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Bunny fell backwards through warm darkness, near weightless despite the pull of gravity from an unknown source. It was a bit of a shock when felt grass underneath her.
She couldn’t tell if she had opened her eyes or if the terrain had rearranged itself in front of her eyes. The darkness became a midnight blue sky full of stars. She was sitting on a hill overlooking gently sloping hills with a quiet river tiptoeing through them. Nothing grew except for the grass that covered the ground and the giant oak tree she found herself sitting under.
“Well met, Bunny.” A woman in a white dress came from behind the tree, flowers Bunny had not seen growing in the ground woven in her hair. “Do you know where you are?”
Bunny foundered. “Uh, no. I am a bit confused-”
She laughed. “Relax, child. No one will hurt you here. This is a dream. Your body is sleeping in the sprite kingdom under the Queen’s protection.”
“Hazard said no one had ever gone to the dream plane and come back.” Bunny tried not to stare as the woman sat next to her.
“”Who’s Hazard?”
“A druid. He’s fascinated with the races that live in the woods, much like druids are. I think if he could he’d spend a year living with the ‘Cats.”
Her smile caused the tree to shiver. “That would be funny. How long before Meh ate him?”
“Meh wouldn’t, he’s a good man...er, ‘Cat.” Bunny jumped to her feet. “I have to go!”
The woman grabbed her arm. “Sit down, you can’t. You’re here until they release you.”
Bunny jerked her arm away. “Says you. I’m leaving.”
“Do you know where you are?” the woman repeated. “You never did answer me.”
“I...” Bunny stopped. “A dream? None of this is real...”
“Not true. I am.” She patted the ground beside her. “I am Dreamweaver. I usually build you a paradise to play in while the younglings feed but in your case, I wanted to talk to you.”
“Me?” Bunny stared at Dreamweaver. “I don’t understand, why?”
Her face seemed older as she frowned. “The sprites are dying. They need the humans to survive. I need you to convince your kind that we mean no harm.”
“But they know that! Puck lives with Moxi as if she was an elf herself!” Bunny tried to pick the grass and gave up when none would release it’s hold on the ground.
“Puck is made strong by her bond with Moxi and her friendship with those around her.” Dreamweaver watched a star shoot across the sky. “Sprites feed off imagination. Without it, the younglings die before they mature.” She looked at Bunny. “It was my hope that someone would come along and trade their dreams for our help. I would need that person to be able to navigate the dream and be able to return to the waking world to tell them what I know.”
“But you’re awake?” Bunny noticed she had a tail.
Dreamweaver narrowed her eyes at Bunny. “Kindly stop trying to change my shape, please!” She smiled and laughed. “No, child. I’ve been asleep for centuries. A dreamwalker like my mother before me and hers before. We are born sleeping and die in our dreams. We safegaurd the dreams that the younglings feed on.”
“I wish you could meet Finch.” Bunny shook her head. “You’ve the same views on destiny.”
“I have met Finch.” She nodded, the leaves tinkling like a wind chime. “He’s what we call a Traveler, able to travel the dreams freely. A most unusual soul.”
“That’s putting it mildly.”
“He speaks highly of Amy.”
“She’s special.” Bunny smiled and watched the stars dance across the sky. “She’s brave, going to the sprites and knowing what we had to do.”
“Oh?”
“A child was kidnapped by the elves. We’re going to get him back but to do that we needed the woods to let us pass. The ‘Cats not only gave us passage, they’re going to come with us. Hazard knew what the sprites would want from us, I think he knows about the dreams.” She swallowed. “He told us what would happen, the words to say and how to behave. Amy cried when she heard I’d be left as a token of goodwill and that I may never wake up. She cried the night before we came out here. I didn’t know how strong she is until she let me go without an emotion on her face because I know it tore her apart.”
“She must love you.” Dreamweaver put a gentle arm around Bunny.
“She does. I love her.” The ranger sniffled. “She’s everything good and wonderful about the human race put in one very beautiful package and given an angel’s face. No one, no matter where you go, will quite measure up.”
“Quite a credit to her race.”
“Indeed.” Bunny wiped her face. “All of my hope is in her finding a way to get me back home. Hazard has an idea.”
“Oh?”
“He says that if you remind the body of what it’s missing, the soul will return.” Bunny laid back on the grass. “I’m staking my life that he’s right.”

Amy entered the grove they had laid Bunny in, trying not to cry. The ranger slept in a circle of stones, a cloud of glitterdust moving over her as if in a breeze. Her face was peaceful and her breathing shallow.
She sat beside Bunny for a moment, smoothing the hair back and holding a limp hand. “I miss you, goofball,” she managed to say through swallowed tears. “I never knew exactly how much I love you until you were gone. I hope your dreams were good ones.”
She took the peach Puck had given her and squeezed a bit of the juice in Bunny’s mouth. “Time to wake up, love, she whispered and kissed her.

“...time to wake up...” said a shimmering cloud. It gained form, becoming an outline of Amy.
Dreamweaver smiled. “She’s come for you. It’s as I’ve hoped.”
Bunny stood up, Dreamweaver standing beside her. “Time for me to go.” She hugged the sprite. “I’ll be back and I’ll bring her with me.”
“I’ll build you a paradise,” she promised.
Bunny laughed. “This is paradise for those such as us! Sweet dreams, Dreamweaver.”
They hugged. “Safe journey, Bunny.”
The cloud reached for Bunny and she felt herself pulled up into the stars.

Bunny woke up choking, familiar arms holding her and a voice she thought she’d never hear whispering “You’re back! I thought I had lost you!”
She tried to open her eyes but felt a slap on her leg. “Not yet!” scolded another voice.
“Amy? Puck?” she tried to say more but Amy’s kiss stopped her.
The sprite picked her up. “Let’s go, they’re waiting.”
“Waiting?” Bunny asked.
“It’s time,” Amy said, her voice a mix of fear and anticipation.

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August 2011

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