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Melody's Song


by _ducky_dude__

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The voice rippled up through the water, as clear and pure as the ocean that surrounded its possessor. The currents seemed to slow and all life around the beautiful voice seemed to way in time with its tune.

     Above the water I sat on a rock partly out to sea. The melody arising from the waters was not as clear as it was under the water, yet I listened, straining my ears to catch every note. That voice, I had heard it before - above the water. It had always been beautiful, as beautiful as the one who sang with it.

     But now I could only sit on this rock and listen to it. I ached to hear it one more time, to hear it clearly and not have to strain my ears to listen. I used to take it for granted, but now I realised how precious it was.

     Sing your song one more time, Melody, I wished.

     Sing it for me.

     ~*~

     The blue Uni laughed as she jumped over the waves. The ocean spray dampened her fur, but she didn't care. What were a few damp hairs compared to the joy of playing in the ocean?

     A red Shoyru was watching her from the side. Melody, his little sister, was obsessed with the ocean and always wanted to go to the beach. This was hard, as they lived in Neopia Central, but every time they saved up enough Neopoints Daeran would catch the boat to Mystery Island and let her play in the surf.

     He approached her from behind and tickled her.

     "Stop! Stop!" she giggled. Her voice was soft and filled with joy. Daeran smiled and let go. His sister slashed him and he splashed her back. Soon they were caught up in an all out water fight.

     About an hour later they dragged themselves up onto the white sands of the beach. Melody lay down, her eyes closing. "I'll just rest here for a few moments…" she muttered. Soon Daeran could see she was deeply asleep. His own eyelids started to feel heavy as well, so he lay down beside his sister. Just a few minutes, he thought, and then I'll get up…

     *

     The Shoyru was awakened by the sensation of cold water lapping on his feet. He opened his eyes to see stars shining above him. Quickly he jumped up. His sister still lay beside him. "Melody? Melody! We have to go!" he said, gently shaking her awake. She sat up, rubbing her eyes.

     "How long were we asleep?" the Uni asked, bewildered at the sudden darkness that surrounded them. There was not a soul in sight, save for her brother who was already on his feet, making his way to the harbour.

     "A few hours at least. Now come on, before the last boat leaves!" he said. But his sister was transfixed by something out to sea. He sighed and spread his wings and took to the air. He landed beside her, looked out at what she was staring at and gasped. A Maraquan Aisha was sitting on a rock not too far away. Her tail was dangling over the side and she was singing.

     It was a beautiful, wordless song; it reminded Daeran of crashing waves, of gentle tides and of clear, still waters. He looked at his sister. Melody was gaping in awe. As the figure out to sea finished her song, the Uni began another one. Her voice echoed out over the waves, as clear as that of the Aisha's. The Shoyru was amazed. He had always known his sister had a good voice, but he didn't remember it being that incredible!

     The Aisha twisted round, a look of shocked admiration on her face. When she saw the two figures on the beach her eyes lingered on Melody, before she dived into the sea.

     The next few days were a blur to Daeran. He remembered getting on a boat, arriving, grabbing food from the Money Tree, and other things. But all the time his sister had a dazed look on her face, as if she were somewhere else.

     Three days after their visit to Mystery Island they were eating their meal in the shelter of an abandoned doorstep. Melody took a deep breath. "Is there any way that I could be like that Aisha?" she blurted out. The Shoyru beside her buried his face in his hands. He had known this day would come.

     "Yes," he murmured. His sister's face lit up with delight and excitement.

     "How?" she cried in excitement. "How can I become like her?"

     Daeran's heart hurt. "We have to buy a Maraquan Paint Brush. That will turn you into someone who can live underwater. But…" his sister's face fell. It hurt for him to continue. "But we can't afford one. We can barely get enough to eat, and those things cost millions of Neopoints! I'm so sorry, Melody, I really am so sorry."

     The Uni stared at the ground. "It's all right, I understand," she said, but her voice was choked up as though something was blocking it. She insisted that she was all right, although her eyes were watering and she was clearly forcing back tears. Her brother put his arms around her.

     "It's alright to cry," he said softly, as the tears trickled down his sister's cheeks. "Hey, I'll take you back to the beach soon, we've still got some change left over from last time!" he smiled, trying to cheer her up. But his sister remained sad, and he left to try and grab something from the Money Tree, deciding to give her a bit of space. He would bring her to the beach next week. That should cheer her up.

     *

     "Look out there, Daeran!"

     Melody was in the water again and pointed out to where a lone faerie streaked across the sky. Her brother followed where she was pointing, admiring the faerie's speed and grace. The Uni jumped over the waves as they came in to shore, laughing the whole time. Her brother looked at the sun. Soon it would start to set; they would have to go home.

     About ten minutes later pink streaked across the sky. The siblings watched together as the sun disappeared. Then Daeran suggested that they should leave.

     "But there isn't another boat for half an hour!" Melody laughed. She was right. While they were admiring the sun, the boat they had been planning to board had left the island. Now they would have to wait for the next one. The Uni started to sing softly. Daeran went up the beach to sit down on the softer sand. The beach was deserted; everyone else had left. He kept a close eye on his sister as she played, singing softly all the time.

     Then something rose out of the water.

     It was a Maraquan Aisha, right in front of Melody! The Uni was staring at the Neopet in amazement; Daeran felt rooted to the ground he sat on. The Aisha reached out a hand to his sister, who took it as though in a trance. She continued to sing as she was slowly led into the water. Through this all a change was coming over Melody; she was becoming something different.

     The Shoyru wanted to run to his sister, but he couldn't. His feet were rooted to the ground. Finally he broke free and unfolded his wings, but even as he flew down he knew he was too late. Just as he arrived at the water's edge she disappeared under the water. "Melody!" he shouted, in a vain attempt to make her come back.

     "Melody! Melody!" he cried, flying over the water, shouting as loudly as he could. He came to rest on the rock where they had first seen the Aisha singing. "Melody!" he shouted, but he knew it was no use. Salty tears fell from his eyes and mingled with the water in the ocean. His sister, the one ray of happiness in his life, the thing that kept him going when it was cold on the streets, the one person who had always been able to cheer him up no matter what the situation, had left him.

     Melody was gone.

     ~*~

     I never went back to Neopia Central. I stayed here, and I came out to this rock every night. I gave up shouting long ago; now I just sit and listen to the beautiful song that could only be hers.

     A year is a long time. Every day I recall that time on the beach, and wish that melody was here now.

     The song suddenly stopped. I stood up, wondering what had happened. I saw a figure coming up out of the water. I stepped back, about to fly off the rock if danger threatened.

     A Maraquan Uni rose up out of the water. "Hello Daeran," she said.

     "Melody?" I whispered, hardly daring to believe it. The Uni smiled. "Why did you leave me?" I asked.

     "The Maraquan people fell in love with my song. They took me to Maraqua and didn't allow me to come up again. Tonight, however, they have let me come to you and let me bring you back to my home," she explained, eyes shining with tears of joy.

     "How will you do that?" I asked, amazed at what was happening

     "The Maraquan people taught me more than just how to sing!" she smiled. Then she reached out her hand. I took it as she led me into the water.

     "Sing your song, Melody," I whispered. As we descended beneath the waves I felt myself changing, but I didn't care. I didn't care what happened or how I changed. My sister and I were together again, and that was all that mattered.

     I disappeared beneath the surface to the sound of Melody's song.

The End

 
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