Lola (age 15 - 18)
Setting: Front porch swing. Night.
(Lola and Fay sit quietly swinging)
Lola: (subdued voice) The night is so peaceeful.
Fay: (very quiet) It has to be.
L: Yeah. (tone changes) Wait. Why?
F: (becoming mysterious) It works better that way.
L: What does?
F: The hunting.
F: The hunting.
L: What hunting?
F: No. Sleep-sies.
F: Hunting Sleepsies.
L: Who's hunting them?
F: No one.
L: Then why did you say that about hunting at night?
F: They're hunting; we're not hunting them.
L: The Sleepsies?
F: The Sleepsies hunt at night. They hunt at day too, but they catch most in the night.
L: What are they?
F: You know what a zombie is?
F: Sleepsies are worse.
L: Worse than the living dead?
F: Much, much worse.
L: How? I mean, people digging out of their own graves, not alive or dead? Trying to eat living people's brains; how can these things be worse?
F: (long, deep breath) First, you have to understand that what zombies do to you is small potatoes compared to these things. Yes, I'll admit, having your limbs pulled from your body by the supernatural strength of a partially-decayed, maggot-ridden living corpse seems pretty bad. Their fingers, which aren't so much dirty as made of flesh turning to dirt, peeling skin off your bones, cracking your skull like a pistachio and reaching in to feed the hunger which comes from decomposition, scooping out portions of your brain leaving enough for you to see and comprehend the terror before you die and then enter the same state. Yes, that's not very good for you or your future. But! Sleepsies are so much worse. They hunt at night, and... well... ummm... no...
F: I can't tell you.
L: Why not?
F: I can, but it's not something you could handle.
L: Yes, I can!
F: No. Not a good idea.
L: Listen, I'm the one who likes horror movies; I'm the one who has to drag you to them.
F: Yes, I know.
L: Sooo... tell me.
F: I don't like horror movies because they're dull.
L: Ohhh... I thought you were just frightened.
F: Have you ever seen me frightened of something like that? Do I cover my face, laugh nervously or even act shocked at horror movies?
L: No... I guess not... not that I remember anyway.
F: Because I'm bored, Lola. No matter what sort of impaling, smashing, slicing, sawing, hacking, cracking, snacking, gouging, tearing or other mistreatment of the human flesh or soul they throw on the screen; it doesn't scare me in the least. You might as well have pictures of cute kitties drinking milk... same effect. It's not something that...
L: Okay, okay, Fay... I get it. You're not afraid, right.
F: I've seen so much worse.
L: Worse than horror movies?
F: Much worse.
L: Like you've seen people being hacked and mangled?
F: No. Not at all, much worse.
L: The Sleepsies?
F: I've seen them, Lola. I've seen the Sleepsies.
L: Hunting? At night?
L: So, tell me about these things!
F: I can't... you wouldn't understand.
L: I'm the "A" student here, Fay!
F: Lola, I'm an "A" student too.
L: Oh, hey, yeah, right... sorry, I knew that.
F: Understanding the Sleepsies has more to do with intuition, not intelligence. Certainly not book smarts anyway.
L: Okay... what are they? What do they look like?
F: You can't see them.
L: I can't?
F: No one can.
L: Wait! You said you've seen them!
F: Like Jesus.
L: Jesus? Wha..?
F: People say they "see" Jesus in the smile of a newborn, or the selfless act of one person to another. Like that.
L: So, you've "seen" the Sleepsies in other things?
F: Yes, other people mostly. It turns people into the most horrid creatures, devoid of souls, integrity, pride, intellect, reason or even sense of self.
L: Okay, I guess that's bad... but worse than getting your head split in two by the half-dead?
F: Much worse. When a zombie kills you, you become a zombie. You now have a new sense of purpose, however sick and horrible, but your dead life has a goal, a mission. You fight with your fellow zombies. It's perversely noble. You can't do anything about it, you have physically altered form. You are a zombie. Sleepsies are so much worse.
L: These are invisible creatures?
F: For all intents and purposes, yes; they're invisible. You also can't hear them, feel them, smell them or taste them.
L: Ewww... who'd want to taste them?
F: I don't know. You can't even sense when they are there.
L: Ummm... Fay... so how does anyone know they exist?
F: Exactly, no one knows if they exist for sure.
L: Right, but why should people be afraid of them?
F: Because what they do is worse than zombies.
L: But you haven't told me what they do.
F: Have you ever asked yourself where the first zombie came from, Lola? Have you?
L: No, I...
F: It was a dead man who became infected by the Sleepsies.
F: Hundreds of years ago, that's how the Sleepsies did things. The infected the dead, made them come "back to life" to kill and eat others, to turn others into zombies.
F: This meant they could essentially command an army that always grew, that was unstoppable.
L: Right, I get it, but...
F: Well, just a few years ago, the Sleepsies' story took a decidedly more evil twist.
L: It did?
F: Before then, the Sleepsies were content to make the dead come to life, but, of course, you and I know that zombies are not really alive, not really dead. I mean, they aren't writing poetry and skipping rope, but, at least, they're working. Then, the Sleepsies figured out something far more sinister: They realized that they could do the opposite and achieve the same effect. They could take living people and "kill" them in such a way as to leave them neither living nor dead.
L: I'm a bit lost... wouldn't they be zombies too?
F: No! Zombies are dead, but alive... the Sleepsies are alive, but dead.
L: Ohh! Okay... I see the difference, but how do you know if someone is a Sleepsy?
F: Just Sleepsies, there is no singular form. They are a uniform whole, never diverging from their horrible, twisted lives. They have no ability to do so.
L: Why not?
F: When you become a Sleepsies, you lose the ability to think. You have all decisions made for you by the Sleepsies. Your still have your soul, but it's owned by the Sleepsies. This way the Sleepsies have perfect obedience; they don't have to contend with thought or conscience. Plus, by steering clear of zomibification, they can hide among non-Sleepsies much more easily. They become far less conspicuous, which makes it much easier to attack.
L: So how will I know if I come across a Sleepsies.
F: Well, like I said, they're invisible. They take over human bodies, but you can't tell who's a Sleepsies and who isn't. Except! (pause) A Sleepsies gives itself away in several ways.
L: Like what!?
F: The easiest way to tell is to ask the possible-Sleepsies a simple question. Because of its inhuman programming, a true Sleepsies can only answer "yes".
L: You know the question?
F: I do.
L: Well! What is it?!
F: Look the possible-Sleepsies square in the eye, and ask "Isn't Fox News great?"
(Lola gasps, looks horribly shocked. Faye glumly nods her head as lights fade quickly.)