Black and White
The sun gazed down upon the sandy dunes of the Lost Desert,
and its rays were like daggers of heat that struck the ground ceaselessly. Far
off to the North, the kingdom of Sakhmet could be seen. Its palace towers, made
out of sun-burnt sand and stone, loomed like sentinels. Their windows were their
eyes, and their balconies were lips. It was burning hot, and the air was completely
saturated with calidity.
Far off to the south of Sakhmet dwelled the quiet
village of Okhet. It rested upon the shores of the ocean, so the houses of this
village were made of cool mudstones gathered from the edges of the blue sea.
The Neopians of this village call themselves Okhetiers, and the majority of
the population consisted of Lupes. They were all multi-colored, but their fur
were all burnt into a deeper shade due to their constant exposure to the sun.
Okhetiers were a close bunch, though, and everyone in the village knew the neighbors
of their neighbors, and so on.
To the west of the small village were miles upon
miles of sand dunes, and far off in the horizon, the black edges of the Haunted
Woods could be seen. Genee, a Skunk Lupe, slowly made his way towards the village,
for he was a traveler from the Neopia Central, and he had crossed the depths
of the Black Woods in order to reach Okhet. With each step, flickers of electricity
flew from his paws and shocked the surrounding air. Genee, though, ignored this,
and continued to drag himself through the sand and towards the village.
He was parched. Thirsty. Beyond thirsty. Three
weeks of continuous walking, and one week of dry desert surroundings had started
to take its toll. He was beyond glad that he had finally made it to the village.
He would've never went if it weren't for the fact that he was the only one in
his family that could survive in the Haunted Woods, since his odd case of Shock-A-Lots
gave him a protective electric layer. Errands. CT was always asking him, and
the others, to run errands for her.
"Why can't she just go herself?" he questioned
angrily as he neared the outermost building, a Water Shop, of Okhet. Tied about
his neck was a plastic bag of Neopoints that CT had given him to buy shelter,
food, and the rare desert fruit, a Pyraberry. CT was going to try to raise the
fruit in Neopia Central, despite the fact that it only survives in desert regions.
Slowly, Genee made his way past the Water Shop
and entered the bustling main street of the village. Around him, Lupes of different
colors and sizes browsed through the shops that lined the dusty roads. Shouts
echoed off the walls, and the combined mutterings of hagglers and shopowners
was nauseating. Genee shook his head and tried his best to avoid touching anyone
as he made his way towards the fruit section of the market. He could already
smell its ripe scent in his nostrils, and he was quite eager to get on hands
on a Pyraberry and return home from this scorching place. Genee lifted his head
higher, looking for an empty place for him to walk through, and he began to
"Move over, loser!"
Before he could even breathe, Genee felt the
body of a Lupe crash into him. Instantly, strands of electricity erupted from
his body and shocked the poor thing. The Lupe screamed in surprise and jumped
back, but it was too late then. The electricity had already absorbed itself
into his darkened green fur, and it's volts surged through his body like lightning.
The green Lupe gasped in surprise and collapsed upon the floor as his eyes started
to water from the stinging. He couldn't move, or stand up. He was momentarily
paralyzed, for the sudden shock had driven the breath from his body.
"Oh my Fyora, what's happening to him?"
"Is he all right?"
"What did that skunk Lupe do to him?"
"Did you see those bolts of light on his body?"
"Oh, somebody call Doctor Gaerk!"
"What in the world is that skunk Lupe?"
Genee hadn't even processed what had happened
before he heard these words enter his ears, and everything in his world started
to shrink. Thoughts of home and his family crowded his mind as his fear of everybody
and everything started to grow. He looked around in horror at the faces that
gazed fearfully at him, and he couldn't bear it. He couldn't take it anymore.
He took off running through the nearest opening, and ran straight into the endless
I keep hurting people. Why do I keep hurting
them? What's wrong with me? Why did this have to happen to me?
Questions clouded Genee's mind as he wandered
between the dusty dunes of the Lost Desert. He was surrounded by miles upon
miles of hot, scratchy sand, yet he didn't care. He was completely awestruck
by what had happened, and now, his thoughts were occupied by the previous events.
Why did he go? He could've entered the market at night, or at morning, instead
of the time when it was crowded. He was dumb. Stupid. Ignorant. Why didn't he
make a more logical choice? Why didn't he duck in time? How was the Lupe doing?
