Excerpts & Short Stories

Bedtime Story

Happy Sunday! I hope you are having a wonderful weekend! So every other Sunday I am going to post a short story I wrote in the past. I thought, why not start out with one of my favorites:)

2014 English class, beginning of my senior year of high school. Wrote this for a story contest.  Didn’t win, but I had fun writing this! Enjoy!

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“Daddy, it’s time for my bedtime story!” little, seven-year-old Kati said as she ran up to her dad and started tugging on his shirt sleeve.

“All right, Kati! Come on. Let’s go to your room!” Dr. Anthony Hamilton said as he took his daughter’s small hand.

Kati began pulling, “Come on! Faster!”

“Patience, Kati, patience,” Dr. Hamilton smiled.

When they reached Kati’s room, Dr. Hamilton let go of her hand and just stood in the doorway, looking around the room. Kati’s bed was a twin size bed. Her carpet was a pale red. Kati’s bedroom walls were pink and on her ceiling were glow-in-the-dark stars. There was a bookshelf on the left wall, stuffed with books. A nightstand stood next to her bed on the right, and in her closet were all her stuffed animals, everyday clothes, and small dresses, all squished together.

Kati ran immediately to her bed and jumped into her thick, red covers. Dr. Hamilton walked in and went toward the shelves full of books.

“No!” Kati shouted.

Her father put a finger to his lips. “Shh, quiet, Kati. You know how grumpy Nana gets when she can’t have her beauty sleep.” Kati put both of her hands over her mouth and giggled. Nana was her grandmother, eighty-nine, and still very much alive. “Now, what was it you wanted?”

Kati uncovered her mouth, “I don’t want you to read me one of those books. I want you to make up a story!” she whispered loudly.

Dr. Hamilton smiled. “Are you sure? Why don’t I read to you Alice in Wonderland, or Red Riding Hood?”

“No, those stories are boring. The ones you make up are so exciting!” Kati gave her dad the “puppy eye” look.

Dr. Hamilton laughed and then came over and sat on the edge of her bed. “All right, you win! Now get comfy and close your eyes,” he whispered. Kati pulled the covers up to her chest and shut her eyes tight. “Ready?”

“Yes!” Kati beamed.

Dr. Hamilton cleared his throat and then turned on his “dramatic” voice.  “Once upon a time, there lived a princess. Her name was . . . ”

“Kati!” Kati jumped in. Kati always jumped in to add something to one of her dad’s stories.

“Now, Princess Kati didn’t live in a castle like most princesses, she lived in a tower. And she didn’t wear fancy clothes or fancy shoes. She had no jewelry or gold or anything of value. Princess Kati wore servant’s clothes. Why? Because her evil . . . ”

“Aunt!”

“Her evil Aunt Jasmine made Princess Kati a maid in her palace, because Aunt Jasmine was jealous of Kati’s . . . ”

“Eyes!”

“Of Kati’s eyes. Princess Kati’s eyes were as blue as sapphires and everyone in the kingdom loved her eyes. They were bright and cheerful and made everyone happy. Kati’s Aunt didn’t like how Kati was getting all of the attention, so her Aunt . . . ”

“. . . sold Kati to a slave trade and Kati was shipped off to the end of the world, were she endured hardship, pain, and loss.” Kati stood up on her bed and threw her fist into the air. “One day, Princess Kati escaped and ran for her life! She traveled through jungles and was nearly eaten by man-eating Indians. She traveled through a desert that was filled with deadly snakes. She even rode on sharks to try to get away from the bad people.”

“Dear, sit down! You’re going to give me a heart attack!” Kati plopped down and giggled. “Ok, then. After Princess Kati got away from the bad men, she came to a land where there were . . . ”

“. . . people with two heads! No, three heads!”

“Now, these people thought it was really odd that there was a person with only one head. Crowds came from all over and everyone stared at the Princess. Some of them laughed and teased her. Then…”

“. . . a group of three headed men came and took the Princess to a cage where everyone could come and look at her. Kati felted horrible when the three-headed people came up and laughed at her. Princess Kati remained in that cage for a whole year!”

Dr. Hamilton grinned. This was no longer his story anymore. “What happened next? Did she ever escape?”

Kati, whose eyes were still closed, nodded. “A three-headed boy had been watching her for that whole year and he saw how she cried and cried in that cage. So, one night, he busted her out! They ran and they ran. The three-headed boy put her on a ship and Princess Kati sailed away. The ship was owned by the three-headed people. These three-headed people were merchants that traded with the one-headed people. Princess Kati hid below deck the whole trip. When they reached Kati’s homeland, she escaped the ship and just ran. But poor Kati, she didn’t know where she was going. She couldn’t go home, because her evil Aunt Jasmine probably still didn’t like her. So Kati became a homeless person. She wheeled around a cart wherever she went. To stay alive she would beg for food and search through garbage cans. Yuck! Finally, someone took pity on her and gave her a job as a maid in a large mansion. For three years, Princess Kati washed, cleaned, dried, swept, and dusted the whole mansion. The people that lived there were always angry. When they would have large family reunions, everybody would be arguing about money and boring grownup stuff. At last, Kati couldn’t stand it anymore. She quit the job and left that place to search for a home for herself.” Kati reached out for her dad’s hand. Dr. Hamilton reached for hers and held it. “It’s your turn, Daddy,” she whispered softly.

“Princess Kati traveled for miles, until she came upon an abandoned tower. Kati lived in that tower for…”

“Five years! And then a great storm came and destroyed the tower.”

“Now, Princess Kati had no home, so she decided to go back to her old home, the one with the evil Aunt. When Kati arrived, she found out that her aunt was . . . ”

“. . . in a retirement home!

Dr. Hamilton laughed. “So Kati reclaimed the throne and became the Queen of…”

“The Nameless Land!”

“And she lived happily ever after!” They both said at the same time.

Kati opened her eyes. “That was the best story ever!”

“All right, time for bed,” said her dad.

Kati whined.

“No, I will not have any of that.”

Kati frowned and crossed her arms.

“Come on, Kati, its way past your bedtime. You need your sleep.”

“Fine.” Kati sank into the bed and hid under the covers.

Dr. Hamilton gasped. “Oh, no! Where has my little princess gone?” Kati giggled under the covers. Dr. Hamilton felt around. He found her waist and started tickling her. Kati wiggled around, laughed, and screamed. Dr. Hamilton laughed.

“What are you two doing?” a voice came from the hall. Both stopped and looked up. It was Nana. “Quiet, I need my beauty sleep!”

Both father and daughter laughed. Nana gave a great “humph” and trotted back to her room. Dr. Hamilton straightened the covers and then kissed his daughter on the forehead.

“Goodnight, my princess. Sleep tight–”

“And don’t let the aliens bite!”

“That’s right. Now, go to sleep, big day tomorrow!”

Kati beamed. “Yeah!”

Dr. Hamilton stood in the doorway with his hand on the light switch. “Goodnight!”

“Goodnight!”

He flipped the switch and the glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling sparkled. Katy settled down and closed her eyes. A new story began to form in her head and off to dream land she flew.

I wanted to expand Kati and Dr. Hamilton’s story because there was always one lingering question I had: “Why was tomorrow such a big day?” But I never did. Maybe I will someday, but what did you think?

©2017 Hope McPherson All Rights Reserved

2 thoughts on “Bedtime Story

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