Willow the Weewoo shivered as she breathed in the cool Spring air. The seasons had just changed, and she had not become accustomed to the new breeze that Spring brought with it. She ruffled her feathers and caught a glimpse of her reflection in the morning dew gathering on the sprouting flower buds. She was, as any Weewoo were at this young age, as plain as could be. Her feathers were that of a muddy brown and she sighed as she began to puff them up. Soon, Summer would be coming and she would have to decide what kind of Weewoo she would like to grow into, sooner - rather than later.
Her siblings never had this issue of course. Her older sister, Whimsical, which, as her name suggested – turned herself into one of the most beautiful of Maraquan Weewoos once her time to talk with the Fountain Faerie had come. Oh, how it had suited her, she pretty much had become a Mermaid; swimming and singing with the Water Faerie, as if her colour had chosen her, not the other way around. Oh and then there was her brother, Wallace, who was destined to become a Mutant Weewoo, with his love of loud, abrupt music and always trying to style his gelled brown hair into a spikey mullet. Once his turn had come, he knew exactly what path he was to choose (much to his parents' disapproval; however, upon realizing it was not just a phase, they had softened slightly).
Now this choice has not come easily to Willow. She was not sure whether her destiny was where it was meant to be or even if she was on the right path. She sighed again as she continued on her way, noticing her breath leaving wispy trails in the crisp spring breeze. She plodded along, maybe a bit slower, disheartened by the muddle that was occupying her mind. She turned the corner and saw Uni’s Clothing Store. She paused for a second, glancing up at the clothes and trying to imagine herself in one of the outfits. Would she wear a royal dress, like those of a royal Weewoo – would the tiara even fit, or would it just make her look like what she felt – a clown. Maybe she should go on the robot Weewoo path – at least then her emotions and uncertainty would be concealed by a mask. Allowing herself to let out one, final heartfelt sigh, she continued heading towards school.
The classroom was filled with happy chirping: all the Weewoos in attendance were excited at the beginning of Spring and having this final semester until they could go form their own paths and choose what they would like to do with their future. Willow sat down hesitantly next to her best friend Wolf (all the Weewoos kept to the alliteration tradition and this had not changed as the years went on) and began to pull out her study books. Wolf turned and greeted her with a half-smile, half snarl; he had been practising that look since the start of Winter. “Hullo Willow, how are you today? You look..upset,” he said, noticing his best friend’s hesitance and the slightly sad look creeping out behind her forced smile.
Willow composed herself before responding, “I am okay, I suppose... Wolf it’s just..” she looked out the window as her thoughts trailed off into the distance. She regained her composure and looked at Wolf again, “I just don’t know what I want to be, who I want to be… I feel as though I haven’t really… found myself yet,” she said, looking down at the floor in disapproval as she stated this.
Wolf placed his tiny wing on his best friends' arm, “Hey, Willow,” he said, pressing her chin up so their eyes met, “You don’t need to sweat this, you will know when the time comes where your path will take you. Fate will show you the way.”
Willow began to chuckle, her best friend had chosen to take the path of a Darigan Weewoo, brave, fierce and courageous. Well of course – he was all that, but he would give way to the kind gentle soul that he kept beneath his shell, now that would be how she remembered him once his choice was set in stone, for who he was – not who he was eager to become.
Both students looked up as a cough echoed throughout the classroom. Mr. Wise had just entered and was eager to have everyone's concentration and attention. He cleared his throat once more and then began to address the class. “Now students, I know – that this can be a very intimidating time for you all. I have watched you all grow and change into the Weewoo you are today, and I am very proud of whom you have become so far!” He looked around the classroom at all of his students, who were gazing back at him wide-eyed and alert – awaiting what was coming next. “However - this choice will shape your lives and it needs to be one you are completely certain in. I will be here if you need to talk.” He popped his glasses onto the desk and looked at the class with a mulled expression. “I, as some of you may be, was also not sure about the choice I should make – however I did get a sign, as you all will. You will know by the beginning of Summer whom you want to become, even if it doesn’t feel like it now.”
Upon hearing those final words, Willow breathed a sigh of relief, no longer feeling alone in the decision. She smiled to herself as she picked up her quill – a beautiful white one which had once been her great-grandmother Wonda’s and she began to copy down the notes that had been written down on the board. Willow was very confident with her writing. She was the best cursive writer amongst her fellow classmates – yet she felt as though she lacked the heart and knowledge to pursue this further. She glanced over at Wolf, who had little to no interest in copying down anything on the board. He was practising his bad-to-the-bone darigan mindset and he was getting good – a little too good, if she could comment. He noticed her watching him and he grinned, tearing the sheet from his workbook and chewing it up “I don’t need these notes – I know my path,” he said, maybe a little too arrogantly. He had changed significantly from the kind gentle Weewoo he used to be but she still held him highly in her thoughts as her best friend, regardless.
