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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: hope (03/29/04)

TITLE: Bedtime Story
By Leticia Caroccio


Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a girl named Letty. By normal standards she was relatively nice. Most would probably consider her to be a good girl. She had really intense dark eyes that peered at the world with great reluctance and suspicion. She was not one to make eye contact with anyone. That just might encourage conversation. She was not tall; she was not fat or skinny. She had dark hair that just did not cascade to anywhere. I guess you could say that she was pretty, pretty average, that is. And yet, when she looked in the mirror, she believed that she was a princess. She was the average princess of her province. Princess Letty reigned only in her mind.

Princess Letty, in all of her average-ness, was a straight C+ student. She had one friend, if you could call her that. Sometimes they walked to school together, sometimes they didn’t. Sometimes they ate lunch together, sometimes they didn’t. And sometimes they talked to each other and sometimes they didn’t. Princess Letty just didn’t seem to be bothered one way or another. She rushed home everyday sit on her throne and govern in her mental kingdom. But there was a problem in her empire. The princess was lonely. She has been so afraid of everything and everyone that she never established relationships outside of her kingdom. She was afraid of being hurt. She was afraid of not being accepted. She was afraid of living.

For a very long time now, Princess Letty had meticulously, stone by stone, brick by brick, built a towering wall around her kingdom. No one was allowed in and she never ventured out. Fear had always kept Princess Letty from accomplishing her destiny. She never drove a car. She never went to college. She even stayed out of church because she, quite mistakenly, believed that she just wasn’t good enough. Even though Princess Letty fought vehemently to protect and control her little world, she never realized that she had strength beyond her own to stand in the face of adversity. So she remained in her small little kingdom, lost and alone behind her wall of ugliness.

Until one night a storm on the other side of her wall “accidentally” knocked loose one her precious bricks. It crashed to the ground with a great thud that shook her very being. Princess Letty, unlike the Princess and the Pea, was an insomniac. There was nothing she could do that would allow her a decent night’s sleep. So she was wide awake when the thundering brick was dislodged. There she stood, staring at the fragmented brick on the floor of her illusion. Slowly, cautiously, fearfully, she looked up to see the damage. There was something unusual happening.

There, peering through the hole left by the vacated stone shone a brilliant Light. It began to expose the furnishings that she had collected throughout her years on the throne.

There in the far corner of her room was her bed of unrest and turmoil. Next to the bed was the nightstand of anger and resentment. Across the room was a bookshelf full of painful memories, carefully and vigilantly stored by date and cross-referenced by event. This would ensure that she would never forget one infraction done to her. She would be able to refer to them whenever she needed to.

Now as the light cast its glow on the ugliness of her world, Princess Letty was ashamed of her collection. “How did I get to this place?” was all she could ask herself. She hung her head and cried.

Suddenly, in her despondency, she felt tender yet powerful hands cup and caress her face. As the hands slowly lifted her chin, she felt them wipe away her tears. She was afraid to look up and see who was standing there. Still, she could hear a comforting voice speak. The voice said, “Why do you cry, my Princess, why are you so downcast?” Princess Letty could not find the words to speak. Again, the voice spoke to her, “I have been waiting for you for so long”.

With all her strength and courage, Princess Letty found her voice. “Who are you?” she asked. Authority and strength poured from the voice of the one standing before her as He said, “I am the Light in your darkness. I am the Life in your dungeon”. With every word uttered by the Light, Princess Letty’s great wall began to crumble. As the wall was collapsing, it left her treasured collection exposed in the Light. “Now what do I do with all these repulsive, useless things?” she wondered.

The Light simply told her, “Give them to me. I’ll take them from you. You have no need for them again”. She responded, “But I need things to replace them”. The Light told her that in place of her bed of unrest and turmoil she would have a bed of comfort; instead of the nightstand of anger and resentment, she would have love and peace; and in place of the bookshelf of painful memories, she would have wonderful, joyful memories that would fill not only her bookshelf but her life with goodness.

I am Princess Letty. I have spent too many years living in bondage. I was afraid to live and afraid to die. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place. But now I have been released from my self-imposed prison. Like the Berlin Wall, her wall had dramatically come down, too. Life is sweet now. No longer afraid to live nor afraid to die, I wanted to change my name, to change my princess status. But the Light told me that I am, in fact, a true Princess, an heir to the throne of the King of Kings.

I will live happily ever after!

Member Comments
Member Date
Corinne Smelker 04/05/04
Wonderful Story - I loved the analogy
Lynne Cox04/06/04
Well-written and kept my interest until the end!
Mary C Legg04/08/04
one very good bedtime story, please repeat it many times-- part of the problem though was that there wasn't many who were interested in tearing down those bricks... we all need encouragement.
Naomi Deutekom04/08/04
This is a masterful piece. You have effectively portrayed the pain and lonelenes of shame as well as the understanding that comes when God exposses the disgusting furnishings we mistakenly thought we needed. Well done!