Graphie the yellow Poogle lay in her bed, unable to sleep
at all. Out of all the minutes that had slowly ticked by that night, this one
was definitely the slowest. It was 3:53 AM, and it hadn't changed in hours. The
clock must be broken. Sure, the second hand was moving... but it was moving way
too slowly to be working properly, right? Time wasn't really going that
3:54. Okay, so the clock wasn't broken. Maybe
Graphie was hallucinating. Lack of sleep could do that to you, right? Exactly.
Hours and hours had passed, but her eyes just weren't working. It was probably
almost 8:00 in the morning by now. Her owner and sisters might even be awake,
eating breakfast. Maybe she'd actually dozed off, and she just hadn't noticed.
She closed her eyes.
And when I open them... the clock will say
8:00, she told herself stubbornly. 3:55. This whole sleep thing really wasn't
working out. Graphie hadn't been able to get more than a few hours of sleep
for the past three days... but why? Okay, so on the first day it was because
she'd eaten a whole carton of chocolate swirl ice cream, but it wasn't her fault
that nobody told her that sugar would keep her up until the early hours of the
3:56. Graphie didn't know if she could take
it any longer. She punched her mattress. It was light, soft, and fluffy, so
why couldn't she sleep on it? She patted her pillow; it urged her to fall asleep.
She tried counting. She counted to three hundred, and still was wide awake as
ever. She tried closing her eyes and not moving, but all that did was make her
She tried to remember what her owner, Christine,
had told her yesterday. "Do you have a terrifying secret twisting your insides
into knots and eating away at your conscience?" she had asked, partially through
giggles. "Because then you just have to like... do the right thing. And then
your guilt will be gone." But Graphie wasn't hiding any secret. She just wanted
Her older sister Karina, a smart red Mynci,
had told her that sleep disorders were often linked to "inner psychological
distress", which, for Graphie's concern, meant that her sister also thought
that she had something hiding deep inside that was making her feel subconsciously
Graphie sighed. 3:59. Wow, three whole minutes.
Three whole minutes had ticked by. They'd seemed like three hours. No, they're
seemed like three whole days. She readjusted herself. Why couldn't she sleep?
She was a good pet. She honestly wasn't hiding anything. What had she done to
disturb this horrible insomnia?
Sadly, she groaned, and sat in silence until
the next morning.
"I didn't sleep again," Graphie announced, as
soon as Christine managed to get down the stairs. She glared at her owner. Christine
just yawned. It was 8:00 in the morning, and she really wasn't in the mood to
deal with her cranky sleep-deprived Poogle.
Taking a deep breath, she just repeated what
she'd said earlier. "Graphie, there's a reason why you can't sleep. Maybe you
don't even know it. Maybe learning why you can't sleep will help you unveil
secrets about the way you function at the innermost levels. It could be a thrilling
adventure of selfdiscovery!"
Graphie just stared. She would usually laugh
at the rare moment when her owner was being deep and philosophical, but she
didn't have the energy to. She was tired. Days without sleep could do that to
"Maybe my mattress is messed up," Graphie suggested,
although she knew that wasn't true, seeing as she'd checked it every five minutes
last night. She sighed. Christine wasn't looking at her, but rather was focused
on the carton of chocolate coffee swirl ice cream in front of her - her new
discovery. She slowly savored a mouthful.
Graphie made an attempt to grab the spoon and
have a taste herself, but her owner quickly pulled away. "Until you get some
sleep, you are on a strict no-caffeine no-sugar diet. Sorry," she said, although
she clearly didn't mean it. "You'll thank me one day," she continued, "...like,
the day when you actually manage to get more than five minutes of sleep."
The Poogle sighed. She could hear footsteps,
and noticed that her three siblings were coming down the stairs: Karina, and
her two younger sisters, Cutie the Snow Bruce and Snow Angel the blue Cybunny.
"You look terrible," Snow Angel said bluntly,
taking a seat at the kitchen table. Graphie just snarled in response. "I take
it you didn't get to sleep last night then?"
"Duh," Graphie muttered coldly. "And no..."
she continued, putting her paw over Karina's mouth, "it's not because of some
inner psychological insecurity. I just can't sleep!" She put her face in her
paws and sighed. "There's got to be something I can do, right?"
Cutie shrugged. "We could take you to the doctor."
"Let's do it!" Graphie replied instantly. Her
sisters stood in shock. Graphie hated the doctors. She'd rather wander around
sick for a week before caving in and going to the doctors for a diagnosis and
"Say ah," a tall blue Techo instructed, fixing
his glasses and waving a popsicle stick in Graphie's face. "Open up your mouth,
child." He glared.
Graphie reluctantly stuck out her tongue and
said ah. Christine sighed, as she waited, nervously thinking of the havoc her
three other pets were probably making in the waiting room. "Is this really necessary?"
she snapped, anxiously. "She just can't sleep, it's got nothing to do with her
The doctor seemed offended. "Sleep disorders,"
he said coldly, "are often just symptoms of far more serious physiological disorders
going on deep inside the mind and body." Christine shot an 'I told you so' look
at her pet, but Graphie just shrugged. "Hiding anything, dear?" he asked Graphie
accusingly. "Something that's adding... stress to your life?"
