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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 6th day of Running, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 116 > Continuing Series > The Amber Stones of Courage: Part Two

The Amber Stones of Courage: Part Two

by ridergirl333

"And a-one and a-two and a-one, two, three, four!"

     "There's something in the air when you're around, boy.
     Something that my words just can't describe.
     And now you have me on my knees,
     Begging please,
     Give me a chance, and I can make you come alive!

     "The sun shines warmer, the breeze smells sweet,
     Every time that you and I meet.
     My heart feels lighter; my feet must dance,
     Come on, give me a chance.
     Give me a chance."

     Amethyst went into a spectacular display of talent on the drums, while Emerald rocked away at his rusty guitar. Ruby banged on the piano keys like no pet before. Sapphire felt so untalented among this group of super-musicians. Yet, they all adored her voice. They said it could put the faeries to shame. Perhaps that's true, but Sapphire wouldn't believe it.

     "I could walk on water when you come around, boy.
     My soul is free to fly.
     And yet you treat me like something ew!
     On your shoe
     All I want is for you to be mine!

     "The sun shines warmer, the breeze smells sweet,
     Every time that you and I meet.
     My heart feels lighter; my feet must dance,
     Come on, give me a chance.
     Give me a chance.
     "All I wanted was for you to like me!
     All I wanted was to be treated fairly.
     All I wanted was to take off my mask.
     Is that too much to ask?"

     Then, everything melted into a dream again. Everything around Sapphire disappeared, and she got lost in her world of love for the music. Swirling colors… lavenders, rose pinks and mint-greens. The music wrapped her in its swirling, sweet cocoon and she let herself be wrapped. That's it. Do not struggle, little one, the dream said. Sing along. You know you want to.

     She paused, and then replied, "Okay." The music said something in a mystical language, something she had never spoken or heard of before in her life. And yet, she knew it by heart for it was her language, her music, and her dream. It knew her and she knew it, and they were like best friends. More than friends, they were sisters.

     Tierre, aerine, marina, eth incedi.
     Luminos shine eth sombre obscuri.
Chante a faeries, Chante a faeries.
     Melodi, melodi avec ma."

     "Earth, air, water and fire.
     Light shining and darkness hiding.
     Song of faeries, Song of faeries.
     Sing, sing with me."

     That's it. Sing, said that disembodied voice.

     Then, that familiar quaking. The colors began to run into each other, painting swirls of chaos. The floor began to crack and splinter. Finally, unable to support the weight of an Eyrie, it gave way and Sapphire found herself falling, falling into that silent pit. No color anywhere. Not even in her feathers. Not the tiniest tint of blue or gray. It was absolutely colorless. And the oppressive silence, it closed around Sapphire's ears threatening to crush them in its icy grip of hatred. It wanted to stifle the music, to silence the music, to silence that magical voice that had sung alongside Sapphire. To silence Sapphire's voice, too.

     But someone called to Sapphire in this pit of oblivion. A familiar voice, deep, husky, "Sapphire… Sapphire?"

     "Hey! Sapphie! Wake up!" That husky voice had been Ruby. Slowly, Sapphire opened her eyes and the dazzling colors nearly blinded her. So many colors, so much sound, it was overwhelming.

     "Sapphire, are you okay?" Amethyst asked.

     "You scared us! You're going to give me a heart attack someday! And Neopets can't even get heart attacks!" Ruby ranted.

     Sapphire looked around, and realized that she was sprawled on her NeoHome lawn. "The… dream." She muttered. "So… so real. The colors… the sound."

     "You make no sense whatsoever," Ruby muttered. "Let's get you inside."

     On the way inside, Sapphire told her siblings everything about the dream. The voice, the colors, the void. Everything.

     "Creepy," Ruby whispered. "What are we going to do about it?"

     Amethyst shook his head solemnly. "Well, I think our song may have triggered the dream. And if she's going to collapse every time she sings… Sapphire, you can't be in the band."

     "Amethyst! It doesn't happen every time I sing! I can still be in the band, I promise I won't faint on stage, I…"

     "You're not capable of making that sort of promise, Sapphire," Ruby said. "We're doing this for your own good."

     It's funny. A few days ago Sapphire would have done anything to get out of the band. But now, now she just want to sing.

     "Guess what! Guess what!" EmeraldFlame555 the green Scorchio raced through the NeoHome door, slamming it shut behind him. Sapphire was sitting at the same old table pouring her same old NeoCrunch cereal into its same old bowl. Her neck was bare. No flaming Amber Stones.

