A Gift by Starlight

by Mina Martin


Chapter 9: Always


Everywhen ∞ Everywhere


Stupid DreamWorks place. She needed a lamp in this place, she was Team Pixar!

As soon as she couldn’t see, hear, or smell Ethan Rayne anymore, Buffy slowed to a walk. But walking got her nowhere. She did remember, actually, what he’d said to her when they first met in the dreamspace, because it was spectacularly unhelpful:

“You are always dreaming every dream you could dream all the time.”

What was she supposed to do with that? Write it on her dreamboard with a glitter gel pen next to ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ and a magazine cutout of Reese Witherspoon?

At least she wasn’t falling, like that one scene from the crossword puzzle movie with Rutger Hauer. There was no ground and Buffy should be endlessly plummeting, but she wasn’t.

“Come on! Gimme something to work with here!” she called out through the dreamy nothingness. She didn’t think there was anything like a CEO of the primordial dimension of human subconscious to submit her complaints to, but just in case. Also it felt good to try.

“Where’s the safety exit, the longest chute on the board, the yellow brick road? How about the red brick road that Dorothy never followed? Do I need to dream up the Thanksgiving bear and have it pursue me, stage left? Let me OUT!”

One random turn the left or right later, there was suddenly an endless hall of doors stretching ahead of her.

“Hm. Or let me in, I guess. Kinda stereotypical, but I’ll take it.”

The doors were all the same, nondescript and utilitarian, with standard building puck lights above that did nothing for her skin tone. Buffy couldn’t hear anything from behind the doors she put an ear to. She picked one at random, grabbed the doorknob and went to turn and push it open.


She turned the doorknob the other and tried pulling instead.

Still nothing.

She tried the next one down, and the next, and then one across from it. They were all locked!

Well, not for long. Buffy drew back to kick down the stupid door – but then stopped.

After a moment, she knocked on it instead with three short, decisive bangs. “Let me in, pig,” she muttered.

There was a small click, and then the door inched open with a classic horror movie creeeeeak.

Well, that was a start. Buffy slowed made her way over the threshold, anticipating what she’d see if the lights came on in the room. Clowns, dolls, that guy with the cheese? Maybe whoever was in charge of the dreamplace would send out Rambo to be her worst nightmare.

The door would probably slam shut behind her, maybe even disappear, some creepy noise or laugh or voice would taunt her, possibly chase her, and then something unimaginably terrifying would finally emerge from the darkness to kill her.

At least, that’s what the unimaginably terrifying something probably thought. Buffy smiled in the dark – this was a lesson she’d never get tired of teaching.

Also, when had her nightgown turned into her favorite pair of Yummy Sushi pajamas?

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to be continued...

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Author’s Notes:

At last we reach was was originally the end of the looooooong Chapter 6, finally.

When I originally finished this chapter I attempted a joke here about how ‘Dreams are messages from the deep’ but I guess a Sandman reference would be more appropriate by now! Chief Executive Officer Morpheus of the Endless, you have a complaint. Except no, because the dreamspace is not The Dreaming, and also I’ve been a Dune fan for years but I still haven’t read the Sandman comic past the first issue. Mina is a Bad Geek.

What do you think is going on? Three guesses as to what’s coming! Back to Naru and Nephrite next chapter. :)

return to Index / go to Chapter 10

The Nephrite and Naru Treasury