Eva and The Grobug

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“Sleep tight, sweetie,” was the last thing Eva heard for a long time before she tried to go to sleep.

Dad had fluffed her pillow, mom had tucked her in and she was cozy, but she just wasn’t sleepy enough.

She had learned by now that “sleep tight” meant “stay in bed and don’t get out,” but it was hard to stay in bed, it was hard to go to sleep. She wasn’t a baby anymore and she knew mommy and daddy were still awake. She wanted to be with them.

Eva whispered to herself:

“Sleep, sleep, sleep.”





Eva bolted up and looked at the window. Her eyes danced around as they tracked a wild flashing and glowing. She threw off the covers and ran to the window. A strange bug flapped glittery wings frantically and scrambled all over the glass. Something else banged against the glass, too.

“HELP!” a small voice cried out.

Eva slid the window open a few inches and the bug flitted in.

“CLOSE IT! CLOSE IT!” the voice cried out frantically.

Eva froze for a moment, then slammed it shut.

A rapid tapping on the glass made her shrink back.

The little bug flew to the window sill and fanned out its wings for a few moments. It glowed with a warm golden light and the tapping from outside slowed down. Eva could just see a small set of glinting eyes on the other side of the glass. The eyes turned away as the light grew stronger. With a bright flash, the tapping stopped and the mysterious bug quietly folded up its wings, the light slowly fading.

In stunned silence, Eva watched the bug. She didn’t want to blink. Would it vanish if she didn’t keep looking?

“Thank you for helping me.”

“Y-you’re welcome,” Eva mumbled.

“Please speak up.”

“What are you?” she whispered.

“If you want to be heard, you need to speak up.”

Eva frowned, then whispered loudly, “They want me to be asleep right now.”

“Soon enough dear. What is your name?”

“I’m Eva. And what’s your name, bug?”

“Pleased to make your acquaintance, Eva. Please note that I am not a bug, I am a Grobug, thank you very much. My name is Swoosh. I ask that you do remember that and-“

The floor creaked outside Eva’s door and her father called in, “I hope you’re still in bed.”

“HIDE!” Eva croaked in a hoarse whisper.

He opened the door and saw her standing by the window.

“How many ti—,” he trailed off, “Were you scared?”

She nodded.

He smiled and softened his tone. “Let me help you get back in bed, sweetheart.” He picked Eva up and tucked her in.

“Spray?” she asked.

He scanned the room for a few moments and saw the bottle by the window, “Is that why you were up?”

She blinked.

“Here you go,” he set the bottle next to her and patted her hand. “You’re safe with us,” he kissed her on the forehead and closed the door behind him as he left.

“What is that?” Swoosh, the Grobug flitted over to the bottle.

“My Shadow Spray.”

“Your what?!” Swoosh jumped back and glowed dimly.

“We made it. It keeps the shadows away.”

“Ah, I see,” the Glowbug flitted close to Eva’s face and said, “That’s good, but you really ought to call it an ‘ANTI-Shadow Spray’ because it is made to keep them away.”

“But it is a spray for shadows,” Eva protested, her brow wrinkling.

“Yes dear, but it doesn’t sound that way. You feed your cat ‘cat food,’ don’t you?”

“Yes,” Eva answered.

“Well, no wonder that Shadow was at your window. It probably wanted to take your spray, that it thought was for it.”

“You mean the shadows are real?” Eva squeaked.

“Of course they are. Why else did you have that Anti-Shadow Spray?” Swoosh chuckled.

“I was scared, but mommy and daddy made it better. They helped me make this magic spray. I practiced spraying shadows and we snuggled and prayed and it was all a game. I wasn’t supposed to be afraid anymore.”

“Oh dear,” The Grobug said quietly.

“There WAS a Shadow outside! Why was it by my window? What does it want with my spray?” Eva pulled her covers up, dragging Swoosh nearer.

“Now Eva,” The Grobug said slowly. “There is—“

“A shadow?”

“No need to—“

“Two? There are two Shadows?”




“Stand back Eva!” Swoosh bolted to the window, glowing again.

Shadows squished and squeezed and spread fingers between the window and frame. One set of hands forced the window open just enough. A Shadow Bat swatted the Grobug away.

Shadow Spiders oozed down from the ceiling.

“Spray them Eva!” Swoosh called from the floor.

Eva grabbed the bottle, squeezed her eyes shut and covered the closest Shadows with glittery, sweet smelling mist. They withered and fled.

New Shadows grew larger and crept towards Eva.

Before they could grab her, the Grobug rocketed up from the floor glowing brighter than before.

Eva cowered as Swoosh shone above her.

Eva covered her eyes. “It’s okay now, Eva.” She looked and saw the Grobug blinking faintly as it fell to the floor. She scooped up Swoosh and held her close.

Eva poked at the Grobug and asked, “Are you okay?” Swoosh said nothing.

She poked again and whined, “Swoosh!” Shadow birds whooshed in through the window and circled above them. Eva closed her hand around the Grobug to protect it and screamed out, “Go away Shadows!” She sprayed at the shadows above them. She shouted again and kept spraying. She sprayed and sprayed until she chased the shadows out the window. She gently set Swoosh down, then closed and locked the window.

Eva heard two terrible screams from down the hall.

“Go, Eva!” Swoosh said weakly.

Eva wheeled around and ran to her parents’ bedroom as fast as she could. She opened the door and saw their window wide open. She heard more screaming and yelling outside. She ran to the window and saw her parents clutched in two large talons.

Eva ran back to the Grobug and told her what happened. “I’m too tired, Eva. I can’t get up,” Swoosh answered.

“But you have to help me!” Eva pleaded.

“I need more time, Eva. You can fight the Shadows.”

“But I can’t.”

“You already have.”

“But I’m so scared!”

“Fear is your enemy. Don’t let it control you!”

Eva hesitated for a few moments, then said, “You can’t fly, but I can run. I’ll take you to my mom and dad and you can stop the Shadows.”

Eva darted around her room getting ready to face her biggest challenge yet.

Boots… check.

Jacket… check.

Backpack … check.

Flashlight … check.

Shadow spray… check.

Grobug … check.

“Are you sure the Shadows are this way?” Eva asked.

“Keep going, Eva. We’re getting close. I can feel it!”

“What do you feel?”

“The Shadows.”

“What do they want?”



“For food.”

Eva’s heart leapt as she saw her parents trapped and helpless.


Hisses and whispers spit from Shadow mouths.

Eva pointed her flashlight at the Shadows and sprayed them.

“Be brave. Be brave. Be brave,” she chanted over and over again.

The little Shadows fled, and the big one cried ferociously.

“I knew you could do it, Eva!” Swoosh cried triumphantly. She popped out of the container and glowed more brightly than ever.

“Now Eva, let’s do this together!”

In a moment the Grobug and the girl were gone.

An angelic golden giant stood opposite the Shadow. Eva and the Grobug had transformed together to fight the darkness. The Shadow howled and sprouted a riot of arms and mouths and animal shapes. It lunged towards the golden giant fiercely.

A light bloomed from the center of the giant’s chest. It shone forth mightily, destroying the Shadow as if it had been nothing.

The golden giant caught Eva’s parents in one enormous hand and brought them close to her chest.

Back home, Eva snuggled in bed with her mom and dad.

The Grobug kissed Eva’s forehead and flew out the window.

Eva smiled in her sleep. From that night on Eva would sleep well because she knew she was not alone and she knew she could be brave.


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