“Sleep goblin? What the f…” I caught myself noticing that my son was running around the room, “Fudge is a sleep goblin?”
“Ask your wife, I think she’s sleeping with him,” Steve said, and then chuckled. “Or not sleeping with him.”
Not knowing what a sleep goblin was, I did not get the joke, but Steve obviously did by the amount of cackling he was doing.
“One more time,” I said through gritted teeth, “What. Is. A. Sleep. Goblin?”
“Calm down will ya? His name’s Pete, and your wife just popped him up here.” Steve said, dragging a stepladder into the pantry.
“Pete? Great, Pete the sleep goblin. Am I going to have to feed and clothe him too?” I watched as Steve climbed onto the stepladder and grabbed a bottle of Brilliant vodka from the top shelf.
“Why? You don’t clothe me.” He said, snapping the elastic waistband on the one piece of clothing he would wear, bikini briefs.
“No, just because you don’t wear the clothes I buy for you does not mean that I don’t clothe you. You know what, I’m too tired for this shit tonight, I’ve had a long day, you’ve been no help as of late, g’night.”
“What?!? No help? What about the two headed detective, that is brilliant! How many people have you had tell you that?”
“Quite a few,” I admitted, but forged on, talking over my shoulder as I headed into my room. “What I need is book three of Hollow World, and to finish editing Ghosts of Avalon, not new ideas! I have plenty of those!” I glanced at the stack of marble notebooks that rested atop my nightstand, many filled with completely new ideas, only a few of the pages held anything to do with stories I was working on or had already thought of.
I closed the door to my bedroom before he could respond. Glancing at the clock I realized it was only eight thirty and that my wife would be putting our son to bed shortly, which meant she would be in our room, making noise. I did not care, I was tired, and I curled up on my side of the bed and fell asleep. She must have been quiet, because when I next awoke, it was dark. Something was pressed into my back, probably MJ’s knee or something and no amount of shifting made it better.
I lay there, uncomfortable, for a few more minutes, debating whether or not to wake up MJ. Finally resolving that if I was to get any more sleep, I was going to have to wake her, I began to muster the courage to do so when I heard something giggling behind me. I rolled over and started, suppressing the scream that was welling in my throat. Its nose was stubby and reminded me of something, but in my sleepy and shocked state, I could not figure out what. I was glad I had not made a sound yet, because it appeared to be sleeping, or did not have any eyes, I realized looking again and not finding any closed eyelids. Its chin was small and hung below the rest of its face… I rubbed my eyes. “Honey, your son has slipped out of his diaper again,” I said, chuckling to myself. Then the giggle happened again. I sat up and switched the light on, revealing a small figure with greying skin, green eyes, and a large bulbous nose, all topped off by a red cap, sitting in the rocking chair in the corner of my room.
“Hi!” It said, its voice squeaking like an old hinge. “I’m Pete!”
I threw the thesaurus that was on my nightstand at him and shut the light back off before laying my head down on my pillow. “Fuck off Pete!”