“Well, Sirene, the way I see it, you’ve torn your heart
in two. You’ve got one half in each place. You can follow one part, or the other,
but you can’t follow both.”
I put my face in my paws and sobbed. I couldn’t
choose. I didn’t know where my heart really lay.
I am Sirene, and this is my story.
* * *
Tika had been my best friend for as long as I can remember. We were created
on the same day, within an hour of each other, and our owners were great friends.
We grew up together. She comforted me when I was upset, which tended to be quite
often, and I held her back and calmed her down when she nearly got in a fight,
which was also quite often. She told me I was good at things I wasn’t sure about,
and helped me make decisions I couldn’t make on my own.
“Hey, Tika!” I called, bounding up to her. Tika’s
bright blue eyes lit up her face as she grinned and spun to face me.
“Hiya, Sirene!” she greeted me.
“C’mon, let’s go! We need to get there soon!”
Tika was my best friend, a sleek Shadow Kougra
with sky-blue eyes. We made quite a contrast, me a Faerie Kougra and she a dark
I took off, my wings beating the air around me
and Tika hanging on to my paws precariously. We were off to Faerieland for a
day of exploring.
Flapping my wings heavily, I climbed the air
speedily and got the thrill I always got at the first sight of Faerieland, sitting
on a cloud in the vast sky. I soared over the cloud of the city, and Tika jumped
to the ground before I had even begun to land, causing me to spin slightly and
make a rather strange landing. I ended up sprawled on the ground, laughing.
Tika came over, looking anxious. “Are you okay?”
“Okay then! Get up, we need to get going!”
“But where to start?” I queried, getting up and
shaking myself slightly.
“Umm... how about the bookstore!” Tika immediately
galloped off in that direction, and I ran after her.
I pushed through the double doors of the bookstore
after Tika, and while I didn’t see her, I could hear her paws padding the ground,
and her paws picking up books and gently turning the pages as she examined them.
I grinned, and went on to my own search for books.
I found the book I had wanted, and luckily had
enough Neopoints for it with a few to spare. Then I heard Tika sigh.
“What is it?” I asked, walking over to her.
“Oh, it’s just that I’m dying to get this book,
but I need to get a present for Ririanne, ‘cause her birthday’s coming up, and
I found the book she really wants. But I don’t have enough Neopoints for both
of them.” Ririanne was the smallest pet in her family; a very cute little Lupe
who adored books almost as much as she adored Tika.
“How much are you short?”
“Here, you can have some of mine. I still have
plenty left,” I said, handing her 200 Neopoints.
“Oh, I couldn’t–“
“No, take ‘em.”
“Thanks, Sirene!” she said, grinning sunnily
I ferried us both back after a hard day of fun,
and after walking Tika home, fell into my bed and was asleep in no time.
Waking up the next morning, it was all over the
news. The war that had been brewing was coming into full swing.
I was scared. I knew I should fight, but I was
afraid as well. I didn’t want to sign up yet, so instead I made my way to Meridell
to check out what was happening. I was so wrapped up in war business, I forgot
to ask Tika to come, as well.
Right away, I could tell all was not good in
Meridell. Games were tipped over and strewn about, and peasants were running
in circles, terrified for their lives.
Then, as I was just standing and watching, horrified
by what I saw, a old, hooded and ugly pet came up to me.
“Doesn’t all this disgust you, darling?" she
asked sadly. “But I can see you are a strong fighter.”
I blushed. “Well, I am fairly good in the Battledome...”
“Really? Well, now... Here, dearie... drink this.
It will make you very strong, and then you can help set all this right.”
She fished in her robes and handed me a rather
vile-looking potion. I looked at it, not really wanting to drink it, but I did
so want to help set this right. I hesitantly took the potion. I didn't trust
this old woman. She had a furtive, sly look about her I did not like, but my
friends had always told me that beauty was only fur-deep, after all.
“That’s right, good girl... it will make you
stronger than you have ever known...”
I looked at the potion for a moment longer, and
now how I wish I would have just thrown it to the ground. I curse my big headed
idiocy. But I drank it all.
My body was on fire. The pain... it seared through
my veins like lava, liquid magma from the center of Neopia. I fell to the ground,
the empty bottle falling from my paw to crash to the ground beside me. But in
mere moments it was all over. I stood up and glared at the ugly, withered old
Moehog, and advanced on her. She just stood, and laughed.
“Dearie, before you decide to hurt me, you'd
best look in the mirror.”
She handed me a mirror that came seemingly out
of nowhere. I looked at my face, and the mirror slipped from my grasp in my
horror and shattered on the ground.
My face was purple, and covered in spikes. Unknowingly,
and against my will, I had been turned Darigan.
I stared at the ugly Moehog in disbelief. “This...
no... you... can’t... not... you must have given me a trick mirror!”
The Moehog laughed again, a cruel, humorless
sound. “Oh, no, darling,” she said, picking up a sliver of the broken mirror,
seemingly uncaring about the way it cut into her fingers. She held it up so
I saw both our faces in it. Her’s was ugly as usual and exactly like it was
in real life. Mine was a Darigan face.
I looked at my paws. Purple and black, and spiky.
“Why did you do this to me?” I cried, my voice
breaking in terror.
“You may call me Morguss, my dear. And we need
strong fighters like you on the side of Lord Kass.”
“No! I will never come with you to fight with
“Lord Kass, dear. Show him proper respect. You
must come with me. Unless you think that, in the heat of this war, you can walk
around looking as you do now?”
She had me. I could not look like this.
“Change me back!”
“Never. I couldn’t if I tried! The potion’s effects
are irreversible, you see. Morphing potions will do no good, you cannot paint
over it, and magical plushies will do no good as well. You’re stuck like that
for the rest of your life.”
