Bedtime Kids

I watch her sleep.

And I watch her sleep some more. 

And she continues to sleep. 

Holy mackerel! Well, mackerels aren’t holy, but, wowzers! Is this girl gonna sleep all night? Hurry it up lady, you may be mortal, but it’s not like you need eight hours of sleep.

Wait a second. I look it up, only to find that indeed, mortal humans need around eight hours of sleep.


So, four hours later, why is this girl still asleep? 

She stirs.

Then she starts snoring again.

Call me impatient, but I got other peeps to take, so clearly I need to assert my dominance.


Immediately, Marlee sits upright and swings her head around, searching for the face to match to the yelling. I try to introduce myself.

“Yo, I’m-”

When she spots me, terrible sound comes out of her sleep encrusted mouth, interrupting me. Once Marlee finishes her screaming, she bounces out of her sleeping quarters and tears off my black cloak. She sees nothing underneath and screams some more. 

“SHUSH,” I say, not in the mood to waste anymore time. 

“Are you death?” Marlee asks.

“No,” I say, “I’m an angel.”

She calms down, so I can continue, “I’m an angel of death.”

Marlee continues screaming, and then sobs at me, “I’m not ready to die, please don’t take me!”

She says that she’ll give me anything, and I agree, just to make her stop crying. Gee whiz, it’s been a little over eight hours on the job, and I’m already getting peeved. If all mortals are this dramatic about death, I think I’ll transfer into the, “good news of great joy,” section.

“So what is it that you want for my life, sir?” Marlee begins, “I have, like, seven hundred dollars saved for university.”

“Well, I suppose you won’t need university if you’re dead,” I reply.

“But I’m giving it to you so I don’t die!” Marlee cries.

“Oh, well, it won’t stop you from dying, because where I come from, the streets are made of gold, so I don’t need money.”

Marlee sighs, then scans the room for any other bribes she can offer me. Little (none) does she know that bribing an angel isn’t very easy, nor will we accept any, even if the bribe was up to our standards. I check my watch. Actually, I don’t mind staying overtime, I’d like to see what this girl has to offer.

“I have this new autographed CD from Taylor Swift,” Marlee offers, “She’s really good, I’ll play some for you.”

After listening to a few seconds, I shut off the CD player.

When Marlee glares at me, I say, “What? I’d rather listen to Handel’s Messiah. And I can get as many of his autographs as I please.”

I chuckle as Marlee sits and twiddles her thumbs, thinking of something that would appease me. We go on like this for some minutes, until Marlee’s face brightens, and she bounces out of her bedroom door. 

I ask her where we’re going and she says that it’s a surprise. Still chuckling, I observe as she brings out bowls and eggs and other fancy things in containers from different cabinets in her kitchen. Marlee stirs and preheats and pours and sweats. After an hour or so, she comes up to me with some brown squares on a plate.

“They’re brownies,” Marlee explains, “These are a crowd favorite, passed down from generations! If these don’t convince you to let me stay, noth-” She stops. 

“Good idea,” I respond, “Don’t let your life ride on browns.”

“Brownies,” corrects Marlee. 

I smile at her and pick up the offering. It’s soft and… brown.

“Uhm, Marlee,” I begin. She looks defeated already. “What exactly do I … do? With this?”

Groaning, Marlee answers, “You’re supposed to eat it. Like, to consume and digest?”

I giggle a bit, “You’ve taken off my cloak before. I don’t really have a body, or at least not one like a human’s. I can’t digest anything.”

Before I even finish speaking, Marlee already looks like she has another idea, and is skipping back up to her room. She says that she is willing to give up her prized possession, the most important thing she has ever had the privilege of owning.

Marlee thrusts a huge poster at me, and holds it open so that I can behold it’s majestic contents. She grins proudly, arousing curiosity in me, and I begin to get a bit excited as I roll it open.

“It’s a signed picture of Shawn Mendes. Shirtless! Signed by his hands!” Marlee’s voice seems to become higher pitched and less abled as she continues. 

I look at her, expecting a bit better, a little more. After all, it is her “prized possession.”

“What am I supposed to do with this pale, scrawny boy? Fight demons?” I say, gravely disappointed when I realize that this is it, “It’s not even like it’s the actual person. And what’s wrong with his stomach” What’s with all the blocks on his tummy?” I suddenly feel guilty, “Oh my, is he starving? Poor, poor boy! I’ll have to help-”

“He’s not starving!” Marlee’s eyes flash with rage, then awe. “He’s sexy. And those are his abs. They make him look so powerful and-”

“Powerful?!” I guffaw. “You know, after standing in the presence of God for a second, your definition of power kinda improves. Besides, Shawn Mending’s hands aren’t any more amazing than your ha-”

Mendes! Shawn Mendes!” Marlee seems to really like this boy, “Why do you have to be such a one-upper! I don’t wanna die, I’m only fourteen!”

I stare at her for a few reasons. Did she not hear anything I said besides the guy’s name? Did she say that she was fourteen? I was told that the Marlee I’m taking is 94. I was really wondering why a 94 year old was still a girl, but I don’t have much experience with people.

I clear my throat. “Fourteen, you say?” I ask Marlee. “You’re not Marlee Johnhopper of Green street?”

“No,” Marlee answers, “That’s our neighbor. I’m Marlee Hognjopper. My parents are visiting her right now. So I’m not dying today?!”

I nod at her, and she screams about how happy she is that she gets to keep her Shawn Mendes picture, and how she gets to see her friends at school again. 

Floating out the door, I sigh, hoping the older Marlee isn’t as bent on screaming as her neighbor.

January 08, 2021 03:00

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Hallie Blatz
14:32 Apr 22, 2021

This was hilarious! I loved it! It was a little like the concept of the Book Thief except funny. Your style is great and the angel’s concern for Shawn Mendes was adorable! Sincerely, Hallie. Ps: thanks for liking my story!


Tolu Odel
01:40 May 02, 2021

Thank you so much Hallie, I'm glad you liked it! PS: Well, you wrote a likeable story, and you're welcome :)


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FJC Montenegro
02:27 Jan 14, 2021

Hey Tolu, I received your story on the critique circle and, oh boy, this was a happy surprise. I enjoyed it very much! I started reading this as a serious story and the narrator watching a girl sleep was so creepy. I thought "this better be good." Then the "you don't have to sleep 8 hours" joke was a weird change of tone. But as I kept reading the comedy settled in, and it became a very enjoyable story. Going back to the beginning now I see it fits right with the tone of the story and it's great! I just came in expecting the wrong thing. T...


Tolu Odel
17:34 Jan 23, 2021

Wow! Thanks Splinter, I'm glad you liked it. I'm not a very funny person, I just felt like writing whatever came to my mind, and I'm surprised that I submitted it. Thanks for the advice and kind words!


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