Was he okay? Was he healing? Would he ever heal?
Genee's eyes instantly focused and he gazed around
at his surroundings. But all he could see was sand, sand, sand, and more sand.
Golden, dusty sand that covered the land for miles and miles, burned to a soft
brown by the orange sun. No. It must've been his imagination, Genee though.
He hadn't heard anything bark, and what he thought he had heard had only been
a trick, an illusion. Genee continued to walk forward, and the questions came
back once more.
His eyes widened in surprise when he heard that
noise once more. "Is anyone here?" Genee asked uneasily as he continued to make
his way around the sandy hills of the Lost Desert. His ears were stiff and alert,
and his nose twitched slightly as it tried to catch a sign of an unfamiliar
scent. He looked up, and it was then that he saw it. A monolith built of yellow
stone, covered in heiroglyphics that were scratched in by metal-wielding Lost
Desert dwellers. It was beyond tall, its highest point seemed to reach towards
Faerieland. Yet, as Genee came closer, it started to shrink, and the odd blue
light that emanated from it started to dull and fade.
Standing in front of the shrine was King Coltzan
An aurous crown sat atop his graying head, and
his penetrating eyes were shadowed in blues and blacks. Thick tufts of white
whiskers hung from his snout, and his mouth was set in a firm, black line. A
yellow shoulder shield was strapped onto his right shoulder, and layers of white
cloth veiled his chest. One single gold band was attached on his left leg, and
it glowed an unnatural blue.
"Lost soul, you have entered the shrine of the
dead Kings of the Lost Desert," King Coltzan III growled softly, and his voice
sent shivers down Genee's spine. It was rough and loud, and yet it sounded ghostly
at the same time.
"I'm... I'm sorry," Genee stuttered. "I didn't
mean to intrude..."
An eerie smile flashed across King Coltzan's
face, and his eyes became pale and wraith-like. "You have entered a cemetery,
lost soul... the graveyard of phantoms. You have entered a haunted place."
Another shiver ran down Genee's spine, and his
legs started to quiver in fear. "I'm sorry," he repeated. "I didn't mean to
"What is it that you want?" King Coltzan asked,
and his eyes lost their intensity. "What is it that you ask of the gone and
"Home," Genee whispered. "Family. Friends. Normality..."
King Coltzan smiled when he heard these words,
and, like a phantom, he started to fade into the wind. His lifeless eyes continued
to stare, and his gray fur started to turn a sick, chalky color as his face
became gaunt and skeletal. Finally, his shadowy figure disappeared, and it was
night in the Lost Desert now. Cold, eerie winds started to pass through, and
Genee collapsed onto the floor. He was frightened. Beyond frightened, in fact.
He had just spoken to a ghost.
The only thought in his mind now was that of
home and light...
"Genee!" I screamed in fear as I sat up in bed. Beads of sweat dripped off
my forehead, and my fingers were tightly clenched about my brown and white comforter.
I was shivering, and it felt abnormally cold in my room. My dream... it felt so
real, and yet, could it be?
I knew that I should've never sent my Genee on
that trip. Despite the fact that it was dark, I jumped out of bed and ran towards
the hall to awaken the others...
Mounds of cold, dewy sand were piled upon Genee's
shoulders. Occasionally, they would fall off with each burst of electricity
that snapped from his body. He groaned, and he slowly blinked away the grains
of sand that were glued to his eyelids. He felt weak, tired, and once the memories
of last night came back into his mind, he felt frightened and terrified. Quickly,
Genee jumped and the piles of sand fell off of his body... but wait.. what was
that white object that fell off as well? Sand was not white, particularly not
in the burning desert.
Genee approached the small, white blob of fur
and tried to catch a glimpse of its face, though he made sure not to touch it.
Suddenly, without warning, the small blob jumped up and tackled itself into
Genee. He growled out in surprise and anger, for the moment the small thing
touched his body, he felt an enormous surge of energy erupt from his body and
through the tips of his fur.
"Get off!" Genee warned with a growl and snapped
into the air. He believed that he was already too late, for the small thing,
was on the grou... no, it was standing. It was still standing, and it was staring
at Genee with small, beady brown eyes. The volts that had transferred itself
on its small body were starting to fade and disappear, but it did not affect
the little thing.