“But... my owner...”
“Ha! Dearie, I know your owner better than you
do. She hates Darigan pets, does she not? She’d disown you without a second
thought. And then you’d be scooped up by someone who just wants you for show.”
I could see I was defeated. Now I curse myself
for being so weak-spirited. But I followed Morguss up to the Citadel.
I was brought into the army, and trained. I never
objected again, because I could see no way out of my predicament. At first I
was absolutely no good in the army. The hard training left me exhausted, and
I lagged behind the others. One day, someone finally noticed me in a positive
A Darigan Lupe came up to me as I collapsed in
a drill for what seemed like the thousandth time. “Hey, you’re doing it all
wrong. You’re trying to wield that sword like it’s a club, and it’s making you
so tired you can’t stand. Here, like this.” She lifted my sword and showed me
how to do it properly.
I did it the way she did, and noticed right away
that it was a great deal easier.
“Thanks!” I said gratefully.
“You’re welcome,” she said, smiling toothily,
“Oh, and I’m Miara. Who’re you?”
“Welcome to Darigan.”
I nodded, grinning, and got back to the drill.
In no time came my first battle. I was shaking
like a leaf, but Miara kept telling me I’d be okay. I believed her.
I was fighting in hand to hand combat, and knocked
down an enemy to come face-to-face with a small red muzzle that I knew all to
well. My mouth went completely dry.
“Ririanne!” I hissed.
Ririanne couldn’t have heard me under all the
armor she was wearing, but as she looked into my eyes I could tell that she
recognized me somehow. “Sirene! Sirene! Take her prisoner!” Miara yelled.
I moved to do so, but found my paws stayed glued
to the ground. I couldn’t take Riranne prisoner. She was so young.
I grabbed her by the shoulders, and leaned over
to hiss in her ear, “Go! Run away! You’re too young to battle!”
Ririanne complied, and ran.
I nodded slightly, and then, looking to my left,
turned white as a sheet. Lord Kass had seen what I had just done.
Back in his courtroom after the battle, I stood
before him, my twitching paws crossed behind my back.
Suddenly, he barked, “State your name and rank!”
“My name is Sirene and I am a soldier, Lord Kass,
“Ah, Sirene...” he said in an icily calm voice,
“tell me, please... why on earth did you just let a soldier from stinking Meridell
I thought and lied quickly, “Sir, I just froze
I could tell he did not believe me, but remarkably,
instead of interrogating me further, he began to speak calmly again.
“Well, Sirene, to keep you from... freezing up...
anymore, I will make a little... ah... deal... with you. If you happen to freeze
up in battle again and allow a prisoner to escape, your little soldier friend,
that Lupess, will go into my dungeons to be executed the next day.”
I gaped. “But, sir, why not me? Take me instead!”
“Ah, but Sirene, I prefer it this way.”
And with that he dismissed me.
Soon came more battles. One after the other.
I couldn’t keep them straight, but I was always in the same legion as Miara,
for which I was grateful. But it continued to remind me of my “deal” with Lord
Kass. And what would happen if I failed to comply.
Then one battle came. We were fighting against
Meridell, as usual, and defeating them. Then I came upon a soldier whose face
suddenly burned into my mind like a brand. It was Tika.
I knew again what I had to do. I was under orders
to take anyone I saw prisoner if I thought I could. I knew what would happen
if I failed to do this. And I also knew what would happen if I did do this.
But then I saw Miara, fighting hand-to-hand.
Miara. Tika. How could I...
I moved forward quickly and closed the distance
between us, trying not to see the horror in Tika’s blue eyes as she recognized
me. I grabbed her paws and tied them behind her back, and shoved her off to
join the rest of the prisoners.
I stood there, watching her go, knowing full
well what I had just done, yet not quite believing I could do such a thing.
“Oh, Tika... please forgive me...”
I never saw Tika again.
One night I was sound asleep in my bed when the
soldiers were called out. There was a surprise invasion, and we were needed.
I suited up quickly and ran outside. An officer told Miara and I, along with
a few others, to go up to the top of the Citadel, for we were needed by Lord
Once up there, I saw there was a battle in full
scale. Darigan soldiers were fending off Meridell soldiers, but the main battle
was between Kass and Jeran. Suddenly, Kass gained the upper hand in the battle,
and threw Jeran over the edge of the Citadel. I could see Jeran’’s paws grasping
the wall, and I heard Kass say, “Goodbye, Jeran.”
My mind exploded. If Kass killed Jeran, it was
likely Meridell would lose the war. And then what would happen to everyone?
Ririanne? Tika, if she was even still alive? Everyone I knew? They would all
be at the mercy of the merciless Lord Kass. I had already as good as killed
my best friend, and I didn’t think I could take it if I didn’t do something
to try to save everyone else.
I began to run toward Kass and Jeran. But Miara
grabbed me and swung me around, and carried me inside. I never saw what happened.
“What is wrong with you?” Miara hissed when we
were inside. “You’ll be killed acting like this! Is your loyalty to Darigan
I just stared at her, tears brimming in my eyes.
And then I told her the whole story.
She listened the whole telling, never stopping
me or interrupting. Then she said, “Well, Sirene, the way I see it, you’ve torn
your heart in two. You’ve got one half in each place. You can follow one part,
or the other, but you can’t follow both.”
I put my face in my paws and sobbed. I couldn’t
choose. I didn’t know where my heart really lay.
But yet I had to choose. I believed what Miara
said. If I didn’t chose, I would be torn in half from the inside.
But how could I choose?
* * *
Torn in two, from inside out
Make a choice, choose a route
Just one question, spirit fly
Where does your heart really lie?
Author's Note: I just want to say a big thanks to all the people at the
NTWF who reviewed this story for me. You guys rock!