I wrote this story in 1996 for my website. My family liked it so well that I was asked to read it at my father's funeral. Since it is his earth terra day, I would like to share it here.
In my bedroom, when I finally go to sleep at night, there is a reflection on the wall. It is created by the window box outside my window, the globe light across the street, and the mini-blinds in my window. As I wait for sleep time, I think of things that I want to accomplish in the days ahead. I have more things that I want to create than perhaps life that I have left. Over the years, I have taken criticism for being a "night owl". You, who are also afflicted, know what I mean.
It has never been a deficiency I could correct. It isn't a matter of going to sleep because I need my rest, or because that seems to be what the populace does at night.
From my earliest recollection, I was a nocturnal being. I can remember as a child being in bed at night and hearing the silent "night sounds", except for an occasional turn or "snarf for air". I was busy making mountains and valleys out of my covers and seeing what faces existed in the rosebud wallpaper. The worst part about my creative ambitions was that it was dark, and difficult to see the magic.
A seemingly uneventful happening led to new excitement in my juvenile nocturnal existence. I lost a bit of white enamel from my mouth, which wrapped in a tissue, was to summon the tooth fairy.
Having carefully placed the package under my pillow, I awaited the magical being who would come and collect my tooth and leave something wonderful. Time passed, gnarlies formed in the rose bud wallpaper, but no fairy of any kind.
Morning was irritating. It came just about the time I was really getting into the best fantasies. ((((((BALLLLAAAANG!!!!))))) Alarm sounds and it is business as usual. Get up. Get dressed. Eat cardboard food with milk poured over it. Please...I'll catch the next bus.
Should I slide my hand under the pillow? Surely the night fairy did not come. She knew I was awake and waiting for her. But there is something. What can it be beneath my beloved feather pillow? With great anticipation I slide my prize out into the daylight. Packaged in cardboard under a plastic bubble pack is a penlight flashlight. Oh what happiness...what joy!! The fairy understands me. I can hardly wait for night to descend. I will be able to illuminate the night!
Over the course of my enamel losses, I acquired a great library of Superman comics and Golden library books; all lit by my precious penlight globe. Only once did the fairy confuse me. Waking one morning, I felt a cramp in my neck. My pillow was at an odd tilt. Extracting the lump from my pillow produced a trio set of PLA-DOUGH. What can you do with clay at night...even with the penlight?
I never did meet the mystical phantom of the night known only as the "tooth fairy". The only hint I had of its existence was the faint smell of vanilla and cherry wafting through the air after a visit.
One time, after I was old enough to stay up at night, I went with my dad to close the family business; and I did see where the "tooth fairy" kept its stash of goodies. There in the dark of the store was the wonderful scent of vanilla and cherry cigar smoke as my dad worked to close out the days receipts.