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When the Weather is Grey: Part Three

by puppy200010


Next morning, conditions were the same as the last. Rain beat against the roof, a sound that was starting to drive Nili quite insane. The fire, she noticed reluctantly, had gone out overnight. Once she went back to the town, she'd have to remember to grab some extra matches. Her plan was to leave to go to the village before the sun came up, in hopes of finding a library, or at least books, to help explain the odd reasoning behind a place where it never stops raining.

      Once she thought it was late enough, Nili grabbed her empty potato sack and headed towards the village, intent on finding some information. On the way there, Nili couldn't help but wonder how the plants managed to stay alive and not drown. And why didn't the whole island eventually disappear from flooding? Shouldn't she be underwater now?

      In the village this time, all the huts looked familiar. None of them seemed to hold a possibility of containing her sought-after knowledge, but she forced herself to look anyway. No more than twenty minutes after she had started pawing through the huts on her mad search, she heard noises outside. Glancing out a window, she grabbed her sack and prepared to take off, empty-handed and knowing no more than when she had come. They were returning.

      Even her quick dash wasn't enough to outrun them. They walked towards Nili quickly, who couldn't help but compare them to undead zombies. They scared her as they came closer, the dark bags beneath their eyes making them seem even more lifeless.

      "No, stay away!" screamed Nili, desperately wanting to escape. Her cries went without meaning though, and she tried to run. However, her legs and feet refused to stray from their current position on the dirt road.

      They captured her. Actually, Nili did have to admit later, her immediate capture was unlike any she would or could have ever imagined. They simply grabbed her arm lightly and took her on a short walk to what she assumed was their cafeteria or dining hall. After they were there, she sat down with them at a long table, and one of them, a Grey Shoyru, got up to speak.

      "Welcome to our island, Nilika. I hope you've enjoyed it here so far, because you're going to be living here for the rest of your life."

      How do they know my name? And...rest of my life?!

      "We have already assigned you your own hut. It may be hard to find the first time, since all of our huts are uniform here. We like them that way.

      "In addition to simply living here, you may go through a series of changes. In fact, you've already started," the Shoyru added softly.

      "Excuse me? Changes?" asked Nili, becoming suspicious.

      "Yes, changes. You see, your coloring will..." The Shoyru trailed off in mid-sentence. "Well, I think you know." He gestured to the pets sitting around him.

      Nili gazed down at herself, just noticing how her dark, shadowy coloring was fading. "But no, I can't- can't become one of... I have to- I've got to leave, and I don't intend to- I... I..." she stumbled, becoming alarmed at the way the other pets were staring at her.

      "I'm sorry, Nilika, but you don't have many options here. There is no way off this island. Trust me, we've all tried." The Shoyru said in a stony tone.

      "But I can't become one of you! There's got to be a way out of here! If I stay here and become one of you, I'll go insane!"

      A loud mumble went around the table, which was quickly silenced by the Shoyru, who was clearly their leader. "Ah, so the Tuskaninny did find you. We were all afraid he had. He's clearly brainwashed you with false information! Us, insane? Bah, I say he's the one who has lost his mind!"

      She was torn about who she believed. Did she believe the Tuskaninny who had found her first, and led her to shelter, or did she believe the pets who were in front of her now? The real pets, or the ghost? Just who was correct? But why, she thought, would these pets have a picture of the Tuskaninny on their hut walls if he had brainwashed me? What's going on here?!

      "Now, we must wait for you to become grey, and once you are, you'll become one of us."


      "Grey, grey, grey..." the others chanted.

      "You must become grey..."

      "Embrace the greyness..."

      "Feel the depression..." moaned pets over the chanting.

      Nili shoved her paws against her ears to drown out the dreadful noise. How would she escape this? All the exits were blocked by strong grey pets. Her situation seemed hopeless. It now seemed that she really would be spending the rest of her days on the island.

      "The portal... go to the portal." Nili took her paws off her ears and looked around intently for whoever was trying to help her. The others looked at her strangely, but continued their mad chanting. What portal?

      "The hut with the fireplace! Go!"

      Go? How? The guards block the entrances...

      Suddenly, a hot coal from the room's fireplace flew through the air, nailing one of the guards, who stumbled away from the door. Before anyone could react, Nili jumped up from the table and ran, full speed, away from the others and out of the building.

      Now on the road, she couldn't remember which hut she had arrived in. As she ran past, she tried to quickly check each one. Fireplace? Nope. she thought as she checked each passing hut. By the fourth or fifth hut, she could start to hear shouting from somewhere behind her. They're coming! I must find the portal... It has to be around here somewhere!

      "She's getting away!" the voice of the Shoyru shouted. "We must catch her! Quickly, split into two groups! She couldn't have gotten far!"

      Nili's search became more frantic as the sounds of heavy footsteps came closer. Which hut was it? She ran faster. Just when she felt like she could run no longer, she peered into the right hut. Yes! Nili thought with elation. She threw open the door to the small building and ran inside. To help stall the others longer, she pushed the heavy wooden table to the doorway, to block the door.

      Now what? she thought frantically, her eyes quickly scanning the dark room. Should I try to lie in the bed? That's where I was when I got here...

      As she tried the idea, she could practically hear the voice scream, "No, no, the fireplace!"

      As she reached the fireplace, the others started banging on the door. She sat and cowered in the corner of the stone fireplace, not knowing what to do next. "What do I do now? How will this help me get home?" she cried out loud, wanting the Tuskaninny to help her further. No answer came. She wanted her last thoughts as her own, individual, shadow colored self to be of her old life, so she thought of what had been at home. Fondly she remembered her life back home, her sister, Scri, her owner, her neohome... She would never see them again. The pounding grew louder, and it sounded like the door was about to crack in half. The perpetual rain still beat against the roof, a noise that would haunt her for the rest of her life. No longer was the sound relaxing as it had been before. I had been smart when I was younger. Rain is horrible. I hate rain! she thought. Back into her thoughts came the memory that she had thought of on Friday, during study hall. Make the rain go away, Scri... she wished, even though Scri wasn't there.

      Slowly at first, then more rapidly, the sounds of the pounding and the rain faded out, along with the images of the room. Nili was now in blackness, alone. Did they get me? Am I asleep? Where am I? What is this place? Suddenly, the Blue Tuskaninny was standing beside her and talking.

      "Ah, so you managed to escape. Good work."

      "Yes, thank you so much for your help!" Nili said, so relieved that tears ran down her face.

      "Help? Nili... I'm a figment of your imagination... I don't exist..."

      * * *

      "Nilika, wake up!" She was shaken awake. Opening her eyes slowly, she saw a familiar Green Gelert, dressed in doctor's clothes. "You mumbled your whole story in your sleep."

      "But it isn't real! It isn't!" Nili insisted, quickly becoming hysterical over the memories on the island.

      "I'd love to believe that, but..." He sighed. "I think you should see for yourself." He handed her a small mirror. She reached out her paw for it and froze. Her gaze drifted up her arm. Then, her breathing becoming heavier at each breath she took, she threw off the sheet covering her. She didn't even need the mirror. Her voice raised to a high, shrill cry. She was grey.

The End

Author's note: I'd like to thank velveteen for providing some of the inspiration for this series. Oh, yeah, and *looks out window* the crappy weather as well, which was rain every day for over a week!

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Other Episodes

» When the Weather is Grey: Part One
» When the Weather is Grey: Part Two

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