Parade of Light
"Listen up, girls!" Miss Terra said to the six pets sitting
in the classroom, "You all know that our winter music show is coming up, and the
all-girls choir has to perform something? Well, we're doing a little parade!"
"That's cool," Alisa, the Desert Aisha, said.
"Cool," her three followers echoed. Nathalie
pondered for a second, then joined in since she didn't have anything better
"Good," the Kau teacher said and smiled. "Now
we'll just have to decide who will be first. Mind you, to be the lead, you have
to be dedicated and willing to work hard since you will be singing a couple
"Me! Me!" the Aisha waved her hand frantically
in the air as she glared at the other pets. Nathalie shuddered and looked at
Lucielle, the Elephante. Good to know that she wasn't alone. The Faerie Zafara
pondered for a second, then raised her hand too.
"Yes, Nathalie?" Miss Terra asked.
"Do we volunteer or do you pick you someone to
be the lead?" the Faerie Zafara asked. She got an icy glare from the Desert
Aisha, who was mouthing, "Don't ruin this or you'll pay."
"Ah, I see," the Kau said, "I don't think it's
fair either way, so why don't we let fate decide?"
Alisa's groaned loudly as the teacher continued.
"If you do not wish to participate, please raise your hand."
The Desert Aisha was still waving and two of
her followers were too. The Yellow Elephante looked down. She wondered if she
even had any chance, with those beautiful painted pets competing...
"That's three," Miss Terra said. "Good, then
there's only Lucielle, Nathalie and Emma left." The teacher scribbled the names
on a piece of paper, then tore it into three parts and put it in a plastic cup.
"You can pick," she told Nathalie.
The Zafara smiled. Maybe she had a chance to
be the lead! That'd be real fun. Nathalie closed her eyes, wishing the hardest
she could and picked a piece of paper.
"So, what does it say?" Alisa demanded.
"Lucielle," Nathalie whispered. She was quite
disappointed that she wasn't picked out by fate, but at least the lead didn't
go to Alisa and company. If any of them got it, they'd just let the role go
to Alisa. The Zafara shuddered as she was reminded of how horrible the Aisha
was at singing.
"That is so cheating!" the Aisha screeched as
her group repeated the same thing.
"Now, Alisa, behave," Miss Terra said, "or I
won't let you be in the parade at all. The parade of light is a privilege, not
The Faerie Zafara glanced at Lucielle, who was
trying not to smile too hard. Nathalie thought for a moment, then decided on
it. She gave a thumbs-up to the Elephante, who was smiling even bigger now.
"That's it for today. Here are the three songs
you'll need to memorize and sing when we practice next week." The Kau handed
out some papers to all of them, and an extra big stack to the Elephante.
When they left the room, Nathalie noticed that
the Aisha was boiling with anger. This wouldn't be good. But it would be interesting.
"That's it for songs today... Here's the dress
for lead," Miss Terra said as she held up the white dress. Then the teacher
put it down on the table so everyone else could see. The dress was made of soft,
silky material that shone in the light and felt smooth. Twinkles had been added
at the bottom of the hem, and there were many laces. It simply looked stunning.
"And don't forget the accessories!" The Kau held
them up as the girls ran over and looked.
"Ooh... Pretty," Alisa murmured as her friends
nodded. Nathalie noticed that she was grinning evilly for some reason.
The Zafara turned around just in time to see
the Elephante approach the dress. Lucielle looked like she was in the presence
of something great, and touched the dress with care. Nathalie could hear faint
whisper coming from there.
"It's so beautiful," the yellow Elephante whispered.
"Well, hate to break up this party, but I've
got to do it sometime," Miss Terra said. "Girls, you can stay here and practice
the songs. I'll have to take your lead to train the solos." The teacher grabbed
Lucielle's shoulder and they left quickly.
Nathalie wondered if Miss Terra had done that
on purpose, as she sensed that trouble was brewing. The atmosphere in the room
grew intense as Alisa and her followers glared at the Zafara.
"I'm not taking sides," the Zafara whispered.
She knew that Alisa and those pets weren't so great, but being outside like
Lucielle might be even worse. She knew her options, but she needed time to decide...
"What an ugly dress!" the Aisha exclaimed.
