Will You Remember Me?
Once, on the mountain - the mountain of terror, deep in
the night of snow and wind - There on the mountain - the mountain of terror, a
weary young orphan lost his way. And this is what happened - the strange thing
that happened - to a weary young orphan that lost his way.
Through the whirling snow and blistering wind,
when all doors were firmly shut and windows closed and battened down - when
the young were gathered by the fire, wrapped in blankets and sipping hot Borovan,
and the old calculated how much wood they should burn at a time to make it last
through the blizzard - through the snow, wind, and deadly chill, the form of
a young one could barely be discerned. This, friends, is how our tale begins.
He trudged through the knee-high snowdrifts,
pulling his frayed and patched coat around him. Yes, it was cold, but what choice
did he have? It was this, or back to the Pound. Perhaps, just perhaps, she would
take him back and let him be part of the family, like it was before. His mind
wandered back…to what seemed like not so very long ago…
It was over three years before, so some told
him, that he had had a family. An owner, almost a child really, with dancing
eyes and arms that were always safe and warm. Two sisters and a brother tormented
the life out of him, but were always there to defend him if the need should
A sudden glow caught his eye. He slowly made
his way over to it, finding it to be a reflection in a window. Peering inside,
he could see a baby playing with a toy, gurgling and squealing happily as it
bounced on the knee of its owner. He turned away, not being able to see anything
else past his tears.
He glanced at the piece of paper clutched in
his hand. Apparently he was close to the address written, but it was hard to
be sure when all landmarks had been obliterated by the storm. Peering out across
the desolate stretch of land that was supposed to be Alpine Avenue, his sharp
eyes could see…absolutely nothing.
His mind wandered back to the day she had left,
promising to return one day. He had grabbed her hand and whimpered, "But you
won't forget me, Mum, will you? Will you remember me?" She had held him close,
and whispered, "Yes, I will remember you."
His mind wandered back to the present. Oh, how
he wished he had mittens or a scarf! But a scarf was too much money, and where
could he find two pairs of mittens? These were the things that caused the poor
to cry - lack of food, clean water, and warm clothing when the weather was against
Suddenly, he walked into something solid as rock.
Staring up, he found it to be the main door to a grand mansion. It looked to
be at least three stories, and with ice gardens surrounding it, the structure
used up every square inch of space right up to the next property. After looking
at his scrap of paper again, he found that this was the house he wanted to find!
He slowly pressed the doorbell, hoping against hope that someone would answer.
The door flew open and there stood a Ghost Ixi.
He shrieked, and the Ixi just laughed. "Land
o' maircy, ye must be taired. Do coom en fur a spell and get yeerself wairmed
As far as he could sort out the accent, he figured
she wanted him to come inside. He followed her in, and at the Ixi's request
laid his tattered coat on the table in the entry hall. Gazing around, he saw
obvious signs that this family was rich - such as the rock pool, the grand staircase,
and the fact that the room was made of marble, for one.
He was handed a blanket and ushered into the
living room, where he sank down into a plush Ultranova sofa and pulled the blanket
over most of his head. The Ixi flitted out of the room, and then right back
in, followed by a young woman. He trembled - it was her!
The Ixi left again, and the young woman sank
down in a sofa across from him. "Yet another weary traveler, lost in the storm,"
she commented, in the voice he recalled so well. "We get one every day. Why,
if we didn't leave the light on in the west gable room, we'd probably find…well,
let's not go there. It wouldn't be a pretty sight. So, honey, what are you doing
out here? Don't you have an owner?"
"I did, once. But she forgot about my family
and I. We've all been separated. I'm the only one left in the Pound. I got a
few days off for good behavior."
"Well, I can understand that, but this isn't
exactly a vacation spot."
"I know that. I tracked my old owner down, and
I found she lives up here."
"But why would you want to go back to her? She
forgot about you! Chances are, she doesn't deserve a pet like you. Um…who are
He pulled the blanket away from his face, so
she could see who he was. But…she couldn't remember him! He hadn't figured on
"I'm Moe," the little Kau whispered. "You don't
A look that Moe had never seen before flashed
across her face. "Moe? I-I…"
The Ixi walked in again. By now Moe was quite
used to seeing a ghost have the run of the house. But he was not prepared to
see three other pets following her. They all grouped around their owner, snuggling
close. A lump rose in his throat. She had…replaced him?
One of the pets noticed him, and asked, "Hey
Mum, who's that?"
She gazed at him, trying to make him understand.
He rose from his seat and replied sadly, "Just another traveler. Don't mind
me. I don't mean anything anymore."
He headed for the door, shrugging into his coat.
He pulled it tight, fastening the few buttons that were left. She had followed
him, and was pleading, "Please try to understand. I didn't - I mean, I wasn't…"
He stared at her, his large eyes penetrating.
"I know you weren't. How could I have thought that you'd care? That you'd take
me back? I thought I meant something to you. I thought you cared!"
"I do, I would've, you did, I do! I just…I can't!"
"I guess I thought wrong."
With those words branding themselves on her heart,
he opened the door, slipped through, and it slammed shut. She stared at the
snow on the floor, quickly forming a puddle on the white marble. As if suddenly
rejuvenated, she ran down the hall, up the flight of stairs leading to the west
gable, and across the room to the window, where she nearly set the house on
fire by tipping over the candle. She yanked the window open and screamed, "Mooooooooooooe!"
The howling wind carried her words away.
She slowly made her way down the stairs and into
the living room, where she was pelted with questions.
"We heard, Mum, who is he?"
"Mum, where'd he go?"
"Who is he, Mum? Do you know him?"
She stared out the window, a faraway look in
her soft brown eyes, quickly pooling with tears. "I did, once…a very long time
"Well, why'd he come up here, Mum? I don't believe
he was lost. Why was he here?"
"Yes, Mum, why did he come to see you?"
"Because…I didn't remember him."