Just like every night, Jack waited in the tree outside Jamie's room, watching over his friend until he fell asleep. Staff in hand, Jack prepared to take flight, pausing only momentarily to cast one last smile at Jamie. "Sandy'll be her soon for ya bud." He whispered, taking off. Jack flew over the town, watching the last of the children falling asleep and being visited by the Sandman.
The night later found Jack sitting on the edge of the Sandman's golden cloud, watch the streets fill with beautiful dancing dreams. Unicorns and dragons, racing dolphins, thousands of fluttering butterflies and sparrows swarmed the air, creating beautiful patterns in front of the glowing moon. The Sandman smiled at Jack as the younger Guardian occasionally made exclamations such as, "Those unicorns! They're Cupcake's right?" Or "Hey, That's Bunnymund! That must be Sophie's!"
These were the times the Sandman liked best, when Jack stood by him during the dream calling. It made him happy to see the joy on the younger Guardians face when he could tell which child the dream belonged to. It also intrigued him to hear what many of the dreams meant. Jack oftentimes would spend hours racing across the sky, pointing to dreams and telling Sandman the significance of it. Many times his face shown with excitement and his voice filled with euphoria, telling the story of one of Jamie's friends whose father had come home from war, or a lonely child he had guided to friends. Other times he simply floated limply, crestfallen, staring at a happy dream and explaining it belonged to a child who had just lost their grandmother to a grave illness, or whose beloved dog had been killed. Happy or sad, the Sandman looked forward to these stories; he gave the dreams but never truly understood them. Now he saw the sad ones disguised in apparent happiness and could change them, change a memory of a death, or failed test to one of life and success. But the part he liked best was the company. Jack never questioned his silence, and was more than willing to talk for the both of them. In fact, he found the game of charades that often occurred as fun, which was just how Jack was.
Though he wasn't particularly fond of admitting it, Jack was better at sensing when a child was having a nightmare, always racing to do what he could. Sandman didn't know how he did it, but the pride he felt for Jack was something new. Something... Nice.
This night was much like the others in that aspect, one moment Jack was sitting on the edge of the sand cloud; the next he was racing the wind towards a troubled dream. Sandman smiled, shaking his head in a fatherly type of way and began to follow the excited boy.
The difference between this night and the others became quickly apparent. A shrill scream echoed across the night sky, crackling into the hellish bray of a Nightmare. Black and boney, the tar like creature was stalking towards Jack, its yellow eyes glowing. Jack stood his ground, already surrounded by frozen darkness. "I AM NOT AFRAID OF YOU!" He roared, whipping his staff through the thick neck of the Nightmare. A flash of icy blue light lit up the square, throwing the features of the statue into sharp relief as the final nightmare froze solid.
"I hate those things!" Jack hissed, "Where did they even come from?" Sandman shrugged, a question mark over his head. He floated on his sand cloud, pointing to the sign on the building. "Burguss General Hospital…" Jack read out loud, "You think it was one of the residents who called the nightmares?" He turned to Sandman, "I'm going to check it out." The Golden Guardian nodded, returning to the sky, changing the Nightmares to dreamsand. An arrow appeared about his head, pointing to the former Nightmares then to the hospital, alternating rapidly. "Follow the dreamsand?" Jack asked, slightly confused. The arrows changed to a checkmark as the Dreamsand began vibrate softly, slowly rising into the air. Jack followed the suit, waving good bye to the Sandman, "See you tomorrow night Sandy." He smiled, floating away.
Whoever these dreams belong to, there's something odd about them. No other dream changes like this. The Dreamsand was indeed changing, at first it had been thousands of tiny feathers, but had quickly changed to blinking eye, talking mouths, and flailing hands. Again, the dream morphed, now showing a figure surround by people. As the dreamsand stopped moving and began hovering, one by one the people faded away, until only the figure remained. Jack watched mesermised by the shifting golden sand. The figured walked in a circle, falling. "Wait a minute…" Jack murmured, watching the dream continue, "I know who you are!"