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Will You Remember Me?


by lightninglover34

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Once, on the mountain - the mountain of terror, deep in the night of snow and wind - There on the mountain - the mountain of terror, a weary young orphan lost his way. And this is what happened - the strange thing that happened - to a weary young orphan that lost his way.

     Through the whirling snow and blistering wind, when all doors were firmly shut and windows closed and battened down - when the young were gathered by the fire, wrapped in blankets and sipping hot Borovan, and the old calculated how much wood they should burn at a time to make it last through the blizzard - through the snow, wind, and deadly chill, the form of a young one could barely be discerned. This, friends, is how our tale begins.

     He trudged through the knee-high snowdrifts, pulling his frayed and patched coat around him. Yes, it was cold, but what choice did he have? It was this, or back to the Pound. Perhaps, just perhaps, she would take him back and let him be part of the family, like it was before. His mind wandered back…to what seemed like not so very long ago…

     It was over three years before, so some told him, that he had had a family. An owner, almost a child really, with dancing eyes and arms that were always safe and warm. Two sisters and a brother tormented the life out of him, but were always there to defend him if the need should arise.

     A sudden glow caught his eye. He slowly made his way over to it, finding it to be a reflection in a window. Peering inside, he could see a baby playing with a toy, gurgling and squealing happily as it bounced on the knee of its owner. He turned away, not being able to see anything else past his tears.

     He glanced at the piece of paper clutched in his hand. Apparently he was close to the address written, but it was hard to be sure when all landmarks had been obliterated by the storm. Peering out across the desolate stretch of land that was supposed to be Alpine Avenue, his sharp eyes could see…absolutely nothing.

     His mind wandered back to the day she had left, promising to return one day. He had grabbed her hand and whimpered, "But you won't forget me, Mum, will you? Will you remember me?" She had held him close, and whispered, "Yes, I will remember you."

     His mind wandered back to the present. Oh, how he wished he had mittens or a scarf! But a scarf was too much money, and where could he find two pairs of mittens? These were the things that caused the poor to cry - lack of food, clean water, and warm clothing when the weather was against them.

     Suddenly, he walked into something solid as rock. Staring up, he found it to be the main door to a grand mansion. It looked to be at least three stories, and with ice gardens surrounding it, the structure used up every square inch of space right up to the next property. After looking at his scrap of paper again, he found that this was the house he wanted to find! He slowly pressed the doorbell, hoping against hope that someone would answer.

     The door flew open and there stood a Ghost Ixi.

     He shrieked, and the Ixi just laughed. "Land o' maircy, ye must be taired. Do coom en fur a spell and get yeerself wairmed oop."

     As far as he could sort out the accent, he figured she wanted him to come inside. He followed her in, and at the Ixi's request laid his tattered coat on the table in the entry hall. Gazing around, he saw obvious signs that this family was rich - such as the rock pool, the grand staircase, and the fact that the room was made of marble, for one.

     He was handed a blanket and ushered into the living room, where he sank down into a plush Ultranova sofa and pulled the blanket over most of his head. The Ixi flitted out of the room, and then right back in, followed by a young woman. He trembled - it was her!

     The Ixi left again, and the young woman sank down in a sofa across from him. "Yet another weary traveler, lost in the storm," she commented, in the voice he recalled so well. "We get one every day. Why, if we didn't leave the light on in the west gable room, we'd probably find…well, let's not go there. It wouldn't be a pretty sight. So, honey, what are you doing out here? Don't you have an owner?"

     "I did, once. But she forgot about my family and I. We've all been separated. I'm the only one left in the Pound. I got a few days off for good behavior."

     "Well, I can understand that, but this isn't exactly a vacation spot."

     "I know that. I tracked my old owner down, and I found she lives up here."

     "But why would you want to go back to her? She forgot about you! Chances are, she doesn't deserve a pet like you. Um…who are you, anyway?"

     He pulled the blanket away from his face, so she could see who he was. But…she couldn't remember him! He hadn't figured on this.

     "I'm Moe," the little Kau whispered. "You don't remember me?"

     A look that Moe had never seen before flashed across her face. "Moe? I-I…"

     The Ixi walked in again. By now Moe was quite used to seeing a ghost have the run of the house. But he was not prepared to see three other pets following her. They all grouped around their owner, snuggling close. A lump rose in his throat. She had…replaced him?

     One of the pets noticed him, and asked, "Hey Mum, who's that?"

     She gazed at him, trying to make him understand. He rose from his seat and replied sadly, "Just another traveler. Don't mind me. I don't mean anything anymore."

     He headed for the door, shrugging into his coat. He pulled it tight, fastening the few buttons that were left. She had followed him, and was pleading, "Please try to understand. I didn't - I mean, I wasn't…"

     He stared at her, his large eyes penetrating. "I know you weren't. How could I have thought that you'd care? That you'd take me back? I thought I meant something to you. I thought you cared!"

     "I do, I would've, you did, I do! I just…I can't!"

     "I guess I thought wrong."

     With those words branding themselves on her heart, he opened the door, slipped through, and it slammed shut. She stared at the snow on the floor, quickly forming a puddle on the white marble. As if suddenly rejuvenated, she ran down the hall, up the flight of stairs leading to the west gable, and across the room to the window, where she nearly set the house on fire by tipping over the candle. She yanked the window open and screamed, "Mooooooooooooe!"

     The howling wind carried her words away.

     She slowly made her way down the stairs and into the living room, where she was pelted with questions.

     "We heard, Mum, who is he?"

     "Mum, where'd he go?"

     "Who is he, Mum? Do you know him?"

     She stared out the window, a faraway look in her soft brown eyes, quickly pooling with tears. "I did, once…a very long time ago."

     "Well, why'd he come up here, Mum? I don't believe he was lost. Why was he here?"

     "Yes, Mum, why did he come to see you?"

     "Because…I didn't remember him."

The End

 
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