The Spring had gone by in a blur. Willow had found herself so busy she did not have time to ponder the future. With schoolwork and exams, she had not even noticed the time slip by until she sat down at the breakfast table. “Well,” Wallace said – his words barely understandable due to all the food in his mouth.
“Well what?” Willow replied with a frown.
Wallace swallowed his mouthful, laughed and looked at her. “It’s this week isn’t it? On Friday – you have to make your choice! Have you decided yet or are you going to stay a plain-Jane brown Weewoo?” He ended this statement with a smirk.
Willow felt her face drop and her heartbeat began to increase. It was Wednesday, wasn’t it? Was it already that time? Had she lost track of it that much? Before she could answer, her mother, who was a beautiful pink Weewoo, smiled at her. “Of course she knows, Wallace,” she said, with a frown she saved just for him, “and don’t talk with your mouth full – just because you’re mutant doesn’t mean you are forbidden from using manners!” Wallace scowled at this and resumed eating his breakfast. Her mother smiled emphatically at her, “Willow, dear – you have given this choice thought, haven’t you... I hope it’s not something you’re rushing into?”
Willow swallowed, taking care to not make it one of guilt, but one to be passed off as a swallowing of food. “Of - of course mum, I just...want it to be a surprise," she forced her best nervous smile and prayed her mother would buy it. She did – as always and smiled back at Willow, resuming drinking her morning coffee.
Willow sat in her room for the rest of the day, she told her family she had probably eaten something dodgy and needed to rest it off before her big decision on Friday. It was only half a lie – her stomach was in knots, from nerves, not food, and she needed time to think about the choices she would make. Maybe she could just choose a plain colour, like her mother did. Pink did look splendid on her. Or should she be aiming higher, like Whimsical, maybe she could swim with the Water Faeries gracefully in the sea. She smirked a bit at that – whereas that would make sense in a composed fairy tale that was not something Willow could see herself enjoying. She sighed her usual sigh and buried her face in the pillow, allowing sleep to take over. Willow dreamt that she was a Faerie Weewoo, travelling the world and seeing all the sights, with grace and elegance, allowing her wings to lead the way… This quickly turned into a nightmare. She dreamt she had been hit by a burst of lightning and she had fallen, losing her way in the darkness, and when glimpsing upon her reflection all she saw was that of a sad grey Weewoo.
Willow jolted bolt upright as the end of the dream replayed in her mind – she looked over to the clock, it was just five minutes until her alarm was due to go off. She shuddered and quickly went off to shower, washing away the uncertainty of her dreams before going downstairs for breakfast. She ate quickly and then left before her family awoke, adamant that she was going to avoid any unnecessary small talk about what her choice would be today. How she wished she knew what she was to do, the other Weewoo’s would be on their way now, excitedly chatting amongst themselves in the queue as they waited for the Fountain Faeries magic to bless them with the colour they had prepared themselves for. Willow sat herself down at a riverbank and gazed at her reflection in the rippling water. She searched for her calling in that reflection of water. She thought about all of the maraquan Weewoo swimming, their siren calls being heard by the lost boats, the faerie Weewoo in flight, elegant as always bringing light to the sky. The mutant Weewoo, loud and obnoxious, the ones you hear about in the dark alleys acting tough and being a general nuisance, how she wished she could share these thoughts and dreams so they were not just hers to bear.
Willow gasped as she looked back at herself in the water, she rubbed her eyes as she saw a beautiful white Weewoo in the reflection writing down all of her stories and thoughts with a beautifully preserved white quill... just like that of her great-grandmother Wonda... Could, could it be? The Weewoo in the water winked at her and a stream of bubbles appeared as a beautiful white feather began to emerge from the depths. Willow smiled, the largest smile she had in such a long time. She had been on the right path all along, she just didn’t know it. Her life was full of stories, so many wonderful stories she could share with everyone – to allow everyone to see her triumphs and falls, and both grieve and celebrate with her. Willow dipped her foot in the water and pulled out the feather and tucked it with her Great Grandmothers into her satchel. With a new burst of energy and hope, she ran to the rainbow fountain, hoping she was not too late to embark on her new adventure. It had taken a little while, much longer than she had hoped and the path was a little bumpy on the way but she knew what direction she was going in – and nothing, not even time, was going to stop her!
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