>the world so high ] open

While dreams were marvelous fun to work with at any time of the year, the Christmas season was a special thing on its own.

He cradled the box in his hands a last time, watching the sand arrange itself into the shape of a ribbon atop the dreamed-up present; then, with a silent chuckle for slumbering stretch of street below, he tipped the entire stack of dreams at the side of his cloud over. Like golden birds they flew, boxes tumbling over images of elves, horses, and the occasional television character to enter the domains of the sleepy children, and like a bird himself the Sandman rested on his stomach at the edge of his cloud, chin propped up on his crossed arms as he watched his haze of dreams do its work.

He’d never tire of this, ever.

> never only a dream ] open

There were nights when he could simply do his job – this was not one of them.

The door opened quietly, jimmied by a clever twist of sand in the lock. The building, situated near the center of the city, was obviously a commercially success of some sort; at night, however, it was devoid of most of its life, and Sanderson had little trouble in slipping by the occasional custodian to reach the darkened upper floors.

With tensions mounting slowly but surely in the weeks past, the Guardian had begun to look around for signs of what any spirits might have been planning. The building had caught his eye with a combination of factors, among them the rumors of spectral activity in the area and the sense that he had caught when passing by. It might have been nothing to worry about, really, but he would search nonetheless.

His body flickered as he glanced around the floor he was on; he stood in a lounge of some sort, his gold-dusted form reflected in the expansive windows on either side of him. Aside from his own presence, nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

Maybe there was nothing here, after all.

>M!A: the comedy is over ] open

He wasn’t sure what he had been thinking when he’d made these things.

Sure, they were a good light source – he ducked, dodging yet another low branch as he exited the thin strip of woodland that he had chosen to trek through – but they were quite annoying, what with how they managed to be the cheeriest moths in existence. Sanderson waved a hand irritably, shooing them away from his face; eventually they all left, fluttering into the sky to go fulfill the dreams of some future entomologist in his or her bed.

Only one remained, gripping steadfastly to the Sandman’s shoulder as he strode along. He didn’t bother to flick it off, for as much as he would have preferred a simple lantern the thing was still one of his creations. For the moment, he concentrated on finding the source of the neon lights and the hazy voices that he could sense in the night; two leaps of golden dust and he was there, standing tall on the edge of a roof that overlooked one of this city’s more nocturnally festive streets.

The moth disappeared into sand and he tugged briskly at the air, pulling a more fitting coat into existence and around his frame. The golden dust that always littered his form puffed outward in a brief shroud as he disturbed it, before taking a seat with his legs swinging in the open air; tonight, perhaps, he’d get a nice look at the night life instead of working with his petty dreams.

>oh i'll hate you any day ] pitch

He opened his eyes to a blast of sunlight in the face, which urged him up out of bed quickly enough. With a few blinks Sanderson regained his sight, waving the dust and sand motes around him away as he yawned; across from his napping spot, which he’d chosen on a low slope of mountain for its sheer warmth (warmth was conducive to napping, he insisted), the sun continued to set.

It’d be time to work soon; though, with the holidays ramping up, he’d have to send out several autonomous clouds instead and concentrate on a few presents of his own. Helpful as it was to have a stock of magical sand to craft things out of, he did like to sit and spend time sculpting on certain nights – mentally, of course, he’d be working as hard as ever.

A wash of deep indigo began to take over the sky and he hopped to his feet, glancing down the slope of smooth stone that he’d landed on; the forest at the low mountain’s base rustled softly with the oncoming night, and the Sandman stretched his arms high overhead for one last yawn before stepping onto the path that would lead him down.

>we all fall down ]

Trouble was not something that caught the Sandman easily.

His excuse for this situation, then, was that it was the early morning after another night of work, and he was too tired to even try swimming harder than he’d had to for the past fifteen minutes.

The spirit floated idly on his back, staring somewhat bemusedly at the sky that rolled away overhead as he drifted. After the initial flailing that had gotten him out of the lake he’d landed in and into one of its departing brooks instead, he’d subsided to find that, at the least, he wasn’t in danger of drowning; now the wetness and the occasional bump against a grassy bank were not enough to stir him completely awake, so he just let the water carry him along.

His cloud would not be back for a bit, as it had gone to collect the last dredges of sand from around the globe, and the sand that did remain on his person had become soaked to the point of huddling miserably in his pockets. Until the cloud was back to pick him up, he could doze.

(He could doze anywhere, really.)

It wasn’t as if this stream would take him anywhere in the first place –

He floated around the corner, then raised his head to see a very scenic waterfall sprawling out before him.

Sanderson had time for a very small oh of concern before he went over, sodden clothes and all.