Contraband Night Light

Contraband Night Light

Parrish Cormier

Every night I slept with my pink night light, a tiny castle, next to my bed. But early one morning, I dropped mine onto the hardwood floor, razing the castle.

For any seven year old, nightfall approaches rapidly.  I didn’t like the dark, not being able to see what’s right in front of me, not knowing what was lurking around my feet or floating above my head.

I didn’t like it at all.

Now, I wasn’t scared mind you. I just didn’t like the idea of something seeing me while I couldn’t see it.

However, I could never tell my family because they would tease me for being scared. Particularly my older brother Kai.

As I heard my sister’s unvarying deep breathing in sleep, I scrambled to the hallway bathroom as fast as I could.  After checking to see if the coast was clear, I plucked the night light from just above the sink, a clear golden egg, and carried it back to our room tucked in the pants of my pajamas.

I pushed it in the outlet next to my bed. After an hour of my mental hamster running on the wheel, our bedroom door creaked open, and light from the hallway filtered in.

Both of my parents loomed in the doorway, and their detective eyes scanned the room. With two fingers, my mom reached across my body to the contraband golden night light and plucked it from its socket.  Her shadow nodded to my father’s shadow, and he flipped on the bright bright lights.

I blinked a few times, forcing my eyes to adjust. My parents’ faces were unimpressed.

“Who took the nightlight from the hall bathroom?” my father asked, his loud voice filling the room.

“Not me!” my sister and I chirped at the same time.

I was a big girl, almost eight. I wasn’t going to tell them I was scared of the dark.

“Well, it was one of you,” my mother countered in her scary mom voice.

“If I say it was me can I go back to sleep?” Jazzy asked.

“Only if it was actually you,” my mother replied.

Dramatic pause.

“It wasn’t me but I’ll say it was,” Jazzy said while yawning.

“Parrish?” My father turned to me.

“It wasn’t me. Why would I need a nightlight? I’m almost eight,” I argued, getting even more nervous.

“I guess I have no choice then,” my dad responded cooly. “I’ll just call the FBI, and they can trace the fingerprints.”

The FBI.  I knew about them from television.

I froze. I was in so much trouble. Did that mean I would go to jail? I started to breathe more heavily, but I couldn’t tell them about the night light theft. That was way too embarrassing.

“Kai! Go grab me the phone!” my dad had yelled into the hallway. Moments later my older brother returned with the phone and the most obvious smirk ever.

I breathed even harder, and my eyes teared. I couldn’t admit the truth.

“Okay, last chance to tell the truth,” my dad said while dialing the phone.

“IT WAS ME!!” I screamed so loud my lungs hurt and tears streamed down my face. I couldn’t believe I told them. I buried my face in my blankie preventing further embarrassment.

“I’m afraid of the dark!” I whimpered.

And I awaited the arrival of the FBI.  I’m still waiting. In the dark.