Sometimes Normal is strange. Sometimes I dream of hearts stout and brave. Like muffled noises of beating drums. Sometimes I sense falling asleep is wrong. I’ve seen old ships sail like dead swans in a lake, I’ve seen water cry in pain, I see all the pain inside my dreams. At night I disobey my curfew. It’s normal, I suppose. I always end up sleeping, but the lack of sleep haunts me. I’m only twelve, sleeping’s overrated I believe. Or I used to believe- nowadays I try, but at max, if I’m lucky I’ll get two hours per night.
I was scared, fear sliced my brain to pieces. I wasn’t always like this and this is my story. I was only six when this all started, I was the luckiest girl in the world. ‘Dreams like ghosts must hideaway’ my mum would always say. I lived in a giant house, along with my sister, mother and father. Sounds perfect right?
Well, it all started with a dream.
‘Barefooted, ragged, with neglected hair, she was a thin slip of a girl, like a new moon. Underneath a ragged tree sat my cousin still young and blooming. Fire tickled through streams of lines. Time dripped like wounds of blood desperate for dignity. A depressing sound of dears in pain. Death at the only sight. ‘Run!’ I cried tears running down my cheeks ‘go before time dies down’ I cried hysterically bit fat tears ran down flooding the ground. I could feel the mud pulls my legs ‘run’ I cried desperately ‘run’ I was screaming at the top of my lungs. My cousin sat perfectly still ignoring all the words I screamed. ‘Lilly! Go, run!’ I continued screaming my voice stuttering as I cried. Lily stared at me as if my head had gone, ‘stop screaming’ she yelled ‘I’m perfectly fine you-’ I continued crying urging her to leave before it was too late. I felt the tug on my legs, the wind howling like wolves. I looked at Lily for the last time, I could see the flames to melt her away into the shadows. She was gone!
I woke to sweat in fear my body felt weak. I cried believing every word in my dream, I was only 6 and every dream felt like reality. My mum came rushing in, but I kept my words inside my head. Later that week I had another dream-
‘I was sitting in a room next to my grandma. ‘How old are you darling?’ She asked. I stared into her big beautiful eyes and the way her hair was perfectly curled. ‘I’m very old, almost seven’ My words felt confident, as I beamed in pride. ‘Hmm, what a shame; when I was six my parents loved me’ I looked at my grandma shocked. She was never this rude, it didn’t occur to me that I was inside of a dream. Being the 6-year-old girl, I was everything I saw, I believed. ’Stop Granny, I don’t like it’ Her reaction as predicted was laughter then I woke.
That dream wasn’t exactly as bad as Lily dying until I looked down at my hand. It said, ‘when I was six my parents loved me’. I screamed!
I blinked furiously, ‘I’m seeing things, it can’t be’. Luckily, I was right! I looked down once more and it was gone. Relief hit me hard, but the thought scared me like a deep cut. There were nights I tried to fall asleep but every time I shut my eyes, I just pictured the death of Lily, the sounds of her words fighting back at me, and the laughs Granny cried. The sounds inside my head haunted my brain, like living creatures inside of me. After that, my sleep schedule went from eleven hours to three hours. Everything began to become a blur. I struggled to stay up; but the fear of having yet another dream still stay A few years later, once again a dream struck me-
Blood dripped, among the shadows. Skies dark and dull. There I was running, trees flashing faster than the speed of light. My heart pounding like a drum, echoing loud and clear. Voices calling behind me I stop suddenly to my surprise. I waited as I heard the panting behind me only get louder. ‘Who-Who’s there’ I mumbled fear leaked down my lungs. ‘I am but, I’m here because you called me, I’m here because you need my help. I know you’ll deny it but, I only came to your demand.’ Replied the creature. It was dark, I could only see a shadow. ‘I’m a friend; your new best friend. I’ve come to try and help you, your dreams I heard have been haunting you. Am I right?’ ‘Uh, no’ I muttered shivering uncontrollably. ‘Lies I smell LIES!’ The creature screamed! My heart was beating thunderously, my palms began to sweat oceans. I could feel the butterflies in my stomach grow to large ugly rats. 'DO YOU WANT MY HELP OR NOT!' The creature screamed, shaking the trees surrounding us. 'NO' I screamed 'I DON'T NEED NO PITY HELP I'M FINE YOU MONSTER' fire erupted inside; all the fear came bursting all at once. The creature growled in anger 'I'm no monster I'm only here to help' the creature sighed calmly. The creature looked down sadly tears grew in his eyes. Then I woke.
