IT WAS AN early morning in Neopia Central when I woke up from a wonderful dream.
As I brushed my white tousled fur, I tried to imagine myself back in my fantasy.
But wait a minute, let me introduce myself. I'm Pantherasper, a white Kougra
who lives with my three siblings and my owner, akamissmatrix. We have a nicely
decorated NeoHome located in Neopia Central. This is where my story takes place…
As I sat down at the breakfast table, akamissmatrix
walked over and kissed my forehead. "You slept well, I hope?" she asked.
"I slept great!" I replied. "I had a dream where
I was in medieval times… there were dragons and everything."
"Oh boy…here we go again." My younger sister,
a feisty purple Blumaroo rolled her eyes. "Medieval this, medieval that.. Ever
since people have been talking about a new world you've had nothing else to
say," interrupted CyrusGreen, my starry Lupe brother. He leaned over the table
and grabbed the orange juice carton to pour himself a glass. I shot him a disapproving
look and turned to akamissmatrix. She shrugged helplessly and glanced toward
the stairs as my other brother, Evilikara, walked sleepily down the stairs.
Evilikara stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the tense looks on everyone's
faces. He smiled and raised an eyebrow, then walked back up the stairs shaking
his Eyrie head. I heard him mumble something, but was too annoyed with my siblings
"Medieval times were great," I challenged, "Fierce
dragons, princesses in distress, gallant knights… We all need something to fantasise
about." I jumped out of my chair and went to my bedroom. As I sat on my bed,
I rummaged around under it, looking for my Medieval Pteri collectable card.
As I held it in my hand, I lay back on my bed
and closed my eyes, imagining….
I shook my head as I woke with a start. I hadn't planned on falling asleep,
in a little while I was supposed to go to the Toy Shop with akamissmatrix to
buy a present for a Neofriend's baby shower. My eyes blinked slowly and then
again as I took in what was around me. My once island themed bedroom was suddenly
decked out in stone. The bed I had fallen asleep on was not my own, but an enormous
canopy with silk blankets and a jewel encrusted headboard. A large wooden door
with a small barred window stood at the front of the room. The door suddenly
banged open as a purple Blumaress in a magnificent dress and a matching hat
with a veil entered my room. I gasped as I recognised her.
"Well don't just stand there with your mouth
open, tell me how good I look in my new dress!" A medieval Lilynaa stood at
the side of my bed, paw on hip, waiting for my praise. "Er… You look good,"
"Since when are you so fancy with words?" Lilynaa
sarcastically remarked. Just then, a new character came through the door Lilynaa
had left open. I was shocked as a regal-looking young woman in a dress ten times
more spectacular than my sister's entered. "Akamissmatrix?" I asked, quite surprised.
She brushed a few tendrils of curly blonde hair out of her eyes and walked over
to me. She took my hand and guided me off of the bed, and began smoothing my
clothes. "Well, you've managed to wrinkle your new cloak already." She glanced
down at me and tried to look stern, but could not wipe the amused and loving
smile off of her lips. "You have jousting lessons today, make sure you're on
time," and with that she left the room.
"She is our mother, but next time the queen enters
the room you should remember to bow, Pantherasper." Lilynaa remarked. Or should
I say, Princess Lilynaa. For what seemed like the tenth time that day, I was
speechless. I nodded and walked out of the room in a daze. Once outside my room,
I snapped to attention and took in everything around me. I padded down a long
flight of winding stone stairs, with small windows every few feet. I stopped
on a stair and peered out the gold encrusted window. I saw that I was very much
above the ground, and staggered with dizziness at the view from the window.
I was standing on perhaps the 5th flour of our castle. A large moat spread across
the land below me, protecting our castle from enemies. I continued down the
stairs, faster this time, anxious to be out of the castle and explore the land
As I reached the landing of the stairs, I saw
two huge doors that were the exit and entrance of the castle. I saw a gruff
Skeith guard standing by the doors and caught my breath as he saw me. I relaxed
at once as he and I both remembered who I was. "Good day Prince Pantherasper.
