Writing Every Day in February: Day 3

The boot’s on the other glove now, Sally Lyte.

First things first, I’m aware that header image isn’t a great representation of what Count Bunnyescu is supposed to be, but the only better stock photo I could find was the wrong aspect ratio and was, incidentally, this:

A baby with a knit bunny doll.
Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Pexels.com

For reference, Count Bunnyescu is essentially my niece’s lovey (I’m not sure if that spelling is right; I’ve only ever heard the word spoken) and looks something more like the things you’d find Google searching “bunny lovey.”

Second thing second, this story is basically the reverse of my two “Sally wakes up Matilda and Nolan” stories from October.

With that out of the way, here’s today’s story:

“Gah!” Sally Lyte exclaims as she is shaken awaken. “Bears! Wolves! Bear-Wolves! Save me, Count Bunnyescu!”

Blinking in the gloom, Sally sees her friend Annie Darkstone standing beside her bed, desperately clinging to her arm.

“Annie, what’s wrong?” Sally asks

“I had a bad dream,” Annie answers.

Oh no!” Sally gasps.

This is not how Sally expected her sleepover with her very favourite person in Realmgard to go.

Think, Sallly, she tells herself. What would Nolan and Matilda do?

Sally frowns.

Matilda would just yell something like “Go back to your room, Sally!” and that wouldn’t help Annie, especially because her room is all the way in a whole different house.

Sally’s frown deepens.

She gives Annie the biggest hug she can. “It’s okay, Annie,” she tells her friend.

“Your house is scary,” Annie says. “It’s too dark and it has too many corners. And there’s a scary thing outside your window!”

Sally glances over her shoulder to see the silhouette of dark claw-like shape tapping against her window. In the dark like this, it does look pretty scary, but Sally has been looking at every night for as long as she can remember, so she knows it’s nothing to be scared of.

“That’s just a tree branch, Annie. It’s okay,” Sally says.

Annie nods, but continues to avoid looking at the window.

“Besides,” Sally assures her. “There are no monsters, and even if there are, we’ll just get Nolan and Matilda to beat them up, okay?”

“Okay,” Annie says quietly.

“Here,” Sally declares, holding out her beloved bunny to her even more beloved friend. “You can sleep with Count Bunnyescu.”

“R-really?” Annie asks, gingerly accepting the plush rabbit.
Sally nods solemnly. “Count Bunnyescu is a man of integrity and courage. He’ll keep you safe all night, I promise.”

“T-thanks, Sally,” Annie says.


“And thank you, Bunnyescu.”

“Goodnight, Annie,” Sally says.

“Goodnight, Sally,” Annie answers. “And goodnight, Count Bunnyescu!”

In the morning, Sally is proud to see that Count Bunnyescu did his job. Annie doesn’t have any more nightmares to interrupt her sleep.

Though Sally is admittedly a little jealous to see someone else snuggling so close and happily up to her favourite bunny.

Annie yawns and rubs her eyes as she wakes up.

“Did you sleep well, Annie?” Sally asks.

Annie nods. “I did. Count Bunnyescu is so soft,” she answers. “Thank you so much, Sally.”She hands Count Bunnyescu back to Sally.

“And thank you, Count Bunnyescu,” Annie adds without being prompted.

“See?” Sally says, triumphantly hoisting her beloved bunny skyward. “I told you Count Bunnyescu was a man of integrity and courage. He is the best friend you could ever hope for.”

“But I don’t want Count Bunnyescu to be my best friend,” Annie notes.

Sally gasps in shock and indignation.

“I want you to be my best friend, Sally,” Annie concludes.

“Oh,” Sally says. “Yeah. That’s okay. But you do still like Count Bunnyescu, right?”

Annie nods.

Sally grins. “Let’s go wake up Matilda!”

Together, Sally, Annie and Count Bunnyescu go running through the hall to Matilda’s room. Sally shoves the door open and they surge inside.

Gah! Bears! Wolves! Bear-Wolves!”

The sleep habits of the Lyte siblings: It’s like poetry, it rhymes.

I’m am really loving the interactions I’m getting between Annie and Sally.

Sidebar: The fact that Sally and Annie are BFFs is in nowise a reference to the fact that “Sally Ann” is slang for the Salvation Army.

I did briefly work in the office of a Salvation Army nursing home, but Annie was a character long before that ever happened. Also, her name is Annie, not Ann and her legal name is Antiqua and “Sally” just happened to be the best little girl name I could think.

So, this is indeed just a coincidence, arising in large part I imagine from the fact that there are only so many ways to abbreviate the word “Salvation.”

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