It had been a perfect day. Louis spent a lot of time with his friends from his 8th-grade class, playing video games and swimming in the local pool when it got too hot to hang outside. When it was time to head home, rather than being annoyed, he was looking forward to it since dinner was going to be one of his favorites, pizza! Louis knew it would be loaded with sausage, pepperoni, olives, and tons of gooey cheese! It was no surprise that he was quick to respond to his mother’s call to dinner!
Between his parents, his 11-year-old sister Faith, and himself, two pizzas were finished off, leaving only crumbs and one small pepperoni behind. While Louis and Faith argued over who should have that last piece of pepperoni, Orion, the family cat, leaped onto the pizza box and snatched it up!
Eating several slices of that goodness made him sleepy. So sleepy, he wasn’t even interested in catching up on his favorite television shows. So, saying goodnight to his mom and dad, Louis headed up to bed. Faith had fallen asleep on the couch, so her mom lifted her carefully and took her to her room.
Louis had barely fallen asleep when a persistent tugging on his blankets woke him. He was dreaming he had just become the video game champion among his friends. Thinking it might be Orion, he pulled the sheets over his head, annoyed and attempting to ignore her. But as the tugging became more insistent, Louis poked his head out from under the covers to shoo the cat off his bed. Instead, he was surprised to see Faith, excited and wide-eyed, urging him to get up.
At first, he thought Faith might be sleepwalking. Her golden curls hung in her face, but she ignored them as if she weren’t aware of them falling in her eyes. She was still dressed in the shorts and t-shirt she was wearing when she had fallen asleep. It seemed their parents hadn’t wanted to wake her up to change her into pajamas.
“Get up, get up!” she urgently whispered, barely able to contain her excitement. Faith’s cheeks were flushed, and her eyes open and unblinking. Waiting for Louis to get up, she hopped from one foot to the other, unable to stand still. “Go back to bed,” Louis said sleepily, rolling away from Faith.
But she was unrelenting, “No, GET-UP!” She said more forcibly, her voice much louder now! Worried Faith would wake up their parents, Louis turned back to Faith, threw off his covers, and crawled out of bed.
“What do you want, Faith? It’s the middle of the night!” Louis said, very much irritated.
“Come look,” Faith said excitedly, pulling on his arm since he wasn’t moving fast enough for her.
“Look at what?” He grumbled. He was annoyed and tired. But he knew if he didn’t go with his sister, she would get louder and louder till she woke up mom and dad. So, he followed Faith out of his room, all the while telling her to keep quiet. Louis was thankful for the carpeting in the hallway as he hadn’t put on his slippers, and the carpet was warm and muffled their footsteps.
“Okay, okay,” he said, “but keep it down, will ya?” Taking Louis by the hand, without responding to him, she led him directly to the bathroom. She practically danced down the hall in her excitement. Looking up, he stopped short. He couldn’t believe his eyes!
Faith gestured wildly at the increasing glow filling the bathroom. Clasping her hands over her mouth so she wouldn’t squeal, Faith stepped into the middle of the light, giggling as if she were being tickled!
Louis just stared, unbelievingly, into the bathroom. Eyes wide, he ran his hand through his mop of red hair, sliding it down the side of his face, coming to rest over his mouth.
“See—see—see!” Faith couldn’t hold back any longer, “SPARKLES!”
A soft blue haze flowed from the bathroom into the hallway. Louis was quickly encircled by a glittering light all around him. Louis reached for Faith, his hand coming to rest on her shoulder. Pulling her close, he stood staring into the ever-increasing glow.
Once his eyes adjusted to the light, he could see the tiny sparkles. Twinkling gently, they floated above the two blue rugs on the bathroom floor, rising to the ceiling, spreading out and filling the room. Louis instantly thought of lightning bugs! Pulling away from Louis, Faith darted into the bathroom, and standing among the twinkling points of light, raised her arms, hands open, and laughing began to twirl among them.
Still worried that Faith would wake their parents, Louis quickly stepped into the bathroom to pull her out. Yet, instead, he found himself surrounded by the glittering lights, growing larger even as he watched. They didn’t seem to be hurting his sister; in fact, she seemed to be enjoying the bright sparkles all around her. He stepped further into the room. As he did so, the glow increased in brilliance, filling the room with a golden hue.
That’s when Louis became aware of a slight tingling all over his body. The rugs began to vibrate. The light now so brilliant that he could no longer see the walls, or fixtures in the bathroom, or Faith! But he could feel her arms wrapped around his waist. The vibration beneath their feet became more intense as it moved up their legs, making their knees weak. They couldn’t stay upright any longer. Louis felt himself falling backward—in slow motion. Reaching for his sister, he took Faith with him as he landed on his bottom, Faith in his lap. It wasn’t the soft rug from the bathroom beneath him now. Instead, they landed on a hard, rocking surface. Faith was giggling; this was a game to her.
Louis now knew they were falling!