Sharing Your Dreams

Max has a birthday gift idea to help his sister after she experiences a terrible nightmare.

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Maximillian’s eyes opened. In the dark of the room, the only light came from the faint glow of the rainbow and clouds nightlight and the digital clock beside it on the shelf across the room. Max sat up and rubbed his eyes, his plush Sikeri, Delilah, falling away onto the bed beside him. After rubbing some of the heaviness out of his eyes, he squinted at the clock. It read 11:59. It was a minute before his birthday. Above him, he heard the sound that woke him up in the first place. It was his twin sister, Maximina, sobbing softly.

“Mina?” he called out in a gentle whisper. “What’s the matter?” He climbed out of his bed, the lower half of their castle-shaped bunk bed, and climbed the spiral stairs to the top where Mina slept. “Is everything okay?” he asked as he reached the top.

“I had a nightmare,” Mina sniffled. Max was surprised. While he had nightmares almost every night before he got Delilah, Mina never had nightmares because nothing scared her.

“What happened? Do you want to talk about it?” Max put a hand on hers for reassurance.

“Mom called us to come to the party in the kitchen. I ran in, but she wasn’t there, and neither were you or Trent. I looked in every room, but I couldn’t find you. I couldn’t find anybody. I just walked around the house and called out for you and Trent and Mom, but no one was here. I was all alone. Then all of the lights started to turn off and it was too dark to see. I was all alone in the darkness.” She started to sob again as she pulled her legs up and wrapped her arms around her knees.

“Aw, Mina,” Max said as he put his arms around his sister. “You know that I’m always here, no matter what. Trent, too! He’ll always protect us and Mom. Everything we do, we do together!” Mina laid her head on his shoulder as he spoke, and he gave her shoulder a pat.

“I know,” she sniffled.

Max glanced over at the clock. It was after midnight now. “Happy birthday, Mina,” he said, and she laughed through her tears.

“Happy birthday, Max,” she said back with a small smile.

“Here, wait here a second. I have an idea.” Max climbed back down the spiral stairs and hopped onto his bed. He fished around in the blankets until he found Delilah. He put her on his head between his horns, the place he carried her almost everywhere. He then made his way back up the stairs and sat down at his sister’s side once more. “Why don’t you take Delilah for tonight?” He pulled the toy down and held it out to Mina.

“Delilah? But if I have her, won’t you have nightmares?” Mina said as she gingerly took the plush. She stared down at the silly button eyes. She had to admit, having the soft, faded toy made her feel a lot better.

“I’ll be okay. I’ll sleep well knowing that she’s helping you sleep well,” he said. “Besides, I can sleep with Captain Stumpy for tonight. I bet he’s feeling super neglected.” He gave her a big smile to show how okay it was.

“Well, if you’re sure,” she trailed off. Max nodded.

“Super sure,” Max said before yawning a huge yawn. He climbed down the stairs once more and grabbed Captain Stumpy, a worn old bunny he had found tossed out in a trash can. It only had one leg, and he had to replace one of its green button eyes with a blue one he had. They weren’t the same size, so the bunny looked a little crazy, but Max didn’t mind. He climbed into bed.

“Goodnight, Max,” Mina called out into the darkness.

“Goodnight, Mina,” he called back.

As Max stared up at the bottom of the top bunk, he nervously tried to go back to sleep. He didn’t feel as safe without Delilah, but he was happy he’d made his sister happy. Sleep crept up on him, and eventually he nodded off. Just before he was fully out, he had a thought. He sat straight up in his bed. He threw off his covers and ran to the small desk where his crayons were scattered. He snatched a flashlight from one of the nightstand drawers and held it in his mouth as he drew a picture. It took a while to finish, and he was exhausted by the time he was done. He took the picture to his bed and hid it under the pillow. He had to talk to mom in the morning.

When the kids woke up, their mother and older brother, Trent, came into the room singing Happy Birthday. The children giggled and got ready for school.

“Mom?” Max said after Mina had gone out the front door.

“Yes, honey?” Grace answered.

“Could I use your phone for a few minutes before I go?”

“You can, but be very quick. You’ll be late otherwise.” Grace handed the small Kat her phone with a raised brow. “What do you need it for?”

“I have a present that I want to get Mina.” Max scrolled through his mother’s contact list until he found the number he needed. He called it. Please pick up, he thought as the line rang.

“Hello, Grace!” the Kat on the other side of the call said.

“Hi, Ratty. It’s actually Max.”

“Hey, Max! Happy birthday, bud!” Ratty chirped. “What can I do for you this fine morning?”

“Do you think you can have a new plush done by tomorrow? For our party?” he asked.

“Hm. That’s a tough order, kid, but for you, I’ll try! What do you need me to make?”

“One second.” Max ran to his room and took a picture of the drawing he made in the night. He sent it to Ratty. “Did you get it?”

“That’s so cute! Did you come up with it all by yourself?” Ratty cooed. “You have real talent, buddy. You could be a toy-maker like me one day!”

“Yep! It’s for Mina. It’d be my gift for her.”

“Say no more, Maxie boy! I’ve got this covered.”

“How much money will it be? I have some saved up.”

“For you and Mina, it’s no charge. It’ll be my present for her, too!” Ratty laughed.

“Thank you so much! I have to get to school now,” Max said as Grace pointed at the clock.

“I’ll see you tomorrow!” Ratty said before the line dropped.

“Okay, let’s go!” Grace said. The two left.

The following day, Max watched nervously for Ratty as the guests arrived one by one. She was the last to come, but she held a box wrapped in sky blue paper with little clouds on it. Max grinned. He couldn’t wait to give it to Mina.