Danny's Story

10. in which danny dreams of princess mononoke

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Jett nodded, shifted in his seat, and asked, “What else are you going to try?”

Danny shook her head. “I don’t know. I’m almost tempted to give up. I’m having nightmares about it now.”

“Have you tried not killing it?” asked Jett.

She gave him a look. “Should I ask it kindly to leave?”

He didn’t say anything, only shrugged.

Later, they watched Princess Mononoke. Jett had been half-teasing when he mentioned it, but Danny was already reaching for the DVD before he could say “kidding.”

Danny lied curled on the floor, drifting in and out of consciousness. She hadn’t realized how tense she had been, and just how relaxed she was now that she was home. The carpet was scratchy but soft under her cheek, and it smelled of sweat, smoke, and sweetness. Her dreams faded into and out of the movie. The great forest of the west became the enchanted forest that was consuming the city of glass and steel in its rage. Danny wound through the green labyrinth with a humongous rifle, searching for the forest’s spirit. She was dogged along the way by Princess Mononoke astride a giant white wolf pup, and found herself increasingly lost, deeper and deeper amongst the wood.

A while later, she roused to darkness and silence. A blanket was draped across her. She clutched it closer to her throat and looked up. Jett sat at the computer, staring at the screen.

“Hey,” she said.

“Hey,” he said, turning to face her.

“Whatcha up to?”

“Working on this story, but I’m stuck. I can’t think of a name for the main character.”

“Then just call him ‘Blank’ until you do, and keep writing it.”

“I can’t do that!” he said, grinning.

“You’re so weird,” she said. She closed her eyes, curled into a tighter ball, and teased, “You should name her Tzeme.”

“Hmph,” grunted Jett, and ruffled her hair.

Not too long later, she drifted out again.

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Christie “Iamba” Bailey

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