Chapter 1: Bedtime
Timmy couldn't sleep.
Cuddle Time with Daddy for tonight was shorter than normal because Daddy had to go see Mommy in the hospital. Daddy said that his Baby Brother was almost here and because of that, cuddle time had to be unceremoniously cut short.
Timmy's little face puckered up into a scowl. Baby wasn't even here yet and he was already cutting into Timmy's Cuddle Time with Daddy. And Mommy hadn't been around for very, very long because she had to be in the hospital to wait for Baby to come. Timmy didn't know what was taking Baby so long but he was tired of waiting and he missed Mommy. Mommy always smelled nice and she was nice to cuddle. Much nicer than Pillow Cuddles.
Timmy rolled over onto his tummy and counted the flecks of light in the nightlight that Uncle-in-the-Middle had made for him but he was soon bored. Also, he could only count up to 15, which made counting very, very boring.
The nightlight was very glowy though. And very shiny.
Suddenly, Timmy got one of his big thoughts. Uncle's nightlight was different from the nightlight at home. Home nightlight had to be plugged in and was close to the ground. Once, he had touched home nightlight and it was hot and his finger hurted and Mommy had kissed his finger and told him not to touch it again.
But Uncle's nightlight was a Cola bottle that could somehow glow. Sometimes, when he was very good, Mommy and Daddy let him drink Cola and Cola was never hot. So maybe Uncle's nightlight wasn't hot?
Only one way to find out.
The nightlight was on the highest shelf of the big cupboard opposite to Timmy's bed. Timmy carefully put his feet on the cold floor and padded over to the cupboard. The nightlight was far too high for him, but using the other shelves as makeshift stairs, Timmy could clamber up to the second highest shelf where he could just about reach the nightlight.
Mesmerised, Timmy reached out and poked it cautiously with his littlest finger. It didn't seem to be particularly hot and it didn't hurted his finger at all. He decided that it would be okay to lift it so that he could look at it more closely.
He couldn't have guessed that it would be that heavy.
Uncle's nightlight fell to the ground below with a scary, loud sound. Timmy wasn't sure what that sound was but it sounded like a combination of a 'craaash' and a 'piiing'. High up from his position on the second highest shelf, Timmy looked down with huge eyes. Uncle's nightlight lay shattered on the ground surrounded by flecks of glitter and bright dots. This was bad, very bad. Now the light was dim and only on the ground.
Timmy was suddenly aware that he was standing on the second highest shelf in near darkness.
And he could hear a scrapping, creaking sound outside.
Tigers! Ghosts! Monsters!
Terrified, Timmy sat down and burrowed his face into the sleeve of a silky jacket. It smelled a bit like Daddy and that soothed him, but not for long. He decided that he should cover his face with his hands so that the monsters couldn't see him.
Through the holes in his fingers, Timmy saw light bathing the room and he heard the voice of Uncle, sounding higher pitch than usual.
"Timmy? Timmy, where are you!"
Relief flooded through Timmy. Uncle was here, he would keep Timmy safe. Of course he wouldn't be thrilled to see the broken nightlight, but Timmy decided that Uncle would be a much safer bet than taking his chances on the monsters.
Timmy carefully removed his hands from his face before piping up, "Here! I'm here!"
Uncle spun around at once and now he was facing Timmy. "Timmy…? Are you in my clothes cupboard?"
Timmy could only give a shamefaced nod.
"Let's get you down." Timmy was surprised, Uncle didn't sound angry to find Timmy huddled up in his clothes. His voice was gentle and kind and he gently lifted Timmy down and settled Timmy onto the side of his shoulder and he told Timmy that he had to be carried because he might cut his little feet on the glass.
Timmy was so glad to be safe and sound that he didn't even mind that Uncle's shoulder was hard and sharp and poking against his chubby cheek. He snuggled himself into his Uncle's shoulder and gave a big yawn.
