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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 8th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 118 > New Series > Once in a Blue Moon: Part One

Once in a Blue Moon: Part One

by tolkienlordofthering

The blue Lupe gazed longingly at the moon, hanging right over the lake. Oh how he wished that he wasn’t so different from the other pets. But he was. He was special, there was no avoiding that, no matter how much the young Lupe wanted to. It was not a good kind of special though. It was a dangerous kind of special.

     “Garoth, I need your help!” called an elderly Acara. She had adopted the sad-eyed Lupe the moment she set eyes on him, whimpering in the pound, only a pathetic small mess of blue tangled fur.

     He had grown to be a fine young Lupe, but the sad look had never left his eyes. He never smiled. He had only one true friend--a Faerie Lupe named Tara.

     Even Tara didn’t understand Garoth fully, although she tried her hardest. She often became frustrated with her best friend, especially when he seemed to be so unfocused most of the time. He never bragged, and was ignored by all but her, probably because he was never truly happy.

     Here is the story of Garoth the Lupe, as it happened long ago:

     Garoth looked up at his adopted mother, who was more like the age his grandmother would be if he had one. His sad eyes made contact with hers. She looked away. “Garoth,” she said. “Once in a blue moon. That is your chance. Your hope. All you must live for.”

     The Lupe nodded. He was reminded this every day before he left for school by his loving mother. But he knew it was impossible. Turning from his Acara mother, he trotted out the door of his discreet little Neohome cabin in the heart of the forest.

     He didn’t stop walking until he reached the lake. He spent much of his time there, thinking, about many different things. Many-a-night, he would go to the lake and watch the moon, in the opening of the woods, waiting for something to happen to it. But now, he was only accompanied by the sun.

     “Garoth!” yelled a small voice. “I thought I’d find you here,” it said.

     The Lupe looked around, and was greeted by his best friend, Tara. She smiled warmly at her friend, who looked back at her. He did not smile, only gazed at her with his sad eyes.

     ”Garoth, have you forgotten about school?” she asked, looking around for his backpack. It was nowhere in sight. “Where are your school supplies?” she inquired.

     Garoth’s head shot up. “I was in a hurry. I forgot them back home,” he sighed dejectedly. “I suppose I’d better go back to my Neohome to get them. You’d best be heading to school, or you’ll be late.”

     Tara nodded. She turned to leave for Neoschool. She cast a concerned glance at Garoth over her shoulder. It wasn’t like him to be so careless. She shrugged, however, and turned around again to head for Neoschool.

     Meanwhile, Garoth made it home after 15 minutes and peeked his head in his Neohome door.

     “Why Garoth, you should be at school!” exclaimed his mother. Suddenly, her face fell, and she rushed over to her son. “You’re not sick, are you?” she asked, gravely, anxiety ringing clear in her frail voice.

     Garoth shook his head. “I’m fine. I just forgot my backpack at home,” he replied, picking it up off the hook by the door.

     “Oh, how could you be so careless?” the Acara asked, the tension leaving her face, only to be replaced with frustration. “You’ll be late for Neoschool. I am very disappointed in you.”

     The Lupe hung his blue head. “I’m sorry mama...” He looked up at her, and she turned away, but not before he saw a tear trickle down her face. He gently placed a paw on her shoulder. “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay,” he assured her, knowing why she was so worried.

     He turned to leave for school, leaving the bewildered, teary-eyed Acara staring after him. “I sure hope so, my young Garoth, I sure hope so,” she whispered to herself, gently closing the front door.

***

Later at school, Garoth sat in his seat next to Tara, in his science class. The teacher stood up, and tapped her ruler on her desk to silence her classroom.

     “Now class,” she started. “For the next few weeks, we will be taking a look at Neopia’s moon, Kreludor. Please listen as I read a few paragraphs about it, from your textbook. Turn to page 147, and read along,” the teacher instructed, pushing her thin framed glasses up her nose as she started to read about Kreludor.

