Last night, falling asleep with Luc, he asked in this small, serious voice, “Is there anything spooky under the bed?”
I put on my Total Confidence Voice. “Nope. Nothing spooky. This bed is Spooky Free.”
Quiet. And then he said, “Except maybe some mouse poops. There might be mouse poops under the bed.” ‘Poop’ is one of Luc’s favorite words.
“That’s true,” I said. “And there are probably some dust bunnies. Those might be a little spooky.”
“Do dust bunnies have fangs?”
Luc and Sophie have been listening to Bunnicula on the ipod lately, a story of the vampire rabbit who sucks the juice out of vegetables. Great book.
But lying in the almost-dark was not a time to consider vampire bunnies under the bed. “No,” I answered, sure. “Absolutely no fangs on dust bunnies. They do make me sneeze, though.”
Luc relaxed a bit at this. “Nothing makes me sneeze.”
“But there are definitely not any zombies under the bed. Because they eat brains.”
Now where did zombies come from? Yugioh cards? We found one in the bottom of a yard sale bag of castle parts and had looked them up on-line. Complicated as hell, but cool. I think we’d seen a zombie card. Or maybe it was the Spongebob episode where Squidward thinks he has been bitten by a zombie snail? Or it could be living with a fantasy writer who can’t help burbling crazy monster talk at random intervals. Ahem.
“Nope,” I said. “Definitely no zombies. They’re just from stories anyway.”
“Yeah,” he said, all sophisticated now. “Like Pegasus isn’t a real horse. But it is a real constellation.”
I nodded, impressed. “True.”
“What color are brains?”
“Um, pinkish grey. I think. I’ve never actually seen a brain. Just pictures.”
A bit more urgent now, voice lowered, he said, “What about ghosts? There could be ghosts under the ground there. Under the ground under the bed. Ghost ground.”
“Like a graveyard?”
“No. No ghosts. This bed is not on a graveyard. No ghosts. No zombies. No vampire bunnies.”
“Oh.” More quiet. “Good.”
This was a lot of questions for one night. Considering whether we ought to lighten the monster story load for a while, I started to drift.
“And there are definitely not any chickens under the bed.”
I laughed. “That’s right. No chickens. The dust bunnies kicked all the chickens out.”
“Would you want a chicken, if it was a friendly chicken? It might be funny to have a chicken under there.”
Rustling in the covers. “No. Chickens poop on things.”
“Right. That would be gross. No chickens. You having trouble falling asleep?”
“It’s too light.” Yawn. “The solstice is keeping me awake.”
We had been talking about the solstice because our cousin is getting married today, the longest day of the year, and it’s supposed to hit 100 degrees—three conversation-worthy things in one happy, sweaty event.
He was right, the sky outside the yurt dome was still light, despite the late hour.
But he seemed to be quieting down. Enough that after another minute I eased over to see if he eyes were closed.
Eyes wide open. “And there are definitely not any dragons under the bed.”
“I mean, there are definitely not any orange dragons with four heads who can breathe fire and have something that looks like an arrow on the end of their tail. None of those. Under the bed.”
I snuggled him closer. “No dragons. Definitely not. They wouldn’t fit under there anyway.”
A few minutes later, his breath slowing, his eyes closing, and he mumbles in this sleepy voice, “Definitely not.”
I swear, I wouldn’t miss these little nighttime conversations for anything.