Dreamtime Pillow

Alli’s allergies were getting worse. Her doctor gave her many tests but couldn’t identify anything specific. He said it was GHD: General Hypersensitivity Disorder, and gave her a long list of “precautions against allergens”.

She cut all nuts and grains from her diet, avoided dogs, cats, and horses, hoovered her room daily, used mattress, duvet, and pillow protectors, and changed her linens twice-weekly. No peanut butter or bread was torture initially, and not stroking her friend’s pets made her sad, but after a while they became habitual. None of these “precautions against allergens” really seemed to work though. They had only marginal effects. Alli faced the fact that she would be puffy-eyed, sore-throated, blocked-nosed, scratchy-skinned, and always sneezing for the rest of her life, or at least till she became an adult. Her doctor said that many allergies disappeared when you were eighteen.

One day she saw an online ad for a special pillow. The Dreamtime Pillow was made of a unique material containing anti-allergens. Its memory foam adapted to your heat and weight, and was organic, fair-trade, local, and made by certified professionals, all over eighteen years of age. There was a double-money-back guarantee, meaning that if it didn’t help you sleep more soundly, they would give you twice your money back. Alli used her mom’s credit card to order one immediately, and the Dreamtime Pillow arrived the next day.

There were clear instructions not to cover the pillow, not even with a pillowcase. For maximum effectiveness, you should sleep with it touching your head. It was more a cushion than a full size pillow, so Alli put her usual pillow beneath it to avoid straining her neck. She remembered settling in to sleep, and then whoom! waking up the next morning. There was no dozing off, or easing out of slumber; she had fallen like a log and slept right through.

“Good morning, love,” said her mom. “How was your new pillow?”

“I don’t know,” said Alli, rubbing her eyes out of habit rather than need.

“I slept really well, and my nose and throat seem better, but…”

“But what darling? Did you have a bad dream?”

“That’s what feels strange, mum.” Alli stretched towards her for a hug. “I didn’t have any dreams. I always have dreams and remember them when I wake up, and sometimes change them while I’m still dozing. But I don’t remember anything at all this morning. I feel kind of empty.”

Her mom said, “That’s good though, isn’t it love? You usually feel bloated, sort of over-full, and now you feel empty. Maybe that pillow is helping your allergies.”

Alli decided to stick with the pillow. She used it all week and slept better than ever, but the feeling of emptiness remained. Where had her dreams gone?”

Alli woke one morning with her head fatter than ever. Her eyes wept, throat itched, nose ran, skin crawled, and she began sneezing immediately. Her allergies were really bad. Wasn’t her new pillow working anymore? Wait a minute, where was her new pillow? She saw that it was gone.

Allis’ mom was really angry with her. “I know it made you feel strange, but you shouldn’t have thrown it away. We could have got double our money back. That’s the last time you buy something on my card.”

Her mom wouldn’t believe that the pillow had disappeared. Alli decided to investigate the matter herself. She skipped school and took a bus to the City, and went to the pillow company’s store. Maybe they gave refunds for missing pillows. “I’ve come about the Dreamtime Pillow,” she said to the salesman.

“Ah! We have the perfect pillow for you Miss, just in. It’s pre-filled with dreams. All yours for the taking. But before buying it, why don’t you test this empty one. That’s right, just close your eyes…”

Alli was asleep immediately. She didn’t see the salesman press a red button beneath his desk, alerting the Dream Lab at the back of the store. They would be delighted to have a dream-subject personally available. The Returns Dept – whose job it was to retrieve dream-filled pillows at night – were always short on customer information.

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2 Responses to “Dreamtime Pillow”

  1. Good stuff Babar.

  2. Please don’t write scary stories. I won’t be able to sleep. Young people need their sleep to develop.

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