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After Bedtime

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At night the beds turned into islands and we flew above them like we were stars.  We scaled bedpost trees and leaped into the worn little yarn-rug sea. We soared between the islands, fingers brushing the waving grass, and often crashed, giggling, to the ground below. Pillow-clouds flew between us and we screamed as pretend thunderstorms blew us across the room. My sister was a hot-air balloon, floating serene in the sky like she was meant to be there. My brother, he was an airplane, fierce and fast and loud. I was always a dragon, free and wild above the patched quilt farmlands and bed-gap oceans.
Tonight, after Momma turned the warm yellow light off, kissed each of our foreheads, and closed the door, we threw the curtains open so the moonlight could shine in and turned the bedroom back into the whole world. 
“The beds are Venice tonight,” my sister informed us. “You can’t fall in the canals because there are monsters.” 
“Are there airplanes in Venice?” Our little brother wondered. We told him that yes, there were big planes that flew over the town every day, but I knew that Lily had chosen Venice because there were more hot air balloons there than dragons or planes. It was her turn to choose though, so I didn’t protest. 
We began jumping, keeping our voices and laughs quiet so our parents wouldn’t wake up and tell us to go to sleep because we’d be tired in the morning. We leaped across canals and onto the flat roofs of the ancient, sleeping city. Imaginary clotheslines fluttered in the breeze left in our wake and the sleeping residents of the city never guessed that three adventurers soared above their heads. 
Once, I fell into the dark, slow moving water between the old, colorful houses of the town. I had to scream and struggle, because that’s what you do when you get eaten by monsters. I didn’t tell my siblings that dragons were monsters too, or that the creatures probably would’ve accepted me as one of their own. Nathaniel laughed and pulled me up again; we let him rescue us because he liked to be the hero. 
Eventually, we got bored of flying over canals, so we ferried across on pillow rafts piloted by stuffed animals. Lily opened a shop on her bed, her part of the city. She sold us jewelry and trinkets that we already owned in real life, but in this nighttime world, everything was new and interesting. The moon climbed higher in the sky and stars blinked on as we explored the city together: a hot air balloon, an airplane, and a dragon. 
“I want to sleep now.” Nathaniel yawned, clambering up from a yellow pillow onto his bed, pulling the R2-D2 printed sheets up around his shoulders. “The clock-tower says it’s late.”
We looked up at the little clock ticking silently on the blue sky wall. I couldn’t read it fast enough, so Lily informed me that it was 10:27. 
“I’m sleepy too,” I agreed, collapsing onto my down comforter. “I bet dragons go to bed at 10:30.”
Lily smiled, picking her pillow up from the floor. “Okay, bedtime it is.” 
“What will our bedroom be tomorrow?” Nathaniel murmured, already half asleep.
I reached over to the window, pulling the curtains closed. The room darkened around us and as I flapped and folded my dragon wings, I thought of castles and mountain caves and wide open fields for flying.
 “I have an idea.”

constantly confused

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