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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 29th day of Storing, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 110 > Short Stories > Heiwami: An Angelic Aria

Heiwami: An Angelic Aria

by random_joy

A sweet voice drifted on the wind, driving itself into the hearts of all that heard. Many of the small birdlike petpets stopped their own melodious singing just so they hear. Heiwami paused to look at her small audience. The green Usul had always liked singing to the birds. They could understand the song a lot better than most Neopets. She continued on with the bird petpets hanging on every note that came out of her mouth.

*****

The sun hung high in the noon sky, but its heat was driven off by a cool breeze. Everyone was glad for the relief as the day cooled down. Heiwami decided to visit the park to get an ice cream and then sit in the shade of a tree and enjoy the day. Her plans were going smoothly until she passed a bin and saw a strange brown object inside. Curiously she picked it up and plucked at one of its strings. A musical note rang out that made Heiwami feel like she was flying.

     "Ya can have it if ya like, I’ve no more use for that violin. ’Bin getting too old for it now," said a grizzled old Kacheek who sat on a bench next to the bin.

     "Violin?" repeated Heiwami.

     "Yep, makes a pretty good tune if ya know how to play it right. Ya’ll need the bow ’o course," the Kacheek pointed to a long slender stick with Uni hair tied onto it.

     Heiwami placed the bow onto the strings of the violin and pulled it across. A horrible yowl came from it that made Heiwami cringe. "How do I play it?" she turned to where the old Kacheek was sitting. He was no longer there.

*****

Heiwami tried valiantly to get a good sounding note out of the instrument. Every time she stroked the bow to the strings though, all she found was an agonising wailing. Some Neopets that passed by covered their ears while she endeavoured.

     "You honestly think THAT is playing?" scoffed a blue Blumaroo on her jog. She stopped with her pet Warf so they could both laugh.

     "I think she sounds great, but that's when compared to a pack of singing Kadaotie!" laughed a Jetsam.

     "Shh, its not her fault she’s hopeless at it," whispered an owner to her Mynci.

     A group of pets and some owners had now surrounded her and many were laughing hard. Heiwami felt the blood boiling in her cheeks and tears stinging her eyes. She ran away from the crowd carrying her violin with her. At home she slammed the door shut and jumped onto the bed. Choko, her Halloween Baby Blu though normally cheerful to see her fell silent and watched as she cried.

     "Why you sad Heiwami?" he asked concertedly.

     "Its all this stupid things fault! I shouldn’t have started playing it. Now everyone's laughing at me because I can’t play properly!" she hiccuped in between the tears.

     Choko inspected the musical instrument and plucked a string, the same beautiful note she had first heard rang out. Choko smiled as he thought of something. "How long you been playing Heiwami?"

     "I only got it a few hours ago," she replied.

     "Well, you can’t get good in only few hours!" he exclaimed. Heiwami stopped crying. He was right. "You gotta practise!"

     "Thanks Choko. You always know what's best." She gave him a kiss on the head. Choko grinned and blushed sheepishly.

*****

Time to see what the crowd thinks again, thought Heiwami as she entered the park. She had been practising for days on end and had become a lot better than what she had first been. It reminded her of those long days back with her owner when she was going to enter a talent contest and sing. It had been tough and agonising for her, but not this time. She had found it a lot better to cope and it had been fun practising with Choko telling her when she was starting to sound bad again. Heiwami found the bench next to the bin where she had first found the violin. She sat down and set herself up.

     "Isn’t that the Usul from the other day? You know, the one with the really bad sounding violin?" noticed a Techo who was talking with a friend.

     "Yeah, it is. I wonder how much worse she’s gotten since then?" giggled the blue Blumaroo jogger from before.

     Heiwami ignored them and put bow to strings. Her paws danced across the top as she found the melody and her arm slid back and forth in fluid movement as the bow skated along. Some of the pets that had mocked her before stood aghast and listened.