     Garoth listened with great interest as the teacher read on about Neopia’s only moon -- his moon. When she was finally finished, she thumped the book closed. “Now, does anybody have any questions?” she asked her class.

     Garoth’s paw shot up, and the teacher called on him. “Is it possible for the moon to appear blue?” he asked hopefully.

     “I’m afraid not, Garoth. Why do you ask?” she replied questioningly.

     “Oh, no reason,” he said, his heart in his stomach. Then I have no chance, he thought.

     Tara gazed with sympathetic wonder at her friend. She put her paw on his, reassuring him, although she did not know the meaning of the strange question her friend had asked.

     Before he could say a word, the bell rang, and the two Lupes stood up and walked to the classroom door. It was time for lunch now.

     At the cafeteria, the Lupe friends sat down with their trays. Garoth was about to bite into his sandwich, when all of the sudden, a piece of paper fell out of it and floated to the table.

     Garoth, puzzled, picked up the scrap and unfolded it, wiping the crumbs from its surface. He quickly read it through, and frowned, handing it to Tara to read.

     Look for me when the moon is whole. Meet me by the wooded lake that is full. I’ll be waiting patiently there, friend. Come, or you shall find your end.

     She voiced, reading the paper silently. She frowned as well, and set her paw on the table, still grasping the paper. “What does it mean?” she wondered aloud.

     Her friend shrugged. “I don’t know. But I have a feeling that we will find out soon enough.”

     Tara raised an eyebrow. “Oh? How do you figure?”

     ”Well,” he started slowly. “The paper says to look for him when the moon is full. That is only four days away. And the lake -- he must be referring to the one near my cabin. That’s got to be the only ‘wooded lake,’ as he calls it, for miles around!”

     The Faerie Lupe nodded. “But how do we know if it’s safe?”

     ”We don’t,” Garoth said matter-of-factly. “And we also don’t know if it’s safe NOT to go, according to the last line of the poem. Although I doubt whoever we’ll be meeting is actually a friend...”

     Tara shuddered. “But think of the woods in the dark. I mean, I’ve been to the lake at night before, but never to meet anybody I don’t know. The truth is, Garoth, I’m scared.”

     He gave her a frustrated glance. “Well, I have to go. What if it’s something concerning me? I’ll just leave it up to you on whether or not you’re coming. As for me, I’ll be there for sure. Besides, I go there often to think anyway. My mother will think nothing of it.”

     A heavy sigh escaped Tara’s lips. “I’ll come too. We’re in on this together, my friend,” she said, smiling warmly at him.

***

Three days later, it was a Saturday, which meant no school for Garoth. He ate a quick breakfast, packed his backpack, and said a quick goodbye to his mother, before heading out the door, and towards the lake. He was going to stay there till Sunday night -- the night he was supposed to meet the stranger, although he left that part out when he told his mother he would be camping out at the lake. He knew she would never let him go if she knew what his intention of visiting the lake really was.

     All he brought with him was some food, a blanket, and, after much convincing from his Acara mother, his homework, although he didn’t intend on really working on it too much.

     After the 15 minute trudge to the lake, Garoth set down his belongings on the grass. He opened his backpack and took out his blanket, which he laid over the ground. He frowned, and took out his homework. As he opened up his science book, a note fell out of it. He picked it up. It read:

     So, you came? I knew you would. Tomorrow night, I will be waiting for you, at the big rock by the lake. Come when it is dark, and all you can see is the moon in the sky.

     Garoth was very puzzled indeed. How did this mysterious stranger know that he would be opening his science book here, on this day? The only one who knew was Tara, and she hadn’t written the first note, that was for sure. And his mother could hardly read or write, so it couldn’t have been her either.

     The Lupe shrugged it off after glancing around the surrounding forest and seeing nothing.

     Suddenly, a sharp pain seared through the young Lupe’s body. He winced, and doubled over in pain, trying hard not to shout in agony. He gasped for breath, and could not stand it anymore. He curled up on the ground, and fell unconscious.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Once in a Blue Moon: Part Two

Once in a Blue Moon: Part Three

Week 118 Related Links

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