Author's note: This is an epilogue to "Dark Friend" which is the sequel to "Her Spirit's Eyes." Normally I'd just say you should read those before reading this, but thanks to the suggestion from some friends, I'm going to put a brief summary here for you. ^_^ You still might want to read the prequels, though, as this summary's rather brief.
Princess Rose, a Royal Aisha, finds the Royal Dagger. She tries to kill Dina with it, believing the baby Xweetok is a magical creature called the Indera. Her father, King Kantun, a Royal Lupe, finds out and grounds her for eleven months. Kiro (a red Mynci), Yollinda (an Island Kougra), and Yollinda's children (a baby Yurble, baby Quiggle and baby Blumaroo) come to Vladimyr Village, where Dina and her family live. Magically, the Royal Dagger takes over Yollinda's mind and makes her try to kill the Indera. Eventually she regains her mind and starts to feel guilty after learning what had happened.
The weak-minded... easily manipulated...
I'm just an Island Kougra mother, running from the castle of Vladimyr Village (a small village near Neopia Central). Although I'm not fully sure what I did back there, I've been told that I was insanely violent... I can't remember anything, but I was being possessed... by one who I don't know much about. All I know, is that they are, for some reason, against Dina Songdream, who is the baby daughter of my friend's friend.
"Hey, Yollinda! Wait!" came a cry from behind me. I recognized the voice; it was my friend, Kiro, a red Mynci.
I stopped running, and turned to look at Kiro. While possessed, I tried to hurt him, too. Although I've been assured that it wasn't actually me who was attacking... I still feel like it was. I wish I could just forget the whole thing... I feel so guilty...
Kiro stopped in front of me, panting heavily. "Yollinda, don't leave me behind... we're going to my house, after all."
I nodded. "Yes, I know... I'm just worried about Jimmy, Timmy and Zack."
Jimmy, Timmy and Zack are my three dear children. Jimmy is a Yurble, Timmy is a Quiggle, and Zack is a Blumaroo. They are all the baby color, but they are actually toddlers now.
"I’m sure you're worried," Kiro told me. "Just... don't go so fast... it's hard to keep up!"
"Alright..." I sighed. "Let's go together."
Kiro nodded, and we continued toward Kiro's house where my children were waiting. All the while, I couldn't stop thinking about what happened in the Vladimyr Castle. I can't remember exact details... just the beginning and the end...
It started out so innocently. I came with Kiro to Vladimyr Village to see all the things he told me about... he showed me the Vladimyr Castle, and that's when I heard a voice...
The voice was coming from the castle. I looked to see who said it, but saw nobody. I decided that it was nothing, and started to walk away.
I heard the voice, again. I turned to see, and there was still no one there. Kiro asked me what I was doing, and I told him that I heard someone. He said I was hearing things, but then I heard it, again...
"Yollinda... come to me..."
I tried to find where the voice came from, becoming oblivious to the world around me. I continued hearing the voice; it was talking to me...
"Come, Yollinda... bring the Indera... and destroy them."
That's when everything faded out. I don't know what happened... I just remember running around, but I don't remember where I was going... I remember doing things, but I don't remember what I did... I remember moving my mouth to speak, but I don't remember saying anything...
When everything became clear, again, I found myself sitting in the Vladimyr Castle Treasury. There were people around me... there was Kiro, Dina (a baby Xweetok), Laura (Dina's mother, a striped Xweetok), and Wanda (Laura's adopted daughter, a faerie Bori)... and there was a Poogle and a Light Faerie, both of which I wasn't familiar with... there was intense pain throughout my body. I found it difficult to move. Every time I tried to move, everyone would jump nervously. I saw fear in their eyes... I was confused. Why were they scared of me?
And then I heard the voice again...
It was... the Royal Dagger... it said that... I was "weak-minded"... but what did it mean by that?
"Yollinda, we're here."
I snapped out of my thoughtful state. I want to put it all behind me... so why do I keep thinking about it?
I ran inside Kiro's house. I looked around, calling, "Jimmy! Timmy! Zack?"
