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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 18th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 27 > Short Stories > The Tale of Aaliera

The Tale of Aaliera

by tklotl

Once upon a time, there was an Aisha named Aaliera. She was just like any other Aisha of the time-and since Aishas have changed since then, she was not at all like what you'd expect. Aaliera was a magic Aisha, and lived in the utmost splendour. But her life was empty and barren. A remarkably tall tower with rooms full of exquisite food, ancient books, and powerful weapons may be a very nice place, but it does get boring if you have none to share it with. And the tower would never let her leave; whenever she tried to, the doors and windows would turn to stone. Even her magic could not help her.

Aaliera's days often were spent staring out a window, or crying silently. She had nothing... riches did not matter to her. Magic did not matter. All she wanted was a friend. But in those times, friends were rare, and existed only in the towns and villages where NeoPets grew up together. Aaliera had lived all her life in the tower, and she had always been alone.

One day, Aaliera decided to do something. Drawing up all of her power, she brought down the tower in a great crashing fall of bricks and wood, narrowly escaping her prison by leaping out the window as soon as she did so. The tower's control over her was over at last-though to this day, no one is quite sure how that happened. The tower should have rebuilt itself around her in a fraction of a second, but it did not. Aaliera took no notice of the odd circumstances of her escape, she merely ran and ran until she reached a forest, where she collapsed exhausted against a tree and fell asleep.

When she woke, her eyes saw a glorious sight indeed: the sunrise. Lightly speckling the trees and forest floor with beams of light that filled with dust motes slowly dancing in mid-air, covering the sky in pale orange, yellow, and even an odd purple-red tone, the sun was the first beautiful thing Aaliera had ever seen outside of the tower. It filled her with peace, and as she searched for breakfast and shelter, her mind was filled with contentment. This forest was home to her, much more so than the tower had been.

For the first time, breakfast was not a rich meal of high quality. It was plain and simple-berries, and a few strange roots with an odd spicy taste. She drank from a stream, and nearly laughed with joy when she fell in and felt the cool water on her fur. After swimming for a while, she dried herself off with some water-absorbing moss, and went to look for some place to call home, a cave perhaps, or a tree with a flat spot in the crown.

She found neither of those, but what she did was good enough. A relatively large hole, surrounded by boulders. By dragging some branches and placing them over the rocks as to make a roof, her home was made. Moss and ferns supplied a bed, and as the stream and berry bushes were nearby, she felt confident that she could live here for quite a while.

And so she did. Several years, in fact. Occasionally she caught a fish in the stream, and the strange roots were plentiful, as were the berry bushes, and some fruit trees. She felt happy there, but still her quest for a friend was unfulfilled. Determined to finally find someone, she set off once more.

For a few weeks, her hole was abandoned, and "home" was any tree or rock she could sleep against. Traveling was all she did, but the forest never seemed to end. After many futile searches for trails or routes, Aaliera used her magic for the first time since her escape from the tower, and rose up into the air, until she could see over the trees.

As she saw, the forest did have an end, and it led to a large cave. On all sides, the land was surrounded by water-an island. She could see no villages, and the ruins of her tower were the only signs of civilisation. With a sigh, she headed towards the ground again, and started preparing for even longer travel.

First, she would need provisions. There was no guarantee that food was in the cave. After weaving a basket out of reeds next to the stream that flowed throughout all the forest, she filled it with fruit, berries, roots, and a few dried fish. Then she made another basket, but this one was taller and skinnier, and had leaves woven into the outside. Aaliera filled it with water, and covered it with a broad leaf. Weaving a strap for it, she put it over her shoulder and picked up the food basket.

Next, she looked for a branch or fallen tree limb. Picking up a large stick, she broke off all the twiggy bits and tested it by thumping it against the ground. It did not snap. This would be her walking stick, and it would help her in the cave. Now she was ready to start traveling once more.

It took her several days to reach the cave's mouth, and when she did, she saw that it lead into a tunnel. After taking one look back at the forest that had been her home for the past three years, she hurried down into it, and hoped fervently that she would find someone-anyone-down there. Aaliera was not sure she could last much longer without something to talk to.

The tunnel was lit by phosphorescent fungus on the walls, and she had to walk quite carefully to avoid stepping on some. Feeling grateful that she'd packed supplies, she took a swig of water, and ate a few berries. The long hike had left her thirsty.

Another day in the caverns left her weary. The fungus never quite stopped glowing, and when she tried to sleep, the light showed through her eyelids. Aaliera had taken to putting her face in the food basket, just for a little darkness.

Two days passed. The poor Aisha felt that if she went on in the tunnel much longer, her eyes would be permanently sun struck, and she would not be able to handle darkness ever again. But she was in luck-her quest had reached an end. Sitting on a rock, chewing thoughtfully on a piece of fungus, was a lizard-like creature about her height.

It noticed her almost immediately, and started talking in a voice of concern. "Why, you're from above, aren't you! You shouldn't have come down here without something to wrap around your eyes so you could sleep! Here, this'll help." The creature wrapped a piece of rough cloth about her face, and Aaliera nearly fell into a swoon of bliss. It was dark! Falling asleep instantly, she fell upon the floor. The creature merely shrugged and started eating the bit of fungus again. "Outsiders. They never bother to learn."

When she woke up, Aaliera saw the lizard-thing staring at her. Gasping, words tumbled out at an accelerated pace. "I knewit! Iknewthat therewassomebody somewhereandIknow thatI'mnotalone nowand-and--... ohh... I was so lonely...."

The lizard-creature smiled. "My name is Morialiet, but you can just call me Mori. I'm a Krawk. We live down here. What's your name?"

Taking control of her senses again, Aaliera replied, "My name is Aaliera. I lived in the forest, up above. But I got so lonely, I just started journeying, and I found a cave that led into this tunnel. I'm an Aisha. Erm... I came here looking for a friend, and... well... would you care to come back up to the forest with me?"

Still smiling, Mori said, "Sure! I'd be glad of some company myself. Very few people ever show here-the tunnel goes clear through the sea and into another island, but barely anyone knows about it."

The two NeoPets eventually found their way back through the tunnel, and up into Aaliera's island. Mori was dazzled by all the plants and trees, and frequently asked Aaliera questions about them. "What's this? You eat those roots? They look so ugly, all warty and yellow! Wow, these trees are huge. Is that a stream? You can play in it? I got all my water from small ponds! This is amazing!"

Aaliera was even more happy than she had been when she first saw the forest. Her life was complete, now. And both she and Mori lived happily ever after.

The End

Author's note: This is just the first story. I plan to write about Aaliera and Mori in the future. Any suggestions as to what I should do next? BTW, the names are entirely made-up. If one of your NeoPets is named Aaliera, Mori, or Morialiet, I assure you that I did not steal their name, and that it is purely coincidental.

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