"I nearly cutted my feets once," he reported sleepily. "One time I drinked from Daddy's coffee cup but it was heavy and I dropped it but the sound wasn't as loud as just now. Then I want to help Mommy clean it up but Mommy said I would cut my feet. Then she made Daddy carry me out."
"Is that so, Buddy?" Uncle asked, settling him back into the big bed. "Maybe it was because the cup wasn't as high up as the nightlight."
Timmy tried to recall how high up the cup was. It had been on the eating table at home and Timmy could reach it by sitting on his special chair. He didn't have to use stairs to get to it at all. He nodded decisively. Uncle was probably right.
"When I broked Daddy's cup, I felt sad because Daddy was sad because Mommy gave him that cup many many years ago," said Timmy in a small voice. "So I 'pologized and Daddy said it was okay and that he and Mommy still love me."
Timmy peered at Uncle to see if he was still listening. He was. Satisfied, Timmy carried on. "I'm sowy I broked your nightlight, Uncle-in-the-Middle. And I'm very happy that you came to save me and not leave me for the monsters." Timmy's cherubic features scrunched up as he tried to think of what else he could say. "Are you sad that your nightlight got broked?"
"It's broken, Timmy, not broked." Uncle explained patiently. "And no, I'm not sad. I made that nightlight for you anyway. But I do appreciate you telling me. And I still love you tons and tons. We're buddies, remember?"
And Uncle held out his hand for their Secret Handshake and Timmy felt so happy that he made sure to flutter his fingers extra much to show Uncle that he was really glad that they were still friends.
In case Uncle had missed Timmy's extra fluttery handshake, he held out his small arms for a hug and when Uncle leaned hugged him, Timmy leaned in and whispered into his ear, "I'm very happy that we're still friends, Uncle-in-the-Middle."
"I'm glad we're friends too, Timmy," Uncle mumbled and stroked his hair. "But next time, don't climb cupboards, alright. It's very dangerous. You could have fallen down. Then what would have happened?"
Uncle had drew away and was staring expectantly at Timmy.
Timmy thought hard. "After fall down, die!"
"No, Timmy, you won't die," Uncle said, though one of the corners of his mouth seemed to be lifted slightly. "You'll get blood here," Uncle poked Timmy's forehead. "And here," Uncle gestured towards Timmy's round elbow. "And you might break your leg and then you wouldn't be able to walk."
Timmy's big eyes widened further and he nodded solemnly. It would be very bad to not be able to walk because then he wouldn't be able to walk Slugis with Aunty-in-the-Middle when the sun came up and he liked both of them very much.
"So, do you understand?" Uncle poked his tummy, which was ticklish.
Timmy giggled before nodding his head. "Don't climb cupboards."
"Or any high places," added Uncle.
"What about stairs?" asked Timmy, frowning. Stairs were very high. And some stairs were scary. Sometimes Daddy would carry him up stairs.
"Stairs are fine," said Uncle with a smile, and the hole in his cheek appeared. (Dimple, Timmy reminded himself.) "Or else how would we get up or down? We're not birds."
"I wish I am a bird," Timmy said wistfully, burrowing himself deeper into his blanket nest. It would be rather nice to be able to fly high high up and wave at everyone.
Uncle patted his head. "We all wish many things sometimes, little one. Now close your eyes and maybe you'll dream that you're a bird."
When Uncle drew away and stood up, Timmy realized that the room was dark because the nightlight wasn't on the shelf anymore and he didn't like the dark.
Uncle seemed to have sensed Timmy's thoughts because he sat down on the floor next to Timmy's bed. "Would you like me to stay here until you fall asleep?"
"Yes, please," Timmy said. "But I'm not sleepy yet."
Uncle laughed at that. "Well, why don't you close your eyes and give them a rest? They've been very busy today."
That was true. Timmy had looked at many things today, like Pillow Cuddles and Slugis and Uncle's nightlight. He decided that his eyes could take a rest.
The last thought in Timmy's mind was that he was glad Uncle had saved him.
A/N: Do let me know what you think! Feedback and reviews on how I can improve are cookies to me. :)