I could still hear the creature’s words; ‘Me? I’m here because you called me’. I didn’t understand only my third ever nightmare and yet I still can’t sleep. It only made me question, who was the creature? I looked out upon the window starring into the trees and they danced. Startled I hear a soft sound of humming. Nothing as elegant, graceful and profundity as songs can be, but I felt my cheeks blush as if the song were just for me. I noticed a shadow coming from the window. I noticed the shadow only getting larger. A fume of smoke spread through the air as I waved my hand in front of my nose. The smell was deep, yet I felt my nose twitch. Something seemed as if I’d smelt this smell before. ‘I’m here to help a girl in need’ said a small voice. My body felt a ray of coldness, I had heard this voice before. Except not in real life. A soft yet husky voice. A tiny goblin came out of nowhere, ‘your eyes like ink dripping down a pen. That tickles its life light down a stream, your eyes blue from holding back. Secrets I know, secrets I hear. I’ve come only to help you; because nothing normal comes naturally.’ The goblin stared into my eyes; I felt a rush of embarrassment. A goblin had made me blush, but it was a goblin. The goblin seemed to read my mind. The goblin continued to keep walking as I trailed keeping my head down. The goblin took me to a giant forest and sat down on a ragged log. I kept my head down, slightly disgusted that I was following a goblin. ‘Your parents need help’ sighed the goblin. ‘I know its hard to explain but they do, except you need more.’ I looked up at the goblin in confusion. ‘I know, you won’t understand as they do. My life is depending on you, as yours is depending on me. But it all started just a few years back.’
‘I’m no normal goblin I’ve come to help you. I understand it may be hard to explain but so am I. Your sleeping schedule is off, I don’t want to try and help you, I just want to tell you why.’ I smiled speechless, still taking in everything the goblin said. The goblin points up towards the sky. I immediately looked up as I see the stars dance just like the flowers did that very day. The moon felt cold and wholesome. ‘Nothing better than starring at the places I’ll be once I’ve gone’ smiled the goblin. ‘By any chance have you ever lost anything?’ the goblin asked. ‘uh, yes lots’ I replied. The goblin nodded. ‘hard I suppose’.
I continued to follow this goblin and his words. Every night I would go out of my home and stare up into the stars. The goblin never said much, but I felt like every time I went, I felt protected. More protected then anyone had protected me. The goblin always said that when someone passes, they end up in the stars as angels protecting us every step of the way. Me being the twelve-year-old I was I didn't understand it wouldn't always be like that.
It was a dark stormy night as I walked outside expecting to see the goblin. As per usual he was there. I followed him to the stars when I sat peacefully. I noticed the goblin looking down at a picture of a little boy. I expected he was up in the stars now. I looked up as I saw the stars sparkle in the night sky. I looked over at the goblin one last time, his eyes sparkled just like the stars. The goblin smiled, but I wasn't prepared for what I saw next. The goblin started to float up into the night sky, as he waved. 'No' I cried tears like oceans flooded around me. 'No!' I sobbed uncontrollably, looking up the goblin just continued waving before long he was so high up, I saw no more. Death is like moonlight in a lofty wood that pours pale magic through the shadowy leaves. My chest felt hollow and lifeless tears still streaming down my cheeks.
That was the night when the goblin had left me. His intention was pure thought, it taught me how to live through loss. I wasn't ready to let him go, but his lesson stayed in my heart. Every night I stare at the stars for a few minutes before lying down and almost sleeping instantly. Without him, I wouldn't have been able to cope with loss. But maybe, just maybe he was that boy before a goblin. I'm almost fourteen now and I always feel like he's watching me, protecting me every step of the way. I realised that the goblin hadn’t come to help me sleep, but to help me be ready for loss inside my dreams. ‘Getting over loss is a skill most can’t take’ as my mum would say.