Darkness Gathering: Part One
Shine, the starry Gelert, stirred in his sleep…
He raised his head and looked around. He sniffed.
Shine smelt the smells of iron and of glass. He smelled the smell of many other
pets. He knew this place, the pound. Tonight, something was different, something
that prevented him from rest. He couldn't think properly. Shine tried to clear
Footsteps approached. He knew what was going
on, it had happened a hundred times before. He slowly got to his feet as his
cage creaked slowly open. Ever so slowly. He stretched, pretending to be tired,
though he knew that sleep was impossible.
He followed the person leading him though narrow
hallways lined with pets. Shine could almost feel his conscious self, struggling
to wake him from his nightmare. In his dream, he could still see the abandoned
pets; smell the bitter cold upon the air. What he wouldn't give to be another
pet. Another pet that wouldn't have to dwell on this day forever!
He came to the room. He opened the door. Shine
wanted this to end, for this vision to cease, but all his efforts were in vain.
The dream went on, like a film that continued to play inside his mind. In the
room he saw a silent figure, half-hidden in the shadows…
Was that him?
Shine's only brother, Blase the Red Gelert, was
alone in the room, his face not visible in the near dark, but to Shine that
didn't matter. He knew his brother's kind and gentle face that was hardened
and matured from time in the pound. He knew the scar that covered his right
eye and the bite marks on his left ear. Shine walked towards him, slowly, carefully.
Shine's self-conscious knowing what was coming. He heard the whispered words
but did not listen.
"Shine, there's this lady who wants me to come
with her. The only thing is…She…She can't take us both, Shine. There's…nothing
I can do…"
Already tears began to fall, from both their
eyes. Somehow, Shine found that he could not lift his head and his navy blue
eyes just wouldn't meet his brother's scarlet ones. He found it much easier
to keep looking at his paws, as the tears fell. Looking at his paws, unseeing…
He felt the paper shoved into his paw, heard
the door swing open. He saw the paper tag that read 'Blase'. He smelt the rain
outside and heard the scrape of paws on tile before he heard it close again.
His eyes did not want to look until it was too late.
Shine looked…Blase was gone.
Shine screamed and sat up in bed. He felt sweat
on his forehead mingling with the tears on his face. His pain…his sorrow…had
been only too real. He reached around for his lamp and flicked it on. Light
flooded the room.
It couldn't be any more different than the scene
he had witnessed in his nightmare. Shine was lying on a clean bed in his room.
Posters covered the walls, rugs on the floor. Framed pictures on his desk in
a vain attempt to make him feel at home. He didn't know where his home was,
if he had one. What was going on? Shine felt so confused because his dream had
felt so real.
His bedroom door swung open and his owner Harmony
entered the room. Then he remembered. This was his home. It had been three months
since he was adopted. Two weeks before that his brother had been adopted, but
Shine thought, snatched from him, bitterly.
Harmony was the girl's name. Harmony. She loved
Shine so, and she hated to see him in such distress. Shine knew that she would
come to him no matter what. But that was not comforting; she was not comforting.
Only one neopet would be.
"Shhhh, Shine. Relax," Harmony whispered, "It
was a dream, Shine, nothing more…"
Breakfast that morning was a subdued affair.
None at the table seemed to want to talk. Shine was silent. He was eating and
looking down at his food, not wanting to look at his owner. At last Harmony
"Shine I need to talk to you about these dreams.
I know you don't want to, but this is something that's got to stop. You can't
keep waking up in the middle of the night, Shine. Something isn't right. Do
you…" she paused trying to correctly phrase what she wanted to say. "Do you
have anything you want to talk about? Anything that you thing might be causing
Shine sighed, "Harmony, its just a nightmare.
People just get nightmares sometimes. There's no real explanation."
"Shine, don't give me that! You know as well
as I do that that … incident was three months ago. You didn't have these dreams
when you got home, either. They just now started. You're having them more often
every week. Oh, Shine, I don't think this is normal."
"Well, what do you propose I do?" Shine asked,
beginning to get impatient. "Is there anything you think I can do? I don't choose
what dreams I have and I-" Shine stopped because the mail slot flapped. He heard
the mail slide onto the mat. "I'll get it," He said to quickly end the conversation.
He walked down to hall from the kitchen into
the living room and saw on the mail slot two letters. They looked like bills.
He sighed and went to pick them up. When he did, he noticed that there were
three letters and one was just hidden under the large bills. It was a plain
Neomail, addressed to Shine. There was no return address.
He walked back through the hall and into the
kitchen. When Harmony wanted to continue the conversation, Shine hushed her
by hurriedly explaining that he had mail. When she argued, Shine suggested that
she read her mail, then snickered behind his letter when Harmony was forced
to pick up and read the bills.
The first thing Shine did to his letter was read
the signature at the bottom, because he didn't know who wrote it. It was signed
by a Sirens Desire. Shine didn't know who that was, but read the letter in its
Dear Shine, it began, there are many things
I would like to say to you and I'm not quite sure where to begin. I believe
that I am correct in thinking that you were once a yellow Gelert who was born
in the pound. You had one brother, correct?
The letter was very plain indeed, easy to read
and understand…Only Shine didn't. He didn't get how this Sirens Desire knew
all about him and his past when he didn't even know who they were or, for that
matter, how they had gotten his address.
But the letter wasn't finished. You may perhaps
be wondering how I know this. "Yeah", Shine thought. Well, in all honesty, I
can tell the future and remember other people's pasts. I have been thinking
of you for quite a while and was compelled to send you a letter. I can at least
ask you a simple question that might set events in motion that, otherwise, might
"Lay it on me," Shine thought. This letter was
way to confusing. He hoped, however, that answering this question might give
him some answers.
Tell me Shine, The letter continued, do
you believe that ghosts can still cry?
Ghosts? Shine didn't like the sound of that.
He looked for more of the letter, but Shine failed to find any more, besides
the signature. The question was just as cryptic as the letter and Shine just
Something about the letter scared him too. She
asked about Blase and then asked about ghosts. He didn't want to put the two
together. There was no point in worrying about Blase. After all, it was like
he had said before, what could he do?
He put the letter down. Slowly. Harmony stopped
pretending to be interested in bills and looked up. "You finished yet?" she
said impatiently. Shine nodded, but to avoid restarting the conversation and
to avoid Harmony asking about the letter, he put the letter into his pocket,
lifted his plate from the table and went into his room.
There, he took out the letter and placed it on
his desk. There, he read it three more times through in quick succession. He
still didn't understand, but figured the only polite thing to do would be to
write a letter with his answer. He thought hard, then got out a piece of brilliantly
colored stationary from his desk drawer and thought again.
What to write? Shine never had been much of a
writer. After ten more minutes of deep thought about his answer and his letter
he decided he had better keep things simple. He checked for the usual things
before he wrote the letter. Pens, extra paper…Stamps? "No stamps," Shine thought,
"Guess I'll mail it tomorrow. But I've still got to write it first."
Without any further thought or worrying about
supplies he wrote three letters on the paper spelling two words.
To be continued...