Freedom: Part Two
“Surely you know how she helped when there was that whole curse thing going on with Neovia.”
Gindara shrugged. “Yeah, sure. What’s your point?”
“Maybe she can help us with our... gifts.”
Gindara rolled her eyes. “Adria, to take it away from any one of us would be to take it away from the rest. I like what I can do.”
“Yes, but I hate what I do! When you predict something, I make it happen. Just by existing, I make it happen. I’m the real reason that Ilere is like she is! You said some words. I made them come true. Why do you think that when you ‘predict the future’ I’m as far away from camp as I can be?!”
“I know why, yet it’s pointless. You could be anywhere in Neopia, or even on Kreludor or that space station; still my predictions will come true.”
“Then why can’t you ever predict anything good?”
A slightly evil grin broke out across Gindara’s face. “It’s just the way I am, little sister.”
The two pets acknowledged that the meeting was over. As Gindara walked back to her carriage, Adria meandered through the forest. She was normally bubbly and excited, but her meeting with Gindara had not gone as planned. Normally, she would be skipping through the forest, allowing the air to rush past her long, wavy blue hair as she searched for berries that were good to eat.
Instead, she was moving slowly. Her ears, complete with two sets of hoops, drooped down and her hair hung still beside her face. Her arms remained motionless by her side. The white sleeves of her shirt had no need to fear dirt- Adria wasn’t going to be moving them anytime soon. Her blue vest moved only small amounts with her body as she walked around the edges of the camp. Her skirt waved only as much as was required. The patches that normally flattered the look instead detracted from it and made Adria look nearly like a beggar.
Adria stopped fighting back her feelings and gave way to the tears that were threatening to pour down. She allowed the salty tears to cascade down her face and fall to the ground beneath her.
She whispered softly. “Why am I cursed like this? It wouldn’t be so bad if Gindara prophesied good things, but she doesn’t. Sure those robbers deserved it, but Ilere...”
“What about Ilere?”
Adria whirled around and searched frantically for the source of the mysterious voice. “Who are you? Where are you?”
“Both valid questions; neither of them to be answered yet. You must get Megan and Gindara to wander into the woods with you. I will find you again.”
Adria continued to look around, but she figured that the source of the sound was already gone.
She jogged back to the camp and went in search of her sisters.
She first found Megan, half asleep beneath the shade of one particularly large tree.
Adria gently shook Megan awake as she whispered. “Wake up!”
Megan groggily did just that, muttering as she awoke. “Huh.. wha...”
“We need to get Gindara and go into the forest.”
Megan rubbed her eyes as she tried to orient herself with the situation. “Why?”
Adria sighed deeply. “I wish I knew. It’s kind of a long story. Forget about it for now. Let’s just go get Gindara.”
Megan shrugged. “Sure.”
The two gypsies walked through the crowded campsite to Gindara’s carriage.
Instead of knocking, the two just walked right in.
Gindara looked up and saw Adria first. “Let me guess, still want me to make some kind predictions?”
“Well, yes, but that’s not why I’m here. We need to go into the woods.”
Gindara raised an eyebrow. “And you’re telling me because...?”
“Because by ‘we’ I mean the three of us.”
“Which we have to do because...?”
Adria sighed. “Look, I was in the forest and a voice told me to get you and Megan and that we should all go into the forest.”
Gindara seemed to ponder that for a moment.
“Fine, I’ll go with you.”
The three pets left the carriage and left the caravan behind them. When Megan looked back, she saw that they were just beginning to lose sight of the camp.
Suddenly, a vast amount of dark green smoke appeared before them. A black figure began to emerge from the smoke and take the shape of a faerie.
Megan and Adria looked on with awe, but Gindara merely seemed bored.
“Gindara. How nice to see you again. You do know that you are the real reason behind this meeting, do you not?”
Ilere turned to Megan first. “Megan, I salute you for your abilities. It is true that Gindara can predict something and that it will occur, but you keep her from doing a great injustice to any. She may send robbers into the woods and make them ill, but you don’t let her cast the same curse upon a young pet. I thank you greatly for what you do.”
