Now with 50% more useless text Circulation: 182,656,530 Issue: 231 | 16th day of Running, Y8
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series
 

Morningstar


by shadowcristal

--------

The sky was not as she knew it, dark and smooth, but rather light with many small splotches of streetlight and old-fashioned lanterns. She felt thickheaded, as if she had just tumbled and twirled too much through the air to hit a smashing landing on the ground.

     But she hadn't. Her bones were fine, none were broken or seriously damaged. Yet she couldn't exactly remember why, why she had turned out here. For all she knew, she was supposed to be...

     Her mind suppressed a desperate scream, as she scanned around. One single, small light, a tiniest bit of reflection, was visible just around the street. She flew forward, chasing the light with haste...

     And suddenly she knew. The gears of her mind turned and her heart beat, both to a rhythm, a sound of decision. The maze around her grew stronger and more apparent, and once again she hurried forward, trying to get out, to not stay trapped.

     She didn't play this game to win, but not to lose... As she sprinted forward, her legs and weary mind guided her through the street, the myriad of thick walls that hampered her ability... to fly?

     With some surprise, she slowly stretched out her new-found wings, and found them perfectly powerful and unmarred. With a few feathers settled, the wings flapped and she found herself in the air.

     Only now did she have a good look at herself, and she noticed that she was a blue... A pet! Why hadn't she discovered that before? Clicking her beaks and scratching her jaws, she attempted to fit in a body that was not hers. It did not feel awfully wrong, but it wasn't exactly right either...

     Clawing at the air, she once again felt the sense of purpose returning to her. The air was her correct element, and it breezily formed under her wings to carry her upwards, saving her much effort. Slowly she gained altitude, and took a moment to gaze at the stars while fixing and getting used to the balance.

     The sky was beautiful. Wonderfully dark, now that she was no longer bound to the acrid asphalt, nor the damp, deep earth. No longer did it seem threatening, as it had been when she had stood on the ground, so small and lost.

     In the endless midnight sky, she almost half-expectantly envisioned a midnight sun to rise, between the twinkling stars and the pale moon, shrouded in a soft, illuminating gauze. The black was not purely black, but different shades of deep blue, indigo, violet and other dark colors mingling and mixing. The space felt welcoming, but it also felt... empty.

     By looking around again, she had to admit to herself that it was beautiful, despite the fear it instilled inside her heart. Slowly but surely her small heart began to beat faster, and once again she lost that breezy feel she had worn like a second coat...

     Flapping her wings, pushing through the wind that was blowing against her, she reminded herself that she was not here for a ride of joy, but for something else... Her mind went entirely blank, and she could not bring herself to remember... as if there was something, or somebody, who did not want her to remember.

     Crashing through the air and breathing in small puffs of clouds, white and fluffy in daylight but invisible at night, she clawed the air uselessly. The sky that had given her so much comfort and solace, after her rude awakening...

     It seemed to urge her on, and she took the lead. Quickly she followed where the gusts carried her, and where the endless trail littered with stars lead.

     There was something important, something that had been locked in the back of her mind... Something she had placed aside, after exhausting herself...

     She could not remember, only... Only a few words. The stars twinkled, and suddenly one word made sense to her.

     Morningstar.

     She wasn't exactly sure what it was, but she knew she had to fly east. Eastwards her wings flapped, and inhaling the chilly, crisp fresh air, energy was pumped into her muscles as she flew.

     A star followed her, leaving a glittering trail of stardust that settled upon the illuminated world below her. Suddenly it raced ahead, as if telling her where to go. The price it paid for its defiance was no less than death, as it plummeted beyond horizon, never to be seen again.

     Morningstar. Was it a star? If it was... Shocked by the short life span of a star, she sped up. If it was her star... A prickling feeling down her spine told her that she was running out of time.

     Breaking through the stratosphere, she could see the stars even better now. They varied in their brightness and split into layers, depending on the distance between her and the star. But where was the Morningstar?

     Blind desperation grasped her, and beating crazily with her wings, she flew towards the east, not knowing where to go. To move was better to not do anything at all, she concluded as the chaos in her mind settled down eventually and left her with cold logic.

     Morningstar... What could it be, if not a star? Leaving the earth behind, she noticed from a quick glance that the world she had left, the one that was faintly familiar, was now just a round little ball.

     Her courage failed her, just as it had so many times before when she had dimly staggered down the streets, occasionally collapsing... No, she couldn't stop now!

     The nearness overwhelmed her. She had not noticed it in the rush of the dark, ugly feelings that had quickly tied to her heart, but it had slowly grown stronger.

     She was close now... Close to the Morningstar.

     A cold wind brushed her face, and even fiercer icy tornadoes came her way. That something, no, somebody, wanted her out of the way. The sands of time were dripping, slipping out of her grasp faster than ever... The sky was turning slightly pink, and bluer by the second...

     That pool of courage she had felt before bubbled inside her, and she forced herself to carry on, through the bad weather that ruffled her feathers and brought tears of pain to her eyes.

     Morningstar was close... but it was not a star, more like a thing. No, it was something pure and beautiful, something special and unique... Something more of a soul...

     Could it be? An owner? As she broke through the last heavy atmosphere with the little bit of energy she had left, she spied a figure. A pretty figure, thin and draped with shawls... Walking towards a gateway...

     The gateway bubbled maliciously, its two cold, twisting spirals formed from the deepest violet, and a black, red-tinted orb adorned the tope of the gate. The lavender clouds beyond were just sinisterly beautiful enough to view, to entice...

