Disclaimer: I do not own either The Sandman or The Bridge to Terabithia (movie version). They are the property of their respective copyright holders. I am making no money from the publication of this story.
The Bridge to Terabithia: Post Movie
The Sandman: Post 'The Wake' – Something of follow-up to 'A game of You'
A New Compact
Leslie stood looking out over the creek. Something wasn't right. She was completely dry. She remembered hitting the water.
After that …
"It's beautiful," came a voice from behind her.
Leslie turned and saw a woman. Her back was to Leslie as she was looking out into the forest. She had long dark hair and was wearing a black tank top with black jeans. The woman turned and Leslie noted her pale, almost white skin. Her face was kind and she had a necklace, a cross with oval at the top. The woman looked oddly familiar.
"Have we met before?"
The woman smile at her. "Once, but most people don't remember."
"Am I …"
"Yes," the woman replied.
"And you're …"
"The one and only."
"So what happens now?"
The woman turned to look out at the forest again. "It's beautiful."
"What? The forest?"
"No," the woman replied. "Terabithia."
And world changed around them. Leslie saw it all, just as she had before, only now it was real. The forests, the mountains in the distance, the creatures roving about.
She smiled. "I knew it was real. You did this? You brought us here?"
"No," the woman answered.
"You did," came another voice. A man's voice this time. Although oddly childlike in some way.
Leslie turned and standing behind her was a man. He was white. Completely white. His skin, his clothing, everything. Around his neck hung a brilliant green jewel.
"Leslie, meet my brother," the woman said. "I think the two of you need to talk."
Leslie turned to face the strange man. "Hi," she said. "I'm Leslie, what's your name?"
"Name?" the man said. A confused look crossed his face. "That is a difficult question. In my previous … I had many names. In this … I still have many names, but I have yet to find one I am entirely comfortable with."
"So what do I call you?"
"I call him a stick in the mud," the woman offered. "Although he's not as bad as he used to be."
"Thank you," the man said. "I think."
"But who are you?"
"An idea," the man answered.
"What?" Leslie said.
"I am Dream of the Endless," Dream said. "You've met my sister."
"Dream?" Leslie said still not understanding.
"This is my realm," he said. "Or rather a small portion of it. Your portion."
"My portion?" Leslie said. "But this is Terabithia."
"Yes," Dream said. "Your dream of a Kingdom. You and your friend created it in your dreams. Thus Terabithia is part of my realm. And you are its Princess."
"I don't understand," Leslie said.
"That's because my little brother is starting to become even more obtuse than he used to be," the woman said. "This is the Dreaming, where everybody goes when they dream, where their dreams live and this is my brother Dream, who is Lord of the Dreaming. He's got an offer to make you, if he ever gets around to it."
"Yes," Dream said. "Many centuries ago I made a compact with another princess of another dream realm to keep her dream alive. A few years ago that compact ended and I allowed her realm to pass on, her dream to fade. I wish to create a similar compact with you. To make you Princess of Terabithia here in the Dreaming."
"You mean forever," Leslie said.
"Nothing is forever," Dream said. "Otherwise there would be no need for my sister. But your Dream will endure. Your friend Jess will see to that. He has the makings of a great artist and storyteller. His works will inspire many to visit Terabithia in their dreams. Terabithia will grow and change as more dream of its glories. And many more dreams will be inspired by visits to this place. Already he has brought a new person to Terabithia. A child. She will be but the first."
"So what do you say Leslie," the woman said.
"What's the alternative?" Leslie asked.
"You come with me," the woman said.
The woman smiled. "Where ever it is you're supposed to go. It's the same and different for everyone. But remember even if you stay here, you'll still come to me eventually. Everybody does."
Leslie looked around. She felt Terabithia under her feet. The smell flowers, the stream and the forest filled the air. In the sky she could see birds flying. Strange creatures darted between the branches of the trees. It was just as she saw it before. Only more and greater. To live here, even for a short while …
Leslie took a breath. "I'll stay."
Dream of Endless and his sister both smiled.