True angels fly with their hearts alone…
As my paws crunched on the gritty sand, I saw
a flicker of white tumble across the beach. I captured it with my paw, shielding
it from the wind. It was a feather, pure white. I turned it over a couple of
times then released it back into the wind. Feathers belonged to be free, in
the air, where they were meant to be.
I rounded the point and that’s when I saw her.
She was impossibly beautiful, like something
from another place. She was pure, pure white and contrasted sharply against
the golden sand. Her soft fur rippled gently with the breeze and her brilliant
white wings were spread-eagled across the sand. Her eyes were closed and she
was breathing gently, her chest rising and falling slowly. She seemed to have
fallen from the sky, to bless Neopia with her presence.
I wanted to approach her but her purity left
me numb and frozen in awe. I was a humble Cybunny and here was something so
alien to me, something so beyond my understanding. That feather, borne by the
fickle wind, should not have come to me, for I was not worthy.
While I was still thus enraptured, the figure’s
eyelids fluttered. She woke peacefully and her eyes looked steadily into mine.
They were impossibly piercing, a bright blue reflected in the skies above. They
seemed to search my very heart and I felt cowed and ashamed.
"Where is this place?" she asked in a soft voice.
"N… Neopia…" I stammered.
She frowned, gently, and considered the name.
Her eyes turned up to the skies, as if trying to seek an answer. She did not
laugh or cry but her eyes seemed to grow sad yet her mouth smiled bittersweet.
"What do they call you?" she questioned, her eyes returning to me.
"I… I am Dreamer…" I stuttered. "A Cybunny."
"And what am I, Dreamer? What am I?"
"A Zafara… A Zafara unlike any other…"
Her eyes seemed to be sad again but she smiled
at me. "I have lost most of my memory, Dreamer," she said. "All I remember is
falling… just falling…"
I ventured to hop a little closer. She laughed
and hauled herself off the sand, cascades of it running off her fur. Her feathered
wings trailed awkwardly and I saw that they hurt her.
"Have you broken your wings? Can you fly? I think
we should get you to a Faerie…" I said, pushing my pink nose closer to those
blindingly white feathers.
A shadow passed momentarily across her face.
"No…we cannot do that…" she said. I tried to
press her but she refused.
"Give me a name, Dreamer," she said suddenly
and laughed. "Your name is so pretty."
I blushed, using my ears to cover my face. "I
could not give you a name that is as pretty as you…" I demurred.
She smiled – she smiled so nicely. "Please try.
You are as sweet and pretty as your name, after all."
"Angel," I said suddenly. "Angel should be your
"Angel!" she cried. "Pretty, pretty." She clapped
her paws together. "Angel!" She seized my paws and led me on a wild jig, our
paws stomping and sending up puffs of sand. "Angel, Angel, Angel!" she cried
and then abruptly let me go and laughed happily. It was a beautiful sound.
"Thank you, Dreamer," she said prettily.
I smiled and blushed and hid my face again.
Angel suddenly darted off. She laughed again,
chasing a flicker of white across the beach. She caught the feather neatly and
ran back to me.
"For you," she said and presented me the feather.
"It is yours…" I said but she laughed merrily
and pushed it into my paws.
"It should be free… to fly…" I started but she
shook her head quickly.
"This feather is not worthy of flight and neither
am I." She took the feather from my unresisting paws and kissed it lightly.
"But it’s all I have to give to you." She smiled and placed it pack in my paws.
I held the little white feather gently, marvelling at its purity. "My friend,
Dreamer," she announced happily.
I stared at her. I could never imagine to presume
calling so beautiful and sublime a creature as Angel my friend. Her eyes crinkled
with laughter at my expression and she grabbed my paw and ran with me down to
the sea edge.
Angel let go of my paw and smoothly flipped into
a dive, her wings flat against her back. She slid gracefully under the water
before emerging again, sending droplets of water high into the air.
"Come in, Dreamer!" she cried.
I slipped quietly into the water, paddling over
to her. She playfully splashed a jet of warm water at me and ducked under again.
I gradually lost my inhibitions, lunging at her and spraying her, playing happily.
Later, we sat drying in the sun, droplets of
water still beading our coats. Angel glittered as she moved, the water clinging
to her fur. She radiated light, glowing from within. She has been happy and
gay all day, tireless and fun. But now she sat still and the sadness crept into
her eyes again. Perhaps it was better her memory was lost, for not all of her
memories could have been happy. I came to sit by her.
"I will help you…" I said. She smiled sweetly
"Thank you, Dreamer," was all she said. She looked
up at the sky again and clenched her jaw. We got up together and walked down
the sand, heading back to my home.
A feather fell from Angel’s wing as we walked
and I watched it roll down the beach behind us. One day, Angel, you will fly
again, I swear it, I thought fiercely.
The wind caught that feather and bore it up high,
until it went from sight.
Even if I had to let her go, I would help her
I led Angel home…