Narrator: We all suffer from phobias- Fear of snakes, fear of heights, fear of darkness & many more. Some say that these phobias go away as we grow up, but some- some phobias stay for a very long time. Let us now
together listen to this remarkable story of a young boy & how he overcame his worst fear—his fear of darkness.
Scene 1— The curtain rises & we see a tall blonde lady probably in her 40s leaning over her son’s bed to put him to sleep. Her son is a ten year old child. The room is well-lit & full of toy cars & games. It was the young child’s room, perhaps…
Narrator: It was 11 ‘O clock at night & Mrs. Nora Harrison was trying to put her son to bed. Thomas a.k.a. Tom was a cute ten year old child. He was a normal boy, except that he had an extraordinary imagination which really disappointed his parents & teachers.
Tom (crankily): I can’t sleep mom!
Mrs. Harrison (angrily): Thomas! What’s wrong with you? Go to sleep. Now!
Tom: I hate night! Can I sleep with you & dad, please?”
Mrs. Harrison (in a harsh tone): No, Tom! You’re already 10 years old & it’s time you become a little independent. Your sister started sleeping alone when she was 6 years old. Now she is a very independent 19 year old college going girl. We are so proud of her!
Tom (nervously): B…B…But what if the bed monsters try to eat me &…& what if dinosaurs surround me…maybe a tyrannosaurus rex and what about ghosts & the big giant blasters… &…the DARK!
Mrs. Harrison (in a comforting tone): Tom, Tom, my little Tom, calm down dear! There are no such things as dinosaurs, or ghosts, or bed monsters… or…the big…big…whatever. Turn off your imagination now & everything will be alright! Good night! Sweet dreams
Narrator: Saying this, she switched of all the lights & disappeared into the corridor leaving poor Tom awake & scared to death. Tom looked around him, it was pitch dark & he heard the clock ticking- tick tock tick tock. In such silence, he could even hear his heart beat- lub dub lub dub. He was breathing fast & his throat began to dry with fear, his fingers trembled & soon his clothes were drenched with sweat; only his little eyes peeped over his blanket.
Tom (praying): Oh God! I wish there was no night & only light. I wish I would never have to sleep. I hate to sleep, it’s scary & dark. I hate it
Narrator: Then, he felt something funny, his eyes blurred, perhaps he’d fallen asleep.
Next morning, Tom woke up bewildered; he tried to recollect what had happened the night before, when did he fall asleep & how? Anyways within a next few minutes he realised everything was back to normal. His Mom started screaming to urge him to get ready fast & said that he’s late already. Tom saw the clock—
Tom: Oh my god! It is 8:30 am already! I’m late for school!
The curtain falls…
Narrator: With much haste, he brushed, took a quick shower, wore his clothes, packed his school bag & hustled downstairs.
Scene 2—We see a small dining hall with a table & six chairs. Mr. James Harrison is seen reading a newspaper & Mrs. Nora Harrison is busy chopping vegetables. Anna, Tom’s nineteen year old bright sister is standing & eating an apple. Just then, Tom comes running in…
Tom (hurriedly): Good Morning Mom! Good Morning Dad! And yeah Good Morning Ms. Pain-in-the-neck.
Mr. & Mrs. Harrison: Good Morning dear
Anna (rudely): Morning clumsy oaf!” shouted his sister, Anna.
Narrator: Both the siblings glared at each other, what a USUAL morning!
Mr.Harrison (to his children): Enough you guys! We don’t want a fight first thing in the morning!
Mrs. Harrison: Tom rush! You’ll miss your bus!
Narrator: Tom quickly grabbed an apple & ran towards the bus stop leaving the house door wide open.
Mr. Harrison: Oh! This boy ought to be disciplined.
Anna: Yeah! Right your sweetie pie is a kind of a weirdo, you know!
Mrs. Harrison: That’s it Anna! You’re no less. Stop picking on your brother & hurry to college now… And yeah, James aren’t you late too. I’ve taken a half-day off today, so I’ll leave at 2 pm, perhaps…
Mr. Harrison: Yeah right! Bye, honey
Anna: Bye Mum!
“Bye take care both of you!” Mrs. Harrison told them.
Narrator: With this, Anna went out kissing her parents goodbye. Mr. Harrison too picked up his briefcase & left. In the meantime, Tom had reached school. It was a normal but hot day. Still nothing was out of the usual.
Narrator: After school he had had football practice & keyboard classes, so he returned quite late at about six in the evening. By that time, the sun is usually down & it gets a little cooler. But much to Tom’s surprise, today, the sun was still out at its best & the heat was growing! Tom hadn’t realised this yet as he had been busy in his regular activities. But as the school bus dropped him home, he was beginning to get worried like everyone else. He was tired & exhausted. He walked back home droopily. Generally, his mom always made him take a nap whenever he returned late from his classes, & today especially he was even more tired than usual as it had been burning hot all day.
He arrived home & knocked at the door, no one answered. Thinking no one was back home yet, Tom took out his duplicate key. However, when he opened the door, he was surprised to find that his parents & his sister were home early today as they were already too tired.
Scene 3— There is a small living room with comfortable sofas… Mr. James Harrison is lying down on a sofa, with eyes half open. Mrs. Harrison is already fast asleep & Anna was sitting on the dining table listening to songs on her ipod & looking extremely tired.
Narrator: Tom was hungry, but his mother was asleep.
Tom (to his sleepy father): Daddy! Can you make me a sandwich, I’m starving!
Mr. Harrison (drowsily): I wish I could sweetie but… I’m too tired… order a Pizza if you like.
Tom (happily): A pizza! Cool! Daddy, what’s the number? (pause) Dad! Hello? Can you here me?
