A Moving Experience
Red Starbright was miserable. She could not remember ever being this sad in her whole life. Tears fell from her eyes, leaving damp trails in her soft, white fur. She sat in the lounge of her Neohome, the bare floorboards creaking noisily. The hardness made her bottom hurt, but she did not care. She was not going to move from this spot and that was final!
The poor little Cybunny sniffed loudly, not caring if anyone heard. She clumsily felt in her pockets for a hankie. Her search proved fruitless, so she wiped her eyes dry with her paws and sniffed again, a little more quietly this time. As her eyesight became less blurred from all the crying, she slowly glanced around the room. There was nothing left. All the furniture had been taken and the rugs removed from the floor. Even the pictures had been taken off the walls, leaving bright squares in amongst the faded wallpaper.
Red Starbright shivered a little and sighed deeply, trying to prevent the tears from flowing again. Although normally quite colourful, she was sure her eyes were redder than usual. She decided that maybe something to drink would help to calm her shattered nerves. She got up slowly, the stiffness in her joints making her realise how long she had been sitting. She stretched her legs and shook her paws to help relax the muscles a little and, dragging her paws a little, she slowly hopped into the kitchen.
All too soon she realised her mistake. The scene of desertion that greeted her made her gasp out loud. The table and chairs had gone, the fridge was missing, and all of the cupboards had been removed. She covered her mouth with her paws in an involuntary gesture, trying with all her might to control the sobbing that threatened to overtake her once again. Her ears drooped miserably, and if anyone could have seen her they would have forgotten that this was a normally fierce Halloween Cybunny.
She had known this would happen. She had told herself that not to come back here, but she had ignored her own wise advice. Nothing could have prepared her for the scene of abandonment that had met her when she had arrived at her Neohome on this fateful morning. She had lived in this house all her life. 4101 Swamp Road was the only home she had ever known. Although it had taken her a little time to get used to the Tyrannian environment, she had found the locals to be friendly and the area had offered her everything she could have wished for.
Admittedly, when she had first moved here, things had been a little different. Her Neohome had been little more than a patch of dirt. But with some time and a lot of effort she had been able to make the improvements and alterations that had created the house of her dreams. The three-storey house with its architectural towers on the four corners had been her idea. She loved the brick construction she had chosen and the natural look it created. It provided the perfect backdrop for the garden, which was her pride and joy.
Red Starbright wandered slowly from room to room, remembering it as it had all been just a few days before. She noticed, in a detached way, that the clearance job had been carried out efficiently. Not a speck of dust or piece of dirt could be seen anywhere. There was little evidence that anyone had ever lived in this house.
She shook her head, trying to clear her mind of negative thoughts. Having taken a disheartening tour of the house, Red Starbright hopped into the garden to see if anything remained of her hours of dedicated work. She was in no doubt that the picture would be no different from that inside the house, but her indignation drove her onwards. The job had certainly been thoroughly carried out, with all the flowerbeds despoiled and every plant removed. All the garden tools had gone, as well as the potting benches and sheds. Not a gnome had been forgotten or water feature overlooked. It was as she had anticipated. Everything had gone, apart from the Cybunny’s memories. She thought about it and decided maybe that was enough.
She certainly had many happy memories of living here. Thinking back on all the different things caused her a small smile, despite her sorrow. Her surprise birthday party was the most recent thing that came to her mind. She had not suspected for an instance that her friends were all going to join her in her celebration. They had enjoyed so much fun both indoors and out, playing with the toys and eating to their hearts’ content.
Thinking back made Red Starbright realize that, even though she was moving, her memories could not be taken away from her. She might be going to live somewhere new, but she would be taking an important part of the past with her. With that thought prominent in her mind, she gave a decisive bounce and sprang forward to meet her destiny.
With one final sigh, Red Starbright hopped away from the house and left her Neohome and garden for the final time. Unhappy as she was, she knew she had to pull herself together, ready for the challenges that lay ahead. She was far from homeless; she just had to adjust to the inevitable changes that life was throwing her way.
Her journey to Meridell proved to be fairly uneventful, although the view of the Darigan Citadel hovering in the distance sent a small shiver running down the Cybunny’s spine. She was a little unsure why her new home was in such a strange and alien land. She plucked up all her courage and continued on her journey until she found the place had been seeking. She was soon rewarded with her first look at her new Neohome.
Despite the grief she felt for leaving her old Neohome, she could not help but chuckle when she saw where she was now to live. Standing in a handsome plot of land, surrounded by its own moat, her new abode had all the presentation of a grand castle. She remembered with a grin the upstairs rooms she had ordered built on her old house, giving the impression of stately towers rising into the sky. Here was the real thing, made as well as she could have wished.
Red Starbright looked around at the barren garden. There would be a lot of work involved in recreating the garden she had left behind. She thought for a moment and realized that it would be unrealistic to turn this place into a replica of what had gone before. She had the opportunity here to start afresh. She could use new ideas and create a different style of landscaping, using the wonderful backdrop of Meridell to give her fresh inspiration.
The Cybunny started to feel excitement for the first time that day. She began to picture where she could put the different features, and how she could add that personal touch to a garden that would, in many respects, be quite a formal affair. With a renewed bounce to her stride, she hopped up to the main building and in through the large, wooden doors.
Red Starbright hesitated. She felt a little staggered by the size of the challenge that met her. This beautiful, stone castle lacked any atmosphere. The walls were plain and bare, the windows regular and uninteresting, and the floor was of a basic concrete. The anticipation she had felt a few moments ago started to ebb away and she wondered if she would ever be able to recreate a home she would be happy to live in.
Slowly she walked around the large, empty room. For the first time she wondered what had happened to all the furniture and furnishings that had been removed from her old Neohome. She had been told that they would all be safely shipped, ready for when she came here after her stay at the NeoLodge. A rising fear started to creep over Red Starbright. She had trusted that the job would be carried out properly and she now wondered whether she had been wise not to personally oversee how everything was handled.
She had not wanted originally to see her old home stripped bare of its contents; returning this morning had been a last minute afterthought. She was certain that everything had been removed and she now started to panic, worried that she had really lost everything she had ever owned. She felt that the things from her old place must have got here already, but where could they be?
Looking up, the anxious Cybunny noticed a note taped to the back door. Grabbing the paper unceremoniously, Red Starbright read it through and sighed with relief. She opened the back door and for the first time noticed the storage shed in the corner of the garden plot. According to the note, all the items that would fit were stored inside. Apparently there were a few things that could not be transported yet, and these had been placed in her Safety Deposit Box for safe keeping.
Now thoroughly excited, the Halloween Cybunny raced across the grass and used the PIN number scribbled on the note to unlock the storage shed. There were all her beloved possessions, neatly stacked inside. She had everything she needed to make this impressive looking house a home. She had friends she could rely on and knew that they would be more than willing to help if she called. Together they could start doing things that would give her memories for the future.
She raised her head and her whiskers twitched as she breathed in the fresh Meridell air. This was going to be a good place to live; she could feel it deep inside. It might not be what she was used to but she would cope with the change.
With a positive attitude and in excited anticipation, Red Starbright picked up a trowel and a couple of plants and immediately started work on the garden. She was now so excited that she wanted to start immediately and make a reality of the plans that had been forming inside her head.