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Chapter 10

GATHERING OF FRIENDS 

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    Whenever she heard the name 'Sandman', Clara would never have imagined him to be a stout, short man made literally out of sand. 

    Her father once described him as a hunched-up, old hermit in pyjamas. But maybe that's just Clara's dad talking. 

    The Sandman appeared not ten minutes ago in his golden sand aeroplane after North 'called' the Guardians. He levitated towards the fireplace in the Globe room, and Clara followed him. 

    He being a mute still shocked Clara, but she figured that his job of being the Guardian of Dreams did involve being quiet all the time. He 'talked' with sand images above his head, like he was portraying his thoughts out in a game of charades.

    The Sandman noticed Clara near him. With his hair styled to five points and his body emanating a golden glow, the fireplace behind him made him look like the sun. 

    She bent over slightly to meet him eye to eye. "Um, hello," she said to the smiling man whose height barely reached her waist. 

    He gave Clara a curious look. An image of a hand appeared above his hair, before being replaced by an arrow and then a question mark. 

    Clara understood as if he said "Hi! And who might you be?" 

    "I'm Clara. Clara Bright." She reached out and shook his hand. 

    Like the grains of sand on the beach, his small palm felt soft and rough at the same time. Clara can even smell a part of the breeze from the sea like Sandy wore ocean-scented spray perfume. It suits him, Clara thought with a smile. 

    With a soft jingling noise, he made images float over his head. He showed a sleeping child and a swirl of sand above his head. "I'm the Sandman." 

    Clara gasped when the Sandman created moving sand images of dragonflies fly around her. 

    A second after that, the Guardians of Wonder and Fun appeared at her side. 

    "Hey, Sandy!" Jack Frost greeted him. 

    Sandy waved at Jack and greeted North. 

    "Welcome, old friend! Clara, meet Sanderson Mansnoozie, Guardian of Dreams," the older Guardian exclaimed. 

    She shared a grin with Sandy; the dragonflies flew away in the direction of the magic toys overhead. "We've just met." 

    North smiled and turned to Sandy to see an image above his head - an arrow pointing to Clara. 

    "Err... Long explanation," North told him. He looked towards Jack Frost, reminding him of a private discussion they had earlier. 

    Sandy shot a worried look towards the Winter Spirit. 

    Jack's eyebrows rocketed up towards his snowy hair. "Hey, I can explain... Just..." 

    "Okay, I'm sorry to interrupt, but what's wrong?" Clara asked the three Guardians sharing some sort of unknown conversation without her. 

    She saw Jack blush and scratch the back of his neck, avoiding her eyes. 

    North noticed that she probably didn't see Sandy point to her. "Um, it is Guardian business... Err..." he started to say, but was saved by Jack's sudden exclamation. 

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