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