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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 24th day of Hunting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 119 > Continuing Series > Once in a Blue Moon: Part Two

Once in a Blue Moon: Part Two

by tolkienlordofthering

The next afternoon at dusk, Tara came to the clearing by the lake to meet Garoth, and wait for the moon to come out. “Garoth!” she called. No answer. “Garoth, where are you?” she waited longer this time, but still got no answer.

     She walked a few feet further, and saw a blue lump on the grass. “Are you still asleep?” she asked, quite shocked. “Get up sleepyhead!” Garoth did not move.

     Tara, concerned, walked over to him and shook him. She heard his raspy, uneven breaths. She realized he was unconscious. “Oh my... what should I do?” she whimpered to herself. She knew if she left him, he might get worse, but he desperately needed urgent care, that she knew.

     She looked around and saw her friend’s blanket. She grabbed it, got it damp in the lake, and started dabbing Garoth with it to keep him cool.

     He groaned and turned over. His eyelids fluttered open, and he stared into Tara’s worried face. “Tara,” he choked. “I’m all right.”

     “What happened?” she asked him, brow furrowed in worry.

     “I’ve never told anyone but my mother this, not even you. Now is the time you must know about me. You see, I was an experiment of Dr_Death. He sent me to Neopia’s moon, Kreludor, when I was just a baby. But it was not just I that came back. Along with me came a brutal, unknown illness. It has given me a special power, to sense things others cannot. You know I never smile. I know too many dark and weary things to smile. But that same illness will also be my demise. Every month, a day before the full moon, I am affected by that illness. Each time, it gets worse and worse. Tara, I will only live to see one more full moon. Then I will meet my end.”

     Tara choked back tears. “That’s impossible. You’re my only friend. I won’t let anything happen to you, never!” she cried, throwing her paws around Garoth’s scruff. “There must be a cure. Tell me there is!”

     "There is a cure. You have heard my mother tell me that once in a blue moon is my chance. I have to see a blue full moon. That will mean the illness cannot live any longer in me. But that is impossible, I know that now.”

     “Is that why you asked our teacher if moons can turn blue?” Tara asked, wiping her eyes and sniffling.

     Garoth nodded, and looked at the sky. “It is time to meet the stranger now,” he informed her, gesturing towards the sky. The moon hung bright in the dark sky, a yellow beacon of light.

     Tara helped Garoth to his feet. “We need to go to the rock. I got another note,” Garoth informed her, as he recited to her the words of the note.

The two reached the rock, and a hooded neopet emerged from behind a tree. “So, you have come, young Lupe, Garoth,” said a cold voice. “And you have brought your friend Tara.”

     He nodded. “But how did you know my name? And the notes...” inquired the Lupe.

     “Ah, young one, you speak too much. Be silent and listen to what I must tell you. I, too, am like you Garoth. I was sent as an experiment to Kreludor, because I was said to have been worn without a chance to live, much like you I suspect. When I came back, I sensed things others could not. I was different like you Garoth,” said the cloaked figure. “My only hope was to gaze at a full blue moon, and I would be cured.”

     Garoth looked at the dark figure. “Can you help me then?” he asked hopefully.

     “I cannot. Only you can help yourself. I understand that the next full moon is to be your last. That is why I called you here tonight. Remember, you must look to find what you need. Good things do not come without a price, remember that my son, and you shall live.”

     “Son?” Garoth asked.

     “I must go now,” the man said.

     “Wait!” he cried. “I must know who you are!” But it was too late. The mysterious one was gone. Long gone.

     Tara looked at her bewildered friend. “What do you think he meant when he said look to find what you need?” asked Garoth.

     “I’m not sure. But I’m sure my family is mighty worried about me,” replied Tara. “Do you want me to walk you home?”

     “No, that’s okay. I think I’ll stay here tonight. I have my backpack with me. I’ll meet you at school tomorrow.”

     She nodded, and turned to leave, but stopped. “Garoth, are you scared? Scared of dying?” she asked.

     “No,” he said thoughtfully, and then continued after a brief pause. “But I am scared of missing my mother, and of missing you. And I am scared of not having the courage or will to live.”

     Tara waited before speaking. “Garoth,” she said coarsely. “You will live, I know you will.”

     Garoth watched as his friend disappeared into the void of the night. He sat down on the cold ground. The Lupe thought hard. He tried to remember his parents, but couldn’t. After he had sat there for what seemed like hours, it started to come back to him.

     They mysterious stranger... he was his true father! That’s why he had seemed so familiar. And that was also why he had referred to him as “son”. Garoth wondered if he’d ever see his father again.

     The Lupe’s thoughts drifted off, and he finally fell into a deep sleep. He dreamed about all that had happened to him that past week. He dreamed about Kreludor, the notes, the hooded figure -- his father -- and his adopted mother, and Tara.

     Garoth awoke the next morning to the sound of chirping, fluttering, and bickering birds. The sun shone warmly down on him, as he reached into his backpack and pulled out a sandwich to eat.

     A curious white Weewoo landed next to him, chirping joyfully as if to politely ask for a crumb from the sandwich.

     Without a second thought, Garoth threw down a piece of his sandwich. Almost instantly, a flock of assorted birds landed next to him, all waiting impatiently for another scrap, and running all over each other. The ground beside him was a mess of tangled feathers, wings, and beaks.

     Reluctantly, the Lupe threw down the rest of his food, watching the greedy birds gulp it down faster than you could say “bird attack”. Garoth noticed that one of the birds, a plain fledgling Weewoo, was getting pecked at by the other stronger birds.

     Sweeping his paw over the flock to frighten them, he succeeded in picking up the small Weewoo. After close examination, he saw that it had a broken wing. Looking around for a small stick, he quickly found one and used a piece of his blanket to make a bird-sized splint for the broken wing.

     With the rest of his blanket, he made a nest, and placed the bird gently snuggled inside. He would check on it later, after school.

***

After school that day, Garoth grabbed Tara’s paw. “Come,” he said, eyes twinkling with mischief. “I have something special for you by the lake!”

      “What is it?” Tara asked as she was dragged along by her eager friend.

     “Just wait until we get there,” he replied, holding back his excitement.

     As they neared the spot where the Weewoo was, Garoth stopped Tara. “Close your eyes now,” he instructed, guiding her slowly closer to the blanket. “Now stop, and hold out your paws,” he ordered, stooping to pick up the Weewoo.

     Gently, he placed it into her outstretched paws, his face as sad-eyed as ever. “Okay, now. Open your eyes.”

     Tara pooped open her eyes, one, the the other. She gasped sharply. “Garoth! Where did you get her?” She noticed the injured wing. “And what’s wrong with her?”

     The Lupe tossed his blue head back. “The other birds were picking on her. I shooed them away and noticed she was hurt. It’ll take a few weeks to heal. She’ll have to be watched closely until then.”

     The little Weewoo chirped happily, and cocked her head thoughtfully up at Tara.

     “What will you name her?” she asked, petting its soft head softly.

     “I’m leaving that up to you,” Garoth replied. “She’s a gift, for you. I know you’ve always wanted a petpet, and--”

     He was interrupted when Tara burst out with an excited giggle and hugged him so hard he thought his head would pop off.

     “I thought you’d like -- er, love her,” he said, prying her paws off his neck, and rubbing it. “Go ahead, name her!”

     “Hmmm,” she wondered. “I think I’ll wait a while. After all, a Weewoo like her deserves a perfect name,” she smiled, planting a small kiss on her new petpet’s small head. It looked up at her and chirped contentedly.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

Once in a Blue Moon: Part One

Once in a Blue Moon: Part Three

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