"What's that noise? Something - someone? - rattling the window," thought Billy. He carefully raised his head and peered through the curtain. A familiar face with small, beady eyes, a wide mouth, and wild unruly hair peered back at him.
"Wow," thought Billy, "It's Dunkers! What's she doing here? This is really weird." He pinched himself. Nope. Not dreaming. "I haven't seen her in ages."
Dunkers kept jiggling the window. From the way her mouth scrunched up and the set of her shoulders, he could tell she was getting pretty frustrated. Billy took out the nail holding the window shut. Her next shove sent the window flying upward with a bang.
"Quiet, I don't want you waking Mom and Dad." Billy wasn't sure this was such a good idea. Letting Dunkers in always led to trouble. The time she let her troll friends have that water fight in his room he was grounded for a week.
Her head popped into the room, big pointed ears swiveling to catch any sounds, followed quickly by the rest of her. She was bigger than Billy remembered, she was as tall as he was now, but it was definitely Dunkers.
"Get your tail off the window sill. I've got to close the window," said Billy.
His imaginary friend flipped her long tail (it always reminded Billy of a cow tail), knocking over the lamp on his beside table. Billy bent to pick it up, but before he could get to it she grabbed his arm, saying, "Come on, hurry up...we've got to get back to Troll Land right away. Grab whatever you need and get moving. I'll explain everything on the way."
"No way, Dunkers." Billy kept blinking his eyes, hoping she'd just disappear. "I've got stuff I have to do. I'm going to summer camp in the morning. See- I've got all my stuff packed and everything."
"Huh...?" Dunkers squinted into the darkness. "Hey, perfect. This stuff will come in handy. We'll bring it along."
"I can't go." Billy tried to sound emphatic. "Even if I wanted to, Mom and Dad would never allow it. They don't believe in Troll Land, or you. Remember, they said you're imaginary."
Billy wasn't sure he believed in her himself. He really hadn't told anyone about her in a long time. He thought, "Kids my age don't believe in make-believe stuff. This must be some weird dream."
Dunkers' gripped the footboard of his bed. Her gaze intense as their eyes met. "You have to come with me," she said. "The fate of Troll Land depends on you."
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