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Edwin Teller woke mere moments before the light came alive. When he opened his eyes and realized that it was still dark in his room he thought he must have woken from a bad dream. He had seen a movie once where a woman had woken up suddenly in the darkest part of the night from a nightmare. He remembered that the woman sat straight up in her bed and let out a scream and then she began to breathe heavily because she was scared. But he was not out of breath now, nor had he woken with a start, and he began to recall that he had been dreaming of sunlight in the park next to the lake. So why then had he woken before the alarm clock that his mother set for him went off?
That’s when the light erupted. It blinded him and he quickly shut his eyes and covered his face with his hands and he pretended to sleep again, because he did not like it when his mother turned on the light so abruptly after it had been so dark. But he didn’t hear the gentle croon of his mother’s voice; and the light behind his fingers and his eyelids seemed to get only brighter the tighter he closed them so finally he peeked out a miniscule slit between his fingers.
What he saw was incredibly strange. Edwin noticed that in the corners of his eyes the room was still dark; there was a gradient of the light, brightest at the foot of his bed and diffusing into the corners. This was not like the light from the ceiling that he was used to, because that light was yellow as the sun and this light was pure white.
Edwin removed his hands from his face and he was surprised to see that he was not blinded by the light anymore. The figure was actually quite easy to look at, despite how brightly it shone. The light radiated and shimmered and it swayed and bobbed in midair, not suspended by anything nor contained in a bulb of any kind. It was free light.
Hello. The body of light pulsed in tandem with the syllables that Edwin heard in his head. I’m sorry if I woke you. The light swayed.
Edwin knew, even though the words seemed to only exist in his mind that the light was speaking to him. “What are you?” he asked quietly so his parents would not hear him and come in and scare the light away.
The light laughed. Or Edwin thought it did at least, because white rays danced around the room and spread wild shadow-shapes on the walls. Edwin heard the voice in his head giggle, and he felt a pleasant feeling.
I am many things, the light said. Some call me a bogeyman; some say I am the keeper of dreams. I am chaos embodied, taking any waveform I desire. I am the monster under your bed, and I am your guardian angel. I am corporeal energy transient through time and space, for a moment behind you, above you, right in front of your eyes, and in the next, gone. I am everything and I am nothing.
Edwin was almost too dazzled by the glittering flares that the light was emitting to hear what it was saying. He managed to focus on a word he recognized and he spoke his mind.
“You don’t look like a monster to me.”
That is a very kind thing to say. Edwin felt warm. I am often misunderstood because of the way I communicate with your people.
Humans are so peculiar. You are never satisfied with your position in the world. You always think you need to be more than you are but so few of you realize that you are just like me. You can be whatever you want, exist in a multitude of states; you are made of energy and such immaculate complexities that Mother Nature has trouble claiming you as she claims all the other forces in the universe.
When the light finished telling Edwin these things, Edwin began to feel very sleepy. He yawned and laid his head back onto his pillow.
“I’m tired now,” Edwin remarked as he stared at the dancing lights on his ceiling. “Will you still be here when I wake up?” he asked hopefully.
I am everywhere and nowhere. If you look you will not find me. But I will always be here
Young Edwin Teller let the words in his head wash over him as he closed his eyes and drifted off to sleep. When he opened them again, the sun was shining and the light at the foot of his bed had gone, never to be seen again, but Edwin’s memory of the mysterious being never faded.