by Annie Song
“Raven?” I gasped. “What are you doing here?”
She was surprised too. “You…you have them.”
“Have what?” I stared at her. “What do I have?”
“Them.” She pointed behind me. “You have dust bunnies.”
“Dust bunnies?” I laughed. “Floating dust?” I whisked Diz away but Raven shook her head.
“I know. Stop pretending. Don’t even try.”
“If you know, then tell me what are dust bunnies.”
“They’re creatures that are made out of dust, look like bunnies, fly, and they eat buttercups, marshmallows, cranberries, and-“
I gasped. “How do you know about them?” I asked.
Raven laughed. “I made them you goose!”
“Falcon’s more like it.” I spat, anger booming like thunder inside me. “You’re lying! They have been made for thousands of years! You haven’t lived that long.”
“Who said you’re a falcon?” Raven snapped. “You don’t even think or look like one. I made a breed of dust bunny. They’re like dogs. There are different types right? I made a type that you’re messing around with. You have to give them back.”
“Can’t we compromise?” I asked. “Like agree for you to have some bunnies and I can have some too?”
“I know what compromise means,” Raven snapped. “And the answer is no.”
“Darlings!” Mom called. Are you alright?” Raven and I froze as we heard mom calling downstairs.
Raven glared at me. “I’ll get you later.”
“Yeah right!” I said as Raven left the room. What now? I flopped on my bed. Time to sleep I thought. I told a frightened Diz and Pip that everything’s okay and slept.
In the morning, I felt dizzy and tired. I had waked up at 11:30, which was late, but I still felt tired. When I stumbled downstairs, I told mom my feelings. “You must have a cold,” she told me. “Staying in all that rain must’ve got you a cold.”
“Then shouldn’t she get off the table?” Raven asked, shifting away from me. I didn’t mind that.
“Well, yes,” Mom said. “But in her room. No one should bother her. I’ll take some breakfast up to your room soon dear,” she said to me.
I happily went up stairs slowly. Once I fell on my bed, I felt much better. I felt even better when Mom brought up buttermilk pancakes. “Now, you rest dear. I’ll have Raven do your work,” she told me. “She hasn’t done some in a long time.”
As Mom left the room, I snuggled in my bed and knocked on the side of my bed. Diz and Pip soared out. “Aren’t you going to eat?” Diz asked.
“Of course!” I told him. “Want some?” As we shared breakfast, I asked them questions about their past life. I never bothered to do it before, because I thought it would make them too sad, because for some reason, they didn’t have their mother anymore.
“Mom was captured by evil dust bunnies, so we never saw her again,” Pip squeaked sadly.
“Dad left before Mom did because he was in the Dust Bunny Military,” Diz told me. “We were told that he went into a land where we couldn’t connect to. The officer told us that he would be home soon. We believed him,” he said bitterly. “Turns out, ‘unexpected’ events caused the travelers to perish. We were very sad and angry.”
“After Dad was gone, Mom got mad. She always stormed around and cried. Red took care of us. While she went on her walks, she was a little too bold and angered some other bunnies. They captured her and held her in a prison. We cried every day after she was gone.” Pip unraveled the story. There was silence. “Ever since,” Pip continued, “Red, Eve, and Ever took care of us and became Mom and Dad though we never call them that.”
“Can you call a meeting with your family and let them meet with me?” I asked.
“We’ll try,” Diz said and the two flew under the bed. I waited.
Soon, the two dust bunnies came out with their whole family-the family they had at least. They filed on to the bed from oldest to youngest. First, came Red, Eve, and Ever, the protectors of the family. Each had an amulet around their neck, shaped like a blueberry. Next, came Diz and Pip, leading Nut, Jump, Spring, and the youngest, Rover. They lined up on a box I found so that we were at the same level.
“Pleased to meet you,” I said and nodded. They introduced themselves and smiled.
“Why did you call a meeting between us?” questioned Red, the leader. I told them about Raven, about the threat that laid in front of us, about the possibility of Raven ruling them and changing their life.
“Please,” I begged them. “This is for your sake and mine. Together, we can outsmart her. I know you have a sad background, but-“
“How do you know?” Red interrupted. She glanced at Diz and Pip who shrank back. Red talked to the two in bunny language. She spoke harshly at first, but soon softened. Then she faced me. “My siblings tell of you as a kind and loyal friend. I see this in you too. I therefore, will swear an oath to have an alliance with you to the end. You must swear this oath too. Any objections or questions?”
I stared at her. I felt excited. I wouldn’t have guessed that it would be this easy to convince her to join me. On the other hand, I was uneasy that this was just for the fight. “Look,” I started. “Not only am I doing this for the battle, but also for friendship. I never had nor will have any human friends. But I want friends. It feels good to have someone by your side that you can depend on. I want you and your family to feel this when we bond. Agreed?”
Red nodded. “I understand and agree. You must swear the oath.”
“What’s the oath?”
