Little Bill Willoughby shook her mother agitatedly.
“What is it, Bill?” Tracy Willoughby mumbled as she was turned out of her slumber.
“I’m – I’m scared, Mama,” said Bill Willoughby, trembling.
“You shouldn’t be,” said Tracy as she got up from bed, straightening her nightclothes. “Didn’t that pillow we bought for you last weekend work?”
“I could fall asleep, Mama. But the pillow kept giving me nightmares!”
“Wilbur?” it was Tracy’s turn to wake up another member of the family. “Wilbur?”
“What is it, dear?” Mr. Willoughby stirred from his sleep. “Is Bill unable to sleep again? Doesn’t his pillow work?”
“Did you buy the Children’s Edition?”
“I am as sure as salad I bought the Children’s Edition, Trace. Do you think I’ll buy a pillow with a Nightmare channel for Bill? He’s only eight!”
“But I kept having nightmares!” Bill wailed, hurling his Sandman DreamPillow at his dad. “Try it!” he insisted.
Wilbur gingerly snuggled into Bill’s DreamPillow, mother and son staring intently at him.
He jumped up suddenly two minutes later, sweating. “If that wasn’t a nightmare, I don’t know what is!” he roared, startling Tracy and Bill. “I’m calling Sandman Beddings and Upholsteries tomorrow!”
“There was a report two weeks ago on the newsfeed, Wilbur,” Tracy recalled. “A family sued Sandman for causing their son’s death in bed. For inducing nightmares in their child.”
“And just maybe I’ll sue Sandman if they won’t give me a refund tomorrow,” Tracy’s husband replied angrily. “I’ve been hearing lately that the quality of Sandman’s programs have been going down. I certainly didn’t enjoy Flying in Metropolis very much.”
“We could always buy pillows from that other company, Fairy Electronic Pillows. I heard they’re incorporating a dreamplayer into them, so we can play our own dreamdiscs, instead of having to dream the free-to-air Sandman programs.”
“We’ll buy our pillows from Fairy next month then,” Wilbur decided after giving a large yawn. “Let’s go back to sleep, shall we?”
“Where am I sleeping, Daddy?” Bill blurted frantically.
Wilbur threw the offending dream-inducer to the corner of his room. “Son,” he stroked Bill’s hair, “ You can sleep with us tonight.”
“I can?” the young boy’s face brightened.
“Minutes later, the Willoughby family was in bed, thoroughly asleep, as their DreamPillows hummed softly in the silence, transmitting Joy of Wonderland to their hindbrains.