Goblins and Mermaids (Elbita and Zoila)

Zoila told the story to Elbita every night that week because Elbita asked for it before going to sleep. This was a long story and Elbita could put off sleeping. The room was so dark. It had big dark beams on the ceiling. Elbita was afraid of the goblins up there. She pressed into Zoila's soft body. Zoila whispered. "The goblins had a lot to do. These goblins loved. They forgave. Sometimes they flew like pigeons. They multi-tasked."
Elbita was glad these goblins in Zoila's story were good because the ones in the ceiling beams were very very bad. Sometimes at night when Elbita wanted to fall asleep in her bed she shared with Mami because Papi was away, the goblins threw little pebbles at her and woke her. Or they called out, "Elbita, Elbita," and made her jump out of her sleep, shaking.
These goblins of Dona Zoila's were kind. They loved; foraged; flew like the pigeons in the plaza; they multi-tasked."
"What does multi-task mean?"
Dona Zoila was not a grown up who said, "Cuando seas grande lo vas a saber." She never made Elbita have to wait till she grew up. She told her what it meant. Multi-tasking was like when Mami was cooking and talking to Dona Zoila and Abi about what each of them had heard had happened with the rebeldes in El Pico. It was like when Dona Zoila was listening to La Desesperada on the radio and helping Elbita with her homework. It was like Elbita now, listening to Dona Zoila while keeping an eye on the goblins peering down, and wondering when Papi would be home this time.
Late at night, after Zoila ended the story, or when Elbita woke up if the goblins threw pebbles on her eyes, or called out her name, Elbita pretended that the air in her room was water.
The air was a turquoise water, very warm and delicious. It was love water. The ceiling goblins were afraid of it and couldn't swim there. Nothing dangerous could get in it. The walls of the room were beautiful buildings, a deep blue color, with shiny windows like jewels. Light glowed through them. There was a special shield around this room that kept sharks away. There were fierce mermaids to protect all of the citizens of this underwater city.
Elbita had fins and a beautiful mermaid tail. She was a little girl mermaid and hoped that she would grow up to be one of the warrior mermaids. She and seven of her girl mermaid friends climbed up the tallest wall of their special underwater playground, training to be fierce. They balanced on the walls and never fell, or if they did fall the water saved them.
Zoila shook her head. "You're still awake! I want to go to sleep. You are selfish."
Elbita closed her eyes again. Selfish. Shellfish. The jewel windows sparkled. Beyond them the underwater kingdom glowed. She loved to live surrounded by magic delicious shellfish. Were they selfish? She wanted to be even more selfish than the shellfish until her whole self filled with power.