Red looked at me first with surprise then understanding. “You must say these words. ‘I swear on the sun, moon, and stars that we will be allies. You, my candidates, and me will help each other, and be bonded like siblings. I will stay with you to the end of my and your life. Never will I lay a harming paw…err hand on you. I vow this oath with my heart and soul.’ That is it. Put your hand over your heart after you say it. And don’t copy the mistakes either. Now, say it!”
I repeated the oath, put a hand over my heart, and looked at Red. She did the same. The other bunnies looked at Red then did it too. Something felt different. We weren’t total strangers. We were family in a way, a different family of friends, of understanding. I took my hand away and everyone else did the same.
“Should we start by making a plan?” I asked politely. They agreed and so, we began. I grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil and made a map of our house. First, we thought of any sort of spy we could send to Raven’s room. We thought of none. Second, we thought of a sort of defense and came up that no dust bunny could be alone. You could only go with 2 dust bunnies. If one got caught, the other could tell us. Some bunny should always be guarding at night and at day because of the books that contained information. Lastly, we thought of tricks we could play on Raven. We didn’t come up with any good ideas. I decided to sleep on it.
“I need to take a nap,” I told the bunnies. “See you later?”
“Wait!” Red sped up to me. “There is something I need to show you. Wait right there!” I watched as she sped off under the bed, followed by Ever. Soon, they emerged from their lair and tugged an amulet behind them. It was like the ones on their necks, a blueberry was hanging from a golden chain. The outline of the berry was gold and it shone in the faint light. “Our family has an association called Blueberry Amulet which strives to find peace and stands up to the right thing. I’m honored to let you join.”
“I’m honored to be invited,” I told her, amazed by this dust bunny’s heart of gold and honor. I felt admiration for her. She had raised her broken family after such large sufferings. “And I’m even more honored to join.” With that, I took the necklace and put it around my neck. It shined and made me shine too.
“You are a Blueberry Amulet now,” Red told me. “And you deserve a good rest. Sleep well.” The rest of the dust bunnies murmured their thanks and filed back under the bed.
I lay in the bed, thinking of ideas. But my mind swam away and started to float with the current of sleep.
For the rest of the day after my nap, I thought and thought about ideas while I worked. When I tried to sleep at night, I thought and thought. Diz and Pip were with me the whole day, helping me think. We couldn’t think of ideas that could work. That lasted for 2 days. Luckily, Raven couldn’t think of anything either. I told Diz and Pip to tell Red that we would have a meeting.
The dust bunnies flew out in a flurry. They didn’t act as polite as before. We all said our greetings. “We need a plan!” I said, like nobody else knew. “Did anyone else think of an idea?”
Red gestured to Nut. “He thought of something. Not a full plan, but of an idea.”
“Lets hear it!” I said excitedly. I’m not telling the idea to you yet because you’ll know soon anyway. Anyway, Nut’s idea was wonderful, so we made a plan in a jiffy! I’m going to let Nut tell you the plan and how it went. Before I let Nut have the pencil, let me give you a background of the plan. It starts at the middle school gym, at the starting dance of the year…
Hi! My name’s Nut, the creator of the amazing plan about- whoa I nearly said it there! I’m going to tell you about the plan. So, it starts at the middle school gym, at the starting dance of the year. Jump, Spring, and I, were tucked in her back pocket with Raven’s iPod. The D.J. was playing Taylor Swift I think, but we were going to change that. Right then, Raven was dancing with her friends, but we had to wait for a boy. Soon, some boys came over and danced with the group, laughing and talking.
I turned the iPod on and it played “The Gummy Bear”. Right after I turned it on, Jump and I sped off towards the D.J. Everyone turned and looked. No one saw us as we sat on the D.J.’s shoulders and watched the action. People were trying to get her iPod! Yes! I watched as the iPod tumbled out of the pocket and a flash of light zoomed away. While everyone crowded around the iPod, Jump and I murmured to the D.J., “Come on! Play “The Gummy Bear” to add some more humor to it. Come on! Everyone will laugh, won’t they?”
He grinned. He got out a different CD out and started spinning it around and around. The singer sang, “I’m a gummy bear, I’m a gummy bear…” Everyone turned and laughed. By then, Jump, Spring, and I were hidden in the shadows. When no one was looking, we flew up to the high windows and escaped. I couldn’t help but turn back, and listen and look at the dance.
Chipmunks helped us back home, we lay on their backs as they took us home. The other bunnies were asleep, I but was awake, thinking. My chipmunk was named Fiji and I turned my head and said, “Fiji?”
“Yeah?” He replied.
“The plan really worked, right? I’m not dreaming am I?”
He chuckled. “It worked. You just made the first step forward of winning this fight.”
I smiled. The way Fiji said it made me feel even better. I closed my eyes. We were going to win, win better than ever, he promised himself. And I’ll help even more, I added, falling asleep as I did.
This is Jump here! I just want to say… GUMMY BEARS TASTE GOOD!