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A Wish for Bravery: Part Two


by shadowninjawarrior

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"W-what - I mean w-who are you?" asked Chloe, flabbergasted. "And w-what do you want?"

      The veiled figure took off her black silk shawl and looked at the Shadow Kyrii. She was an Acara, yet she was not like any he had seen before. She had acid green eyes and ebony black horns for ears and her face was covered with deathly white fur. It was a face Chloe had only seen in the Gallery of Evil. It was -

      "Vira!" gasped Chloe, backing away from the creature. "I am so sorry, please -"

      "Hush, my child," said the creature, her eyes glinting maliciously. "I know you meant me no harm and I meant you no harm. I was merely crossing the clearing to get to my home when I heard your voice…I couldn't help myself so I heard what you had to say. It seems as though you have been having trouble with some bully and you haven't the courage to get rid of him…"

      Chloe stared at Vira. He struggled to figure out how she knew so much about him but her voice had become intoxicatingly overpowering and he was forced to listen to her rather than run away.

      "…I heard you make a wish - a wish for courage - and suddenly I felt sorry for you so I have decided to give you this. Your wish had been granted, young Kyrii."

      Vira handed Chloe a box made of ivory and ebony and silver. He took it and looked at the intricate carvings on it. They were beautiful.

      Suddenly the voice of his owner, Patricia, rang in his head. "Never accept gifts given to you by strangers no matter how inviting they are." Chloe hesitated and Vira saw this.

      "Open it," she ordered, her voice coated with honey. The Shadow Kyrii did as he was told. The lid of the box was not as hard to open as Chloe had thought it would be. As he opened it, brilliant white light illuminated the surroundings. Chloe narrowed his eyes in his attempts to see what the box contained and gasped.

      Inside the box was a beautiful sight. Apart from the piercing, bright, white, light was a small ornament - well, at least it looked like an ornament. It was a heart shaped piece of baby-pink silk. Its rich lustrous color along with the light played tricks on the mind and made the box look as though it had fathomless depths.

      "Take it…" said Vira. "It's a Brave Heart; using it will give you tremendous courage." Was Chloe imagining it or was Vira being kind - something evil creatures could not be unless they were planning to be unpleasantly evil in the near future. But something in her voice was taking control of Chloe. "Use it well," she said.

      The prospect of being given courage and bravery even by an evil creature was just too good to lose. Chloe turned to thank Vira but as he did, the hideously beautiful creature vanished in a curt swish of her pitch black veil.

     *

      The sonorous sounds of wood hitting a metal bell rang across the hallways of the building. School had started. As the ear-splitting noise subdued many other sound filled the place such as the phuth, phuth of many thousands of feet scampering about the school premises.

      Chloe and his knapsack of a bag entered the Neopian Neoschool and headed straight for the locker room. Maybe it was the new Eau de Cologne he was wearing that made everyone he passed look at him strangely. Soon, Chloe realized that that wasn't the matter, when he looked at the reflection of himself in the glass window; he saw that he had a really goofy grin plastered on his face - things had changed since he had received the generous gift from Vira herself.

      The Shadow Kyrii opened his locker, took something out of his bag, put it in the locker and slammed it shut all in a flash.

      "All right, weak-heart?" asked Dan the Green Skeith, opening his own locker with such a force that its hinges were nearly broken off.

      Chloe merely rolled his eyes at the bully and marched off to class…

     *

      "Settle down, class," said Mrs. Trunch, rather loudly, turning towards the blackboard. "Settle down."

      Everyone took their seats.

      Everyone also started talking - not too loudly but in whispers loud enough for the whole class to hear. Mrs. Trunch, the Brown Yurble, was a little deaf in both ears so she never heard whatever was going on at the back of the class except when someone shouted in a really loud voice.

      "Today we'll be starting Simultaneous Algebra," said the teacher happily, scribbling on the blackboard so fast and ferociously that her hand appeared to be a blur.

      Groans and hisses erupted from the mouths of all the students but Mrs. Trunch paid no heed.

      "So," said Dan gloatingly, leaning towards Chloe and raising his voice so that others could hear him. "Have you heard the rumors?"

      "What rumors?" asked Chloe.

      "Oh you know, the ones regarding you being afraid of the Tooth Faerie…"

      Chloe's eyes widened. How did Dan know that? Only one person knew this secret and she had sworn she would not tattle. That person was Velvet.

      Chloe shot an angry look at the Pink Aisha who returned a nervous, apologizing one in exchange.

      She had tattled and now what had happened could not be changed.

      "Hey, weak-heart," said Dan in a whisper-cry. "Who am I: 'Teeth! I want teeth! Give me your teeth!'" The Skeith outstretched his arms and acted like a zombie while a murmur of approval and laughter rang through the class.

