The Lightmite's Message
I open my eyes. Glowing bulbs of light spot my vision while I lie motionless in the grass. As I begin to gain consciousness I see that there are what must be thousands of Lightmites swirling above my head. Their luminous glow warms me to the core. Somehow, I am filled with a familiar feeling of home.
The dazzlingly display is briefly lived as I realize that I have no memory of coming to the Haunted Woods. How did I get here and why did I come? I look up at an ancient tree towering above me in a dark, moonlit clearing. This isn’t my home but it’s so similar to what I’ve known my entire life; and although I want to feel at ease, something isn’t the same as before.
I feel heavy – as if moving even an inch would be an impossible feat. I look down at myself, feeling my mouth drop open in utter disbelief. My sense of heaviness is quickly replaced with a rush of adrenaline. Dashing as quickly as I can to the nearby lake, I look down at my reflection in the moonlight. To my surprise, the flustered face of a Faerie Kacheek stares back at me.
“This is… this is impossible.” I stutter to myself. I need to calm down and try to remember how I got here in the first place. The last thing that comes to mind is…
Nothing. Not one memory comes to mind as I stand here alone, shivers rolling down my spine. What a strange and dizzying feeling to recall nothing of the past. All I can be sure of right now is that the reflection looking back at me is completely new. I’ve never felt this way; and while these woods are uncannily familiar, I know for a fact I’ve not visited the Haunted Woods before. So why would I suddenly appear here with not one single memory to help guide me to safety?
Soon after I muster up the courage to begin walking, I trip over a root and accidentally let out a small yelp as my arm collides with a tree stump. A Werhond howls off in the distance; a reminder that I need to be very careful. Feeling helpless and confused, I eventually curl up under a tree to sleep in hopes that I will wake up returned to normal. A few hours later I am awoken by pounding rain which quickly jolts me back to reality.
In need of shelter and drenching wet, I trudge down the road searching for any signs of cover from the relentless rain. Minutes stretch into hours which stretch into days without sight of a single Neopet to ask directions from. I try to remain positive but I begin thinking that I will never find a place to call home in Neopia as a Faerie Kacheek.
After many nights of traveling I feel tired and ravenously hungry. I’ve been lost for some time now but I’m close to mounting a very steep hill with what appear to be lights on the other side. As I reach the top, a particularly eerie silhouette of a castle appears under the night stars. The castle is quite large and as I get closer I’m able to make out a sign that reads “Meridell Castle” hanging neatly in front of the gate.
It’s common knowledge to most Neopians that Meridell is a lovely place to live. The residents are famously kind and welcoming. I’m thinking that I have nothing to lose… I mean, I could be truly happy here, right? I want to believe that it’s possible but, with the dark castle looming ahead of me, I have a feeling that there are tough times up ahead.
Looking at the castle for too long gives me an ominous feeling, so I decide to continue searching for somewhere else to go. I turn around and continue walking only to find it is too late! Four burly castle guards surround me and drag me roughly into the castle.
“What’s your name, you measly Kacheek?” they shout while exchanging shifty glances. I explain to them that I can’t remember my name and that I just need a place to sleep. They bring me before a Zafara counselor who offers me shelter and food if I’m willing to work tending the castle gardens. I somehow sense that it’s in my nature to care for plants and flowers but the sad truth is: I don’t even know who I am anymore. With no family or friends here in Meridell, I could be doomed to quite the lonely life…
I don’t have much time to think though, because the Zafara is staring at me with an impatient look on his face, tapping his fingers incessantly on the table. I hastily agree, not having many other options, and then I am shown to a musty cellar with a pillow and blanket carelessly strewn across the floor.
“Home sweet home!” the guard cackles, laughing among his friends.
They finally saunter away, giving me a chance to observe the pitiful quality of my new living quarters. Frankly, I am unbothered by its condition as I collapse onto the ground for a session of much needed sleep.
The following morning set a precedent for many mornings to come at Meridell Castle. First, I wake up early to be out on the fields at the crack of dawn making sure everything is in smooth, running order. Then, I collect flowers on a basket strapped to my back and gather them all together in a large shipment, today it’s going to Shenkuu, which I meticulously scan for any imperfections before sending it off.
The days and weeks run together at the castle and there seems to be very little time for activities outside of work. Although I am surrounded by breath-taking scenery all during the day, I’m overwhelmingly sad. And, I don’t know what I can do to feel better again. Day after day I still feel as if something is missing in my heart.
“Who am I?” the question lingers in my mind and, at this point, I’m afraid I might never know the answer.
I wake up one morning, ready for the typical routine, and strangely enough I fall straight from the bed to the floor. My body weight feels completely different! Can this really be happening to me again? I find a mirror in my dresser drawer only to be completely shocked by my reflection for the second time.
I have turned… Grey? Only the saddest of all Neopets turn Blue and Grey! I don’t want anybody to pity me or treat me differently. Although, when I really think about it, I was already very unhappy as my previous colour. Turning Grey could be just what I need to revive my identity.
So, as nighttime approaches I decide to take a walk to contemplate my identity. I find my way to the forest clearing behind the castle, keeping in mind exactly what I want do: I want to gaze at the stars. Star-gazing is my favorite pastime and it always tends to relax me in times of distress.
I close my eyes for just a moment and when I open them I am surprised to see a single Lightmite resting upon my hand. Following behind are a dozen more just like her who all begin to land on my shoulders, legs, face and just about any body part they can find! They softly tickle my skin but I sense that they are trying to send me an important message:
"Everything will be okay."
I’ve become who I’m supposed to be. I may not remember my past, but letting go is the key to being comfortable in my own skin. I glance down at my reflection in the moonlight and feel proud of who I am for the first time in my life. Embarking on this journey was worth it in the end to have been able to flourish into a beautiful Grey Kacheek. It’s true that when people look at me, they may see a sad face. What they don’t know is that I’m happier on the inside than I ever imagined I could be.
My new Lightmite friends begin to fly upwards, swirling around gracefully in the night sky. But one still remains on my hand and looks up at me with a knowing expression. “I hope you’ll be my friend forever” I whisper sweetly. She seems to agree as she zooms around my head and returns to her resting place upon my hand. I giggle and lie back to take in the stars scattered around the castle’s silhouette. A sense of tranquility washes over me and I’m confident that from here on out, the sky is the limit.