Become a Book Nerd
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
Angel was sleeping. The time was 6:00 in the morning, and her alarm had just begun to chime loudly. Deaf to its continuous ringing, Angel lay still fast asleep, completely motionless.
Her mom strode into the room and tapped the off button on Angel’s loud alarm. Bending over, she gently shook Angel’s shoulders. “Honey, time to wake up and get ready for school.”
Angel sat up and yawned sleepily. “Didn’t you hear the alarm?” her mother asked.
“No, I didn’t,” Angel said apologetically. “I’m really tired.” then she added groggily, “I don’t think I got enough sleep last night.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” her mother said. “No sleeping in class, OK?”
Finally Angel heaved herself out of bed. Her feet felt like lead. She felt like a walking brick, and she figured she could probably fall back asleep standing up if she let herself.
She brushed her teeth, put her clothes on, and brushed her teeth before slowly and tiredly thumping down the stairs for breakfast.
Her mom, who was in the kitchen, smiled. “Well, you are sluggish this morning!”
Angel sighed. “Sorry.” She slid into her chair and began to eat the breakfast her mother had prepared for her.
“Honey, are you sure you’re feeling all right? Usually you’re quite the morning person,” her mother said worriedly, appearing suddenly behind Angel’s shoulder.
“Just a little tired,” Angel reassured her, and took another bite of her egg.
It was math class. Mrs. Abrams sure is droning on today, Angel thought. She slumped in her seat. Who cared about the angles of a triangle? Not her, that’s who.
Her head slipped onto her hand. Her eyes drooped. I am not going to fall asleep . . . she thought. Seconds later, her hand collapsed and her head hit the desk. Angel was fast asleep.
Hearing the thud that signaled Angel’s snooze, her teacher whipped her head around and scanned the classroom for anything out of the ordinary. Mrs. Abrams was one of those teachers who gave you detention for rocking your chair. She was one of those teachers who wished she could bring spanking back. She was one of those teachers who made you wonder how she could be a “Mrs.”
Seeing Angel slumped heavily over her desk, she strode through the desks and stopped beside Angel, where she said, “Miss Lane!” rather sharply and angrily. Angel snapped her head up and gulped. “Sorry, Mrs. Abrams!” she said truthfully as her teacher whipped out a small card and began to scratch something on it with a pen. She thrust the card at Angel. Angel’s heart sank: it was a detention slip! Oh, her mom was going to be so mad . . . and the irony of it all, too! Hadn’t her mother specifically told her not to fall asleep in class juts this morning? (Except she had meant it as a joke.) It was so funny, it wasn’t funny.
“I’m disappointed in you, Angel!” Mrs. Abrams glowered, before returning to the front of the classroom, leaving Angel sitting at her desk glumly, with all the other kids snickering.
It was now just about time for detention to end . . . the bell rang, and all the kids cooped up in desks in that dreaded room ran for the exits. However, this time, one child remained. The detention monitor got out of her chair and cautiously walked over to the remaining child. It was Angel, sleeping!
The detention monitor bent down, shaking his head silently in amusement and disbelief. Then he shook Angel’s shoulders lightly until she began to arouse.
In the bus, around all the chattering kids and loud road noise and music played from children’s phones, Angel was sleeping.
Meanwhile, at the Lane’s home, Angel’s mother had just gotten home and was fixing herself a snack. Her phone rang. She picked it up. “Hello?” she said. A worried expression crossed her face as she reached up into a cupboard for a bag of chips. “Angel fell asleep in class?”
Then: “She fell asleep in detention?”
And: “She fell asleep on the bus?!”
Just then, a slam signaled the entry of her daughter. And then, for further confirmation of this, Angel’s voice was heard saying, “I’m home!”
“Honey?” Ms. Lane turned around.
“Yesh?” answered Angel.
“Are you all right?” her mother asked,
walking down the hallway. “I heard you had some “sleeping incidents” at school today!”
When Angel didn’t reply, she called, “Honey?” and cautiously stepped forward into the room. Then, when she saw Angel, she gasped. “Honey!”
Angel was sleeping.
But this time, she was standing up.
“Well, Angel, I can’t seem to find anything wrong with you,” Angel’s doctor confirmed. As soon as Angel had woken up, her mother had rushed her to the car and to her pediatrician, demanding they meet and run some tests. After a full checkup and some blood work and various testing, nothing had come out positive.
“So, kiddo, I say get a good sleep in tomorrow. All tomorrow,” she added with a chuckle.
“Thanks, doc, I w-” Angel was cut off by her sleep. She was once again asleep standing up, but this time her eyes were still open!
On the long car ride home, Angel was still asleep. Her mother carried her in and out of the vehicle, and the whole drive, Angel was sleeping, drooling, with her face and hands pressed against the window, her eyes now closed. Oh, and also snoring: very loudly.
The next day, Angel slept through breakfast.
She slept through lunch.
She slept through dinner.
After her missed dinner . . . Angel began to dream.