     "Mommy, lets stop. Don’t you hear the pretty music? Don’t you wanna hear more?" squeaked a baby Aisha to her owner. The girl stopped and smiled as the harmony enthralled her.

     Heiwami glanced at the crowd before her, thinking of them as the bird petpets that she usually sang to. Heiwami closed her eyes and let her voice out.

     Where are you going? When will you stop? Will you find your destination, or is it the journey you like? Your life is a never ending ride. Slow down, hear the music Listen with your heart Let the tune take you away Slow down, feel the rhythm You can if you really try Slow down, slow down, slow down Not stopping for anyone, not caring for anybody Is this how life is meant to be? Look around and take in the sun And think of things in a calmer way Slow down, hear the music Listen with your heart Let the tune take you away Slow down, feel the rhythm You can if you really try Slow down, slow down, slow down Fast paced owners and their pets Trying to buy that expensive stuff Will they give to the needy? Why don’t they stop, have a moment Think of what life they’re missing Slow down, hear the music Listen with your heart Let the tune take you away Slow down, feel the rhythm You can if you really try Slow down, slow down, slow down...

     The last note on the violin faded to silence and the gathering started clapping. Not clapping, but cheering! Heiwami smiled. She had played well.

*****

Heiwami returned to the park for several days after that, singing her songs and playing the violin to all those who would stop. She noticed that everyday the same Blumaroo jogger that had so cruelly teased her had been listening. She never clapped though at the end of a performance which Heiwami found puzzling. She didn’t mind however, just as long as she had her violin she was happy. One day at the end of another song Heiwami joyfully left the park with the cheers of the crowd still fresh in her ears. She wasn’t looking when suddenly she stumbled on a rock and the violin went flying from her paws. It landed with a thud right in front of the Blumaroo jogger’s foot. Heiwami watched in horror as the instrument snapped into fragments under the Blumaroo’s paws as she went past.

     "Oh dear! What have I done?" cried out the Blumaroo in a fake sounding voice. "I’m sooo sorry. You must feel horrible. Me and my big clumsy paws. Sorry, must go. Toodles!" the Neopet gave a giggle under her breath and started jogging again.

     Heiwami could only stare at the broken violin. How was she supposed to play now? Tears sprang to her eyes as she walked home. She told Choko about it, but even he couldn’t think of anything. She would just have to stop playing. Heiwami sadly put it in the bin outside and murmured a last goodbye. The next day she went back to the park again. She received many questions about when she was going to play. Sorrowfully she told them that she would never be playing again. She found her bench and sat down dejectedly as the usual crowd dispersed around her, going back to their everyday routines.

     "Ya know its a real shame I can’t hear ya play today. I heard ya were getting pretty good too," an old Kacheek said.

     Heiwami blinked surprised. "I didn’t think you’d be back."

     "I heard a few rumours and I wanted to see ya play. Pity though, a real pity about my old violin," he said patteing his beard.

     "I’m really sorry about it," whispered Heiwami. "I never meant for it to get broken."

     "Ya know the real wonder about stuff that is broken is that it can be fixed again," smiled the Kacheek.

     Heiwami stared at the old Neopet. What was he on about? "Um, what do you mean...?"

     Suddenly, he produced a violin out from the suitcase he was carrying. Heiwami’s eyes lit up as he presented it to her. "Go on, try it out. I was going to drop by your place last night to hear, but then I saw ya put it in the bin, so I fished it out and repaired it," he said as he gave her a wink.

     Heiwami settled the instrument under her chin and put the bow to the strings. A harmonious melody called out as she played. After her introduction she started singing, the sweetest and most beautiful she had ever sang, powered by the warmth of the tune and the meaning in her lyrics. The old Kacheek gave a grin as he felt the song enter his heart. He had been right in letting her have his old violin, she was the only rightful one to have it after him. He closed his eyes and listened to her angelic aria.

The End

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