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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 27th day of Awakening, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 29 > Continuing Series > Rebirth: Part Four

Rebirth: Part Four

by solargriffin

Traveling was not as bad as I thought it would be. My second in command, Gryph, turned out to be a great companion. The young fire Lupe was about my age, smart, funny, and a great warrior. He proved the latter in our first confrontation with the outlaws. He rode in like wild fire and kept the forces at bay, preventing our group from taking any serious injury. As things turned out, our minds thought along the came lines, so we could easily agree on battle strategies and defence plans. Together, we proved a formidable force. When we first began our battles with the bandits, our battalions seemed equally matched, but after many skirmishes, we proved more powerful. We now had them on the run, and heard news that elsewhere the outlaws' forces were failing as well, and some were even surrendering. This turn of events was heartening and morale was high as we set out for the Great Rock, the place I first met Lillypaw and the tribe, and where this adventure began. There we would reunite with the rest of the Quataro Pack, and no doubt, celebrate our victory. However, something allied me, something that fighting outlaws or even joking with Gryph could not cure. It grew inside me until even I could no longer deny its cause. I missed Lillypaw. And it was more than that; I longed to see her, to be with her again. Every day the knot in my stomach grew, and I vented the only was I knew how, I wrote. You always hear stories about swashbuckling cowboys that write beautiful poems for no reason. Well let me tell you this, there is a reason. All of my feelings I wrote in lyrics and ballots, trying to find the perfect words to describe my emotions. The poem had to be just right, for I planned to read it to Lilly the night we returned. I spent hours scrawling notes on scraps of paper, throwing most into the fire but tucking a precious few into my hat. Then, finally, the night before we were to arrive at the Great Rock, it came to me. I wrote a poem I felt was perfect. I put a tune to it and repeated the words over and over. Finally satisfied, I tucked the little treasure under my hat and tried desperately to get some sleep. However, this was easier said than done, for I was too excited to sleep. Tomorrow I would reunite with a pack I had not seen for two months. Finally, my eyelids drooped and I drifted into a dreamless sleep.

The next day was bright and sunny, and everyone was in great spirits as we saddled up and headed for the Great Rock.

"Boy, I can't wait to say the old gang again," Gryph said looking towards the rising sun. "Not that it hasn't been a ball, Al," he added with a laugh.

"Ha, I know how ya feel. I can't wait to see everyone," I answered wistfully. Some more than others, I added to myself. We set out with a smile and began to talk of the celebration party that we would have that night. We conversed for hours before we finally fell silent. Everyone began to look ahead, eager to be the first to spot the rock. It was about five o'clock when Gryph gave an excited howl.

"There it is! Straight ahead!" he yelled. Our little group cheered and I turned to Gryph.

"Race ya!" I said, and took off towards the hill. I heard Gryph laugh and take off behind me. The rest of the Lupes galloped after us and we approached the rock in a thundering herd. I cantered up the hill and brought my horse to a halt. A cheer rose from the hilltop as all the Lupes who had already returned rejoiced in our arrival. My friends Snow Cap, Black Dart and Tut ran up to me and we all gave each other warm welcomes. I was relieved to see them all again, in one piece, though Dart now had a large tear in his right ear and both Tut and Snow sported matching scars upon their snouts. Suddenly I heard a loud, familiar voice over all the commotion.

"Make way, make way!" it ordered, and out of the throng appeared Lupo. When the alpha Lupe saw me, he beamed. He came up to me and gave me a massive, suffocating bear hug. "Nice to see ya again, my boy!" he said affectionately. I smiled up at him. The old warrior hadn't changed one bit since the day we went our separate ways, save a long scar that ran from his forehead to his cheek. He saw me eye it and laughed. "I got careless that's what happened," he said tapping the mark with a claw. "But believe me, that dirty bandit paid dearly for hurting old Lupo!" I smiled and was just about to ask where Lillypaw was when I heard a sweet voice call from behind me.

"Alvator!" it cried. I spun around and came snout to snout with Lilly. She smiled widely and pulled me close before holding me at arms length. "You lucky devil, you don't even have a scratch on ya!"

"Neither do you," I said with a laugh. Then I changed my voice to sound a bit more serious. "Hey Lilly, there's something I need to tell-" but she cut me off.