     It was all too close now, she realized, as she landed on the clouds. From afar her mind recognized the fact that she was not falling down through the clouds, which turned seemingly solid. Leaping forward with her powerful hind legs, she hoped to catch up to that disappearing figure.

     If she didn't... That lovely piece of soul would be gone, never to return, never to be retrieved again. Already half of it was passing through the gate, and soon it would be lost. Everything would be lost.

     It was her last chance, and with a desperate lunge, she tried to catch and grasp the fragment that was slipping out of her hands...

     -

     Li rubbed her eyes. In approval she viewed the ice-cold cup of chocolate she had made the previous evening, and shook her head at the sight of the tossed blankets. Did she really make all this mess?

     With dismay the white Blumaroo noticed the stars faintly disappearing, their light being drowned out by the small but crimson red sun that was slowly rising from the east. She felt lightheaded, as if she had experienced something odd.

     But she could not remember exactly what it was. Li sighed with some disappointment; she had hoped to be able to stargaze properly during the night, but apparently she had fallen asleep way too early...

     There was nothing to do but to pick up everything and put it away. As the Blumaroo got up and collected her items, her mind turned back to the distant dream, the vision she had seen.

     Something about some Morningstar... She definitely had to check it out in her astronomy books. Was there even such a thing named as that? Remembering her Chemistry for Beginners lesson, Li's mind discarded the notion of the Morningstar being a small flower that contained large amounts of Slothite.

     "Had fun?" her owner asked when she walked down the stairs, her mind still sleepily trying to remember the details of the adventure she had seemed to watch during the night.

     No, it wasn't an adventure... It was as if she had been there, been the Eyrie, flying through the sky and everything, experiencing that panic, running forward to that evil, menacing gate... And then?

     Li shook her head. She couldn't remember, no matter how much she tried. How odd. Rarely did she have dreams that she remembered, and only once in a blue moon was it something that was actually memorable.

     Could it have been... magic?

     The Blumaroo frowned and dismissed that thought. She wasn't one of those hooky-pooky pets who actually believed in magic. No, her areas were limited to science, but even her beloved science could not explain this erratic occurrence.

     "You have a visitor," Li's owner called. "She claims herself to be a friend of all neopets."

     Her curiosity awakened, the Blumaroo bounced down the stairs to find herself staring at nothing less than an Air faerie. The faerie smiled kindly, her blue lips softly curving into something that displayed pure joy. Almost-transparent shawls of palest blue were wrapped around her shoulders and waist, and the slightly lavender hue of the forget-me-not adorned the simple, stylish dress she wore beneath. Her blonde hair was a bit ruffled, as if by an invisible wind, and her eyelids were painted in a tasteful, deep blue shade of the afternoon sky.

     Li gasped in recognition. She wasn't completely sure, but her hunch told her that this was the soul, that beautiful being who had been so close, walking on the brink of the dark magic that had threatened to possess... her. Not her, but that 'her'.

     "I..." the Blumaroo stuttered, "I had a dream." Her owner looked curiously at her pet, but did not ask any questions.

     "I must thank you for your assistance," the faerie interrupted with a knowing smile.

     "What happened?" Li's owner asked.

     "Well, a certain group of dark faeries happened to overpower me and left me trapped in the body of a neopet, a blue Eyrie. Thanks to your pet, I managed to grasp my precious soul before it was too late." The faerie inclined her head slightly. "She has my everlasting gratitude."

     "Wow," the Blumaroo's owner uttered.

     Slowly Li's mind returned to reality, and the words those blue, luminescent lips had uttered repeated themselves in her mind. It made so much more sense now...

     "As my thanks, I shall bestow a gift of gratitude upon your pet," the Air faerie declared.

     "Oh, that's not ne..." Li started, but stopped. How wonderful it had been to have the air rushing below her, carrying her upwards, flapping and using muscles she had never known... Effortlessly glide through the air, clawing at nothing, yet rising with a grace that was denied to her current body... How sorry she was to have ended that experience, never to be able to attempt something such as that again...

     "I can see it," the Air faerie smiled kindly. "A pair of faerie wings should do it." With a wave of her hand and an incantation, soon a Faerie Paint Brush appeared in front of Li.

     "Thank you," the Blumaroo whispered, her voice trembling with excitement and pleasure.

     "You have done a deed, a kind deed that you yourself might not know the magnitude of. But I shall know, and remember." The Air faerie smiled. "Well, I should be getting back to my business about those dratted dark faeries..."

     "Wait!" Li cried out, remembering a thing that had eluded her for so long. "What was the Morningstar?"

     "Oh..." the faerie smiled a small, wry smile. "I guess I forgot..." She winked with a secretive glance, and suddenly the Blumaroo understood. Grasping her newly received paint brush, she reveled in the knowledge that she had just seen the Morningstar.

The End

 
Search the Neopian Times




Great stories!


---------

Visit to the Snowager
Dedicated to the Snowager.

by sakurita86

---------

Don't Even Ask - The Painter
Almost done...

Idea by kay_siay

by sarahreye


---------

LAG - Deal with the Wheel
*yawn*

Drawn by darkdragon_slayer

by xlaxed


---------

The Step-By-Step Guide To Mastering Toybox Escape!
Have you ever wondered how one could complete this game with all these robotic pets and their different abilities to move around? After all, they are the abandoned works of Dr. Sloth and we have to help them escape!

by kjjdavid



Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.