Gossamer Plot Gossamer begins with the protagonist, Littlest being taught how to give people dreams by her instructor Fastidious. Littlest’s childish and playful nature annoys Fastidious greatly. At their home, the Heap, Fastidious complains about her student to Most Ancient, who is the leader. Most Ancient and Fastidious decide that Thin Elderly will become Littlest’s mentor. Littlest is part of a small colony of dream-givers. Through touching, they gather fragments such as colors, words, sounds, and scents. They then combine the fragments to become dreams, and give the dreams to humans, and sometimes pets.
The giving of dreams is called the bestowal. Thin Elderly explains to be gentle in the touching and not to touch too deeply, because a dream-giver who picks up bad fragments of a memory becomes a Sinisteed, a horse-like creature who inflicts nightmares. Thin Elderly gladly discovers that Littlest has the “gossamer touch”, the ability to gather and bestow gently. An elderly woman and her dog Toby live in the house Littlest and Thin Elderly are assigned to. The woman decides that she is going to take an eight-year-old boy named John into her household. The social workers describe him as “angry. Another dreamgiver, Strapping, is assinged to give dreams to the boys mother. She was an intelligent woman, but was forbidden to participate in social and intellectual events by Duane, her abusive ex husband. John was taken away from her because it was not a good environment for a child. When John arrives at the woman’s home, he acts violent and angry. The woman acts kind and tries to be understanding. At the dream-givers’ Heap, Most Ancient reports that the Sinisteeds are gathering, intent on a particular victim. That night, Littlest and Thin Elderly hear a Sinisteed enter through the walls of the house. It inflicts John with a nightmare.
He cries out in his sleep, and the woman calms him by reminding him of a happy memory. after, Littlest and Thin Elderly gather comforting fragments to help strengthen him after the nightmare. During the day, john’s mother talks on the phone, asking to have a receptionist’s job and salary. She tells the listener to tell her son that he will be back home soon; that she loved him; and that she dreamed of him last night. H That night, Littlest decides she must touch the dog, trying to get fragments from him. Thin Elderly protests, because they aren’t supposed to touch living creatures, but allows her to do so.
Littlest notices how attatched John was to a pink seashell, to Toby, and to a chrysalis he had found.. She gathers fragments from Toby, and bestows them as part of a dream. Thin Elderly is proud of Littlest’s bestowal, because John is happy in his dreams. Littlest explains that the fragments she collected had a bit of a story in each one, which she put together in her mind. Johns mother begins working a school. She reflects on how bad her old life was for her son, John, because of Duane. She has hope now of making friends, which Duane had not allowed her to do. Strapping is satisfied with his work.
Strapping discovers he has a liking and a hope for the woman. Accordingly he gives her dreams of hope, and of a future with her son. John tells a story to the woman about a young boy who ate dog food, because he had been ordered to by his father, who had seen the boy run naked through the house and pee on the floor. The father had accused the son of acting like a dog, and gave him dog food for all his meals. The woman realizes that John is telling a story about himself, explaining his past abuse. T That night, Littlest and Thin Elderly discover that a Horde of Sinisteeds are going to give nightmares to John and the woman.
They respond by bestowing strengthening dreams. They are nearly killed in the stampede of the Horde. That is the story’s climax. John begins school, and has become a much happier child. Littlest is given a medal for her work. She is told that she is to be reassigned. She wishes to remain assigned to John, whom she has come to love and cherish, but is told that dream-givers are not allowed to feel human emotions. Littlest One’s experience with the boy has helped her grow more mature, and as a result she is given the name Gossamer and given a new dream-giver, New Littlest One, to train.