Kiro came in, looking around. "Hey, guys! Your mom's here!"
There was no response. I began to get worried. I ran through the house, trying to find my kids. I couldn't find them anywhere. Just as I was about to give up, they came in through the back door.
"Oh, there you are!" I exclaimed with a sigh. "I was looking all over for you!"
Jimmy heard my voice, then turned to look at me. He beamed. "Mom! What took so long?"
"Where were you?" Zack wondered.
"What were you doing?" Timmy asked.
I paused, thinking to myself, I was in the castle, attacking people, and was extremely difficult to defeat. Then I sighed and said, "I was just running some errands..."
"Oh..." Jimmy replied, "why couldn't we come, then?"
"Y-you wouldn't have wanted to..." I answered.
There was awkward silence, then Kiro said, "Well, why don't we have some dinner?"
I sighed and nodded. It was getting close to dinnertime. "Okay," I said, "what would you kids like for dinner?"
"Spaghetti!" cheered Jimmy.
"With meatballs!" Zack added.
I managed a chuckle, and nodded. "Okay, spaghetti it is."
"Yay!" Jimmy, Timmy and Zack all exclaimed at once.
"I'll get out some meatballs," Kiro said, dashing to the freezer.
* * * * *
As I was stirring spaghetti noodles in a pot of boiling water, Timmy came dancing into the kitchen. "Mmm... it smells so good in here!"
"Dinner won't be ready for a while longer," I replied.
"Yeah, but it still smells good in here!" Timmy sat down in a chair at the table.
I chuckled, and sighed, all the while keeping my eye on the noodles. Timmy giggled a bit, then looked over at me.
"Uh... hey, Mom?" he asked. "Why is there a big cut in the back of your shirt?"
"Huh?" I replied uncomfortably.
"There's a big cut in the back of your shirt," he told me. "What happened?"
I placed a paw to my back. Sure enough, I could feel a big slit in my shirt. I brought my paw to where I could see it and was surprised to see that there was a bit of blood on it. I must have been bleeding to some extent.
"Oh! Uh..." I tried to think of an answer in my head. It was difficult because I didn’t know where the cut did come from. "It must have... got caught on a branch and ripped."
Timmy shook his head. "It doesn't look anything like it got ripped by a branch. It looks like it was cut."
I thought for a moment, knowing that it couldn't have been a branch, anyway. Then suddenly... a fuzzy memory became slightly clearer. That Faerie... she had a sword... I was fighting... she slashed me in the back...
My eyes widened. I shook my head, not wanting to remember any more of that. "I don't know where it came from," I told Timmy in a single breath.
"Well... it looks like it hurts," Timmy moaned. "Are you okay, Mom?"
I lowered my head, trying to focus on the noodles. "Yeah, I'm fine."
Timmy sighed, got up off the chair and left the room. "I hope so..."
I continued making dinner, trying to forget the cut and what happened in the castle. Unfortunately, the cut in my shirt was now impossible to ignore. I'd have to change my shirt, probably. Since the sauce and meatballs were all ready, and the noodles were cooling, I decided this would be the perfect time to do so.
I ran to Kiro's guest bedroom (which I'm using while I'm here visiting Vladimyr Village) and carefully shut the door. I sighed, and took off the shirt I was wearing. I paused for a moment, examining the shirt. Not only did it have the cut down the back, there were also many other tears and blood stains.
"I probably won't be wearing THIS again..." I sighed, tossing the shirt into the garbage can.
I started on my way to the closet, and on my way noticed the mirror by the wall. I noticed that I had all kinds of cuts and bruises all over my body. I felt terrible, knowing that most of them came from all the fighting in the castle.
I moaned, grabbed a tissue, and started wiping some of the blood stains out of my fur. I still couldn't believe that I could do such horrible things...
I tried to shake the thoughts out of my head, and threw away the tissue. I went to the closet to pick out a shirt. I knew that we'd be eating spaghetti, so I had to wear something I could get spaghetti sauce on. I found a white shirt that I wore for messy things like painting, and put it on. With a sigh, I headed back out of the room and went back to the kitchen.
