Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 90,555,864 Issue: 166 | 12th day of Storing, Y6
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I Promise


by playmobil_is_my_life

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Miranda the blue Zafara picked up her flute. It was a beautiful instrument; its silver coating gleamed under the kitchen lights. Sleek and so delicately shaped it was like a treasure, a musical treasure waiting to be played.

      Miranda raised it to her lips and blew. Her fingers moved silently over the openings, changing the notes from high to low. The melody was low and sweet, filling the Neohome with beautiful sound.

      Her owner, Lynn, watched Miranda play and applauded enthusiastically when the song ended.

      "The was absolutely beautiful, Miranda."

      "Thanks," Miranda smiled shyly, lowering the flute.

      "What was that song called?"

      The Zafara thought about it and replied, "I'm not sure. I just made it up."

      "Well you certainly do have a talent for it," Lynn patted her on the arm. "Are you going to play it for the music festival?"

      "Yeah, I think I will."

      The music festival was an annual event held at the music store for all Neopians who took lessons. Miranda had been playing flute for three years, and it was her favorite thing in the world. The previous two festivals had been fun, but this year Miranda was going to play her best song yet.

      At that moment, Miranda's brother Garret, a red Eyrie, slipped inside and shut the front door. "That sounded really great, sis." He said, "I heard it from outside."

      "Then you'll come to hear me play it at the festival, then?" Miranda grew hopeful for a moment. "You promised me you'd come."

      "I know, and I'll be there," Garret smiled, "I promise."

      Miranda knew how busy Garret was. Between his friends and his job at the bookstore took he didn't have much free time. Sometimes he made promises that he couldn't keep. After all, he hadn't showed up at the previous music festival, or the one before. Miranda knew she shouldn't get her hopes up.

     So she just nodded and started upstairs with the flute.

      ***

      It was after dark and Miranda sat in her room, with her music book on the stand. She raised the flute to her lips and began to play, filling the room with a sweet melody. Lynn knocked on the door and pushed it open.

      "Time for bed."

      Miranda put the flute back in its case, lined with red velvet. She shut the lid and set it on her dresser. Lynn said good night and gave her a quick kiss on the forehead. "Don't stay up to late thinking about that music festival. You need your sleep."

      After Lynn left, Miranda couldn't help but to imagine how wonderful it would be when she played the flute up on stage. She was sure everyone would love it. Especially Garret. Her older brother would be so proud of her.

      "You're going to love it, Garret," Miranda whispered the words into the blackness of the night. She thought in admiration, "I'll play the best song you've ever heard."

     ***

      The second day of the month of Storing came quickly. Morgan sat at the kitchen counter, nibbling on a carrot and pea omelette. She was so excited! Tonight was the big music festival in the bazaar.

      But two minutes later, Miranda went from excited to angry and hurt.

      Garret flew in, his red wings outstretched and his eyes lowered to the floor. Miranda could see that he looked uncomfortable about something, even before he said, "Miranda, I have something to tell you."

      "What is it?" chirped the Zafara, taking a sip of Kau Kau Farm milk.

      "I'm afraid I won't be able to… to make it to that music thing tonight."

      Miranda's fork clattered as it hit her plate. "The music festival? What do you mean you can't make it?"

      "Well," Garret looked embarrassed, "I sort of told some friends that I'd hang out with them tonight a long time ago." He tapped his wingtips on the counter, "I know I promised you, and I'm sorry because I did want to come. But Miranda, I just can't blow them off, they're my friends…"

      "And I'm your sister," Miranda spat, "don't you care what I do?"

      "Of course, but--"

      Miranda's eyes welled with tears and she cut him off, "I knew you'd do this!"

      Garret frowned, "do what?"

      "I knew you'd break your promise. You've done it so many times, Garret. You promised me you'd come to this and now you're blowing me off for some friends that you see everyday." Miranda was outraged. Her blue eyes narrowed, "You can't make it to one thing that's important to me. You always have an excuse." Miranda's eyes started to blur, "Don't make promises to me anymore, Garret. Because apparently you can't keep them."

      And with that, Miranda rushed upstairs and slammed the door to her bedroom, making the Usukicon posters shake.

      "I knew it," she whispered to herself, "why did I ever think that he'd come?"

      And suddenly, Miranda didn't feel much like playing the flute anymore.

     ***

      After a small dinner, Miranda and Lynn started towards the music shop. Miranda's blue fur was groomed and she carried her flute it its case. She tried to tell Lynn that she didn't feel like playing, but Miranda didn't want to disappoint her.

      They started into the music shop, and into the back room where they took their seats. The red Kyrii that owned the shop went up to the slightly elevated stage and stood at the podium.

      Miranda half-listened to his speech. The other half of her mind kept trying to think that Garret was here. But he wasn't, and Miranda tried to keep her mind focused on the song she was going to play.

      The first musician was a Quiggle who played the saxophone. Next was a Techo who strummed out a song on his bass guitar. Miranda would have normally enjoyed listening to the other Neopians play, but she was still a little disappointed.

      When the red Kyrii called her name, Miranda stepped forward with her flute and took it out of its case. The instrument was freshly polished and as wonderful as ever. Miranda scanned her audience: Lynn gave her a friendly thumbs up and dozens of heads were watching her. Miranda sat down on the chair and took in a deep breath then stopped.

      The doors burst open and a red Eyrie came in.

      Garret.

      He looked embarrassed as he quickly took a seat next to Lynn. He looked up towards Miranda, his mouth curving into a smile. Miranda smiled back, a warm feeling inside of her. Garret winked.

      Miranda positioned her fingers and began to play. It was her best song yet, ringing through the room like a bell. But the best thing was to know that her brother was there, listening.

      When the song ended, Miranda received tremendous applause from her audience. Garret even swiftly rose up and clapped, and soon everyone in the room was on his or her feet.

      Miranda couldn't have been happier.

      ***

      After the music festival, Miranda, Garret and Lynn walked home. It was a quiet and peaceful night, with the stars shining down on them, and the half-moon luminous. Miranda was still thinking about the festival.

      "I thought you said you had plans," she said to her brother. Garret shrugged.

      "I figured this was a little more important." He smiled at Miranda again and she took his paw in her hand. She had never felt closer to him in her life.

      "So why did you decide to come?"

      "Because," said Garret, lowering his eyes to his sister, "I made a promise."

The End

Author's Note: Thanks a million for reading. As always, feedback or comments is very appreciated. :)

 
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