Nathaniel finds out the hard way that imagination can sometimes get the better of you.

It was a dark and stormy night. No wait, it wasn’t dark or stormy at all. In fact, Nathaniel just had a knack for the dramatic. He was laying on his bed staring up at the ceiling, considering several options for his newest fantasy story.

A crumpled blanket underneath him displayed characters from the "old school" Star Wars movie. Even though
Nathanielwas only 8 years old, he didn't let that stop him from loving the classics.

A nearby wookieor rather
the wookieheld a crossbow in his hands while brandished an open mouth, frozen in a silent howl. The figure stood on Nathaniel's bedside table as light from a nearby lamp projected a large shadow on the far wall. Nathaniel often pretended that the shadow was a full size version of Chewbacca, visiting him from another planet, but right now the boy was too consumed with creating a new story to give it any consideration.

Dwarfs, thought Nathaniel. I need dwarfs, dark and light ones that ride on the back of creatures that look like cats. There also needs to be characters from another world, and a creature to oversee everything. Oh, and there has to be an Asian who can fight, can't forget about that.

“Nathaniel,” a menacing voice came from the other side of his bedroom door.

Agents from Double L discovered his secret hideout and were about to infiltrate his room. Drat! They found me! He quickly rolled out of bed and yelled, “You'll never take me alive!”

The door swung open as a flash of light came in from the hallway. Nathaniel dashed for a nearby gun, grabbed it with both hands, and took aim. A figure appeared with jutting elbows and hands resting on hips.

Bang! A bullet shot out of the gun and bounced off the stomach of the intruder, but nothing happened. No dead body hit the ground. No screams of pain.

“Very funny, Nathaniel,” said the standing figure. “Now how about you turn off your light and go to bed.”

“Yes, Mom,” Nathaniel said as if accepting defeat. She never allowed him to have any fun.

She closed the door behind her as Nathaniel jumped back into bed. He reached over and clicked off his lamp—the image of Chewbacca vanished from the wall. He closed his eyes and sighed. After pondering several more story ideas, he drifted to sleep.

Nathaniel sat up in bed. What woke him? Was it a nightmare? The room was dark; the only light came from the moon that was glowing through tree branches outside his window. The picture gave him a new idea for his story, but it would have to wait; he wanted to be fully rested. After all, Halloween was tomorrow, and being tired while trick-or-treating wasn't a good idea.

With a sigh he laid back down and closed his eyes.

The bed shook. Nathaniel's eyes popped open. What was that? He waited, but nothing happened. After a few more minutes of waiting he finally settled back down.

Another shake. His eyes opened wider this time. There was definitely something going on. He sat up on his bed. "Who's there?" he whispered.

As if in reply, the bed shook again, harder this time. Nathaniel grabbed his blanket and held it tight—the image of Luke Skywalker wrinkled under his firm grip. If only he could pull the lightsaber out of the blanket and use it to defend himself. That would be a sight to see. No one would dare threaten him then.

A sharp pain pierced the back of his neck. His heart stopped. Something was behind him. Perhaps it was a creature from another world, a fuzzy furball, similar to the ones in movies such as Critters and Gremlins. It would chew off his fingers and his mother would find his bloody corpse in the morning. Did he dare turn around and look? Another sharp pain jabbed into his neck. Nathaniel's hand instinctively grasped at the wound. At this rate he was going to die, and slowly, so what difference did it make?

He turned his head and gasped. The end of a tiny crossbow pointed strait at him, and behind it, the face of a small wookie.

“Wrrrrrrooooow,” it growled, as if taken from a Star Wars
sound bite.

This wasn't his imagination anymore. It was for real. Of all the times he pretended the action figure of Chewbacca was alive, never once did he imagine it would come true.

The wookie walked forward, took aim, and shot another bolt of energy from his crossbow. The glowing object came at Nathaniel's face in what seemed to be slow motion. Time had forgotten how to move. Then suddenly, a bright, green beam flashed in front of Nathaniel's face. Warmth burned against his cheeks as he saw the bolt from the crossbow strike the beam and dissipate with a resounding snap!

The beam hummed as it jerked away. Seconds later, Nathaniel found himself staring at the face of Luke Skywalker. At least, it looked like Luke Skywalker. A smaller version with a head the size of a grapefruit. In fact this Luke was just about the same size as the one pictured on his blanket. His blanket! Nathaniel looked down. The image of Luke was no longer there. Turning his saucer like eyes upward once again,
Nathaniel gulped.

“That was close,” Lukesaid. The saber beam returned to its handle with a reverse swish.

Nathaniel said nothing. He couldn't find the words. Shock was written all over his face.

Luke turned and faced the angry Chewbacca.

“Whooor, wowrould, whaaaa,” the wookie retorted. Luke smiled and reached out his hand. After hesitating, the wookie lowered his crossbow and took a step forward. With a nodd, Luke lowered
Chewbaccato the bed. Before jumping down, the shaggy beast gave Nathaniel a disapproving look.

“Go ahead,” Luke said. “You've been alone for far too long, it's okay.”

Accepting the invitation, the wookie closed his eyes. A brilliant light glowed beneath his feet as he sank into the blanket. Moments later, he was gone, or was he? To Nathaniel's surprise, an image of a wookie appeared on the fabric, as if it had always been there.

Luke smiled at Nathaniel, sat on the blanket, and then melted like butter on a hot day. All that was left of him was his image, just like it was before, only this time there was a smile on Luke's face.

Nathaniel shivered as he lay on his bed with only sheets covering him. A warm blanketcrumpled up in a laundry hamperwas at the far side of the room. For some reason he no longer cared about being rested for trick-or-treating; just getting through the night would be enough.

Submitted: February 24, 2009

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