"Dinner's ready!" I called once I was back in the kitchen. "Come get it!"
Jimmy was the first one who came running into the room, Zack close behind him. Then a few seconds later, Kiro came in, with Timmy about a second after him.
"Hey, Mom..." Timmy noted, "you changed your shirt."
"Uh-huh," I nodded, as I scooped the noodles onto the plates. "I didn't want to get my other shirt dirty."
"But wasn't it already--"
"It's really a good idea," I interrupted Timmy, knowing what he was about to say. "Maybe you should go put on a shirt you can get dirty."
Timmy gave me a strange look, then said, "Yeah, maybe I will..." and left the room.
After I finished putting the noodles on the plates, I went to get the sauce and meatballs, and started putting them on top of the noodles. I noticed Jimmy and Zack lick their lips as I put the sauce on their plates of noodles, and I managed a small smile. After I put the rest of the sauce and meatballs away, I sat down and began to eat my spaghetti. It was just then that Timmy came back into the room, wearing a shirt that was already dirty and covered with grass stains.
Well, grass stains are far better than blood stains, that's for sure.
"So..." Kiro started, "what do you guys think of Vladimyr Village?"
"It's great," Jimmy said, "but I'll still be glad to go back home."
Ah, yes... going home sounds great after all that's happened...
"Well, the ferry back to Mystery Island will be leaving tomorrow afternoon," Kiro stated.
"That soon?" Zack moaned.
Kiro nodded. "You can't stay here forever."
"Can't we get on the next boat?" Timmy asked, as he sat down in his chair.
"Tomorrow afternoon is fine," I said succinctly.
I heard the kids moan, but I stopped listening after that. I wanted to get out of Vladimyr Village... I wanted to be away from the castle, I wanted to forget the whole thing ever happened... I didn't want to remember about the Royal Dagger...
...the Royal Dagger...
...that magical, majestic dagger...
I shook my head. If I thought about that dagger for much longer, I might become possessed again. I continued eating my spaghetti and started listening to what Kiro and the kids were saying.
"...and then she got all mad and threw her roll at me!" Kiro was telling the kids a story about a food fight back when he was in Neoschool. "But she hit Laura instead, so Laura got mad and threw the roll back! Then before I knew it, there was food flying everywhere!"
The kids burst out laughing, I couldn't help but manage a small giggle, too.
"Hee hee! That's so funny!" Zack giggled. "All that food..." Then he realized that there was food on his plate. With a mischievous smile, he picked up one of his meatballs and threw it at Jimmy.
"Hey!" Jimmy yelped, then grinned, picked up the meatball, and tossed it at Timmy. Soon, there were meatballs flying all around the kitchen.
I hardly noticed, though. I was busy thinking. Although I tried to keep my mind off the Royal Dagger and the whole castle thing, it kept seeping back into my mind... like it wanted to possess me, again...
That's when I was hit in the head with a meatball.
I looked up. Everyone was looking at me with expectant smiles. Even Kiro.
"Okay," I said, "who threw that?"
Everyone looked at each other, but no one said anything.
I sighed, looking back down at my spaghetti. "Please don't."
"Aw, come on!" Jimmy replied.
I shook my head. "I just feel like eating."
"Come on, Yollinda, it's fun!" Kiro said.
I stopped eating for a moment to say, "I don't feel like fighting anymore."
I didn't notice who said that, but it didn’t matter. I realized what I said, and quickly chewed the food I put in my mouth. "Erm... anymore... spaghetti, anyone?" I said with a forced smile.
"Uh, sure," Kiro said, a concerned look on his face.
"Okay then, that's great, you want more spaghetti, that's a good thing, I'll go get it for you!" I babbled, standing up and walking toward the fridge. "It's good to eat spaghetti; I'm glad you like my spaghetti, eat lots of it, I have lots, but don't eat too much or you'll get fat..." then I was hit in the back with three meatballs at once.
Then there was silence. Awkward silence. Creepy silence.