"But... it's pretty," Emma said.
"Clamp it or she'll get mad," a Faerie Meerca
named Mindy whispered to the Wocky.
"Why?" Emma asked.
"Don't say..." Mindy whispered but Alisa had
already heard it.
"It's ugly! If I say it's ugly, then it's ugly!"
she shouted, stomping around. Suddenly the Aisha stopped, grinning mischievously.
"And it doesn't belong here..."
The Zafara stood up, sensing that something unpleasant
would begin very soon.
"Need this?" a Green Uni asked, holding up a
pair of shiny scissors.
"Perfect!" the Aisha exclaimed. "Just what we
need to demolish this ugly dress!"
"You're kidding," Emma whispered, staring in
"Quit talking and start walking!" the Aisha demanded.
Nathalie shuddered, ready to run. Even if she
wanted to belong, she had her sense of justice. The Zafara didn't want to take
any part in this.
"Look! There's a Thyora's Tear out there!" Nathalie
pointed as she flew by them and out through the door. She started running blindly,
not knowing where she would go...
"Get her!" Alisa shouted as her minions started
running after the Zafara.
"In deep, dark midwinter night, here she comes,
our queen of light," clear notes echoed in the halls as the Zafara ran. That
pure voice rejuvenated Nathalie as she continued running, trying to suppress
the event that had just occurred.
"Get her!" the Aisha had shouted as she was trying
to get away. The noise of scissors rang in her mind, again and again. Four medium-sized
pets had grabbed her, and after a petty fight she had gotten away.
The Zafara sighed of relief as she saw the end
of the hall. She was sure that they couldn't find her here. Nathalie found a
dark corner, then sat down to rest.
"I haven't run like this in ages," the Zafara
thought as she looked around. Her eyes widened as she saw what she held in her
hands. The dress!
"Did I get it from them after all?" Nathalie
wondered as she looked for a place to hide it. Uh-oh. This wasn't good... Something
moved behind her back. Scared, the Zafara slowly turned around and saw that
it was a loose piece of the wall. There was a nice little hole inside, covered
with plastic films and everything. Nathalie smiled as she slowly put the beautiful,
snowy dress into the hole and covered it with the plate.
Fatigue overwhelmed her as the Zafara sat there,
trying to regain her energy and courage. This had to be the most outrageous
thing she had done! Now it would be difficult to join Alisa's group...
"Who cares? They aren't good anyway!" Nathalie
consoled herself as she listened to more of that beautiful singing. "I wish
I could sing as good as that. Now that's beautiful." The Zafara almost dozed
off while resting...
A small creak woke her up. Nathalie looked up
and around, alert. A door opened slightly. The Zafara's ears could detect a
few tones, and she realized that it was the person inside the room who was the
Excited and all awake, the Zafara peeked inside.
She gasped at what she saw. It was Lucielle! The whole performance was mesmerizing,
the Elephante standing up there and singing...
I never knew she could sing like this,
the Zafara thought, swallowing down some tears. The melody was very sad, and
the Elephante wasn't just singing it, but also feeling it. Inside, Nathalie
was waging a war. When Lucielle reached the highest note and the song carried
to the sky, the Zafara reached her decision. She smiled as she listened to the
rest of the show.
Someone was applauding. The Zafara poked at the
door and saw Miss Terra.
"Very good!" Miss Terra said. The Elephante almost
looked embarrassed as she nodded and withdrew shyly to the shadows.
"Will... I...?" Lucielle asked, staring at the
"You'll be a great lead!" the teacher said enthusiastically.
"Now, if only the other girls could think so too..."
The Zafara felt great pity for the Elephante
that seemed so tiny in front of the others. I have to help her... she
thought as she waited by the door.
"You were really great!" Nathalie said when the
Elephante finally left the room. Lucielle looked surprised.
"Y-you heard?" the Elephante whispered.
"Yeah! And it was good! You really deserve being
the lead," the Zafara added happily as they walked down the hall.
"Really?" Lucielle seemed to doubt her own abilities
as they continued talking. When the Zafara had told her, the Elephante smiled.
"What do we have here?" Alisa asked as she saw
"Two little pets," Mindy said, stopping them.