Everything was black. Then a tear of light appeared in the center of the darkness; hands were pulling it apart. One of the hands stretched out, pushing some of the darkness even farther away, and expanding the tear.
However, the blackness suddenly grew; for the tear seemed to immediately shrink like elastic.
And then, it shrunk completely with a big SNAP and all that was left was darkness.
At that snap, Angel’s eyes flicked open.
She made her way downstairs. Her mother noticed her and smiled. “Well, look who’s awake!” she said playfully. “How are you feeling, honey?”
“Great, actually!” Angel beamed, tumbling energetically down the rest of the stairs and swirling around the banister.
“Glad to hear it!” Ms. Lane grinned. “I made breakfast in case you came out; are you hungry?”
“Starving!” Angel exclaimed. She zipped around the table and sat down quickly. She then proceeded to shove food into her mouth, scooping it up with her hands as some dripped out between her knuckles. Ms. Lane was, of course, shocked, appalled, and completely flabbergasted with her daughter, and stood beside her open-mouthed and wide-eyed for a moment before taking her seat, trying to ignore the obnoxious chomping she could hear from across the table.
She stuck her own fork into her food, then decided she wasn’t hungry anymore. She pushed her food away. Watching Angel eat was making her sick.
She stood up again and walked over to Angel, who had just finished, yet had food dangling sloppily out of her mouth, as well as dripping from her cheeks.
“You know, there’s this thing called silverware,” Ms. Lane said disapprovingly.
“What wash dat?” Angel asked, pointing at her empty plate as something green dripped back onto it.
Ms. Lane sighed with disgust.
That night, the two of them had just finished a dinner of homemade lasagna. As Angel took her empty plate to the sink, she called, “Hey, Mom, tonight’s dinner was really—”
Unfortunately, at that moment, Angel’s eyes went large and unfocused, and she fell asleep with them open, her plate still in her hand.
Ms. Lane rolled her eyes. “Not again,” she muttered, and she carried Angel up to bed.
The next day, Angel had managed to stay awake through her first classes and made it to lunch. However, she was still extremely tired. And, of course, she was displeased to see “mean girl” Lila, heading her way. “Heyyyy, Angel!” Lila purred with glee.
“Hey, Lila,” Angel grumbled, not bothering to look at her.
“Just my opinion,” Lila said, coming to rest at Angel’s mostly-empty table, “But . . . if I were you, I’d wanna die. Why? Oh, how do I phrase this . . . ?”
She paused a few seconds to let that sink in. “You’re just so . . .”
She pulled her lips apart and made a stupid face. “. . . haha, ugly!” She snickered.
Angel rolled her eyes. This was normal for Lila. “Great. Thanks for my daily reminder.”
“I MEAN . . .” Lila continued, louder now, “You look nothing like your mom.” She smiled slyly.
“Oh wait, I forgot . . . she’s not your real mom.”
Angel gasped. The fact that she was adopted was an extremely touchy subject for her. Everyone knew, but no one had ever really said anything about it . . . until now.
But Lila wasn’t done yet. “Or . . . hey, where are your real parents?”
She smirked. “HA, maybe they’re DEAD!”
Angel had had enough. “SHUT UP, LILA!” she screamed.
“Hmph,” Lila said, smiling. She picked her nail happily, knowing that she had achieved what she’d come over for.
After school, the door shut with a loud bang as Angel appeared inside the house.
“How was school today?” Ms. Lane asked her daughter naively.
“TERRIBLE!” Angel shouted.
“Oh, no! What happened?” her mother asked as Angel stomped past her. “Go away! I don’t want to talk!”
“LEAVE ME ALONE!” roared the voice above.
Angel’s mother stood at the foot of the stairs for a moment. “Oh boy,” she said.
Up in her room, Angel laid on her bed and stared at a picture on her wall. She had drawn it when she was two, and it was of her imaginary parents, from when she was having a tough time at home, just after Ms. Lane had adopted her. All that time she had hoped, like any other little innocent orphaned child, that they would come back for her. But, as it is in most cases, they didn’t. Then Ms. Lane, who had never had a child or a husband, found her. She had been looking for a baby. And when she saw Angel, she fell in love. She took her home.
Angel sighed, snapping back to the present.
Then, she fell asleep, flopping back onto her pillow silently.
All was black.
Then, a crack of light showed. Hands were revealed as they forced the blackness apart. The crack grew, and golden light streamed out. Then suddenly . . .
All of a sudden Angel herself was standing in a golden place, on a white ground. And in front of her was a woman with light brown hair tied up in a bun and a little kind draw at the corners of her mouth. She looked to be about the age of Angel’s mother. She wore a long, luxurious green robe, like the type the wizards and witches wore. Angel felt a sudden sense of deja vu, as though she’d seen this woman before, but she couldn’t quite place her finger on it.
“Ah, Angel,” the woman said with great feeling. “I’ve been trying to reach you . . .”
When you’re not reading books, read our newsletter.
Join the conversation