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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 20th day of Gathering, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 109 > New Series > Dark Flame: Part One

Dark Flame: Part One

by child_dragon

Above all, we are a family. Some of use were starting over. Some of us were starting new. But we were undeniably a family.

     I can't say why fate chose us. But it did and we had our battle. There was darkness and evil and despair but through it all we held on to that one white feather.

     We assumed we were done after that. The Shadows were gone and Neopia was saved. There was nothing left. We should have looked to within…

     There were no heroes this time. All the boundaries of good and evil, love and hate, were broken. But in the end it all came down to one thing: we were family. And no one messes with family.

Light from a Candle

I remember watching the clouds out the window one afternoon. They were scattered and heavy with rain. As each one passed overhead it brought deep shadows and cut off all light filtering through the trees. Then it passed and golden sunlight streamed through, turning the trees and grass to gold. Then another cloud came and shut off all light, slowly creeping across the lawn and devouring the gold. These two elements warred with each other indefinitely until I lost interest and went elsewhere. I cannot help but think of those shifting shadows of light and dark as I begin this story.

     My name is child_dragon. Everyone calls me Kiddo, though. It's just easier. I'm an eighteen year old girl living in a large house in Neopia Central. It's large because I have four pets and a huge extended family. We call ourselves the child_dragon clan. We're a rather tight-knit bunch, and I guess we have to be. Too much has happened. Too many sorrows and too many risks.

     Over a year ago Neopia was threatened by an incredible evil. I'd rather not recount the entire story… suffice to say you can read it yourself here. This incident left all of us changed, some more than others.

     I was probably changed the most. I became the Essence of Neopia, that is, Neopia embodied in one person. All six elements of magic. I carry the Elemental Spear, an ancient weapon of immense power. In my reddish-brown hair is a streak of pure white, the remnant of destroying the Shadows. I channelled so much power then… the very power of Neopia itself through me. I was lucky I survived.

     My pets didn't change as much as me. Un-eairkagh, my striped Eyrie, remains as always. A jokester, incorrigible, and utterly irresponsible. He terrorizes everyone with his infernal dark battle duck, squeaking it incessantly around the house. Thankfully, I can just send him out to play with his best friend, Padiglione the baby Kougra, when he gets too rowdy. Un-eairkagh really does care for us all though, he proved that when he caught me as I fell from the sky after defeating the Shadows.

     My shadowed Shoyru Terraile changed a great deal also. She discovered an ancient legend was real and that she was a direct descendent of the archer NightHawk. As NightHawk's Heir she came upon possession of a bow that held the strength to open the gateway to the Shadow's realm. That's not all she inherited. Nighthawk held some deeply buried power within her, all based in darkness. All that is wrong and evil embodies this magic and unfortunately Terraile now holds that power within herself also. I hold the power of darkness as Essence but the light within me balances it out. Terraile, on the other hand, has only darkness, in her, in her bow. Somehow she has overcome it so that she controls her power, not her power controls her. For even evil can be used for good purposes.

     Lady_MoonFall, my island Uni, changed mostly sometime after the event that shook all of Neopia. She's the calm one of the family and it sometimes seems like she's in charge of the household rather than me. She used to be a princess but she ran away to live a normal life. She was a striped Uni but changed her color to hide from her brother who is now king. I think her color change brought out a different side of her personality, the side that throws rules to the wind. I imagine she's always been a bit rambunctious, her breeding just hides it most of the time.

     The last pet of mine is Aldrai. He is a spotted Zafara for most of the time. I drug him from a river when he was a baby, after he had witnessed his mother's death. He is wise beyond his years, sometimes wiser than I. He managed to bring the circle of hate full circle by forgiving his mother's murderer. And he has gained something else too. Magic. The magic of light. He rarely uses it, but when he does, he transforms into a Christmas Zafara, radiant with power. I am not sure just how strong a mage Aldrai is but I do know what I have seen of his magic is substantial.