It was a white Anubis, and a small, golden chain
hung loosely about his neck. His fur was colored a pure, blinding white, like
layers of cold, untouched snow upon the uppermost towers of Terror Mountain.
His eyes continued to stare at Genee, and he barked a familiar bark that Genee
had heard once before.
Genee slowly approached the small thing and he
placed one careful paw upon it's tiny shoulder. Another flicker of electricity
ran through his paw and into the Anubis, but all the Anubis did was flinch and
bark once more. No pain entered its face, no surprise, no shock... no nothing.
Only inquisitiveness, curiosity... Genee picked up the little thing and hugged
it close to his chest.
It had been a long time since Genee had been
able to hold something without hurting it, and he tightened his hold upon the
Anubis as it wriggled uncomfortably in his arms. It barked again and started
to lick Genee's face, and he begun to laugh in surprise.
A companion. An unlikely companion. Was this
the work of King Coltzan III?
Genee looked up, and to his surprise, he saw
CT, his owner, trudging through the soft, grainy sand towards him, waving her
hands wildly about her heads. Next to her, floundering about as well, were his
three siblings: Tiger, the Spotted Eyrie, Hopper, the Faerie Kacheek, and Bloo,
the Christmas Grundo. They looked particularly angry, and unusually sweaty as
well. Next to them, walking atop the sand as if it was cement, was a Desert
Aisha. Her small, black eyes glimmered royally in the sun, and she glided across
the sand towards Genee easily. Still, Genee could see an amused smile plastered
across her face as she came closer. She was probably one of those Lost Desert
tour guides, the ones who knew every nook and cranny of the Lost Desert, and
the only reason why they still kept their tour job was because they loved seeing
tourists flounder about in the soft sand.
"Are you all right?" the Aisha asked as she came
closer to Genee.
"Yes," Genee said happily as he placed the White
Anubis down on the sand. "I am."
"Oh, that's good. Has anything odd happened?
Usually, most tourists who wander about in the Desert speak of seeing strange
things... discovering strange things," the Aisha murmured, mostly to herself
than to Genee. Slowly, she lifted her eyes towards the sun, and she gazed at
its strong rays and burning center. "They speak of seeing our King..."
Genee smiled as she said this, and placed one
paw upon the head of the Anubis, which was still sitting obediently by his side.
"They speak of a strange creature, as well. A
ghost, a phantom, a spirit who was taken on the form of our old king," the Aisha
whispered. "They say that he was an evil spirit, one who had come from the other
side, the dark side. More evil than Dr. Sloth, and the Drenched of Maraqua.
His eyes could tear someone up with just one glance, and he could bring a nation
to ruins if he felt that it had offended him in any way. But... one day, the
King of the Lost Desert, King Coxtlan, banished him from the world of Neopia.
But, his spirit remained, an evil spirit remained, and in order to punish the
king, he hid the Lost Desert from the world for hundreds and hundreds of years.
That is... until he had fallen for King Coxtlan XXII's daughter, Ameray. He
then spent another lifetime trying to pursue the young Aisha, until she perished
and disappeared from Neopia during one of trips across the sea towards the Island
of Mystery. It was then that he couldn't bear to live in evil any longer, and
he became the guiding hand that helped the next king of the Lost Desert, King
Coltzan III, the youngest and third brother of Ameray, for the other two had
perished alongside their older sister. He appeared in Coltzan's dreams, and
helped him... until he had been usurped by the visiting princess. Then, he spent
the next few years haunting the place of the shrine, and he took on the form
of our late king and granted wishes to anyone who happened to pass by. Of course,
they all believe him to be our late King, but he isn't. He is simply a magician
who has no form..."
Genee stared at the Aisha for the longest time,
and he looked towards the horizon of the Lost Desert. CT and the others were
still struggling to get closer, for a heavy wind has started, and it delayed
"What was his name?" Genee asked the Aisha. "The
name of the magician?"
"He goes by many names," she whispered. "Like
all magicians, they have many nicknames and aliases. But, the one he took on
before he died, was Eochoniche. The people of the Lost Desert, though, call
him the Black and White Magician, for he was once evil... and now he is good."
Search the Neopian Times
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