"Oh I need to tell you something, too" she said excitedly. She was about to continue when Lupo came up to us.

"Ha ha, now daughter, whatever you have to say can wait for the party! Go wash up you two. Tonight we celebrate!"

A few hours later, I sat around a huge fire surrounded by all my friends. Snow Cap and the others were on my left, and on my right was Lillypaw. Beside her sat Golden Horizon and Lupo Fuerte. I was in my best dress, which consisted of my bright red bandana and my newly cleaned cowboy hat. I fidgeted, clutching the poem in my paw, for I didn't know quite how to get Lilly alone. I was just about to ask for a moment of her time when Golden Horizon stood up.

"Pack!" he called. "I have an announcement to make." Silence fell over the crowd and all eyes turned to him. He smiled. "I would just like to announce that Lillypaw and I have decided to become a couple." My stomach flipped and my mouth went dry. The cheers and howls from the pack seemed to be coming from miles away. I felt as if some had run ice through my entire body.

"Isn't it wonderful," I heard Lilly say to me. "I wanted to tell you earlier but we got interrupted." I turned to her and saw a joyful expression on her face. I smiled.

"This is great news," I said as cheerfully as I could. Luckily I was saved from further conversation when Lupo stood up and called for silence.

"This is a glorious occasion," he bellowed. "Tonight, not only do we celebrate our victory over our enemies, but we rejoice the union of my daughter as well…" Lupo continued for a long time, but I heard little. When he finally sat down again, I yawned and stood up with a stretch.

"Well," I said to Lilly, "I'm beat. I'm gunna hit the sack."

"Wait!" she called after me. "Didn't you want to tell me something?" I glanced down at the crumpled parchment in my palm.

"No, no, it was nothing," I replied softly as I cast the paper into the fire. With that, I left my friends and the party. I crawled into my little tent, took out a piece of parchment, and began to write. The poem I created surpassed all the others, putting even the one I destroyed at the party to shame. I read the letter to myself and gave a sad smile. I held it between my two paws and was about to tear it in two when something stayed my hand. I looked at the poem and thought for a minute. I suddenly got up and left my tent. I stood in to moonlight and looked around. I found what I searched for and walked toward it. As I stood over Lilly's backpack, I signed "Alvator" at the bottom of the paper. Then, I grabbed a cactus needle and was about to pin the paper to the bag when I remembered Lilly's words from a while back.

"Every single Lupe in this pack has renamed themselves. It forms a break with the pains of the past. It cleanses, in a way, symbolising a rebirth into a brighter future." I paused a moment and then ripped the signature from the page, resigning the with name "Lone Star." I folded up the poem and pinned it to the backpack. I stood there for a while before finally turning away. I went to my tent, collected a few items, and slowly made my way to my horse. In the dark night, his liver chestnut coat was almost black, and his champagne mane glittered in the moonlight. I gave him and affectionate pat before loading up the saddlebags and swinging into the saddle. I urged him forward to the edge of the hill before pausing. In the distance, I could still hear the noise from the party. I sighed and looked up at the sky. It was midnight, exactly one year since I first came to this spot; one year since I met Lillypaw. I reached down and patted my horse's neck.

"Well, boy," I said softly, "it looks like things have gone full circle." I gave a long, mournful howl and listened as it rolled over the desert plains. Then I spurred my horse into a gallop and rode off the hill and away from my pack.

I never looked back that night; it would have been too painful. That was five years ago. I wandered the desert ignoring my pains, becoming "Lone Star." Today, I still patrol the wilderness, chasing outlaws and defending the weak, but I mostly stay close to small towns and villages. There, people call me a hero, and know me only by my new name. This helps me to forget my past and continue with my life. On the whole, my rebirth has been successful. However, on those cold windy nights when loneliness whips around all solitary creatures, Lillypaw still steals into my dreams. Then I remember the past, and the days we used to spend together. But I am comforted in knowing that she is content, wherever she is. Lillypaw's rebirth was successful and she is happy with her new life. I only hope that I, too, will one day find happiness in mine.

The End

Previous Episodes

Rebirth: Part One

Rebirth: Part Two

Rebirth: Part Three

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