As a young girl, my brother and I shared a room. Often, we'd spend the evenings not sleeping, but playing with our toy dinosaurs or making each other laugh. Finally, my father had had enough and told us the story of Nighttooth, the creature who eats children that won't go to sleep.
There are two years between my brother and I. Sebastian, or Seb, was born exactly a week before my second birthday, which I was soon to complain about. I was now forced to share my beloved parents with someone else. Though, I couldn't hate my brother for long. As we grew up, we became close. Closer than a lot of siblings. Still to this day, I count him as one of my best friends.
There was a gigantic forest behind our house which we played in. In there, only our imagination could stop us. One day it could be the prehistoric continent of Pangea and we were dinosaurs out on the hunt. The next day it was Middle Earth and swarmed by orcs. The dogs which passed through while on a walk became bloodthirsty werewolfs. Our imagination was our saviour. We were never bored.
But, as with everything, there was a downside to the wonderful imagination. The both of us suffered from terrible fear of the dark. For a while, my parents tried to keep us in different bedrooms, they tried with nightlights, they tried with reading us bedtime stories about bunnies and whatnot. Nothing worked, it always ended in tears, sooner or later in the night. That's when our parents decided to put us in the same bedroom. Maybe this could help us fall asleep in the evenings.
It did have the opposite effect. Once again, our imagination ran amok with us. We'd lay there, in the dim light of the nightlight and tell each other stories about the shadows on the walls, about brave knights and beautiful princesses. Or we'd get up and play with our toys, creating magnificent worlds.
For a few weeks, this kept up. But, our parents tired from caring for our younger sister, just couldn't spend the nights telling us to go to bed. So, one night, our father heard us talking and giggling. He came in through our door, he stood as a black silhouette in frame. The two of us fell silent immediately, hiding under our covers.
"Since you two can't seem to sleep, I want to tell you a story. It's not your normal bedtime story. This is about children who won't sleep and a monster. His name? Nightooth."