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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 4th day of Relaxing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 92 > Short Stories > On the Edge of a Dream

On the Edge of a Dream

by theeaterofworlds

Under azure skies there is a place where the sea, with white foam hands, caresses the sugar sand of the land that it loves. The waves lap away the silt of the island, carrying the beach into water itself.

     On this beach a small form was laying in sleep. She lashed her tail back and forth as she dreamt pleasant dreams. Her ears twitched, her paws twitched, and in her mind she was chasing insects through tall grass. The petite red Aisha remained that way until the cries of seabirds called her awake. She stretched and yawned, watching the birds circle about in the sky.

     "Darn," she muttered, "I didn't mean to sleep that long. I only wanted a little nap."

     Her eyes scanned the wide expanse of sand that spread out on either side of her. A moment before, as she came out of her dream, she had thought that she heard someone singing. When she looked, however, no one was there. She looked off into the distance as she tried to remember the words she had heard.

The stars open up their eyes,
as the blanket of night is pulled over the sky.
The night is a friend that will always be there for you.
I heard a song on the edge of a dream
The stars sang it to me as I slept,
and now I sing it as my gift to you.

     She hummed the tune to herself, and flicked the tip of her tail in time. It was sweet, and a little sad, but thinking about it made her feel warm inside. Shaking the sand off of her coat, she started to sing the rest of it out loud.

If I could, I would give you the stars.
But even my love is not enough to pull them down.
And so I promise this to you,
The only promise that I can make.
I will be with you forever,
Always watching over you.

     "To love, and to be loved, are the only things worth living for," a voice came from behind her, and she spun around to see who was there. A tall mutant Cybunny stood grinning.

     "Who are you?" asked the Aisha.

     "My name's Amilie," the rabbit replied, "What's yours?"

     "I'm Tanya," she answered shyly, "How... how do you know that song?"

     Amilie furrowed her brow in thought. "You know, I'm not sure," she admitted with a shrug.

     "Oh," Tanya said, visibly disappointed. "I heard someone singing. I was hoping it was you, so that you could tell me what song it was. I know that I heard it once before, a long time ago, but I can't remember when or where."

     "I wish that I could help you. Say, you're pretty young to be out here by yourself, aren't you?"

     "Not really. I'm used to watching out for myself."

     "Is that so? I'm that way too, but if you don't mind, maybe we can keep each other company for a while."

     Tanya was delighted at the thought of this. The older Cybunny was so sweet and caring. It made something in her heart stir to think that she would have someone who could be like a mother to her, even if it was only for a little while.

     The pair walked through the dunes of the beach together. They said very little, but all the same were happy just to be near each other. The soul cannot remain alone forever, it calls out for another soul to touch. So did these two lonely wanderers find comfort in each other's presence. Eventually, Amilie's curiosity urged her to speak.

     "Why are you out here alone? I'd like to know, but I can understand if you don't want to tell me."

     "It's okay, I don't mind saying. I lost my mother a few months ago. Without her I didn't have any place to stay, so I've just been going from town to town. I used to come to this beach a lot with her. There's no real point in me staying, but there's nowhere else that I can think to go. What about you? You're so nice, I sure you must have plenty of friends."

     "At one point this was true. I lost someone very close to me, and in my sorrow I turned them all away. One day I'll go to them again, and ask forgiveness for ignoring their help. I don't think now is the right time though, but maybe someday."

     Dusk cast a cool blue light over the sands. Tanya yawned, and her footsteps slowed. She had taken a nap earlier in the day, but was still very young and could not go long periods of time without rest. Amilie sensed her weariness, and stopped walking.

     "Would you like to sleep here? I'm getting pretty tired as well."

     "Yes, that would be fine!" she smiled at her new friend.

     The Cybunny was very fond of Tanya, and felt protective of her in a maternal sort of way. She lay down at the base of some sea grass, and the little Aisha curled up between her front paws. The night was mild and warm, and in very few minutes the two were fast asleep.

***

Tanya stretched and yawned, as Amilie opened her eyes. She looked intently into her companion's crimson gaze.

     "I heard the song again. It reminds me of my mom, but I'm sure that she never sang it to me. How can I be remembering something that never happened?"

     "Could it be that the song makes you feel the same way that your mom did?"

     " I guess so... it's kind of like the way you make me feel too. Safe, like everything's going to be okay from now on. How does the song make you feel?"

     "When I think about it, it makes me want to cry. Yet, I think that I would be sad if I didn't hear it anymore. I wake up in the morning and it's on my mind. He was always on my mind in the morning too, my friend. He would tease me sometimes, and he was always very stubborn, but whenever I felt bad he was always there for me. His name was Carl."

     Tanya made little marks in the sand with her paw while she thought. Where did she hear that song before? How did Amilie know it too? A warm breeze swept through the dunes and ruffled her silky fur. Her new friend was shuffling through the grass, looking for the tender shoots to eat. As an Aisha, Tanya wasn't content to dine on such fare. She went ahead a little farther, looking for something that could pass as breakfast.

     "Hey Tanya, if you're hungry I have a couple of Neopoints. You can go up to the boardwalk and buy yourself a hotdog if you'd like."

     "No, I'll be fine," she lied, not wanting to take advantage of Amilie's kindness. She knew that money was hard to come by when you were out on the streets.

     Instead she took her mind off of her stomach by splashing around in the mildly lapping surf. Standing up to her knees in water, she would wait until a big wave swept by her and dig her paws into the loose sand beneath her. The force of the water would almost knock her over, but she loved the feeling of standing against the power of the ocean and remaining on her feet.

     After a time, Amilie came over to join her. Playfully she splashed at Tanya, and the Aisha splashed back. They had a wonderful time chasing each other through the surf, until they fell back panting onto the shore.

     "I'm glad that you found me," Tanya said to Amilie, "It's not so hard to keep going now."

     "I'm happy to hear that. It hurts to be alone all the time. It's one of the things in life that doesn't get easier as you go."

     The Aisha nodded in agreement. Now she didn't have to be alone anymore. She hoped that they could stay together like this forever, and to be family for each other. Still, a part of her didn't want to say this out loud. She was afraid that Amilie wouldn't feel the same way. As long as nothing was said, she could go on pretending that they were a real mother and daughter. Pretending was enough for her, even if it was only for a few days.

***

As the sun began to set, the pair laid out on the sand and watched the stars slowly appear in the sky. After a long silence, Amilie turned to Tanya.

     "I think... that I might know what the song is," she said, "I wasn't sure before, but now that I've met you it's become clearer." Tanya looked at her intently.

     "My mother told me once, back when I was your age, that when someone dies they go up into the sky. I think that it's your mother you hear when you go to sleep, she wants you to know that she loves you. My Carl is the one who sings to me, the ones we love send us this song to give us comfort. The knowledge that you're loved is the greatest gift that anyone can give you. I know that your heart hurts, but I also know that your mother loves you very much, and that she'll always be there for you. When you hear that song, you can remember how much she meant to you."

     "You mean a lot to me too, and I don't ever want you to feel alone again. We can support each other, so that the days aren't so hard. One day it won't hurt so much. That day is far away though, and we'll only make it there if we don't turn our backs on the people here that love us. I have a lot in the past to atone for, but I think that now I'm ready for that."

     Tanya snuggled closer to Amilie. Moments like these would not last. Pleasures would come, and pains also, but knowing that she had a friend that loved her would sustain her soul forever.

The End

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