Most of Jack’s bedtime stories were like the stories Jamie hears in his history and biology class. Too real and boring. He didn’t actually care about how long deer hibernate in the winter or what happened during the colonial era. They were all facts, not stories. He wanted to hear about things that were made up so when he goes to sleep he could dream of things that are never possible to happen in real life. He heard from Sophie once that we waste away 26 years of our lives sleeping and he didn’t want to waste his 26 years dreaming of reality. He tends to dream about the stories he hear before he goes to bed.
Jack stated that his stories were boring because being lonely was boring. You can’t really exchange stories and make up stories to tell someone when you’re alone.
And maybe because he’s not really good at telling stories yet. You go spend 300 years talking to nobody but yourself and a few guardians you aren’t really best buds with, let’s see if you don’t lose the ability to think of some captivating narrative to tell a little boy to before he goes to sleep.
“Just, just—” Jamie sat up and waved his hands around, “look at everything in my room and tell me whatever comes up in your mind first!”
Spontaneous creative thinking. Fun. Jack rolled his eyes but complied anyway.
He brought one hand to his chin and turned around to face Jamie’s bookshelf. There were some books about mythology and fables, some action figures here and there. He scratched his head in frustration. “What do you even want to hear about?”
“Anything unrealistic! I just want to hear things that are worth dreaming about.”
Jack closed his eyes, thought for a moment, and cleared his throat.
Okay, so, there was once a mousy Pharaoh who had brown hair— the kind of brown your tongue sees when you eat creamy chocolate pudding—and gentle green eyes—the kind of green your nose sees when you smell the dewy leaves of wildflowers in a grassy meadow. His name was Hiccup (“Who would name a Pharaoh Hiccup?”) Shush, Jamie.
So Pharaohs were supposed to be tough and brave, right? He needs to be intimidating so he could scare away the bad guys in one glare. But this guy, this guy only used his scepter so he could scratch his pet cat instead of whacking it on an assassin’s head cold-blooded.
But to be honest, that’s okay since he was the reason why people saw daylight in the morning. He was the God of the Sun. He lifted the Sun above his head into the sky after dawn, and cradled the Sun in his arms like a child after dusk. The Sun, in fact, was actually Hiccup’s servant, and they were so damn happy together. (“You should use better adjectives to emphasize something, not use swear words. That’s what my English teacher told my classmate before.”).
But it wasn’t really always like that. The Sun used to belong to a guy named Pitch. This Pitch guy is deathly obsessed with anything dark. That’s why he preferred that the Sun would be better off locked underground than be free in the sky. That way, no one would be happy. He would consume the loneliness of others, and in turn, it would make him happy.
The Sun was tough though. Every minute of every dark day, he refused to stay still inside the cold depths of Pitch’s lair. So he thrashed and thrashed inside it and he never gave up. Pitch got pissed off so he just kinda decided that half of the day he’d let the Sun go out so he’d only be annoying fifty percent of the time; hence, having day and night.
That was his mistake. One day when the Sun was about to go back underground, that’s when the mousy Pharaoh saw him. He was curious; fascinated by the light the sun gave off. So he moved closer and closer until he touched the Sun’s ghostly pale face and stared into those vibrant blue eyes.
They were both lonely…I guess. So they kinda decided they wanted to be together.
Jack halted his story telling for a moment and let out a sigh.
“And then, and then?”
“Wait, I’m trying to think,” If it weren’t for the dark room, Jamie would’ve seen the rosy spots on Jack’s ghostly pale cheeks.
And so the mousy Pharaoh and the sun would meet for a short while everyday. During dawn and dusk, until the Sun finally couldn’t take those short moments anymore and decided he wanted to spend an entire lifetime with the Pharaoh.
So he made Hiccup into a Sun god and escaped Pitch’s lair.
Pitch was fine with it at first since he still has half the day to scare everyone. That is, until Hiccup created the moon so there would be enough light for everyone when the Sun goes down. Everyone started to feel safe during the night after that.
Gentle giggles started to replace sorrowful sobs and Pitch started to starve. He grew hungry from the detoriation of fears coming out of people.
He wanted everything to return to the good old dark days when children would scream day and night. So he told his little nightmare Stars to assassinate Hiccup and the Sun.
Jamie covered his mouth and let out a big yawn.
“Do you still want me to continue or do you want to sleep now?”
The little boy immediately sat up straight as fast as a mouse trap catching a mouse and made his eyes go wide, “I’m awake, I’m awake,” he pointed at his face, “See?”
Jack smiled, “Don’t worry, it’s almost finished.” He was having fun telling stories now.
The little assassins never assassinated the Sun and his master. They were thrown to the sky and served as a companion for the Moon.
They knew Pitch would try another way on getting rid of them. He was starving and desperate to eat fear again.
And for the first time, the Pharaoh and the servant argued. The Sun suggested he could burn Pitch to death so they won’t bother them again. Hiccup, being the mousy altruistic god that he is, suggested that he could just send Pitch to the sky like the little stars as far away as possible. They wouldn’t have to kill him that way.
The Sun knew the consequences of his master’s idea, and the prices they’ll pay in the future. But nevertheless, he followed what Hiccup had said and just trusted him.
Everything was peaceful after a few centuries. But then a black hole started to form beneath Hiccup and almost sucked him in.
He lost his left leg.
The Sun incinerated the black hole just in time and managed to save Hiccup. Most of him, anyway.
But after all that, Hiccup still took pity on the guy. He picked up the ashes of Pitch and formed little galaxies and planets out of it.
“And that’s the story of how the universe was made, I guess.”
“What happens to the Sun and Hiccup in the end?”
Jack decided that that was the most annoying question Jamie has ever asked, “Well… the Sun was incredibly stupid. When he made Hiccup God, he made Hiccup immortal instead of him. And we all know that immortals and mortals falling in love never works out for anyone. They don’t have a happy ending, Jamie.”
“But they have to!”
Jack’s stomach was being tied in knots and he felt like drowning himself again. “Bed time stories don’t always have happy endings. If there’s one thing you should accept as reality, it’s that. And besides, that wasn’t really a bedtime story. It’s more of like a legend. Kind of.”
Jamie just pouted and tucked himself into bed.
Centuries ago from the past, there was a mousy Viking who used to meet with a winter sprite. The winter sprite had white hair—the kind of white your tongue sees when you taste almond snowballs—and vibrant blue eyes—the kind of blue your nose sees when you smell the snow-coated grass of winter when you walk outside your house. The winter spirit would lift the mousy Viking high up in the sky and they would fly together by day. The Viking would be cradled like a child in the arms of the winter sprite by night.
And maybe those two weren’t together in the fictional bedtime story, nor were they in the non-fictional past—
—but in Jamie’s dreams tonight, they were; for he wanted the Pharaoh to meet the winter sprite once more.