The Beginning of the Shadow: Part Three
Kamia couldn’t help but feel a jolt run through her when she saw the bruised Zee hurry away. Zee hadn’t been to the Battledome at all, not even recently. Kamia knew that. She had been there these few days, trying out her new weapon, but she hadn’t even caught sight of Zee once. So that meant that Zee had been trying to catch some villain or had gotten hurt while saving a civilian. Kamia frowned. She instinctively took out the Neopian Times from her bag and rapidly flipped through it. After a few pages, she saw something that caught her attention.
‘ Shadow Bandit strikes again
Yesterday night, a fight took place near Bracknell Road. A few walls were damaged, but according to an eyewitness, the ones that were hurt the most were the Defenders that had suffered a crushing defeat. It seems that Shadow Bandit is an unbeatable foe, and even the best of the Defenders cannot win her. Making off with one of the largest gems in Neopia history, will the Lady of Darkness ever be brought down? Or will this thief continue to haunt the night? These questions constantly plague the mind of misers and peasants.
It seems that despite popular belief, Shadow Bandit’s weakness is not light. Though it is natural for light to cancel out darkness, as we see in our dear elemental-based faeries now, our infamous Lady of Darkness continues to shroud herself in shadows, despite the harsh light in the noon. Will more information about her be revealed? And will the Defenders finally catch her? This has been the ninety-eighth time that she has struck, ever since her first appearance on the sixth day of Storing, and the Defenders seem to have no such luck yet. Looks like Lady Luck is not on their side.
We’ve had an interview with Judge Hog, the main founder of the Defenders of Neopia, and this is what he says: ‘Shadow Bandit might be a tough opponent, but she is not undefeatable. After all, no one is invulnerable. I would hate to admit this, but until we have found her weakness, the chances of catching her are pretty low.’
“I knew it… Wait. Don’t tell me….” Kamia muttered to herself as she put away the newspaper and ran home. Kamia hurriedly pulled out a notebook and quill from her desk drawer. Then, she flipped the notebook open. Sure enough, below the blue coloured words that she had written long ago, pages of red coloured words had appeared.
“What have I done?” Kamia whispered after she read them. She dropped the notebook on the desk and buried her head.
It was a little more than a year ago. Kamia was a passionate writer, she loved to write stories. One day, however, when she was writing a story, the unthinkable happened.
That day, she had only started on her introduction, a short paragraph of words, and left them as they were. When she got back home and opened up that same book, she saw various red coloured words slowly fading in, like a continuation. That was when her whole life changed. Every day, more of those words appeared like magic. But those words seemed to have a limit. Only she was the one who could write on the book to modify the story. But she didn’t. She was unable to bear with the guilt and fear. She locked the book up with her quill and refused to see them. She quit writing and picked up on drawing instead.
She had never thought that things would turn out this way. Should she try to change it? What would’ve happened if she had changed it back then? What if she had written a different story? Why did she have to write about a character just like her? Would this still have happened if she had completed the story back then? Kamia gulped nervously and picked up the quill. Her paw shook when the tip of the quill came close to touching the paper. She closed her eyes and let her paw come closer to the paper, then dropped the quill. It was no use. Ever since she had stopped writing a long time ago, it seemed that she couldn’t write again. Maybe it was writer’s block. Maybe she was too scared. Maybe there was some ancient power at work that stopped her from writing. Kamia let the quill fall onto the desk. She couldn’t write. She just couldn’t chance it. With this, who knew what could happen.
Kamia shoved the quill and notebook into a drawer and took out a piece of paper and a pencil. She drew a line, then erased it. Another line was drawn. That line was erased. Kamia kept this process up until the paper looked like it was going to tear. She took a deep breath and stood up to stretch her wings. She folded her wings and sat down back on the chair. She picked up the pencil and carefully sharpened it. Then, she shifted the vase of flowers that stood on the side of her desk in front of her. Kamia started to draw.
Her pencil made quick and light strokes against the paper. Slowly, a picture of a flower began to form. Kamia continued sketching, completely ignoring the obvious presence outside her window. Whoever it was, spoke. Only the sound of the pencil scratching on paper replied the presence. And that sound wasn’t an answer. The presence continued to fade in and out from view. Kamia ignored that presence until she had finished her drawing. She picked up the sheet of paper and examined it critically. Then, she started to colour the picture. Finally, she put down her colour pencil in the midst of completing the drawing. She turned to face the window and saw herself. She bit her lip and stared at her reflection for a moment. Then, she graced the presence with a single word.
Whoever was there smiled and finally faded away.
Kamia hoped that she would never have to face that presence again. But she knew that it would come back. It always did.
Kamia resisted the urge to jump out of her bedroom window and fly to Faerieland to find Zee. This was something she had to keep to herself. A secret she had to keep from everyone else. Even from her best friend. Maybe one day, she would be forced to reveal that secret. Maybe one day, Zee would find out. But she hoped that neither of those would ever come. But if they did, then she hoped that they would not come too soon. Kamia abandoned her drawing altogether and lay on her bed. There, she enjoyed the silence that came. If she couldn’t keep her secret, then she would enjoy this peace for just a while longer. After all, that certain inability would probably snatch this cherished peace out from her life and crush it.
She used both of her arms to cushion her head and she turned her head to look outside the window. She watched the sun that hug brightly in the sky slowly forced down from its pedestal. The golden sky quietly seeped into the darkness, as if being banished from above. Kamia wanted to draw this sunset, but she couldn’t. She wasn’t good enough. In her mind, her thoughts, she was sure that all that she would do would ruin the magnificence of the view. Her talent and passion lay in writing. Not drawing.
This was something that Kamia couldn’t understand. Even in her dreams, she wanted to write, but when it came to real life, when she picked up a pen, she just couldn’t. The fear was there. It would always be there. Kamia looked at the stars twinkling above. She slowly traced the shapes in the sky, the constellations. She found the constellation of The Betrayer. For some reason, that was her favourite sign. Perhaps it reminded her of the betrayal that she had made unintentionally. The only difference between them was that the Darkest Faerie betrayed Altador because she felt left out and such. Kamia betrayed the word ‘justice’ and her best friend by doing what she loved the most.
Kamia looked away from the sky and gently got up. Time to pay a visit to Zee and see how she was doing. She wouldn’t break off her friendship with Zee just because of a mistake she had made a year ago, at least not yet. Before she left, Kamia threw a quick glance over her shoulder and outside her window. She wondered if Shadow Bandit would really strike again tonight. Then she thought of Zee. No, it wasn’t probable. She doubted that the Defenders would be so inhumane as to send an injured Xweetok to face the unbeatable opponent once again. Besides, if Zee tried to sneak out tonight, she would get a strict talking-to. Kamia let a small smile escape as she thought about that situation. Zee could be so stubborn and immature sometimes.
Kamia walked out of the door and let the sound of her footsteps calm her. Every step reminded her of a new plot in a story, a new arc. Kamia let herself forget about her fear and imagined the various fictional characters that had a place in her mind and their lives. Even with her fear, no one could blame her for imagining her characters coming to life, right? Kamia smirked at the thought.
“Ha! The irony.” She laughed and continued to stroll along the path.
To Be Continued…