Megan shrugged, trying to avoid Ilere’s disturbing stare. “I don’t really do anything.”
“Perhaps not actively, no. Still, if it wasn’t for you, who knows how my life would be. Now, onto you, Adria.”
Megan sighed quietly in relief when Ilere’s gaze was no longer upon her. Adria, however, seemed to have no problem looking Ilere in the eyes.
“Ilere, can you do anything about my gift?”
“Yes, and no. You see, this whole meeting really centers on Gindara. I will address your question later. Now, I thank you for your good intentions. It is true that I wish I had never listened in on Gindara. Still, had I not, who knows what would happen in the future due to her predictions.”
Ilere cast her gaze upon the bored Gindara. “Gindara, you must begin to predict good things. At one point, there will be nothing left to predict except for your own doom, or a curse on those whom you love.”
“Love is such a strong word.”
“So you would do to your sisters as you have done to me and others?” Before Gindara had the chance to respond, Ilere held up her hand. “I’m not mad at you about what you’ve done to me, but I want you to take a good look into my eyes and tell me if you would wish that upon others. The faeries all think of me as some strange kind of villain, though I have done nothing wrong. I avoid the pets because I have no doubt that they would respond in kind. Would you do that to Megan or Adria? Would you do it to yourself?”
Gindara thought about Ilere’s words. “Yes, I suppose you’re right. Still, I cannot help but to predict what is bad. It is in my nature.”
“Is it? Is it really? Or do you just think that because that’s what you want? Admit it to yourself, Gindara. Admit it to your sisters and to me. It’s not in your nature. It’s what you like.”
Gindara now had to try to avoid the gaze of her sisters and Ilere, but she could not. Finally, she responded. “Ok, fine! You’re right, it’s not in my nature. Before I was a gypsy, I was an outcast. Except for my sisters, the others were all mean to me. When I discovered that I could predict whatever I wanted and it would come true, it was like a chance for revenge on all those who were cruel to me.”
Ilere smiled. “That’s all I wanted to hear.”
Ilere then turned to Adria and Megan. “Neither of you have any part in Gindara’s predictions. You are both freed of your chains. Adria, you no longer need to fear what Gindara predicts. Be the pet you want to be. Megan, you are no longer needed to keep Gindara from prophesying something horrid.”
Adria gave Ilere an odd look. “Does that mean that Gindara has lost her ability?”
Ilere shook her head slightly back and forth. “Not quite. That red orb, the one that used to be just for show, is now real. Gindara, you can predict whatever you like. There is no longer a guarantee that it will come to be. You might find that orb much more useful now than it once was.”
Gindara was, for the first time either Adria or Megan could remember, utterly speechless.
Ilere winked as Gindara’s mouth hung open. “I mean no harm by my actions.”
Ilere then snapped and Megan was back under the large tree and she began to again fall asleep. Adria was alone to speak with Ilere.
Gindara found herself immediately transported back to her carriage.
In front of Gindara was her red orb with a note beneath it.
“Gindara, you’re probably very confused. That’s fair. Anyway, I needed you to admit that you want to be mean and that it’s not in your nature. When you said that, I was able to make you normal again. However, so that you can continue to make your little predictions, I made this a special orb. You’ll find it very useful when you find yourself needing to prophecy. Ilere.”
“Ilere, I don’t know if we can thank you enough! I no longer have to feel horrible when Gindara makes her predictions. Still, I suppose that I’m to blame for your condition.”
Ilere pulled down her hood and let her hair fall past her shoulders and blow with the wind. She took her cape and untied all but the top of it so that it behaved more like a cape worn by the Defenders of Neopia. Her almond colored skin was accented by the dark green of her dress.
Ilere parted her lips and smiled for the first time in many years. “Adria, you weren’t the only one freed today.”
Ilere allowed herself a short chuckle and she launched herself into the sky; for the first time taking pride in her wings.
Adria looked up as Ilere vanished from sight. “I think you’re right.”