"Please... please don't..." I finally managed to say. Then as I grabbed the leftovers, I was hit with another meatball. "No, really... I mean it..."
Then I heard Kiro quietly muttering, "Um... maybe you should stop..."
Another meatball hit me, and in my mind, I could hear a whisper... "Fight back, fight back..." I tried to ignore it, but each time someone hit me with a meatball, it got louder...
...And then another meatball hit me.
"CUT IT OUT!" I snapped, whipping around and glaring at the kids. I saw their eyes widen, and they were struck speechless.
Kiro finally managed to break the silence. "Okay, kids... you can stop, now..." he said to the kids, and I noticed some fear in his voice.
"I-I'm sorry... I didn't mean it..." I tried to comfort the kids, approaching Kiro with the leftovers. I was about to scoop some food onto his plate, but he stopped me.
"Yollinda... I can serve myself. You... just go sit down and finish eating," he told me, taking the leftovers from me.
I nodded, and started walking back to my own chair, whispering, "I'm sorry..."
I sat down, and silently stared at my plate. The voice in my head... I wanted to get away from it... I didn't want to have to fight it anymore...
* * * * *
It was the next morning, and we were going for a walk. Taking one last chance to see the village before we had to go back home.
"Ah, I've always been fond of this village..." Kiro sighed. "It's so peaceful, a great place to live, aside from the semiannual inspections."
Jimmy, Timmy and Zack jumped around happily. "Come on, let's go look at the castle!"
My day had been great until I heard those words...
Kiro noticed the look I had on my face. "Um, I dunno... that's kind of..."
"Kind of what?" Zack wondered.
"Kind of cool!" Jimmy exclaimed, before Kiro had a chance to answer. "Come on, let's go!"
"Um... sure..." Kiro forced a smile and nodded.
The kids started hopping towards the castle, Kiro reluctantly following them. I, however, stayed there. Part of me wanted to go with them, but the rest of me knew it could be a terrible, terrible idea. What if I became possessed again?
"Hey, Mom..." Timmy suddenly said, causing me to jump with surprise. "Aren't you coming?"
"Uh... no thanks! I think I'd rather just sit here and..." I looked around, trying to think of an excuse. "...count the bricks on... Kiro's house! Heh heh... one... two... three..."
Kiro shook his head. "Yollinda... you realize my house is made of wood, right?"
I could feel my face warming up. "Um, yeah..."
"Come on, Mom!" Jimmy begged. "Please?"
"I would really rather not..." I replied.
"Well... I... uh..."
Kiro sighed. "Come on, Yollinda. Just come."
My ears perked up in surprise. Kiro knew what I had done in the castle. In fact, he knew more than I did. I looked over at him. "What?"
"Come on, I'm sure you'll be fine," Kiro told me.
I thought for a moment, then reluctantly nodded and followed Kiro and the kids. Nothing bad will happen... will it? I'll be fine... won't I?
We reached the front of the castle. The kids stared up at it in awe, but I tried to avoid looking at it. Just... pretend you're not here... I thought to myself. Big, empty field... nice-smelling flowers...
"Whoa! It's huge!"
Yeah, that's right... big, huge field...
"What's that smell?"
"I think that's the castle's moat."
"Isn't this cool, Mom?" Jimmy asked me. "A real, live, castle!"
"Yeah... it's cool..." I said, staring at the ground.
"You're not even looking!"
I took a deep breath, and slowly... but surely... looked up. There it was. Vladimyr Castle. In all its castle-y glory.
"Well?" Jimmy asked me again. "What do you think?"
"Yeah, it's great," I replied.
The Vladimyr Castle was huge. It was mostly a stone gray color, but there were a few banners and stuff that were a royal purple. It was really quite amazing; there were so many little details that made it really look suited for royalty.
It suddenly occurred to me: I was staring at Vladimyr Castle.
No... not again... not... the Royal Dagger...
"You are weak-minded... you are easily manipulated."
"No... no, I'm not..." I muttered, shaking my head.
"Yes you are... come to me..."
"No... I won't..." I shut my eyes tightly.
