Arrival of Veronika

Who knows what happens while we're asleep. (Inspireret af Owl Citys Fireflies. Skrevet på engelsk, fordi jeg er for doven til at oversætte den.)

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1. Wonders of the Night

Vær venlig at lytte til 'The Cinematic Orchestra; Arrival of the birds & Transformation’  mens du læser. 

 

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It was way past 11 PM (and his bedtime) when Daniel finally went to sleep. He had stayed up late because his dad had given him a children’s book about the Solar System, and he had been too caught up reading it too fall asleep until now. His drew a final yawn, shoved the book under his pillow and fell asleep.

 

And as he did, millions of glowing butterflies lid up the room. They all had different colors, bright pink to sparkling light blue with black spots, and they flew happily around the room. In the corner stood a rocking horse and its black button eyes slowly opened, as it peaked around the room, rocking solemnly. The radio started playing some quite blues and the disco ball started spinning.

 

And all of a sudden, everything came alive. The constellation of The Big Dipper on Daniel’s duvet covers started sparkling like real stars. Above his head hung a poster of the planet’s in the Solar System, and suddenly they all started spinning to the music.

 

The Tin Soldier Daniel bought yesterday was the last thing in the room to come a life. He blinked and startled he looked around the room. “What is this utter madness?” he wondered out loud. “I must wake up the child and warn him about –“ but the confused Tin Soldier never got to finish his sentence because a bright green butterfly flew past and grabbed the soldier’s shoulders (try to say that ten times in a row) and lifted him from his safe spot on the desk.

 

“Let me go!” the little tin man screamed. “My dear flying friend, I must insist that you let go of me this instant!” but the butterfly didn’t obey. It flew past the spinning disco ball and for a moment, the soldier starred into his own blue eyes in the many little mirrors. He had never seen a disco ball before in his entire life and he wanted to reach out and touch it, but he never had the change because a few seconds later, the butterfly dropped him.

 

The soldier let out a cry, but he landed safely on Daniel’s pillow, only a few inches from the sleeping boy. A stuffed dinosaur that also lay in the bed blinked curiously at the soldier. The tin man smiled friendly back and crawled closer to the dinosaur which he thought to be a tyrannosaurus Rex. “Hello, good sir,” he said. “My name is Tin and I am a soldier. Would you care to tell me what in the memory of my great grandfather’s beard is going on?”

 

But the T-Rex just smiled at him and let out ‘Graauwl’ kind of noise which surely wasn’t helpful.  The soldier sighed and looked around. It appeared that everything was alive, somehow, and even though the butterflies were beautiful and the teddy bears looked fun while playing a game of checkers, it was too much for the soldier to handle. He had a logic mind and this was too far from logic. “Argh!” he cried and crossed his arms like a child. “I don’t understand! I want to go home where everything is normal!”

 

He was just about to find a quiet corner where he could be angry in peace, when he heard a laugh somewhere behind him. He turned around and found himself looking into a pair of gorgeous green eyes of a young woman dressed in a sparkly blue dress. It was a doll from Daniel’s sister’s room and the soldier found himself absolutely bedazzled by her beauty.

 

“Are you quite all right, sir?” she said in a slight Russian accent. “You seem a bit…”

 

“Bedazzled,” the soldier said.

 

The young woman chuckled. “Yes,” she said. “A bit bedazzled.”

 

“Oh, it’s just… a bit overwhelming, that’s all,” the soldier said and glanced at her casually. She had long shiny hair and pale skin. “I’m new, you see. Would you like to explain to me what in the earth is going on? My name is Tin, by the way, and I am a soldier.” He thrust his chest forward.

 

“Nice to meet you, Tin,” she said and smiled. “My name is Veronika, and we are just having a bit of fun. When the children and their parents wake up we have to keep still and quiet as they expect us to be. I guess you can say that the night belongs to us.”

 

“Oh,” the soldier mumbled, not quite sure what to say. “Has it always been like that?”

 

“Yes, for as long as I remember. But I’ve only been here for about a year.” The radio started to play a new song, a slow one but with a happy twist to it and Veronika’s face lit up in a smile.  “I love this song,” she said. “If you like, I can explain it all over a dance?”

 

“A dance?” the tin soldier said, nervously. “I’m afraid I can’t dance very well, and I am not dressed for the occasion.”

 

Veronika laughed again. “It’s all right,” she said. “Don’t worry, I’ll guide you through.” Then she grabbed his hand and let him to the floor, where she placed his hand around her waist and her arms around his neck. It didn’t go too well in the beginning, and Tin kept stepping on her feet, but Veronika was a patient lady and she never said a word about it.

 

As they danced, she told him about Daniel and his sister, Louise, about the family interested in the Universe. Then she told him about herself, how she was made in Moscow but brought to a little cozy shop in Yorkshire where she lived until Louise bought her last year. The Tin soldier told Veronika about how he was made at a factory somewhere in America and that he actually lived in a store somewhere in California, until he was bought a few weeks ago and given to Daniel as a birthday present yesterday.

 

“Do you miss California?” Veronika asked.

 

The soldier shook his head. “No,” he said. “I thought that I might, but I think I will love living here much more.” He spun her around and they danced until the early hours.

 

Slowly the butterflies flew into a little box in a corner, the radio stopped, the disco ball no longer spun and the teddy bears jumped back into Daniel’s bed. Veronika had to go back to Louise’s room but she promised that she would return as soon as everybody went to sleep.  

 

“I will miss you with all of my heart,” the soldier said. Veronika just smiled and gave him a kiss. Bedazzled the soldier went back to his spot on the desk. 

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