Jerica opened her eyes, and knew that something was wrong. Well, not exactly wrong- just different. She was no longer nestled safely in her nice warm bed with its purple sheets and otter stuffed animals- nor was she on the carpeted floor, or even in her home. She glanced around, dazed and confused. The deep midnight air around her shimmered and moved, filled with an invisible current that was slowly but surely pulling her farther and farther from home.

Jerica closed her eyes, and laid back on the lovely warm blankness- but she was falling. falling faster and faster through the dark as crooked eyes stared at her, as if torn from a magazine and pasted haphazardly in this tunnel of nothing. Jerica began to spin as well, so that the golden eyes swirled into a large column of gold extended up to the serene place, and down to emptiness below. She became frantic, searching for a way to stop the falling, and yet not wanting to stop at the same time. She closed her eyes tightly once more and then.

THUD.

Jerica hit the ground. The fall had not hurt much, though there was a slight soreness in her side where she had landed. Jerica opened her eyes to find that she was on the ground near next to her bed, and that her sister was peeking over the top bunk, laughing.

"Jeri had a nightmare- she was crying and thrashing around and then she fell out! That's why you sleep on the bottom bunk." Maggie said, giggling cruelly.

Maria, Jerica's mother, was standing in the doorframe and walked over to her daughters.

"Maggie- you leave your sister alone. You still wet the bed sometimes, and does Jeri ever laugh at you about that?" Maggie looked down in shame. Her sister had never ever made fun of her about it- Jerica would just change the sheets and forget about it. Maria knelt down and propped her other daughter's head up. "Are you all right, sweetheart? Was it just a bad dream?"

Jeri looked up groggily and replied, "Yes mom, I'm fine. Sorry about the noise." At this her mother sighed and helped Jerica up.

"Always thinking of others instead of yourself. Go back to sleep dear." Her mother replied, and left the room. Jerica lay on her bed, thinking about her dream, as Maggie's soft snores filled their small, shared room. What had it meant? Why had she been torn from the serene blankness and thrown into the whirling chasm of gold? Why did she feel so strangely empty? Jerica resolved to think about it in the morning, groped around under the bed, and pulled out her trusty flashlight & a novel. After reading about 40 pages, she fell into a merciful, dreamless sleep.