Narrator: But all in vain, Mr. Harrison was asleep already.
Tom (surprised): I can’t believe this! Now I’ll have to ask Anna Bannana!
Tom (to his sister): Anna?
Anna (too beginning to feel extremely drowsy): What! Go away!
Tom: Do you have Pizza Hut’s number?
Anna: It’s in my phone book. Take it & run. I’m trying too sleep!
Tom (astonished): You too! Oh No! Anna wake up! Don’t you wanna share the pizza? I’ll let you have as much as you want! Just wake up, please, I promise! Sis!
Narrator: But no use again, she was asleep already. Thomas went out bewildered. He tried Pizza Hut’s number, a man answered—
Pizza Hut employee (voice only): Hello! How may I…I…I… (And he began snoring)
Tom (now worried): Hello? Hello? Mister, You there? (pause) No he’s sleeping too! Something is wrong; this is crazy! I must call 911!
Narrator: With shaky hands, he picked up the phone & dialled 911…
Tring tring tring
911 dispatcher (voice only): 911. Good… good…good night… aahhh phew! aaah phew!
Narrator: …And he was asleep too! Tom hung up the phone slowly & shocked. He went up to the neighbours, they too were asleep.
Tom (to himself): This is crazy! I’m all alone now! Now what? Why… Oh… why is it so? What have I done? Why’s this happening?
Narrator: Then he remembered something a figure appeared in his mind, he heard himself saying something, something dreadful:-
Another Tom from backstage (only voice): Oh God! I wish there was no night & only light. I wish I would never have to sleep. I hate to sleep, it’s scary & dark. I hate it.
Narrator: …Then he was whisked out of his thought & began crying. He realised what he had done. However he tried to figure out a solution, he decided to go off to sleep too & maybe when he gets up, everyone would be well rested & awake & they could think of a solution together. So he lay down on the sofa next to his father & tried to sleep, but no use, he couldn’t sleep. Then he heard a voice; Perhaps it was God!
Divine voice (heavy voice from backstage): Son, words are important, so think before you speak. And sleep is needed. So, to cool you off & put you merrily to sleep, I made the night. You, my dear, are a pure & innocent boy, how could I not grant your wish. But I’m afraid this has turned out to be a curse rather than a boon, I’m sorry I can do nothing about it now!
Tom: God ! Reverse it please. I want to sleep & how is everybody else asleep?
Divine voice (heavy voice from backstage): Child, you said that YOU hate night & YOU didn’t want to sleep. Hence the rest shall sleep & you won’t be able to. I can do nothing now, only you can reverse your spell
Tom(sobbing): But…but, how? How can I reverse all this?
Divine voice (heavy voice from backstage):You know that Tom! Only you know that.
Narrator: With this, Tom began to cry & was tired, hungry & lonely. It was 8 ‘O clock, he thought of the sumptuous dinner they generally had at this hour, when they sat on the dining table & shared their day with their beloved. Tom loved dinnertime a lot! Tom looked at his sister & thought of their petty fights…oh! How much he missed those fights! But for now, he was alone & sad. In his sad times, his family had always been there for him, but now, there was nobody. He knew his mistake well. He felt sorry for his near & dear ones & pledged to never utter before thinking, & promised to love night & overcome his fears, only if had another try.
Narrator: He cried & cried & howled & howled & pledged & promised. But then something happened, something strange… The earth beneath him began to shake! He heard a deafening sound-
A loud & clear lady’s voice (like Mrs. Harrison): Tom! Tom! Wake Up!!!
Scene 4—Back in Tom’s room, Tom is lying on his bed his entire family has gathered around him. Tom appears to be worn out & sweating all over. He also howls & cries with tears rolling down his cheeks! Mrs. Harrison is shaking him & trying to wake him up. Mr. Harrison & Anna are standing there with a worried expression on their face.
Mr. Harrison: Easy Nora. Don’t scare him, let me try….. (then to his son) Thomas, wake up, why are you crying?
Anna: Hey Bro! Stop howling like a cry baby!
Narrator: Now these voices were familiar to Tom. His eyes opened wide. And he was full of joy to see his mother, father & his sister Anna. It was just a dream, but a dream of a lifetime to Tom. He hugged them tight & held on as if forever.
Tom (with relief): Thank you God! Thank you! ... (then to his family) I’m sorry, it’s all because of me that we had no night
Mr. Harrison: What? No night! Relax Tom! Calm down…we had night & slept well.
Mrs. Harrison: I’m sorry I shouldn’t have made you sleep alone last night.
Anna (sarcastically): Oh! C’mon Mom. It’s his stupid ultra vivid imagination again. Right Tommy the clumsy oaf?
All participants freeze…
Narrator: Well if she would’ve teased him some other time he would’ve scowled but now he smiled, he knew it was a dream & Anna’s usual behaviour meant that everything was back to normal. He hugged on to his family long enough till he had missed his school bus & poor Mr. James Harrison had to drive him to school, which ended in Tom being scolded by his teacher & Mr. Harrison ended up being shouted upon by his boss.
However, for Tom it was a happy ending, he knew it was a dream but not merely a dream, he decided that he’d have to stop being afraid of the dark. This took a while, but he finally overcame his fears. After this he always thought before he spoke anything. It was a lesson for a lifetime indeed. He also pledged that dream or not, he would always think before speaking, because words once uttered cannot be taken back. Oh! What a nightmare! It was ‘Tom’s Nightmare’!
All participants assemble on the stage with Tom right in the middle. Then, they all bow down…
© Copyright 2016 Prerna Chikersal. All rights reserved.
Short Story / Religion and Spirituality
Poem / Poetry
Script / Children Stories
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