Story 28 – The Sleep Machine 09 December 2011
“Top Secret – Stay Out!” The sign read.
Rufus and Ruff had locked their invention far away from the prying eyes of the Loopies. But today had been an emergency! Dollar D – the richest Loopie in Acersville had enlisted the Mayor’s help, in his militaristic manor, because he had been having trouble sleeping.
It was the middle of the night, but that hadn’t stopped Dollar D from calling Mayor Piney from his gold telephone. Dollar D was Acersville’s very own Millionaire and was of the mistaken impression that because he was rich it meant he could boss other Loopies around and pretty much do whatever else he liked.
“Piney! I need to sleep!” Dollar D had boomed at the sleepy Mayor earlier that morning.
“What can I do about your sleep problems?” asked Piney crossly.
“I don’t know! Think of something!” shouted Dollar D as he banged down the telephone. The Mayor’s wife, Dot, sat up in bed. Mayor Piney yawned.
“What was that all about?” asked Dot.
“Dollar D thinks I can solve his sleep problems.” Piney answered whistfully.
“What? At this hour?” replied an irritable Dot.
“That’s hardly an emergency!” she remarked.
Mayor Piney shrugged, not knowing where to begin, he decided to start at Rufus and Ruff’s house. They always had winning ideas for any emergency. He then got dressed and left for the brothers house. Once there, he apologized for his early visit and told them about Dollar D’s phone call.
“I suppose we could dig it out and test it.” said Rufus matter-of-factly to Ruff, after hearing all that Piney had to say, as he took a sip of tea.
The Mayor wasn’t sure what they were talking about exactly, but was only too glad that they had a plan.
“But it’s not finished yet Rufus! We still don’t have the missing ingredient!” protested Ruff.
They were talking about their secret invention, which they had kept hidden under lock and key, until they had acquired the “missing ingredient”. But despite Ruff’s better judgement and warning, they lugged their heavy creation over to Dollar D’s house for the “so-called” emergency.
Dollar D’s butler opened the front door as Rufus was about to ring the door bell, he had been expecting them.
“Right this way.” he motioned, leading the Mayor, Rufus and Ruff into Dollar D’s ornate bedroom. It had a plush emerald green carpet, with a king sized golden bed in the middle of the room. Dollar D sat there like a stuffed teddy bear waiting to fall asleep.
“Well then! What are you waiting for!” yelled the irritable Millionaire impatiently.
Rufus and Ruff shook off his ill manners and began hooking him up to their creation.
“What does this thing do?” asked Dollar D nervously.
“It’ll help you to sleep.” smiled Ruff.
They strapped him to the sleep monitor and switched it on. Then they stuck straws into his mouth.
“This is preposterous!” mumbled Dollar D. Mayor Piney stood snickering in the corner. That would teach Dollar D not to wake Mayor’s at midnight with trivial problems.
“What is this contraption!” yelled the Millionaire, pulling the straws from his mouth.
“It’s a sleep machine!” offered Ruff, happily.
“Just lie back gently,” explained Rufus calmly.
“Each of these straws leads to a glass of flavoured milk; strawberry, chocolate & vanilla.” He explained, pointing to the glasses on top of the sleep monitor.
Dollar D sat up and followed the curling straws with his eyes, and saw that they did indeed lead to the glasses of flavoured milk. He then took a sip from the straws and enjoyed the taste of the flavoured milk and for the first time that night, smiled. Then, the impatient Dollar D relaxed reluctantly and allowed Rufus and Ruff to continue positioning the “sleep tubes” as Rufus had named them, above his eyes.
“What do these do?” asked Dollar D, nervously, between sips of flavoured milk.
“Gently now.” Reassured Rufus, dimming the lights, as he flicked the switch on the machine, labelled “Lullabyes”
Rufus motioned for Ruff to switch the machine on. Ruff hesitated and looked at Rufus nervously. Rufus gave a thumbs-up to Ruff as he saw Dollar D look straight up the sleep tubes.
“Now!” Rufus whispered ferociously.
Ruff closed his eyes and flicked the switch, which caused the sleep machine to burst into life. The little vacuums leading into the sleep tubes began to suck sand from a huge bucket the brothers had set next to Dollar D’s bed. The vacuums sucked the sand up the tubes and deposited it right into Dollar D’s eyes! Dollar D sprang up from the bed screaming!
“My eyes! My eyes! You idiots have blinded me!” It burns!”
The Sleep Machine spluttered as Ruff switched it off.
Mayor Piney gulped. Rufus smiled as he prepared to settle the infuriated Dollar D.
“Beach Sand is a lot different to sleep sand.” explained Rufus.
“If we knew where to locate Sleep Sand, this beauty would work like a dream!” grinned Rufus as he patted his invention lovingly.
“The missing ingredient.” Ruff whispered to the Mayor.
“Well why didn’t you say so?” said Dollar D as he got out of bed, shaking the sand out of his ears.
“I know where we can find Sleep Sand and that blasted little Sand Man as well!” he shouted angrily.
“You know the Sand Man?” asked Ruff in disbelief.
“Yes! Of course I do! Why a man of my distinction has connections you know!” Dollar D said proudly, as he looked down his nose at Ruff, to further relay the class distinction between himself and the other Loopies in his bedroom.
“But sadly, he has stopped coming to visit me at night.” sighed Dollar D.
“Well why not?” ventured the Mayor.
“He says he wants a payment of some sort.” Dollar D replied.
“So why don’t you pay him?” asked Ruff gingerly.
“Because when I offer him money, he says that’s not what he wants!” said the angry but perplexed Dollar D.
“And that’s why you have trouble sleeping nights.” Rufus summed it up.
Dollar D agreed to lead them to the Sandman’s house, which was a neat little Sandcastle on Brenton beach. The Sandman was tiny, small enough to fit into your ear in fact, and looked a little strange in his night gown and slippers, without his night cap on.
Upon seeing Dollar D at the door he snapped crossly.
“Ahh, here to pay your debt I suppose!”
“I’ve already offered you all the money I have,” began Dollar D, “but you didn’t want that!” he finished in a huff.
The Sandman rolled his eyes.
“Ever heard of being as good as gold?” he asked the bad-tempered Millionaire.
Dollar D spluttered and shuffled a bit. Ruff snickered.
“You think this is a joke do you?” ranted the irate Millionaire.
“You think I enjoy not being able to sleep?”
“No.” smiled Ruff, “It’s just that you don’t understand something so simple.” he smiled.
Rufus nodded in agreement and then turned to Dollar D and explained what they all understood;
“The Sandman would like you to have better manners, he would like you to be as “good as gold”, when you do that, he’ll visit you at night, and you’ll be able to sleep again. Every thing in life can’t always be solved with money or bossing other Loopies around.”
Dollar D looked at the ground in embarrassment. And then whispered the tiniest of thank you’s, under his breath and then he actually smiled.
“You know, being as good as gold feels really good!” he said proudly, beaming from ear to ear, then he turned to the Sandman and asked kindly, “Will you please give me some of your sleep sand so that I will be able to sleep now?”
The Sandman nodded and the Loopies smiled.
From that day on Dollar D became the most well mannered Loopie, well at least most of the time. The last I heard from the Loopies was that he sleeps soundly every night, after having his favourite night time snack – 3 glasses of flavoured milk. Thank you Rufus and Ruff for your sleep machine and thank you Sandman for the lessons you have taught us, I think we will all sleep better tonight.
© 2011 Ingrid Holtshausen. All rights reserved.