Dreaming Upon a Full Moon: Part Two
Siona and I shared a laugh, paid for the books and looked for a hill outside to begin the journey. All Shoyrus know that the best place to take off for flight is on the top of a hill. Siona agreed while flipping through the pages of the book and finding a chapter titled “The Top of a Hill”. I put myself into position 2WJ (I had learned the basics of flying from my older Shoyru friend, who took several flying classes) and Siona hopped on my back and positioned herself just below my wings. She faced opposite of my tail and held on with all of her might. It was not very comfortable for either Siona or me as Shoyrus are not meant to carry passengers; they are more for solo flight.
I spread my wings and used my feet to thrust us into the air. On my way up, I almost ran into the branches of a broad-leafed tree, but just barely missed it. This frightened Siona and I felt her grip tighten on my tail. It was a good thing that Siona was a small Meerca, because I don’t think I could have pulled the flight off with a Neopet much bigger than her.
The most difficult part of the flight was balancing Siona on my back. She added weight and therefore, I had to work harder to make sure I stayed in the air. My wings worked harder than they had ever worked before.
Siona was directing me the whole time, as she knew where we were going and I did not. It was a little difficult to hear her because of the wind.
My wings flapped rapidly and it was definitely the hardest and longest journey I had made by flight; the second longest being no more than 10 minutes long. The flight finally ended when Siona shouted, “It’s just over this cliff.” And it was.
Landing was another thing about flying that was not my strong point. I had to stretch my wings upward into position G1069 and speedily but carefully glide to the ground, then reaching my wings down towards my body into position V8CC. When we were coming close to the ground, I called out to Siona, warning her of the landing we were about to make, “Hold on tight!” But a gust of wind overpowered my voice and all my sister heard was mumbles.
“What was that?” she shouted back to me.
I repeated, louder this time, “Hold on tight!” She did as directed. We landed adjacent to a field of Colour-Changing Tulips that were planted in rows and seemed to dot the ground from my view overhead. The landing wasn’t as bad as my previous landings, but Siona was speechless and I could only imagine the horrified thoughts going through her mind. I was proud of how improved my flight was since last time I had flown, but Siona obviously thought otherwise.
“So,” I said to her, smiling, “that was fun! Do you know where this bookshop is?” I glanced at my wristwatch and the time was 7:45. We had arrived earlier than I expected, which was a blessing because we needed every second we could get.
“Well,” said Siona, looking to the east, “I believe it is this way, probably in the central area of the city, where most of the shops are located. We must cross the central bridge into the city and then we can ask someone.”
Siona and I began to walk towards the bridge, which was carved out of wood and suspended over a stream of water, nearly one hundred feet down. There were sharp cliffs and rocks underneath us and Siona looked a little pale. To speed her along, I walked over the bridge normally and didn’t look down. In reality, I was afraid, just as Siona was; but I wasn’t about to show her that I was afraid, because her fear would increase and we would lose precious time.
She increased her speed and walked just a foot behind me. On the other side of the bridge, there was an Eyrie dressed in what I believed to be Shenkuuan clothes who welcomed us into the city. It was then when Siona asked him where the bookshop was. We explained we were in a hurry and he told us to climb upon his back because he could fly us there in no time. We did as directed and it was a very short flight, as he said. He was a very friendly Eyrie and an excellent flyer, especially when compared to me.
The first think I noticed about Shenkuu was the beauty of its plants and architecture. I had only seen plants like these in pictures. Siona was right; the city was built around Kreludor. I first noticed this by looking at the architecture of the buildings. Many of the buildings had moon shapes carved into their stone. There was even a building on the highest ledge that had a red banner with a moon crescent, which the Eyrie explained was a place called Lunar Temple, where an old, but wise Gnorbu elder made his home, studying Neopia’s moon by nightfall and sleeping by day rise.
We landed abruptly, just outside the bookshop, thanked him and hurried into the store. “Go look for the Kreludor books,” I said to Siona as we walked into the store. “I’ll be right back.” I hopped outside and the Eyrie was still there, about ready to take off for flight.
“Wait,” I shouted at him, “Do you think that it is possible to fly to Kreludor?”
He looked first at my silver wings and then into my brown eyes. “Well, I saw you landing by the central bridge and you would definitely need a little more practice.” He seemed surprised by my question. “But yes, I am sure it is quite possible. Just practice a little bit. Practice every day for a month and you could surely do it.”
“You think so?” I asked enthusiastically.
“Yes, you definitely could. Anything is possible,” he smiled brightly, “Maybe I could fly with you and your sister home and give you some tips.”
“Oh yes! That would be great! We have to be home by ten, so there will be a little bit of a hurry.”
