Okay, guys and gals. Today was the day that I had to pull out the big guns. The heavy ammunition. I had to go to that very special place -- to the Well of Tranquility, where only the parents of the most imaginative boys and girls are allowed. Armed with an empty bottle, I told my tale of woe to the Gatekeeper... a stodgy old man who writes the needs of bleary-eyed parents and their shell-shocked, fearful little ones down in his ledger, as a way of documenting our visiting history (and, as a means to distinguish those who are drawing from the Well of Tranquility too often). Once the sleeptime events are transcribed, he presents the documentation to the Mistress of the Well, who determines whether the potent nectar may be released into the hands of the needy parents.
You see... when used sparingly, this magic liquid rids any space of monsters. Monsters lingering under beds, monsters hiding under bureaus, monsters squeezing between cracks and crevices, monsters blending into walls, monsters peeking from behind pictures, monsters leering behind curtains. Monsters of all shapes and sizes. Kills 'em all. Dead. Like some kind of supernatural Raid.
This is the first time I'd made the trek to the Well of Tranquility in almost six years. The last time I went, my oldest daughter was being menaced with these vile creatures, who used to rattle her awake during the wee hours of the morning. Back then, I'd brought a cute little pink and black bottle, which was filled to an invisible line, seen only by the Gatekeeper and the Mistress, who determined (based on the severity of my daughter's particular case) just how much we'd need to rid the area of the offending ogres. They then labelled my bottle as "Monster Spray", so I'd never inadvertently confuse it with any other ordinary cleaning solution. Not a drop of this precious liquid should ever be wasted.
Six years later, and I found myself needing to take the same trip. I'd almost forgotten exactly which knoll the Well was cushioned within, but I found it quite by accident, when I took what I thought was a wrong turn. The Gatekeeper met me with even older, more tired eyes, and muttered the occasional "Hmmmm" and "I see", as he took up his quill and frantically began writing the plight of my little one. His hand moved with lightning speed as I explained to him the severity of my daughter's situation, stating that she's been woken up twice a night, on average, for the past several months, and there have been times when certain monsters were so fierce and menacing that she sprinted from her room, letting out a blood-curdling scream.
This statement made him stop his writing short.
"Hmmmm..." he said. "Quite extraordinary. I've heard enough. Wait here while I take the matter up with the Mistress."
I waited quite some time, watching the line of weary parents increase behind me, bottles in hand, as they waited their turn to relate their child's tale and bring home their liquid jewel.
After some time, I finally I saw the tiny, frail man emerge from his minuscule door, carved out just for him from the massive wooden paneled gates that were the entrance to the Mistresses castle. I noticed that the small bottle I'd handed him had been replaced with a much larger version. On it, the words "MONSTER SPRAY" were scrawled in thick black ink. And, on the sides, the phrases, "Keep out!" "Stay away!", and "Back off!" were written with a more delicate, red pen.
As he handed me the bottle, he said, "My Mistress and I agree... you and your wee one are in dire need of a much wealthier dose of the Spray. Again, just a little works well, but let your girl child tell you where she wishes the Spray to be placed. Do so and her sleep will be as sweet as the aroma of the Spray itself. Do not forget to recite the following crede, after the Spray has been administered: '1-2-3, 3-2-1, Let All These Monsters At Once Be GONE!"
I thanked him profusely, and bounded my way home, to share my precious gift with Miss S. She and I got to work right away, and she pointed out all of the areas where the monsters lay dormant within her room; waiting for the time when the lights go out, and her sleep becomes heavy. After the Spray was carefully administered, we held hands, and recited the all-important crede.
I only hope that the Gatekeeper, and Her Royal Mistress, have worked the potion well, and my little one can once again begin to rest easy throughout the night.