Ricky Rubio flipped the digital page of his Kindle version of Don Quixote and found that his eyes were getting droopy. Despite his drowsiness, Ricky pressed on; he always strove to finish a chapter before setting the book down for the night. Readjusting his position atop a small mountain of assorted pillows and blankets, he continued with his reading.
Some time later, his eyes snapped open in response to an unexpected light in his bedroom. He realized that he must have dozed off, and he had been snoozing long enough for his Kindle to automatically go to sleep, just like its owner. But if the Kindle was off and no other light fixture in his room was turned on, what had caused him to wake up? He remembered previous nighttime strangenesses that he had experienced, but as those happenings receded further back into the past, the less they seemed real to him.
Ricky was just preparing to go to bed in earnest when the unknown light appeared again. This time, Ricky was able to see it with his own two eyes: an amorphous, glowing mist gathered in the corner of his bedroom near the ceiling. As he watched, the mist consolidated itself into the form of a human face. “Not again,” Ricky thought to himself.
The face, floating gently several feet above him, smiled. “So, this isn’t the first time you’ve been visited in this way?” said a songlike voice that apparently belonged to the vaporous entity, although its lips didn’t move.
“No, and I just want to go to sleep, if you wouldn’t mind leaving now,” Ricky responded with annoyance.
“I have some advice for you, Ricky,” said the voice, not heeding Ricky’s command.
Ricky started casting aside his extra pillows so he could lie flat in his bed and prepare for sleep. “Okay. Fine.”
“You scored 25 in the first half tonight,” said the voice. “Fifty was within reach, yet you barely scored above thirty.”
“Yeah, and we still won, so I don’t see what the problem is.”
“Yes, but scoring fifty points in a single NBA contest grants one entry into an exclusive club, and it is important not to squander the opportunity when it arises.” The glowing form had been slowly floating downwards, so it was now hovering right above Ricky’s sheets.
“How would you know what that so-called ‘exclusive-club’ is like? I bet you, or your human counterpart or soul vessel or whatever, never scored fifty.”
“That’s where you’re wrong, Ricky,” the voice said with a melodious laugh. “I am the soul of Terrence Ross, and I know perfectly well what it is like to score fifty in a game.”
Ricky turned over on his side and pulled the covers over him. “That’s cool. I’m going to sleep now.”
“I see that you haven’t seen the truth of my words, so I have summoned a friend to help me,” said Terrence’s vapor form. Suddenly, there was another gathering of mist in the room, luminescent with blue and silver light. “Perhaps the words of your former teammate Corey Brewer will convince you.”
Ricky groaned and pulled the covers over his head, hoping that he would be left alone soon.