Maria was having nightmares almost every night now and they were starting to disturb the rest of the household. She wasn’t entirely sure why or how they started because they seemed to just come out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. It made no sense to her because she never watched scary movies, because she already had an overactive imagination, without any of that nonsense running through her mind as well. She hadn’t been through any kind of trauma and she wasn’t experiencing any challenges, apart from the nightmares. In fact she lived a very fortunate and blessed life.
So, why was she having nightmares?
Maria was the eldest of three daughters, her two younger sisters, Amanda and Dawn annoyed her incessantly, but she adored them none the less. Their parents, Marj and Kev were childhood sweethearts who were happily married, and as deeply in love now as they were on their wedding day. They lived in a little fishing town in Britain, on the North West Coast, always surrounded by lots of family and friends and never short on love.
Just a regular girl from a regular family, living a normal life … or so she thought.
She had turned 13 years old 1 month ago. It should have been an exciting time, transitioning into her teens, but it had been quite challenging. She experienced her first night terror within days of turning 13. Her usual happy go lucky self suddenly changing into a moody teenager overnight, which was worrying and as far as she knew, it certainly wasn’t normal.
So why didn’t it worry her parents?
As darkness fell her world had changed and she no longer felt safe. She tried ever so hard to focus her attention on everything that she was grateful for. She played outside in the fresh air with her friends, she ate healthy foods, she swam in the near by stream, she watched feel good TV programs, she listened to soothing music, she read beautiful stories, she laughed with her sisters, she cuddled her soft toys and now she even slept with the bedroom door open and the landing light on. But no matter what she did, she kept falling asleep feeling very afraid. Often waking in the middle of the night, screaming and terrified, after having the same reoccurring nightmare. She kept asking herself, what’s happening to me and why am I so afraid of the things that go bump in the night?
For the last 3 weeks she lay in bed, watching the shadows on the walls and listening to the creeks of the house as it settled. Feeling safe enough while her parents were still watching TV in the lounge room, but as soon as they went to bed and the house fell silent, the fear began to stir. Her imagination carrying her away, towards Monsters who lived under the bed, the Boogy man who was hiding in the closet and god knows what else that lurked in the dark.
Every night she hid under the blanket, surrounding herself with every cuddly toy in her room. Eventually drifting off to sleep, but no longer falling into restful slumber. Instead she drifted off into a dark and frightening world. First, she noticed the air becoming cold and her skin getting hot and prickly. Although she was sound asleep and her eyes were closed, she could see the bedroom as clearly as though her eyes were open. She noticed the shadows on the walls beginning to dance around the room, morphing into what can only be described as creatures from the depths of hell. Twisted, contorted bodies, pointy horns on their heads and long limbs that threatened to snatch her very soul.
As the fear grew, the figures got bigger and bigger, surrounding her on every wall and growing up onto the ceiling above her head. She dared not look under the bed because she feared what else may be dwelling in the darkness. Then she would hear the screams, as the creatures scratched on the walls, excited and thrilled that her fear was bringing them to life. Somehow, she knew that the shadows were feeding from the fear, but she couldn’t shake it and she didn’t feel strong enough to fight them.
After all, she was only a little girl. All she could do was close her eyes tighter and scream. Hoping that she would eventually wake up from the nightmare. But the deeper she slept, the harder it was to escape the things that go bump in the night.
She woke screaming from yet another one of her night terrors. It was the fifth one that week, so everyone in the household was exhausted. Mother tried to soothe and comfort her with cuddles, while Father tried to offer assurance, by checking under the bed, looking in the wardrobe and adjusting the curtains. But she was inconsolable that night and becoming more and more distressed. She felt so stupid because she’d never been afraid of the dark before. She wanted so much to be the big brave older sister, but instead she felt like a frightened door mouse.
Mother cradled Maria in her arms, rocking back and forth, offering comfort with loving words and tender touch, while her Father anxiously paced back and forth in the bedroom. Her two younger sisters stood in the doorway, giggling nervously. Marie felt like a big cry baby and she didn’t like it one little bit.
“There’s no such thing as the boogie man and monsters sweetheart,” said Father. “They’re only made up stories to scare little kids. You know I will always protect you girls and keep you all safe.” Maria sobbed “Then why do these horrible things lurk in the darkness of my mind?” Maria pleaded. “And what if they are real? What if I can’t wake up? And what if you can’t keep me safe Daddy?
Mother noticed the look of concern on Fathers face, so she quickly intervened. “Kev, I think it’s time to call on Tinkerbell.” He smiled and said “Yes, I agree Marj.” Maria, Amanda and Dawn all looked confused and their ears pricked up as their curiosity was tickled. “Who is Tinkerbell”? they all said in unison. Mother smiled and glanced over to Father. “Do you want to tell them honey, or should I”?
Tell us !!! Tell us !!! Tell us !!! … they all insisted.
Maria wiped away her tears, blew her snotty nose into the handkerchief that her Father had handed to her from his pajama pocket, and she gave a big sniff. Amanda and Dawn had already jumped onto the bed and were now under the blanket with Maria, awaiting eagerly to hear all about Tinkerbell.
Mother continued to tell her three daughters about Tinkerbell, who was a tiny little fairy from the Other World, who had been helping their family for generations. She was a guardian and protector and she wasn’t the only one. Apparently they also had a white unicorn with wings called Sebastian, who lived in the forest and a dragon called George, who lived in one of the caves down by the old light house. The girls were flabbergasted to say the least. What the heck had our parents been smoking? Maria thought to herself.
It all sounded like some kind of fairy tale, as Mother continued to explain how she had also suffered from the same reoccurring nightmares during her transition into a teenager. Apparently, it happens a lot to people like us. People like us? Maria wondered. What on earth does that even mean?
“My darling girls, we are light bearers”
She continued to tell her daughters how they were from a long line of women, who could turn darkness into light. Here to assist people to overcome their worst fears and step into the their own brilliant light. But first they had to overcome their own darkness. Well, that could explain the nightmares, but it all seemed far too extraordinary to believe.
“You’re just telling stories” Maria said.
“Would we lie to you sweetheart” Father said with a grin.
Something Marj and Kev were really good at, was story time. They had read all kinds of fantasy fairy tale stories to their daughters, but this was different. This story wasn’t being read out of a book for starters and this story was way more exciting, because it felt strangely real.
Mother continued to tell Maria that the only way to overcome her fears was to focus on the magic, which is where Tinkerbell could help. All she had to do to manifest Tinkerbell, was to say “I believe” and she would appear from the lamp shade. Tinkerbell would then grow ten times her size and shine her radiance in the room, which would shed light onto the shadows, given them less and less power, until they disappeared completely.
“Where will they go?” asked Maria.
“To another dimension my darling, to a place where they can never hurt anyone again,” said Father. “But for Tinkerbell to manifest into our world, she needs to use a special kind of magic, that is only as strong as the belief we have in her. So the stronger you believe, the stronger she becomes” said Mother.
“My darlings, do you believe in magic?”
WE DO !!! WE DO !!! WE DO !!!