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A Light in the Darkness: Shadows


by elements_unite

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The red Gelert rolled happily in the grassy clearing, oblivious of everything around her. She was confident that all was well in her world, and that nothing could go wrong ever again for at least a week. If only she knew.

      "Whiptail!" The shout penetrated the peacefulness of the clearing, startling a roosting Crokabek into flight. Loud crashes were heard from the forest, steadily growing closer to the clearing, until a blue Lupe leaped into view. Through all this commotion the female Gelert did not stir from her position on the ground, but continued basking in the sunlight. "Whiptail," he gasped. "Hey Whiptail!" Grudgingly she arose and trotted over to her sweat-streaked younger brother. "What is it, Skyler?"

      "I gotta show you something I just found," he panted. "Come on."

     Skyler turned and flung himself back into the forest, leaving Whiptail no choice but to follow. She dashed after him with an exasperated sigh. They ran until they breathlessly stopped by a rather shrunken Furrn. Skyler flopped down gasping by the plant, looking extremely pleased for someone who couldn't stand.

      Whiptail was furious. When she had regained her breath, she yelled at her brother, "You led me on a headlong dash to look at a BUSH?!"

      "Actually, it's a Furrn," stated Skyler pertly. "And no, I didn't bring you to look at it, but to look under it."

     Biting back a sharp retort, Whiptail did as her brother suggested. Peering into the shadows, she was dimly aware of something sparkling. She carefully pawed it into the open to reveal a shining silver necklace with a small black pendant.

      "What is it?" whispered the Gelert.

      "How should I know? I'm just a pup, unversed in the things of this world," remarked Skyler most obstinately. "This is just a suggestion from The-Pup-That-Knows-Nothing, but if we take it into the light of the clearing, we might understand what it is better."

      "And how are we going to carry it, Mr. Know-Nothing?" retorted Whiptail, "In case you hadn't noticed, neither of us have hands."

      "Could one of us carry it in our mouth?" questioned Skyler.

      "And get drool all over it? NO!"

      Well, what if you put it on?

     Whiptail paused a moment to consider the suggestion. It might not be a bad idea. But, when found, the necklace was glowing. Does that mean it's magical? And if it is, would it really be a good idea to put a magical object around my neck? On the other hand…

      "All right then, I'll do it."

     After pushing her head carefully through the chain, Whiptail started towards the clearing at a steady lope, Skyler in tow. They reached Ganuthor Grove just as the bottom of the sun touched the horizon. The two young pets stared in awe at the beautiful silver necklace. Out in the light the pendant became a shimmering silvery-black orb, which contrasted wonderfully with Whiptail's red fur.

      "Wow!" exclaimed Skyler, "I bet you're glad I found it now, aren't you?"

      "Yeah," said Whiptail as she stared into the distance. Then, shaking her head clear, she turned to her brother. "It's starting to get dark. We should head home before Mom worries." The two young neopets began the long walk home, oblivious to three pairs of hostile violet eyes, watching from the darkness.

     As the pets left the forest, Luna turned to face her two companions. She was tall for a fifteen-year-old girl at six feet, two inches. Her hair was cropped close to her head in boy's style, and she wore a sleeveless lime green top and matching pants, which offset her violet eyes and hair. Her huge black leather wings were folded neatly against her back.

     "Alright, you know the drill," croaked Luna's older companion, a longhaired Dark Faerie. "Follow the pet wearing the Orb of Darkness to its home and wait for midnight. Use the Orb's "call" to guide you to the pet, then cast the spell. Exactly one minute after saying the spell, this will transport you and anything Dark back here with you." She tied a purple ribbon with a small black stone pendant around Luna's wrist.

     "And, if you botch the spell this time, you'll be headed straight to Jhudora."

     With those words, another, younger Dark Faerie stepped out of the shadows. She smiled maliciously at Luna, pointing in the pets' direction. "Better get started, Novice," she spat.

     Luna raced into the forest as the younger Faerie turned to the older. "So, what will happen if Luna Eclipse fails this time?"

     "You will just have to wait and see, Whera Stormcloud," rasped the Training Master.

     Once she was away from the Faeries, Luna slowed to a quick walk. As she followed the neopets' paw prints, her thoughts flowed around the test. This is the Final Test, all that stands between me and Faeriedom. But I've never completed a proper Shadow-Shift Spell. The last time I tried, Training Master Shadowabyss' skin turned black. She was furious, and I ended up with cleaning duty for a month. But if I fail this time, no one knows what will happen. Who can tell what Jhudora will do to a failed novice?

     Following the paw prints out of the woods, she found herself at the back door of a two-story brick house. Luna slipped silently through the unlocked door, and, following vibrations that only Dark Faeries can sense, crept up the stairs. She was silent as a Shadow; a Shadow in the Darkness. At last, she found the red Gelert's room.

     Luna stood over the sleeping pet and began chanting, whispering at first, then steadily increasing volume to scream the last word. There was a blinding flash of light, followed by a cry of pain. As Luna slowly recovered her sight, she felt strange inside, like a clamp had been released. She looked hopefully for a Shadow Gelert, and almost fainted from shock. There was the Gelert, sitting on her bed with the Orb around her neck, her appearance most definitely changed. But instead of being a Shadow Gelert, servant of the Dark Faeries, she was now a Faerie Gelert, helper of all good Faeries. She stared at Luna in confusion.

     "I don't understand," she whispered. "Don't Dark Faeries do mean things?"

     Suddenly a blue Lupe raced into the room, and nearly bowled Luna over before abruptly halting next the Gelert's bed. As he stared from the Gelert to Luna, and back again, the Faerie realized what the strange feeling inside her was. For the first time in her life Luna felt truly happy, and greatly relieved. She didn't understand the relieved feeling, for in that very moment the room blurred, and Luna was back in the forest. She fell on her knees as the Orb of Darkness landed next to her.

     "Well, I see you don't have the Gelert with you," cackled Whera joyfully. "That means you FAIL!" Before Luna had a chance to react, Crow Shadowabyss had locked the Magic Binding Collar around her neck. Then the two Dark Faeries grasped Luna's arms and shot into the night.

     A Faerie Gelert and blue Lupe watched from below as a large mass flew across the sky. "Wherever that Faerie went, I hope to meet her again," remarked Whiptail. "I want to thank her. She didn't have to do this." She gestured to her Faerie wings.

     "I don't think she did it on purpose," answered Skyler. "I mean, she seemed just as surprised as you were. Though I hope we meet her again too. I want her to paint me Electric Blue." Whiptail was lost in her thoughts, and therefore didn't notice Skyler's teasing. I do hope we meet that strange Dark Faerie again, she thought. They never did.

The End?

This will be my first time in the NT. I hope you enjoyed reading. There will (hopefully) be more to come.

 
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