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Bernie Jackson woke up reluctantly with the corner of his pillow shoved in his mouth.

“You can put the water glass down, Melody,” his wife, Lonnie, said to the bespectacled girl next to her. “He seems to be coming to.”

Melody folded her arms at her chest, and gave her mother a squint-eyed look. “Coming to what?” she asked her. “Some kind of conclusion? – such as he shouldn’t eat a bag full of old Halloween candy before going to bed? Certainly not to his senses. It would take more than a good night's sleep to do that.”

Bernie forced his eyes wide. “I don't have to take this abuse,” he said.

“You do if you want us to pump your stomach for pillow filler?” Melody said, setting the glass down on the side table. “We like to sleep at night, too, you know.”

“Seems like everyone's having nightmares, lately,” Lonnie said. “First Melody, with her big dogs...”

Melody cleared her throat. “Beast from Mirkwood,” she corrected.”

“You’re going to get us sued by the Tolkien foundation,” Bernie said, raising an eyebrow at her.

“If they're monitoring our bedrooms, we’ve got more things to worry about than spouting unsanctioned Hobbit references. Anyway, it sounds better than Melody Jackson verses the Hound from Hell.”

“Anyway,” Lonnie interrupted. “Let’s try to wrap this up, hmm? What was going on in that world of yours, Bernie? Were you being attacked by the marshmallow men again?”

Bernie closed his eyes, and thought about it for a bit. “I'm not sure,” he said. “I was standing barefoot...”

Melody scrunched up her face. “Ew,” she said. “Horrific! No wonder you were screaming...”

Both Melody and her father had an extreme and undefinable dislike for the human foot. Bernie even had a mantra tacked up over his desk at work: ‘A foot should be socked or shoed, but never sandaled or nude.” It was signed apocryphally “M. Gandhi”.

“And that wasn't the most frightening part of it,” Bernie said, undeterred by his daughter's revulsion. “I was standing over a hole – a well, really – and there was this voice...whispering...” Bernie yawned. “I don't know,” he said. “It's silly.”

Melody began to bounce on the bed, angrily. “Oh, no,” she said. “You can't just dump, 'Whispered something big monster thingie' in our laps, and then just walk away.”

“I'm just lying here,” Bernie corrected, and began to smack at his lips. “So, what's for breakfast?”

“I don't know,” Lonnie said. “What are you making? I’m going back to sleep. It’s three in the morning.”

“Besides,” Melody said. “Aren't you full from earlier?”

“What?” Bernie gave her a confused, innocent look, and then his eyes relaxed. “Oh,” he said. “The pillow. Funny.”

Melody snorted at him derisively.

Lonnie started, “Maybe you can,” but was interrupted by the flashing of red lights outside the bedroom window like that from an emergency vehicle. It seemed to be parked in front of the small weather station across the street which had recently spawned so many recent, unwanted adventures. [see Melody’s Journal for the scoop, if you skipped it – Ed.]

“Now what?” Melody said, with a little concern in her voice. After the Woman in White and the Hound from Hell, she could only imagine what would happen next. The girl stood up, walked around the bed, and peered surreptitiously through the curtain. “Ambulance,” she said. Then she placed a hand to her mouth. “Oh!”

“What is it,” Lonnie said, rushing to the window.”

Bernie seemed trapped in his bed covers. “What, what?!”

“It's Mrs. Rogers,” Melody said, finally. “They're taking her out on a stretcher.”

It Happened on Lafayette Street

Season One: Episode One

Melody Jackson

vs. The Message from Space

by BMB Johnson

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