Night mares are misunderstood. He’s had his herd for centuries and he’ll trust them with his favourite mug any day. Unlike those disastrous dreamwalkers who don’t know how to keep their sticky hands to themselves.
It’s not the mares’ fault that bad dreams cling to them like a drowned cat, but people like to confuse cause with correlation. So when one of his mares escape their pen, he starts his search immediately.
He finds the runaway a few hours to dawn in a child’s dream garden. Four hooves planted on the cotton candy grass while dark teeth chomp at a large marshmallow hanging from a candy cane tree. A line of charred and writhing dots shows the path the mare took to get the sweet snack.
A gentle touch against the long neck is enough to guide the mare away from the tree. A little skip and both of them are airborne. But the dots remain, little scary shadows in an otherwise happy childish dream. He reaches into his sack and sprinkles slivery gold dust into the landscape.
The dark patches lighten into iridescent butterflies. The beat of their wings tinkle like windchimes as they dance in the garden.
His night mares can’t control the bad dreams that follow them, but he hopes the good dreams he brings will supersede any night terrors.
Sweet dreams, little one.
July stories: 21/21