“Night Fright,” Friend, May 2012, 4–5
Bang! Scritch! Scraaaatch!
Jesse didn’t like the noises coming from outside his window. He shivered and pulled his covers over his head. Jesse regretted watching that superhero movie. He knew it wasn’t real, but the bad guy in the movie was really scary.
Jesse’s eyes flew open. What was that scratching sound against his windowsill? He sat up. Was it his windowpane rattling? Jesse said a quick prayer in his mind. With his heart pounding, he tore off his covers and ran across the hall to his brother’s room.
“Steve! Hey, Steve!” Jesse said as he skidded to a stop next to where his brother lay sleeping.
“Mmmph,” Steve answered, not lifting his head from the pillow.
Jesse tugged on Steve’s arm. “Steve, there are noises outside my window. I think something is trying to get in!”
Jesse talked to himself as he trudged back to his room. “There’s nothing to be afraid of,” he said. “Be brave.”
Jesse froze. Trying to be brave, he lifted the corner of his window shade to take a peek. He searched the darkness outside of his window. He couldn’t see anything, but he expected something to pop up and scare him at any moment.
He stared hard, but the only thing he saw was the top of the bush below his windowsill. Relieved, he took a deep breath and sank back down onto his bed. He closed his eyes for a moment, but then he heard another sound. Scritch. Scritch. He sat up. He didn’t want to feel scared anymore. He said another silent prayer.
“Heavenly Father, please, please, please help me sleep. Please make the sounds go away.”
Jesse looked at the shadows on his walls and trembled. Why weren’t his prayers working?
Then he had a thought. He remembered that the Holy Ghost helps people feel peace. Maybe feeling the Holy Ghost could help him feel better.
Jesse glanced over at his bookshelf where there was a book of scripture stories and pictures. He rushed over to the shelf and snatched the book. Turning on the light next to his bed, he began to read some of his favorite scripture stories. Jesse felt calm as he read. His room felt warmer somehow. Though he could still hear scratching outside his window, the sounds seemed to be softer and not as scary.
Jesse read another scripture story, and then another. Soon he didn’t feel afraid anymore. Heavenly Father had answered his prayers—not by making the scary sounds go away—but by giving him the idea to replace his fear with the peace of the Holy Ghost.