"NO! AAH! GET AWAY FROM ME! LEAVE ME ALONE!" I yelled, and I began running away from the castle, dimly aware of Kiro and the kids staring at me.
I didn't care, though. I just wanted to get away... I didn't want to be brought down like this... I just kept running...
...trying to escape...
I stopped. That's when I realized; this is wrong. I can't just keep running like this. If I keep it up like this, I'll just live in constant fear of being possessed again. I figured it out... this is why I'm being brought down.
...this is why I'm weak-minded.
"Yollinda!" Kiro was chasing after me. I turned around, facing him. He continued, "Are you okay? You seem kind of..."
I shook my head. "I was. But I'm fine now. I have it figured out."
"Huh?" Kiro asked.
I walked towards him. "I can't just keep running. This is why I was so weak. I have to face my fears."
Kiro blinked. I walked past him, looking up at the castle in the distance. That's where the Royal Dagger is. It's waiting in there, waiting for its next chance to strike.
But that's not going to stop me.
"I'm not scared of you! You can't make me do what you want me to! I can stand up to you now! I know you can hear me!" I exclaimed. I probably looked insane, but I didn't really care at that time.
It was a quiet voice, in my head, but I could make out those two words. I glared towards the castle. "I'm not weak-minded..."
There was a pause. "I know. You WERE weak-minded. Now... you are strong."
Then there was silence.
I had won.
"See?" I said to Kiro, heading back towards the castle. "I'm just fine."
"Uh, yeah... I... uh... erm... what?" was the confused response I got from Kiro.
I just ignored him, and decided to enjoy the rest of my visit to Vladimyr Village.
* * * * *
"Well, I guess it's time for us to go," I said to Kiro, as we and the kids were about to board the boat back to Mystery Island.
"I'm sorry your visit had to be so short," Kiro replied.
"Yeah!" Timmy moaned. "We didn't get to see everything!"
"Can't we stay just a little longer?" Zack begged.
"The next boat to Mystery Island is in a month..." I sighed.
"I wouldn't mind staying that long!" Jimmy said excitedly.
I shook my head. "Sorry, we have to go home, eventually."
"Well..." Kiro sighed, "I guess this is goodbye."
"Yeah..." I replied, "it was really nice. I've really come to like Vladimyr Village." I took a deep breath. "But it will be nice to get back home, after all that's happened here. It'll be nice to relax, and listen to the tide..."
Kiro nodded. "Yeah... Mystery Island is a nice place... it's a great place to escape to... living there is like an eternal vacation!"
I was about to say something, but the words couldn't form in my mouth. I just thought for a moment, thinking about the comforts of my home...
"All who are going to be on the ferry to Mystery Island, the boat is about to leave!"
I was snapped out of my thoughts and nodded. "Well, we should get on the boat, now."
"Yeah..." Kiro agreed, "it was nice of you to drop by. Have a safe trip back home!"
"Okay!" I said, walking towards the boat, waving to Kiro. I got one last glance at him before I looked back at the boat. I was going home... I could relax, soak up the sun...
...escape... an eternal vacation...
I had found myself stopping right in front of the boat. I suddenly realized... I was running away again. Mystery Island is a vacation spot. Vacations are ways to escape from your troubles and fears. No wonder I was so weak-minded: I was so carefree, I spent all my time ignoring all the problems in life. Ignore the problems... they get worse.
This had to change.
"Forget it... we're not getting on this boat," I said, turning around and walking the other way.
Jimmy got an excited look on his face. "We get to visit longer?!"
"No..." I shook my head. The kids got confused looks on their faces, so I explained. "We're not going to visit... we're moving in!"
The kids' confused looks turned into huge smiles. "All... RIGHT!!"
I giggled, and started running back to Vladimyr Village - our new home.
Author's note: Yay! The story is done! ^_^ Anyways, I hope you liked this story! If you have any questions, comments, or complaints (hopefully not that last one!), feel free to Neomail me! ;-) Oh, and thanks again to dptdtkf for proof-reading my stories, thanks to TNT for letting them into the Times, and thanks to all my fans for reading my stories!