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Whisper on the Wind: Part Two

by sarahleeadvent


Filora's voice trickled softly through the forest, mingling with the liquid chatter of the tumbling stream, but her heart wasn't really in it. She was alone, as she had been for the past several months- ever since her mysterious companion had vanished, without warning and without a trace. The moonlight poured through the dappled canopy of leaves, the soft silver light caressing the ground and seeming to shiver in time with the slow, sad melody that haunted the shadowy woods.

      Somewhere in the distance voices arose, some loud and angry and others full of fear. Filora's song faltered, and crouching down she closed her eyes and shivered. Kass's soldiers had come, ravaging the land and terrorizing the helpless peasants; and although Filora was immune to their attacks, the cries of those who were in danger tore at her heart, and she knew that no amount of singing was going to help now.

      Looking up, Filora frowned at the sight of a shadow passing over the trees. It was fairly large for a Neopet- assuming that was what it was- and it was moving rapidly in the direction of the larger shadow of Kass's floating Citadel. It's probably nothing, she decided, lowering her head and closing her eyes. As she did, it distantly occurred to her to wonder where the Bat-thing was, if he was still alive. I hope he's all right, even if he's forgotten all about me, she thought; but the memory of him reminded her only too strongly of her own complete helplessness, and of the fact that even if he were here right now there would be nothing she could do. Nothing but watch, intangible and impotent as a whisper on the wind, forgotten by the rest of the world.

      ~ *~*~*~

      Lord Darigan stood ramrod straight on his balcony, his arms folded, his wings tucked against his back and his mind sunk deep in thought. He and Galgarroth had finished their work for that day, and as evening fell on the Citadel Darigan found himself contemplating the weeks that had passed since his return, and the months of exile before that. Something was nagging at his memory, whispering to him like the notes of a long-forgotten tune, and restlessness stirred within him as he strove to place his finger on the feeling or thought that was tugging at him.

      The sense of restlessness got the better of him, and rustling his wings Darigan swooped over the edge of the balcony, soaring over the Citadel a couple times before coasting over the brink, slicing through the clouds that shrouded the airborne realm and blinking in the sudden light as land and sunset became visible beneath him. For several minutes he drifted aimlessly, simply stretching his wings and taking in the world around him. Even after several weeks of being the lord of the Citadel again, part of him still thought it strange to be flying around openly when the sun still bathed the land in light.

      Suddenly his ears perked up, swiveling to catch the drifting traces of a strange sound, which seemed to separate itself from the rustling of the leaves in the wind even as it harmonized with them. It was coming from a small forest ahead and to his right; and, struck with a sudden sense of déjà vu, Darigan angled his wings and glided toward the source of the sound, which resolved itself as he approached into the clear yet dreamlike melody of a strangely familiar song. As he drew closer, his large and sensitive ears picked up the liquid chatter of a small stream, which blended with the voice of the singer and the whisper of the leaves as if it were meant for them. Slipping through an opening in the canopy, Darigan alighted so softly that even his own keen hearing did not detect the sound. The singer must not have heard it either, for the low, haunting sound of her voice continued to flow among the trees and bushes, the leaves rustling sadly as if in sympathy and even the stream seeming to take on a mournfully wistful note.

      "Under moonlight, under starlight

      Wand'ring aimless through the cold night

      Whispers flit through the dim twilight

      Drifting by you in their soft flight

           A scarce-heard whisper, unseen face

      A faint feeling that you can't place

      And then I'm gone without a trace

      O-o-oh, pass me by, pass me by

           A faint rustle among the trees

      Two watching eyes that no one sees

      A fleeting phantom, such is me

      Far from me, turn your eye, turn your eye

           Silently, my heart sings

      Of things that have been done

      Of joys and hurts years bring

      Flowing beneath the sun

      Of war that follows peace

      Of peace born after strife

      A cycle without cease

      The endless stream of life...

      All seen through unseen eyes, unseen eyes

           A voice calling across the sea

      A child sitting at your feet

      A teardrop glistening unseen

      Oooh, such is me, such is me

           Yet I extend a paw unseen

      Will anyone reach back to me,

      In answer to my silent dream?

      Oooh, reach to me, reach to me..."

      For several minutes the heartrending melody continued; then suddenly the soft voice faltered, the flawless flow of music distorting slightly and coming to a halt as if the singer had opened her eyes and been surprised by Darigan's presence. Darigan blinked, suddenly realizing that the song had carried his mind back to the days when he had come to this place frequently, hiding here and being both confused and comforted by the seemingly sourceless streams of music that had poured over him. A slow smile crept over his face and he said softly, "I remember you."

      Perched invisibly on a stone in the middle of the stream, Filora felt her breath catch in her throat. He had spoken to her! Nobody had done that in years- not since soon after that day when she'd as good as ceased to exist. Blinking rapidly, the Kougra couldn't hide the surprise in her voice as she answered quietly, "I had heard of everything that happened after you stopped coming here, but I hadn't seen you since. I'd thought you had forgotten."

      Darigan shook his head. "A mystery such as you can hardly be forgotten. I greatly enjoyed your music- and I still do- yet I have never even seen your face."

      Filora hung her head. "My voice is all I really have to give. I'm invisible- I have been for years. Not many people even know I exist."

      Darigan nodded knowingly. "Well," he said, "as one who does know I am glad to have met you. How long have you been coming here to sing?"

      Filora gave him a small, shy, invisible smile. "About ever since I had an audience."

      "You seemed to enjoy playing 'Water Faerie'."

      "I'm just glad that what I did helped. It was good to be useful for a change."

      The corners of Darigan's mouth pulled up as he sat down and leaned against a tree. "Even if you are out of a job as farmer repellent, are you still open to an encore? My work for the day is done, and although I am no longer a fugitive on charge of corn theft I have not forgotten how to enjoy a good song. Perhaps the one you used to end your performances with?"

      Filora flushed, briefly glad of her invisibility. "I'd thought you were asleep for that one. I made it up myself, and it isn't very good."

      Darigan arched an eyebrow. "Isn't the audience usually the judge of that?"

      Filora hesitated, then took a deep breath to prepare herself and let her high, clear voice ring out in a soulful variation of the song she had sung on that first morning when Darigan had shown up on her proverbial doorstep.

      "Across the earth, over the sea

      From land of birth to paths lonely

      Unnoticed and forgotten I

      Ponder the land, an unseen eye

           I'm never seen and seldom heard

      I watch and dream without a word

      I watch days come and let them flee

      'Til I find someone lost like me;

           My songs rise

      To the skies

      Perhaps not yet forgotten

      Deeds I do

      Seem so few

      Yet someday I will find

      One who needs

      A kind deed

      A purpose well-begotten

      'Till that day

      I remain

      A whisper on the wind..."

      As her voice continued to ring through the forest, Filora closed her eyes and allowed herself to get caught up in the sound, the flow, the meaning of the song. And as the song rose to the sky, she finally dared to accept the fact that this time she would not be forgotten, even if she did remain a whisper on the wind.

The End

Obligatory Author's Note: If you're reading this, then not only have I rather obviously gotten into the Neopian Times, but I can FINALLY send in the follow-up to this series, 'Rising Shadow' (which, by the way, was written before 'Behind the Forbidden Door' was published, so yes, I've been waiting awhile). In a typical bout of overambition I have already written the sequel to 'Rising Shadow' (and that one's sequel, and that one's sequel... and there are more sequels on the way... ) I've been a busy girl.

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