The Black Mist
Anna-Marie sat there, staring at the clouds. She was completely dazed by their fluffy appearances, by the strangest shapes she could make out. She saw a Slorg sticking its tongue out, a Noil with a messy mane, and even Dr. Sloth with his 'best' smile on. (The last of the three she thought was completely creepy.) The clouds, ever so fluffy and white, looked like little pillows... She wanted, she dreamed of just grabbing a hand full of the fluffy, cotton-looking stuff and bringing it back down to Neopia.
Closing her eyes, she thought of herself on a cloud, hugging the fluffy being itself... Lying and resting, staring up into the sky above her. But what ever would be above her? She had often wondered what could be above the clouds... Could there be more clouds, perhaps? Or maybe a vast, clear blue sky, like the kind you see on certain sunny days... Possibly, even though it was quite unlikely, you could even see into space once you got above the clouds...
Opening her eyes again, Anna-Marie watched the fluffy clouds with intense interest. How slowly they moved, but how quickly their images could change. She soon saw a Meowclops with an extra leg, and if she squinted just right, she could see Sophie herself chasing the petpet with her staff. Anna-Marie giggled slightly, for she thought of this very thing happening in real life was just as likely (if not more so) than seeing it happen in a huge cloud. Yet still, it was an amazing and breathtaking sight to witness huge formations transform into believably realistic creatures.
Watching with a somewhat anxious awe, Anne-Marie waited to see what else the clouds kept hidden in their fluff. But instead of maybe, a Kougra chasing a ball of yarn, or a Grarrl eating a book, she saw a dark... (Well, what could it be called? A thing, I guess.) This 'thing' encroached into the cloud's territory. For this 'thing', as she called it, did not seem like a cloud, but it was by no means a living thing, unless the clouds themselves are living. The dark thing seemed almost like a mist as it went under the fluffy clouds above it, almost as if it lived in the shadow of the white clouds. Anna-Marie could tell that the mist was quite a few feet below the cumulus clouds and, quite eccentrically, a lot faster.
Her attention was caught, her interest piqued, on the single, lonely black mist that passed under the towering white above it. It reminded her of maybe a thief, clever and cunning, sneaking away, sneaking around, a King's castle filled with guards. The thief (that was what Anna-Marie came to call the lonely mist), ever so quiet, was quick and was past the King's guards in a matter of minutes. No one had noticed the mist, and if they had, it was a single thief, what was the harm? A question that so many ask themselves, right before they make a mistake that could hurt their future permanently.
After the mist had floated away, Anna-Marie noticed that the 'King's castle' was slightly darker. Just barely dimmer, just barely smaller, but it was darker. Still, it held radiance and beauty, and soon Anna-Marie saw figures forming once more. But odd figures, ones such as a sad Kacheek, and a thirsty looking flower, slightly wilting and seeming to cry. That confused the young Neopet, and she wondered why she was seeing such depressing images, but nevertheless continued to look for more pictures in the sky. But not five minutes had passed before the female had noticed another, slightly rounder black mist floating by. Still as fast, still as low, and still as unnoticed by the King's guards.
Another thief has passed through the King's domain unnoticed, Anna-Marie thought with slight dismay. And as she looked toward the once radiant 'castle' she noted that it was obviously darker. But the top, the very top of what she thought to be a castle, the castle, remained un-touched, un-messed with.
The King must reside there, Anna-Maria thought, deeply entranced by the fantasy she had thought up, He must.
After a while of no images forming in the mass of semi-dark clouds, Anna-Marie soon bored of her fantasy game. But still, she could not tear herself away from the scene, so tranquil was it. Alas, a minute or two later, the face of a faerie (... Fyora?) soon formed, her face wore a look of worry, and she was facing the northern direction of Neopia. The image was so realistic that it almost frightened Anna-Marie, so she followed the queen's gaze, and a look of shock soon entered the Neopian's face. A whole fleet of black mists, some slightly darker or plumper than others, were headed for the same route as the other two 'mists'. A band of thieves had come to sneak around the castle... Or was it to raid the royal residence? Of which the answer was, Anna-Marie soon found out.
The mists were fast and soon caught up to the bigger cloud. Unlike the others that traveled around the castle, though, these mists slowed as they neared the pure white cloud above them. They soon formed into one big mist, which formed into a cloud. A big cloud, a huge cloud, one that ran the size of the 'King's castle' itself. The thieves had joined together, and they were not trying to get around the castle - they were trying to get in it.
Anna-Marie watched with bated breath; this scenario had become too real for her. She almost feared for the King and for his kingdom as she watched the thieves break in and slowly, but surely, take over. She had forgotten that it was a game that she made up in her head to pass the time, and she thought of the guards that had let the original two thieves pass.
Surely it was a test, it has to be, thought Anna-Marie, a test to see if the guards were as alert and strict as they should - and could -have been.
The guards had failed the test, according to Anna-Marie anyways, and it did have its consequences. For the bigger cloud, once-fluffy and bright, was now turning gray. As every moment, every second passed, the sky grew slightly darker, slightly dimmer. But one place seemed to elude the darkness; one single place seemed to evade the horrid happenings. What place was this that the thieves could not enter? It was the top of the castle, where 'the King must live' (to quote Anna-Marie).
Why are all of those people, all of the subjects and villagers, suffering because of his guards! Why is he not down there fighting the thieves himself? the Neopet thought, anger rising within her. Why is he hiding when he should be helping!?
Anna-Marie watched for a little bit longer as the thieves invaded. The 'black mist' edged towards the 'King's room', and upon reaching it, slowly devoured it. The King and his subjects were trapped it in its darkness and the 'mist' did not plan on letting them free.
The sky was black as night, and Anna-Marie watched in sorrow as the rain pelted down from the once beautiful sky.
Note: I hope you liked the story. I was inspired by the weather one Sunday and that evening, I wrote this. Neomails welcome (and greatly appreciated). Thanks for publishing this, TNT. :)
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