had an important meeting that demanded an earlier rising, he would not set an alarm clock. Instead, before he went to bed, he would tip out all of Nerissa’s ground coffee beans into the trash so that the noise of Nerissa grinding a fresh batch of coffee in the early morning would wake him up.

“What’s wrong with just asking me to wake you?” said Nerissa.

“This way is just as efficient,” said Charlie.

Nerissa had had enough. The next time it happened, she got in the car and drove to the Early Bird Café. The coffee wasn’t as nice, but it was a lot more satisfying.

919. Letters to the editor

919sleep

To the Editor of the “Farmers’ Monthly”

Dear Sir,

Do goats ever sleep? Every time I see Billy the Goat, he’s out eating. Only today, for example, I saw him at 3 o’clock this morning happily eating.

When does he sleep? Or don’t goats need to sleep?

Yours sincerely,
Farmer Jack

919line

To the Editor of the “Farmers’ Monthly”

Dear Sir,

Do humans ever sleep? Every time I see Farmer Jack, he’s out looking. Only today, for example, I saw him at 3 o’clock this morning checking to see if I was eating.

When does he sleep? Or don’t humans need to sleep?

Yours sincerely,
Billy the Goat

To listen to the story being read click HERE!

618. To bed! To bed!

© Bruce Goodman 20 June 2015

618tobed

Finn had gone to bed early. Tomorrow morning he needed to rise at 5.00 am to catch a bus.

And so it was “to bed, to bed, you sleepy head” at 9 pm.

Finn woke at 1.30 am. He wasn’t the slightest bit tired. But he had to sleep. He had to sleep. He tossed and turned. He turned again. It was now 2.45 am.

He visited the bathroom. He straightened the bed sheets and blankets. He lay there. It was now 3.25 am. He re-arranged his pillow.

He could see the time in the dark on the digital clock. How slowly the minute numbers changed. Perhaps if he read a bit from his book. It was now 4.14 am.

He read for five minutes and turned out the light. He had to sleep. He had to sleep. Only ten minutes now before 5 am. Then he could get up. What a relief that will be.

Only five minutes left!

Only two minutes!

Thank goodness! It’s…

Zzzzzzzzzzz…