A Light in the Darkness: Shadows
The red Gelert rolled happily in the grassy clearing, oblivious
of everything around her. She was confident that all was well in her world, and
that nothing could go wrong ever again for at least a week. If only she knew.
"Whiptail!" The shout penetrated the peacefulness
of the clearing, startling a roosting Crokabek into flight. Loud crashes were
heard from the forest, steadily growing closer to the clearing, until a blue
Lupe leaped into view. Through all this commotion the female Gelert did not
stir from her position on the ground, but continued basking in the sunlight.
"Whiptail," he gasped. "Hey Whiptail!" Grudgingly she arose and trotted over
to her sweat-streaked younger brother. "What is it, Skyler?"
"I gotta show you something I just found," he
panted. "Come on."
Skyler turned and flung himself back into the
forest, leaving Whiptail no choice but to follow. She dashed after him with
an exasperated sigh. They ran until they breathlessly stopped by a rather shrunken
Furrn. Skyler flopped down gasping by the plant, looking extremely pleased for
someone who couldn't stand.
Whiptail was furious. When she had regained
her breath, she yelled at her brother, "You led me on a headlong dash to look
at a BUSH?!"
"Actually, it's a Furrn," stated Skyler pertly.
"And no, I didn't bring you to look at it, but to look under it."
Biting back a sharp retort, Whiptail did as her
brother suggested. Peering into the shadows, she was dimly aware of something
sparkling. She carefully pawed it into the open to reveal a shining silver necklace
with a small black pendant.
"What is it?" whispered the Gelert.
"How should I know? I'm just a pup, unversed
in the things of this world," remarked Skyler most obstinately. "This is just
a suggestion from The-Pup-That-Knows-Nothing, but if we take it into the light
of the clearing, we might understand what it is better."
"And how are we going to carry it, Mr. Know-Nothing?"
retorted Whiptail, "In case you hadn't noticed, neither of us have hands."
"Could one of us carry it in our mouth?" questioned
"And get drool all over it? NO!"
Well, what if you put it on?
Whiptail paused a moment to consider the suggestion.
It might not be a bad idea. But, when found, the necklace was glowing.
Does that mean it's magical? And if it is, would it really be a good idea
to put a magical object around my neck? On the other hand…
"All right then, I'll do it."
After pushing her head carefully through the
chain, Whiptail started towards the clearing at a steady lope, Skyler in tow.
They reached Ganuthor Grove just as the bottom of the sun touched the horizon.
The two young pets stared in awe at the beautiful silver necklace. Out in the
light the pendant became a shimmering silvery-black orb, which contrasted wonderfully
with Whiptail's red fur.
"Wow!" exclaimed Skyler, "I bet you're glad
I found it now, aren't you?"
"Yeah," said Whiptail as she stared into the
distance. Then, shaking her head clear, she turned to her brother. "It's starting
to get dark. We should head home before Mom worries." The two young neopets
began the long walk home, oblivious to three pairs of hostile violet eyes, watching
from the darkness.
As the pets left the forest, Luna turned to face
her two companions. She was tall for a fifteen-year-old girl at six feet, two
inches. Her hair was cropped close to her head in boy's style, and she wore
a sleeveless lime green top and matching pants, which offset her violet eyes
and hair. Her huge black leather wings were folded neatly against her back.
"Alright, you know the drill," croaked Luna's
older companion, a longhaired Dark Faerie. "Follow the pet wearing the Orb of
Darkness to its home and wait for midnight. Use the Orb's "call" to guide you
to the pet, then cast the spell. Exactly one minute after saying the spell,
this will transport you and anything Dark back here with you." She tied a purple
ribbon with a small black stone pendant around Luna's wrist.
"And, if you botch the spell this time, you'll
be headed straight to Jhudora."
With those words, another, younger Dark Faerie
stepped out of the shadows. She smiled maliciously at Luna, pointing in the
pets' direction. "Better get started, Novice," she spat.
Luna raced into the forest as the younger Faerie
turned to the older. "So, what will happen if Luna Eclipse fails this time?"
"You will just have to wait and see, Whera Stormcloud,"
rasped the Training Master.
Once she was away from the Faeries, Luna slowed
to a quick walk. As she followed the neopets' paw prints, her thoughts flowed
around the test. This is the Final Test, all that stands between me and Faeriedom.
But I've never completed a proper Shadow-Shift Spell. The last time I tried,
Training Master Shadowabyss' skin turned black. She was furious, and I ended
up with cleaning duty for a month. But if I fail this time, no one knows what
will happen. Who can tell what Jhudora will do to a failed novice?
Following the paw prints out of the woods, she
found herself at the back door of a two-story brick house. Luna slipped silently
through the unlocked door, and, following vibrations that only Dark Faeries
can sense, crept up the stairs. She was silent as a Shadow; a Shadow in the
Darkness. At last, she found the red Gelert's room.
Luna stood over the sleeping pet and began chanting,
whispering at first, then steadily increasing volume to scream the last word.
There was a blinding flash of light, followed by a cry of pain. As Luna slowly
recovered her sight, she felt strange inside, like a clamp had been released.
She looked hopefully for a Shadow Gelert, and almost fainted from shock. There
was the Gelert, sitting on her bed with the Orb around her neck, her appearance
most definitely changed. But instead of being a Shadow Gelert, servant of the
Dark Faeries, she was now a Faerie Gelert, helper of all good Faeries. She stared
at Luna in confusion.
"I don't understand," she whispered. "Don't Dark
Faeries do mean things?"
Suddenly a blue Lupe raced into the room, and
nearly bowled Luna over before abruptly halting next the Gelert's bed. As he
stared from the Gelert to Luna, and back again, the Faerie realized what the
strange feeling inside her was. For the first time in her life Luna felt truly
happy, and greatly relieved. She didn't understand the relieved feeling, for
in that very moment the room blurred, and Luna was back in the forest. She fell
on her knees as the Orb of Darkness landed next to her.
"Well, I see you don't have the Gelert with you,"
cackled Whera joyfully. "That means you FAIL!" Before Luna had a chance to react,
Crow Shadowabyss had locked the Magic Binding Collar around her neck. Then the
two Dark Faeries grasped Luna's arms and shot into the night.
A Faerie Gelert and blue Lupe watched from below
as a large mass flew across the sky. "Wherever that Faerie went, I hope to meet
her again," remarked Whiptail. "I want to thank her. She didn't have to do this."
She gestured to her Faerie wings.
"I don't think she did it on purpose," answered
Skyler. "I mean, she seemed just as surprised as you were. Though I hope we
meet her again too. I want her to paint me Electric Blue." Whiptail was lost
in her thoughts, and therefore didn't notice Skyler's teasing. I do hope
we meet that strange Dark Faerie again, she thought. They never did.
This will be my first time in the NT. I hope you enjoyed reading. There
will (hopefully) be more to come.