Are you going out?" He bowed deeply to me. "Yes, thanks…So, please lower the
drawbridge." Filled with courage because of my title, I went out on a limb and
assumed that was the right thing to say to him. It worked, for within a few
minutes I was standing outside of my family's castle, looking at a winding dirt
road in front of me, the moat behind me. A cart was coming by, driven by a old
Draik and pulled by horses. I snuck onto the back of it, tucked my tail in under
me, and waited out the ride….
I saw a few small hay and wood huts coming up ahead of us, and hopped off of
the cart. The Draik didn't look at me once, and didn't know he had just given
a free ride to a Kougra prince. I walked over to one of the huts, and as I came
closer, I saw that they were all black with ash and falling apart. A hooded
female Ixi was sweeping up pieces of wood and soot from the pathway to her hut.
"Hello?" I called out to her. She turned to look
at me, and I saw there were tears in her eyes.
"Yes, what do you want?" she asked. "I see from
your clothes you are noble, but as you surely can see from my living arrangement,
I have no goods to offer a traveler."
"Oh, no, I'm not a… ah, well, what I meant to
say is that I'm not looking for hospitality. I just wanted to ask you what happened
here. Everyone's houses look burnt, and many behind us were crushed and falling
to the ground."
"Yes, burnt indeed. As if we villagers here are
not poor enough, a fierce dragon came from the mountains a few days ago and
terrorised the whole area, and ruined all our possessions. He burned down houses,
ate our crops, scared the children, even ate a few old timers (she shuddered
as she said this). Nothing has been the same since, and we have nothing to eat.
I'm one of the lucky few who still have places to live. A lot of the huts were
trampled on or set on fire completely." The Ixi looked so forlorn as she described
this massacre that a tear came to my eyes.
"Where is everyone now?" I asked her. "The village
"Many left to seek new shelter, or ran to the
forests for safety when we first caught sight of the dragon. If you stay in
this village for too long, you'll die of hunger, for there is nothing to eat
but a little leftover bread."
I reached down into my pockets to search for
something to give the poor Ixi. A few round objects came into my grasp, and
I pulled out 4 gold coins. "I hope this helps, it's all I have on me." I said
"I wish there was more I could do." She nodded
her hooded head and thanked me, then turned and went into her ramshackle house…..
Back at the castle I nodded to the Skeith guard as I walked by him to go up
to my room. Akamissmatrix saw me head up the stairs and followed me on my way
up. As I sat on my lavishly decorated bed, I turned to her and sighed.
"Did you know that a dragon attacked the nearest
village? They've been devastated, and have nothing to eat." My owner, the queen,
took my paws in her hands as she sat down beside me. "I'm sorry you had to see
their pain, but sometimes there is little one can do. I'll have some food and
rescue efforts sent down there tomorrow." She dropped her head and then looked
me in the eyes. "I'm proud of you for having such care for people. As the oldest
of your brothers and sisters, you'll make a wonderful king some day."
With that, she tucked me into bed, blew out the
candle, and walked towards the door. She stopped at it and looked at me,
"Just so you don't worry about them, your rascal
sister is already in bed, and your brothers are downstairs having a late supper.
Goodnight my little dreamer." And dream I did.
The sun streamed in through my curtains as I opened my heavy eyes and sat up.
I was back in my room, and the sun was just rising. I leapt out of bed and ran
to the kitchen to share my story with my family. I found Evilikara and CyrusGreen
sitting at the table, with two bowls of coco neocrunch set before them. Lilynaa
stood in front of the cabinet, looking for something to eat.
"You two ate the last of the NeoCrunch!" Lilynaa
angrily accused my brothers. "Now I have to eat an omelette."
She made a face and flounced over to the table
where she "accidentally" bumped Cyrus with her elbow. He reached out and swatted
her ear with a starry paw.
"Lily, you should be happy you have that omelette
to eat. In medieval times, poor people didn't have anything to eat, and certainly
couldn't be choosy about what they did eat," I announced. Lilynaa rolled her
eyes at me as she opened her mouth to speak. "Well I'd be more than happy to
give poor medieval folk my omelette. But since I have my head out of the clouds,
I know that's not possible. You're always dreaming, Pantherasper."
I thought about what she said, but was I really
dreaming? I guess that's a story for another day, another time. But if you happen
to be passing by some little straw huts in your dreams and see a medieval female
Ixi, give her my regards.