      "Weak-heart…" said a tiny voice in Chloe's head. Heart! The Heart! Suddenly Chloe had an idea.

      "Now class," said Mrs. Trunch, who had not noticed that the whole class had been busy talking and not paying attention to the rules of adding and subtracting integers. "Who can tell me what is minus two multiplied by minus five is - yes Chloe?"

      "Positive ten," said Chloe, lowering his hand. "But that's not why I raised my hand, Mrs. Trunch. I want to go to the special room - where, you know, you go and -"

      "Yes, yes, yes! I know very well where you want to go. Now go!"

      Chloe stood there waiting.

      "What do you want, Chloe? Do want to stay and discuss what you do in a bathroom? I suggest you wait for science class!" remarked the Brown Yurble, looking around to see if anyone was laughing at her cheesy joke.

      "Ermm…" said Chloe, trying to make his act realistic. "You forgot to give me a Hall Pass."

           "Oh…Here you are."

      With the Hall Pass in hand, Chloe ran out of the classroom, not to the toilet but to the locker room. He was going to use the Heart.

      Beads of sweat rolled down the Kyrii's face as he inputted the combination for his locker. Finally, it clicked open. With a sigh of relief, Chloe saw that the box was still there. His overactive sweat glands had started working overtime again as he held the box in his. It was just as it had been when Vira had handed it to the Kyrii.

      With shaking hands, Chloe put his paw on the lid and wrenched it open. Dazzling light shone from it, but perhaps because the locker room was bright and sunny, the light was not as bright as it had been that night in the forest. The faint pink heart-shaped thing lay there delicately in the middle of the box. Chloe used his remaining paw to fish it out. The Heart wasn't how he had imagined it would feel. It certainly looked soft and fluffy but actually, it wasn't. Chloe felt that the Heart felt moldy and dry like a sponge that hadn't soaked water for a very long time.

      Chloe hadn't the faintest clue of what he had to do with the Heart; did he have to keep it in his hands all day or did he have to keep it in his pocket? His heart was pounding. Questions formed in the mind of the Kyrii as instantaneously as fireworks appearing and disappearing in the sky. How much time had gone by? Would Mrs. Trunch send someone after him if she realized that he had been out of class (with a Hall Pass) for a long time? What would the consequences be? What would happen if someone saw him? Would the Heart be taken away from him?

      Suddenly, Chloe had an idea. He put the empty box back in the locker and locked it. Then he took the Heart in both his paws, drew a deep breath and pressed it against his chest. The white light became greater than before. It felt as though something warm was being pushed inside him, deeper that his flesh, and into his very soul. He couldn't tell if it was pain he was feeling or something else…

      Panting, Chloe blinked trying to see but all he could see was darkness until his eyes adjusted to the not-so-very darkness of the locker room.

      The sounds of footsteps met the Kyrii's sharp ears and he realized that he had to reach class.

     *

      "Come in, Chloe," barked Mrs. Trunch. "What took you so long? No - I don't want an answer!"

      Chloe entered the classroom and took his seat.

      "Bump into the Tooth Faerie?" asked Dan looking at Chloe, who still a bit shaky.

      "I don't care what you say," replied Chloe in a loud whisper.

      Whispers of 'oooh's and 'ahhh's filled the entire class, everyone was listening.

      "Don't tell me," said Dan, sneering, "you took a few drops of Magical Bravery Potion?"

      "Yeah," said Chloe coldly. "Yeah - I did."

      "Prove it."

      "How do I do that?"

      "I'll dare you to do something and you do it…Okay?"

      Chloe thought about what Dan had said. The chances of Dan giving him a dare that was doable were really low but on the other hand, there was the prospect of showing Dan that he had changed.

      "What will you dare me?" asked Chloe.

      "Oh, nothing much," replied Dan who was obviously surprised that Chloe had come this far. "After school, you go to the Food Mart and convince the shopkeeper to give you some Super Juicy Icy Neggs for free."

      "And how do I do that?"

      "Dunno."

      Chloe thought again. That would be stealing. He knew he'd be called 'weak-heart' and 'chicken' if he backed out now, but stealing - that was not on. He was about the reject the dare when something happened. A feeling rose in his heart.

      "Don't back out now," said Chloe's heart while his mind fought to show him that it was an illegal dare. "You can do it, be brave. BRAVE. That's what you wanted, didn't you?"

      "Alright," said Chloe turning to Dan. "I'll do it."

To be continued...

 
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» A Wish for Bravery: Part One
» A Wish for Bravery: Part Three



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