The boy attended a birthday party on Sunday and returned with a helium balloon. As I put him in bed, he caught my face in his hands and brought his face close to mine. 'If you get scared at night,' he whispered, 'don't worry. I've put a present over your bed. It will keep you safe.'
The present was his balloon. It hovered over us bluely as we slept.
The night was riven by a 'thp, thp, thp' sound that then changed to a 'SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.'
We juddered awake, panicked, gasping.
The balloon had been sucked into the fan.
That was the end of that night's slumber.
[Before you ask why we have the fan on in winter, let me say two words: 'stuffy' and 'without'.
The boy was alternately mirthful and sympathetic when next morning we told him what had happened.]