"No!" she replied, almost too quickly. "I just
want to get to sleep, okay? I'm not harboring any insecurities or secrets. I'm
just sleep deprived!"
The Techo did not seem to like that answer,
and slowly stroked his chin. "Well..." he finally said, staring Graphie directly
in the eyes, no doubt trying to figure out of she was telling the truth. "If
you're sure, I suppose I should prescribe you some medicine of some sort..."
"Well duh," Graphie interjected. "That's why
I came here. I have a problem, so I need you to fix it. So get me the medicine
so I can go, okay?" She snarled to emphasize her point.
Angrily, the doctor scribbled something in a
pad of paper. Then he tore of a page and handed it to Christine. "Instructions
for the medicine. Home made is best, I think. That should cover everything.
And please don't come back. "
"That doctor must have hated me," Graphie moaned.
Christine was preparing the doctor's prescription: a disgusting concoction of
gross foods that only Edna would enjoy. "There's no way this is really going
to help me!"
Christine sighed, and brought over a mug of
a gooey green liquid, with purple steam coming out. She stared for a moment,
and then said, "Maybe. You never know... it could... like, gross you to sleep.
If that's even possible."
Graphie moaned again, prodding the mug, in a
debate over whether it would poison her or not. She decided it wouldn't, and
if it did... well, then she'd be in trouble. She plugged her nose and took a
great big gulp. It tasted awful, and she did everything she could to keep from
spitting in out. She dropped the mug on the ground - and it broke and splattered
gunk everywhere - and then she ran to the sink and began running water under
"Ew!" she said, scrubbing her tongue. "That
was terrible!" Christine sighed.
"What do you propose instead?"
Graphie scratched her head. "I'm going to go
lie down. Can you read me a story like you used to when I couldn't get to sleep."
Christine shrugged; it was worth a try.
"And the little lost Kau found its way home,"
Christine groaned. The purple book in her hands vanished in a puff of green
smoke, and she coughed. Three other books had already disappeared, and Graphie
still could not sleep. "Sheesh, fall asleep already!"
"There's got to be a reason she can't sleep,"
said Karina, who was with her other two sisters, also in the room as they desperately
tried to help their owner. "Maybe you do have some hidden inner problem thing.
You should go see a therapist."
Graphie shook her head. "Argh!" she yelled.
"This is stupid. I'm tired... why can't I sleep already? It's not fair."
"Insecurities," muttered Snow Angel under her
breath, until Graphie glared her down. "I mean... uhh... maybe there's something
wrong with the mattress. Like, maybe it's really lumpy or something. I don't
know. It could be worth a try at least." Slowly, the Cybunny walked over to
Graphie's bed and punched the mattress. "OW!" she howled. "That lump's really
"Lump? There's not supposed to be a lump," Cutie
whispered, coming to assist her sister, Christine and Karina behind her. Graphie
reluctantly got out of bed.
"I doubt there's anything wrong with it, guys,"
she said helplessly. But still, Christine and Cutie grabbed the mattress and
began examining it. It looked fine, except for the hard lump. Mustering their
strength, and thanks to the assistance of Snow Angel and Karina, they lifted
up the mattress.
And, to everyone's shock, there was something
underneath the mattress: a pea Chia.
"OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH THANK FYORA YOU GOT ME
OUT I'VE BEEN STUCK UNDER THERE FOR DAYS I COULDN'T GET A WINK OF SLEEP AND
I AM STARVING AND I'M REALLY REALLY HYPER RIGHT NOW HEY WHY ARE YOU ALL LOOKING
AT ME LIKE THAT?" said the Chia quickly, in a squeaky high-pitched voice.
Graphie burst out laughing. "A pea Chia! That's
why I couldn't sleep... who could sleep on top of a pea Chia."
"YES I AM A PEA CHIA AND A CUTE PEA CHIA TOO
MAN I'M HUNGRY DO YOU HAVE ANY FOOD I SHOULD PROBABLY GET HOME THOUGH MY OWNERS
PROBABLY WORRIED AND SHE'S ALSO THE BEST COOK MAYBE SHE'LL MAKE ME COOKIES YEAH
THAT WOULD BE COOL OKAY GUYS I GUESS I'M GOING TO LEAVE YOU NOW SORRY FOR ANY
TROUBLE I CAUSED OR ANYTHING!"
And with that, the pea Chia ran out of the room
and to the door, leaving Christine and her four pets in a state of shock. A
moment later, Christine said: "Okay... that was weird."
"Really weird... how'd a pea Chia get under
"Think she'll be able to sleep now?"
"Of course not! The pea Chia couldn't really
have been keeping her awake!"
"Yeah it could!"
"I bet not..."
"Well let's see if Graphie can get to sleep
"Too late," Christine said. "Goodnight, Graphie."
Her four pets spun around, just to see that
Graphie - who had lazily rested the heavy mattress onto her bed - had already