     "I got the Jewels a gig!" he shouted at Ruby and Amethyst who were also in the room making after-school snacks. "Matt Bluehorn the blue Uni is having a birthday party, and he wants us to play!"

     "One problem, Em," said RubyRainbow333 the rainbow Uni, "we don't have a singer."

     "We can recruit one before the big day," said AmethystSkye111 the purple Peophin. "When is the big day?"

     "Next Saturday. Amethyst, you're the most artistic Peophin the third grade. Draw us a flier that will catch even the least observant NeoPet's eye."

     "Correction, I'm the most artistic NeoPet in the Golden Jubjub Elementary School." Amethyst sat down at the table, pencil and pad of paper in hoof. "What do you want it to look like?"

* * *

Ruby, Amethyst and Emerald posted their fliers up all over Neopia Central. That Saturday, a week before the party in their NeoHome backyard, dozens of NeoPets came from to put their voices to the test.

     "Iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiee-iiiiiiiiiiii looooooooooovvvvve yooooooooooooo!"

     "Rock dis 'ere place."

     "You could… what were the lyrics again?"

     Not all of them made the cut.

     Sapphire and her siblings listened to singer after singer never finding the one whose voice they needed. Finally, when all of the NeoPets left, the most mysterious thing happened. "We have seen everyone who wants to try out." Emerald said quietly. "But…" he held up a golden hand mirror studded with colorful rainbow jewels. In the glass, lavender, pink and mint-green fog swirled. Instead of the mirror reflecting its surroundings, the surroundings reflected the mirror with an eerie pastel glow.

     "What in the name of Leaping Lennys… " Ruby approached the mirror, and her multicolored fur seemed purple in the light. "What's going on here?"

     Then, a soft voice came from that glass. Sweet as a nightingale and as bold as an eagle. It sang with the rage and pain of a wounded hawk and the gentleness of a baby sparrow. It was all of the birds of the world combined in one beautiful and hideous and loving and hating voice. It was the voice from Sapphire's dream.

     "The sun shines warmer, the breeze smells sweet,
     Every time that you and I meet.
     My heart feels lighter; my feet must dance,
     Come on, give me a chance.
     Give me a chance."

     "You haunt me, even in my waking hours!" Sapphire shrieked at the mirror. "How dare you! How dare you come here and make me suffer all over again… how…"

     Then, an image appeared in the glass. An image of fire and hope, strung on a long thin chain. The Amber Stones. Sapphire understood what the mirror was trying to tell her. Slowly, she backed out of the backyard and into the house and then went to her bedroom. The Stones lay in their mahogany case, and she stroked them lovingly before bringing them into the yard.

     The mirror saw the Stones… but would you really call that "seeing?" It was glass, after all. Then, it began that haunting song again.

     "Tierre, aerine, marina, eth incedi.
     Luminos shine eth sombre obscuri.
     Chante a faeries, Chante a faeries.
     Melodi, melodi avec ma."

     "Earth, air, water and fire.
     Light shining and darkness hiding.
     Song of faeries, Song of faeries.
     Sing, sing with me."

     Sapphire felt the music. She was singing it again! The elements of magic were hers to command. That song wasn't just a song; it was a spell! And Sapphire was a mage, or magic master. Her gift could be found in the beat of a drum and the strings of a harp and the notes on a scale. For anyone who has ever strained ear to listen to the music was touched by her magic. On and on, like a rainbow of song, so pleasing to the ears and calming to the mind. The fire of the Amber stones leapt sky-high reflecting the light of the mirror, and yet it did not burn. Instead, it shed light everywhere, adding a touch of gold to the pinks and lavenders and mint-greens. The fire warmed the heart, the very soul, and left the skin pleasantly cool. The song could never be too loud.

     Then, the swirling notes stopped. The song halted in its tracks, and the void opened. It consumed all of the color it was exposed to, leaving a tree ash-colored and some grass dead and whitish. Then, it proceeded to consume the colors of the mirror. That lovely voice cried out in pain. Its cry was suddenly stifled as the void tried to eat sound too.

     "NO!" Sapphire hollered. "You can make me feel insecure at night, but you cannot take this away from me! I have found my courage, and nothing can stop me now! Especially not some dumb old void!"

     The void looked up and dropped the mirror, leaving it deathly pale.

     Then, it charged towards Sapphire.

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Amber Stones of Courage: Part One

The Amber Stones of Courage: Part Three

The Amber Stones of Courage: Part Four

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