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Pet Name: Past
Like many youngsters from the countryside of Meridell, Past was a child with a strong imagination. She could be anything she wanted with the help of her friends and a treehouse.
Past spent the last day of summer in the woods, climbing from tree branch to tree branch, braving rocky hills, and dipping her paws in the creek by the clubhouse. All the while, the thought of school loomed over her like a black storm cloud. But no matter. A glorious summer night was on its way. After weeks of rain, the skies had finally cleared, making way for warm evenings spent looking at the stars and catching lightmites in jars.
When evening came, Past and her best friend Euie ran to the treehouse. The sky was so clear, you could see almost every star in the galaxy. Leaves on the trees were beginning to change from green to red and fall to the forest floor. Past climbed the rope ladder as fast as she could and hoisted herself onto the deck of the treehouse as Euie followed. The Tyrannian Bori and Baby Lupe lingered for a moment, looking over their vast, make-believe world. The former buried her paws in the pockets of her dirt covered overalls, taking in the sights and sounds of the forest at night.
“This is it,” she said. “After this, there's no more playing out here until we're done with our homework. And we can't stay up late either.”
Euie smiled. “Let’s make this night a good one.”
Then the game began.
Past took out a wooden sword from inside the treehouse and raised it high in the air. “I am Past the Mighty! Captain of the Forest Kingdom’s Royal Guard and strong as strong can be!”
Euie placed a colander over his head. “And I am General Euie the Valiant! Commander of the armies of the Nightfall Kingdom. You may have swords and cannons, but WE are the dark, brooding bad guys, which is way cooler.”
Past lunged at Euie, knocking him off his feet. He hit the ground with a resounding thud. “Haha!” said Past, “I’ve defeated you already.”
Euie lifted up the colander which had fallen over his eyes. “Hey, I wasn’t ready yet. We have to have a sword fight first. That’s how the real knights do it.
The two kids got up from the ground, brushed a few leaves off of their clothes and began hitting their wooden swords against each other. It was one of the greatest battles the countryside had ever seen. They fought with such ferocity they sent the petpets in the trees scattering. Euie managed to lose his balance and fall over, as Past pointed her sword at his face.
“I defeated you again!” she said.
“Well…” said Euie “I captured your princess! What do you think of that?”
Past’s eyes grew wide. “Not Princess Eliza! You’ll pay for this, General Euie. We’ll get our princess back, just you wait!”
And with that, Euie stumbled to his feet and ran as fast as he could. Past ran after him, weaving through the trees, jumping from rocky ledge to rocky ledge. They splashed through the stream and then through piles of damp leaves. Finally they both ran out of breath and collapsed onto the ground under a willow tree on a hill in a clearing.
Past turned over onto her back and stared up at the stars. Her friend did the same.
“Know any constellations?” she said.
“Just the ones you make up,” said Euie. “My favorite is the one about the Lupe in the traveling circus.”
“I made up a new one,” said Past. “It’s called the Summer Spirit. It’s those four stars right up there.”
“What’s he famous for?”
“He collects memories of summer,” said Past, “and he keeps them forever. So when you’re old and wrinkly, just look up at the Summer Spirit, and you’ll remember everything we did this year.”
“Remember when we flew to the moon in our rocket ship?” said Euie.
“And that day it was too hot to go outside so we made lemonade in the kitchen?”
“You got lemon juice all over the counter!”
“That was your fault,” said Kyla, “You bumped into me and I spilled it.”
The two kids lay under the tree for hours until their mothers called them back inside. Walking back to the house, Past thought about her forest. It was so full of magic that anything could happen there. But no matter what, nothing could harm her in a world entirely her own.
That night, as Past lay in her bed, she looked up at the Summer Sprit from her bedroom window. School was indeed on it’s way.
But what a summer it had been.
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