"Fool! That was a rhetorical question!" the Aisha
snapped as she stopped the two pets. "Hi Nathalie. Running away like that, we've
been waiting for such a long time...You've made a big mistake, and now you'll
pay," she hissed at the Zafara, "But I think I'll let you go... if you assist
us." The Aisha smiled slyly.
The Zafara looked at the Elephante for a second,
"Your honor," the green Uni told Nathalie sarcastically.
"Here's a box. Put her in it," Alisa said when
Emma and Mindy arrived with a big container. They dropped the box and grabbed
the Elephante by her ears.
"She doesn't deserve the lead! I do!" the Aisha
shouted as the two pets dragged Lucielle over to the box.
The Elephante was close to tears, and Nathalie
felt pity bubbling inside her. However, this was one of those times to obey...
"Help!" Lucielle cried out. "You're my friend,
Nathalie... Help me!"
"If you help her, you'll be going down the same
road," Alisa said coldly.
"Right!" the other three said. Nathalie pondered.
It took some time to sort out her conscience. But finally she decided.
"Well?" the group asked menacingly.
"Fine," the Zafara said curtly and helped to
stuff the Elephante into the box.
"What a good girl," the Aisha said as they closed
the box, ignoring Lucielle's muffled shrieks. "Now you dispose of it," she pointed
towards the Faerie Meerca.
"Oh woe! Why me?" Mindy said. "Why not let the
newcomer do this instead?" the Meerca said malevolently, giving Nathalie a sinister
"I'd be happy to," the Zafara replied through
gritted teeth. She took the box and measured. It would be fine, no, perfect...
"Hey, there's a bag of Neopoints flying outside!"
Nathalie said, pointing to the window.
"Where, where?" Alisa and the rest looked out.
The Zafara grinned. This was her chance. She took out a piece of paper, scribbled
on it and dropped it inside the box. Then she measured and pushed the Elephante
off to the end of the long hall.
"Not that old trick again?" the Aisha asked exclaimed
they realized that they had been tricked.
"Too bad, so sad. Anyway, I finished the job!"
the Zafara exclaimed, pointing at the box sliding down the hall.
"Good job," Annabelle said.
"Let's go and parade!" Emma exclaimed cheerfully
as the five pets walked off.
I'm so sorry, Lucielle. I hope you saw the note,
the Zafara thought as she walked off with the group.
"In this time of darkness, we bring you light..."
the choir sang. Nathalie couldn't help but to feel a little bit depressed, though
the parade was supposed to cheer one up. She sighed.
Miss Terra had been shocked when Alisa reported
that Lucielle was gone. But contrary to what she thought, the Aisha didn't get
the lead. The teacher said they would just have to do without the lead, and
she would announce the disappearance to the audience when it was time for the
solos. The Zafara thought of her friend, stuck in a dark box without help. She
sighed as she looked at the shadows...
"Pay attention!" Emma poked the Zafara.
"Oh, thanks." Nathalie could still picture how
desperate Lucielle had looked when they dumped her in that box. She closed her
eyes, inhaled and sung the last line with all the strength they had. Now it
was time for the lead's solo, or it would've been.
The guests all sat in silence, waiting for the
next song. Miss Terra walked sadly up on the stage, and took the microphone.
But just then, in the corner, something glowed.
Bam! A box exploded, torn into tiny fragments
as something rose from it. It seemed like an angel of light, hovering above
the stage. That luminous figure cleared its throat and soft, sweet notes echoed
in the room.
"In deep, dark midwinter night, here she comes,
our queen of light," it sang. The audience gasped, delighted at this surprise.
Nathalie smiled as she looked at the flying pet.
It was Lucielle, singing her heart out.
"Oh... I guess she really deserved it," Emma
"Grr... You little..." Alisa pinched the Zafara,
but this performance was worth it all.
Let your voice reach every corner of darkness,
and banish it, Nathalie thought. Everything's fine now. She applauded
with everybody else (except for Alisa), but they were interrupted by the Elephante's
cough. When the whole room had quieted down, Lucielle spoke.
"Here is the last song. I dedicate it to a great
friend who's been helping me through, all the way... Thank you, Nathalie! Now,
please enjoy 'Midwinter Night'!"