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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 12th day of Eating, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 110 > Continuing Series > Dark Flame: Part Two

Dark Flame: Part Two

by child_dragon

I drove us to the marketplace in what my friends affectionately called 'the big green buggy.' Unfortunately, it only seated five people so two of my pets had to ride in the back, which was just trunk space that connected with the rest of the vehicle. Un-eairkagh and MoonFall volunteered as the Uni had trouble fitting in the seat and Un-eairkagh just liked being different.

     "And if we get pulled over?" Sakuko asked as she buckled herself into the front seat.

     "Then we get pulled over and I get a ticket," I replied.

     "Alright then."

     She settled back and I tried to ignore the bickering that was starting up in the backseat. Aldrai and Netsuko sat and quietly talked while Terraile gazed out the window. She had her bow with her. I started out the door and backed out of the driveway and onto the street.

     We were almost to the marketplace when disaster struck. I was making a left turn and the light turned red while I was still in the intersection. So I made the turn to get out of the way of traffic. However, the person in the opposite lane didn't stop like he was supposed to. I only glimpsed the front of his vehicle in my side mirror before it hit us. I was thrown forwards, my seat belt stopping me from hitting the steering wheel. As it was, my shoulder was wrenched rather badly as we spun from the side collision. There was the horrible noise of twisting metal and my pets were screaming in terror. There was the sound of breaking glass. The buggy stopped moving finally and I sat there, dazed, aware of someone in the back seat crying. Who was on the side that was hit…? My addled mind struggled to make sense of what had just happened. Sakuko in the passenger side and Netsuko… Netsuko had taken the window seat. I unbuckled my seat belt and twisted to face Sakuko. The entire right side was crunched in. Sakuko was slumped in my direction, eyes closed but breathing fine. There was a big bruise on her forehead, probably from hitting the side window or dashboard.

     "Sakuko?" I whispered.

     "Nuhh… uh… wha…?"

     "You okay?"

     Her eyes fluttered open.

     "I'm okay."

     I nodded and turned my attention to the back seat. Terraile was curled up on the far left, visibly shaking. Aldrai was crying, pawing at Netsuko's ear. She was on the right side of the vehicle, not moving.

     "No," I whispered, and climbed over into the backseat.

     "She's gotta be okay, she's gotta be okay," Aldrai whispered over and over.

     I gathered my magic to me and examined her. She was hurt, her ribs broken. Then I heard MoonFall weakly whisper my name. They were in the back. No seat belt.

     "Aldrai. Listen, I need your help here," I said, "I can only heal one person at a time. MoonFall and Eair need me, you have to heal Netsuko. You have the light magic, you can do this."

     "But… I…"

     "Please Aldrai."

     I climbed over the back seat and into the trunk. MoonFall lay up against the far side, glass covering her fur. The back window was shattered and Un-eairkagh wasn't in the back.

     "I'll… be okay… see to Eair," she gasped.

     I nodded and hauled myself out the broken back window, ignoring the glass that cut into my palm. The striped Eyrie was laying a short distance away, not moving. Already a small crowd of onlookers had gathered. I ran to his side and lay my hands on him. He was still alive, but very badly hurt. I gathered the strands of light and water to me, weaving them together and laying them on my Eyrie's prone form. It was a delicate spell, requiring much concentration. The world around me seemed to fade, even the sound of the distant sirens headed our way. Everything vanished except for my magic, my Eyrie, and me.

     Suddenly he gasped, his eyes snapping open and his claws scrabbling on the pavement. I sighed and leaned back on my haunches. Un-eairkagh staggered to his feet, starring in horror at his bloodied feathers.

     "What the heck happened?" he exclaimed.

     "Crash. I healed you," I said wearily.

     I turned back to the buggy. Everyone but MoonFall had staggered out, Aldrai carrying Netsuko. He laid her on the ground as I watched and knelt beside her. I could see him gathering the currents of magic around him, tangible light only we could see. Then he gestured and my vision was blinded with pure light emanating from him. I gasped and stood. Like a flame suddenly bursting from nothingness, my Zafara was alight with pure light magic. He spread his arms out and it covered Netsuko. I could see his fur lightening to white and angelic wings springing from his back. Then Netsuko's eyes flew open and she gazed up at Aldrai in fear and wonder. The light mage Zafara.

     He then turned to my vehicle. Light flooded it and I could see Lady MoonFall struggling to stand amidst the brilliance. Suddenly she burst out from the ruined back window, her horn gleaming in the magical brightness and her mane flying. She stood there proudly and then turned towards the person that had hit us. Aldrai dropped his hands and folded his wings, walking over to stand before the driver. His mouth was agape and his green Nimmo stood nearby, shivering.

     "Why didn't you stop?" Aldrai hissed, "You almost killed us!"

     "I - I…"

     "Tried to run the red light!" the Zafara snapped, "Didn't you see us in the turn lane?"

     The man was practically cowering at that point. I quickly stepped in.

     "Calm now… no one was hurt," I said.

     "Thanks to you and me," the Zafara replied sullenly.

     "Still."

     Aldrai shrugged and allowed his wings and color fade back to spotted. He walked away to see to Netsuko.

     "You're very lucky," I told the man, "When the police get here you'll have a lot to answer for."

     He looked positively ill.

     My buggy was towed away for repairs. At the police station, I called Sabreur and told him to pick us up. Then I turned to face the officer who had taken our report.

     "Since there are technically no injuries now," he said, "You won't have to take this to court. Unless you want to, that is."

     "No, that's alright. I'm sure he'll have paid enough when his insurance company gets the repair bill."

     "That's settled then. Now… you have a bit to answer to yourself."

     I groaned inwardly. I knew this was coming.

     "Seven people in one vehicle? Two pets in the back, with no seatbelt? That's a major violation if I've ever seen one. You are extremely lucky no one was killed. As it is, only your magic saved this from becoming a major tragedy."

     He picked up a chart and scribbled something on a piece of paper.

     "I'm issuing you a citation," he said, handing it to me, "any more violations of this manner and you can kiss your license goodbye."

     "Yes officer," I said meekly and hurried out the door to where my pets were waiting.

     Sabreur was also there, along with Melody.

     "Let's just go home," I said wearily, shoving the citation in my pocket, "I'm exhausted."

     They nodded understandingly and led the way to the buggy. It was a tense ride home, made worse by the fact my brain was replaying every moment of the crash in my head. It was slowing, but it didn't stop. Why didn't I wait for it to stop? The impact. Un-eairkagh lying on the pavement, not moving. Aldrai and his magic. I sighed and leaned my head against the window. My back and neck ached and I imagined they would hurt much worse the next morning. Why didn't it stop? Why didn't I wait? I could have lost my pets. So stupid… such a stupid thing to have done. And Aldrai's magic lighting him up like a flame -- a white candle flame.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Dark Flame: Part One

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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