“Not a problem,” he said, looking above him at a cliff. “I’ll just wait here.”
Smiling, I hurried into the bookshop and joined Siona, who was holding five books in her hands and was still looking through other shelves. “Every book on this entire wall has something to do with Kreludor,” she said, with a dreamy look in her eyes. I looked from left to right at the large selection of books and smiled. The row, which contained more books than Parr’s entire bookshop, was a much larger selection of books than either Siona and I could have ever imagined. She continued, “Look at these five; I think we should definitely consider buying these.”
Siona dropped the books in my arms and went on looking at the bindings of other books, stopping when she saw a title that seemed relevant. The books that she handed me were titled: Back in Peaceful Times, Beam Me Abroad, Beyond Neopia, Creatures from Afar, and Galactic Adventures. I looked through all of them and agreed that they would all be great books to consider purchasing. It was important that Siona and I knew about Kreludor’s past and present history and also the ways of life. Although we only wanted to visit Kreludor and not to live there, it was still important information to know.
Ever since Siona and I were young, Mom had taught us that you can learn an infinite amount of information from books and that if you ever want to know something, buy a book about that topic. That is why Siona and I thought of coming to the bookshop. It was definitely a good idea.
I helped Siona look for books and we both found one more book each that would be perfect to read. The two books were Learning Kreludoran, which I picked out, and Kreludan Encyclopedia, which Siona picked out. We had picked out a total of seven books and now had the task of deciding which books we actually needed. We also had two books which we purchased in Parr, so if we bought all of the books, we would have ten and that would be just way too many. We settled on buying: Back in Peaceful Times, Beyond Neopia and Kreludan Encyclopedia.
After we paid for the books at the register, Siona and I hurried outside and met the Eyrie exactly where he said he would be; it was like he hadn’t moved even a half an inch. We jumped on his back and he flew us back over the mountain ranges separating Shenkuu and Parr, through the vast forest and all along the way directing me on the advanced ways of flying. He taught me more about flying in the short hour it took to get home to Parr than I would ever learn from any teacher or from any of my friends who took courses in flying. He taught me eleven advanced flying and landing positions including 65TA, 89GJA, E3IG, an ancient Shenkuuan flying position called River and Rain, as well a few others.
After the flight, Siona and I asked to be let off on the same hill we took off for our journey on. The time was 9:26 when we arrived, so we had plenty of time to walk home. Siona and I thanked him probably twenty times each and he offered one last piece of advice before taking off.
He said, “The key to mastering an art, whether that art is flying or even writing, is repetition. If you do something enough, you will eventually master that art.”
I didn’t know how to respond to him. His advice was wonderful and it made perfect sense to me. If I just flew every day for a few months, flying to Kreludor would definitely be possible.
We all said our goodbyes and, getting into position 70A9 and using his legs as thrust, he flew away into the night, almost disappearing into the mist. Just before he was out of our view, I called out to him, “Wait, come back,” but he didn’t hear my echoing voice, “What’s your name?”
He was too far away to hear me calling out for him. In silence, Siona and I walked in the darkness of the night through the streets of Parr’s marketplace and through the tall grasses that touched my lower legs and just below Siona’s chin. We made it home in perfect time. The experience we had together was unforgettable and we would always know him simply as the Eyrie.
Finally, Siona and I made it home after our long journey. Mom was there to greet us as we walked in the door, and she was pleased to see that we were carrying a sack full to the brim with books.
The next morning I set out for flight bright and early, before the sun rose, using Kreludor as a light. The next day I woke up even earlier and continued to practice my flying skills. I did the same the next day and the next. The days quickly turned into weeks and then, before I knew it several months seemed to fly away. Every day I found myself flying better than the previous day and Siona no longer felt afraid to fly with me. In fact, she looked forward to flying. Before I knew it I was a pretty good flyer, if I may say so myself. And then, I found that the chance of a lifetime was standing right in front of my eyes and all I had to do was reach out and grab it...
As I look back upon these blue-green waters and see these large green and brown masses, I realize that my dream has finally come true. It has been twelve months -- a full year since the very first morning I gazed upon Kreludor and all of my -- our hopes and dreams have turned into something, a reality. My expertise in flying has landed Siona, Mom, even Kaylea and me the trip of a lifetime. This moment we are on board a space shuttle headed to Neopia’s moon --Kreludor--and knowing that our dream has come true at last, I couldn’t be happier.
Since our first trip to Shenkuu, we have journeyed there four more times and have yet to see the Eyrie again. Sometimes I wonder what the Eyrie Siona and I met on our first little journey to Shenkuu truly meant when he said anything is possible. For, it was he who taught me all I know and lead me to this moment in my life. It is the kindness of a stranger that sets Neopia apart.