     The rest of my family is mostly kin and their pets. My brother, Sabreur, is the mad genius of the family. His lab blows up weekly. He lives with his fire Scorchio Infernus. The two are dedicated battlers and devote most their time and energy to it. My "adopted sister" is Melody. She's actually my best friend but we're close enough to be sisters. She has three pets, a Faerie Gelert named SwiftRiversRunning, a green Gelert named FireDarkWolfX, and the baby Padiglione. Aside from Melody is Sakuko, a younger girl with the rainbow Zafara Netsuko. Aldrai and Netsuko are very close and it is because of them that Sakuko and I are friends. There's a couple others thrown in there; Drake_da_Dragon with his red Shoyru Dralvane and Megz with her shadowed Shoyru Dark Night, for example. The crew is in and out of my house at random points of time. I've even found people sleeping on my couch in the morning without ever hearing them come in. Thankfully no one with evil intentions can enter my house. It's part of a very powerful spell that has been laid on it by a Faerie Incidentally enough, my story starts in my house for my story starts within the very clan I just described. I had thought that there was no evil I couldn't handle after the Shadows, that with Neopia behind me nothing could threaten us ever again. Fate has a sense of irony, it seems. For the greatest threat to I and Neopia came not from an unknown of source, but from the most unlikely candidate of all. It came from Aldrai.

     I was upstairs in my room, reading. I heard someone approaching in the driveway so I hopped off my bed and pulled the shades aside to see Netsuko and Sakuko coming up the drive. Sakuko is a small girl with brown hair. Her Zafara is rather quiet and has a strong artistic streak. I hurried down the stairs to let them in.

     "Hiya," I greeted warmly, "Come on in. Aldrai is in his room. Can I get you anything? NeoCola?"

     "Sure, I'll take one," Sakuko said.

     "No thanks," Netsuko politely demurred and she trotted off to Aldrai's room.

     "Heh. They're so cute," I murmured as I led Sakuko to the kitchen and rummaged up a couple sodas.

     "I know. I'm so glad those two are such good friends."

     "Me too," I replied, pulling up a stool to the island in the middle of the kitchen, "Aldrai has always been so reclusive. It's good for him to have someone to be open around."

     "Same with Netsuko. Sometimes I worry about her…"

     "I understand that. I used to worry about Aldrai a lot… with what happened to his mother and all…"

     I trailed off, not wanting to bring up such a distressing topic of conversation. The past was past, let it be.

     "So anyway. I was thinking of doing some shopping today," Sakuko said, politely changing the topic, "Down at Neopia Central. You like to come?"

     I thought about it for a moment. Finances around the house were good and I did need to do some grocery shopping. And besides, I could use a new pair of shorts for the summer. It was bound to be a hot one this year.

     "Sure, why not. Let me round up my pets."

     I stood and started to walk out of the room to call everyone down. As I did, something small and white caught my eye.

     It was a candle. I'd bought it a couple days ago to freshen up the kitchen.

     "Oh yeah. Forgot about this," I muttered, and absently gestured.

     The wick burst into a small flame, casting it's light upon the nearby wall.

     "Hmm?" Sakuko asked.

     "Nothing. Just a candle I've been forgetting to light."

     I walked out into the living room and took a deep breath.

     "MoonFall! Eair! Terraile! Aldrai! We're going shopping, com'n!"

     As expected, pandemonium broke loose. Terraile literally flew down the stairs and Un-eairkagh and MoonFall nearly collided with each other coming out of their rooms. Lastly came Aldrai and Netsuko. I rounded everyone up and grabbed my purse. I was just about to head out the door with Sakuko when Aldrai stopped us.

     "Hold up a minute," he said, running back into the kitchen, "You shouldn't let this burn while we're gone. Might burn the house down or something."

     "Oh yeah. Thanks Aldrai."

     He shrugged and gently blew the candle out.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dark Flame: Part Two

Dark Flame: Part Three

Dark Flame: Part Four

Dark Flame: Part Five

Dark Flame: Part Six

Dark Flame: Part Seven

Dark Flame: Part Eight

Dark Flame: Part Nine

Dark Flame: Part Ten

Dark Flame: Part Eleven

Dark Flame: Part Twelve

Dark Flame: Part Thirteen

Dark Flame: Part Fourteen

Dark Flame: Part Fifiteen

Dark Flame: Part Sixteen

Dark Flame: Part Seventeen

Dark Flame: Part Eighteen

Dark Flame: Part Nineteen

Dark Flame: Part Twenty

Dark Flame: Part Twenty One

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