There is kind of a set ritual in my house. Every morning
my pets wake me up. Sometimes it's Un-eairkagh and MoonFall fighting over something.
Or it's Un-eairkagh and his infernal battle duck. Sometimes it's Terraile playing
music on the speakers in the game room. Either way, it's always something I'm
used to. Not today.
I was woken by fighting all right, but it wasn't
MoonFall and Un-eairkagh. It was Terraile and Aldrai. I sat bolt upright in
bed and then quickly disentangled myself from the covers. I could hear them
shouting from the downstairs.
"Who made you lord of all Neopia!?" Terraile
"Will you shut up and listen to me!?" Aldrai
I hurried out of my room and down the stairs.
The spotted Zafara and shadowed Shoyru stood facing each other in the living
room, glaring. Terraile held her bow with an arrow already drawn. Aldrai's eyes
were white around the edges and I could see wisps of light magic gathering.
This could turn really ugly really fast…
"Look, I know what you're trying to say! And
you know what: I DON'T CARE!"
"Well, you should!"
"I don't! So get outta my face!"
"You know what your problem is?" Aldrai snapped,
"You and your wretched magic."
"MY magic?! Suddenly this is about MY magic?!"
"Yeah! You and that stupid bow of yours, always
carrying it around. The thing is evil!"
Terraile was at a loss for words for a moment,
visibly trembling with anger.
"Hold up! MY magic saved us all!" she screeched,
"In case you don't forget MY 'wretched' bow opened the gate to the Shadow realm
and SAVED ALL OF NEOPIA!"
"THE THING IS EVIL!!"
"IT DOESN'T MATTER!!"
"ENOUGH!" I yelled above their fighting, "That
is quite ENOUGH."
The two stopped shouting but remained where
they were, glaring at each other. I could feel the tension between them and
the threat that this could turn violent, right below the surface. Terraile,
darkness, Aldrai, light. Opposites.
"Both of you. Go to your rooms."
Terraile shot Aldrai one last poisonous glance
and then turned sharply and stalked off to her room. She slammed the door behind
her hard enough to make the walls rattle.
He hadn't moved. He took a deep breath and then
turned and walked to the front door.
"Aldrai!" I cried.
"I don't want to be in the same house as her,"
And he stormed out of my house, also slamming
the door behind him. I groaned and sunk on the couch, a headache already threatening.
"Go get dressed," MoonFall said gently, coming
over, "You can sort this out after breakfast. Anything you want?"
"I don't care," I muttered and reluctantly heaved
myself off the couch to go get out of my pajamas.
Today would not be a good day. I could tell
Un-eairkagh and MoonFall watched me eat breakfast.
Part of me wanted to tell them to go away but I couldn't bear to do that. They
were worried, just as I was.
"So?" Un-eairkagh finally asked.
"Aldrai's been using his magic too much, I think,"
I replied, "Since he and Terraile are opposite elements it's boiling over."
"So what do we do?" MoonFall said.
"You two do nothing. Just stay out of the way.
I'm going to talk to Terraile and see if Netsuko and Sakuko could hunt down
Aldrai. I'm really worried about him."
"We all are."
I nodded and reluctantly swallowed the rest
of my breakfast. Time to go call Sakuko.
I dialed her number and she picked up on the
"I'm surprised," she said sarcastically, "I
thought you'd still be asleep."
"It's almost nine thirty," I replied peevishly,
"Now are you done making fun of me?"
"Yep. Watcha up to?"
"Aldrai and Terraile had a fight this morning.
Aldrai stormed out of the house."
Sakuko made little spluttering noises of disbelief.
"Aldrai and Terraile fought? That's…. that's
against the laws of nature almost. And Aldrai stormed out of the house?"
"Yeah. I'm going to talk to Terraile here, could
you go find Aldrai?"
"Sure. Netsuko would be glad to help."
"Thanks… I really appreciate this."
"It's what friends are for," she replied quietly
and hung up.
I sighed and ran my hands through my hair. The
single streak of white fell before my eyes. I hesitated, then gently tucked
it behind my ear.
Terraile was in her room as I'd ordered, sitting
sullenly on her bed. I pulled up a chair opposite her and sat down.
"Hey," I said softly.
She didn't look at me.
"You do realize that you and Aldrai are opposite
"So Aldrai is really worrying me. He… said that
my bow and my magic are evil. And that you don't understand and that…"
"I know. He thinks that his power is there to
be used - he's taking it as a gift instead of a responsibility."
"I don't understand what's happening…"
She looked up at me and there were tears building
at the corner of her large eyes.
"Hey hey now…" I said gently, "It's not your
fault. Listen; I'm not sure what's going on with Aldrai either. Just… try to
not fight with him. Just back down, okay?"
She nodded mutely.
"I know it is. But sometimes the only way to
end a fight is by not fighting at all."
"Like what you did with WeatherWolf," she said
with a soft smile.
"Exactly. Do you think you can do that?"
She looked at the floor, thinking.
"I - I think so. I'll try."
"Good. I'm going to go find Aldrai now, okay?"
I stood and started to leave. She stopped me
at the door.
"Kiddo. Am I grounded?"
"No, of course not," I said, "Not yet, anyway."
I flashed her a quick grin to show I was teasing
and then left.
To be continued...