The Dragon Flower: Part One
Thank you cocobuggedyou for your help!
Smoke and fire flooded into the room as the door swung open into the twin's bedroom. A figure flew into the room and shut the door quickly. The twins were bewildered and confused as their father, a tall bright yellow Lutari, came running towards the girls.
“Come with me, my daughters! We must hurry!” he said with a firm but gentle voice.
“Where are we going? And why is the house on fire?” a green Xweetok asked, as her father lifted her out of the bed and into his arms.
“There is no time to explain!” he answered.
A young blue Xweetok looked up at him with a concerned face and asked, “Papa, where is Mama?”
The Lutari’s face became sad and discouraged, as if he already knew what happened to his beloved wife. He shook his head and quickly grasped the blue Xweetok’s paw. The three rushed to the far left wall and the Lutari pressed a secret button hidden within the painting’s decorative framework. The wall disappeared, to reveal secret steps leading down.
He led the girls down a few feet and knelt down next to the blue Xweetok, and set her sister next to her. He looked at the girls with tears in his eyes, and he wrapped his arms around them.
“Amina, do you remember the way to the forest from here?” the Lutari asked the blue Xweetok.
“...Yes,” she answered. The girls would frequently use the stairs to play in the forest. “But you are coming with us, are you not?”
The girls looked up at their father. He smiled and tears rushed down his face. He slowly walked backwards up the stairs and said, “I love you both very, very much and I...” As he reached the top of the stairs the wall returned, leaving the girls in the tunnel alone.
The green Xweetok ran towards the wall and pounded against it screaming as loud as she could, “Papa! Papa!”
“Go! Go! You two must hurry towards the forest before she gets here!” His voice was muffled as he called through the wall.
“’She’?” Amina asked in confusion.
“Run, run, my daughters!” Their father’s voice was more distant than before.
Suddenly a loud explosion and a large force crashed into the wall the girls were standing against, throwing them down the stairs.
“Where ARE the girls?” a voice asked in the distance.
Soon the girls could no longer hear the voice of the stranger or of their father.
Amina awoke and saw the sun shining through the window. She felt safe and warm in the bed that she and her sister were sharing. Amina sat up and looked around. The room was small with brown walls. In front of her she could see her reflection in the mirror, which sat on top of the dresser. To the right was a dark brown door and to the left was the window. Amina smiled and looked at her sister, who was sitting on top of the fluffy window seat.
“How long have you been awake, Lopina?” Amina asked her sister.
“Long enough to see the sun rise and hear you groaning in your sleep.” There was a pause and the green Xweetok finally asked, “Did you have that dream again?”
“Yes...” Amina said with a sigh. Her eyes began to fill with tears. “I am glad that you don’t remember that night.”
Lopina jumped down, gave her sister a tight hug and sat down on the edge of the bed. “All I remember is waking up in that inn where Ms. Forest was taking care of us,” she said at last.
“After falling several feet down the steps, I woke up and saw you unconscious. I could feel the fire coming closer to where we were, so I grabbed you and ran. And I just kept on running,” Amina said as her eyes meet her sister’s. “It was so dark that night and trees blended together so I couldn't see the stars. I finally collapsed and just before I closed my eyes, I saw a figure in the distance running towards us. That’s all I remember. When I came to, we were in the inn.”
“After several days in the inn, Ms. Forest said we could go with her to an orphanage in Brightvale, where she was a teacher. And with no living relatives, we moved from Altador to Brightvale,” Lopina reflected. ”It’s really hard to believe it’s been three years since that night.”
“It’s not so bad here. We have food, a roof over our heads, and good teachers,” Amina stated with a polite smile.
“Oh, of course, our friends here have nothing to do with it!” Lopina teased.
A knock came from the door and it opened with a long squeak. The girls turned their heads to find a red Ixi standing in the doorway.
“Oh, good. You two are awake,” she said with relief.
“Good morning, Ms. Forest,” Amina and Lopina said together.
“Good morning, girls,” she nodded to them with a smile. “I must get the other girls up, so please get dressed and come down for breakfast,” Ms. Forest asked as she started closing the door.
“Yes, ma’am,” the girls replied.
They listened to Ms. Forest’s footsteps getting softer, which meant that she was farther down the hall.
The girls jumped out of bed and as they were getting dressed they both looked at each other and started formulating a plan so they could go exploring.
The dining hall was a long corridor that had windows on the right side and paintings hanging on the left side. In the middle of the hall was the dining table, which was a long and narrow polished piece of wood that seated the Principal, three teachers and fifteen young girls. The girls’ ages ranged from six years to eighteen years.
The twins walked into the room and took their seats next to their teacher, Ms. Forest. Ms. Forest, the Head Teacher at the orphanage, was extremely knowledgeable about Neopia. She frequently spoke at seminars, and even met with royalty. Ms. Forest had been visiting the King of Altador when she rescued the girls and brought them to Brightvale.
As breakfast was being served, the hall resounded with the many sounds of girls laughing and talking.
“Good morning, everyone! It is so nice to hear laughter this early in the morning!” said a purple Shoyru, flying into the room.
Everyone stood up, bowed respectfully and said, “Good morning, Mrs. Skye.”
“Sit, sit. No need for formalities,” she said and waved them to sit down. “I may be the principal and the owner of this facility, but I do so enjoy the laughter and talking at the table. Please carry on.”
Mrs. Skye flew over to Amina and Lopina as all the young girls went back to talking, eating and laughing, which girls are good at.
“How are the twins this fine morning?” asked Mrs. Skye, who had a smile of curiosity.
“Good, ma’am,” Amina replied. “Why do you ask?”
“I have an errand to make today and I would like some help. I do not suppose that you two would like to accompany me?”
The girls looked at each other with disappointment. However, they smiled at Mrs. Skye and replied, “Of course, we would like to come along.”
“Good, because there is someone I want you two to meet,” Mrs. Skye said with a smile. “We will leave after breakfast, and...” she paused and looked at their dresses, “I would suggest that you wear something a little nicer than the dresses you have on.”
The girls looked down at their dresses and realized that they were a bit dirty as they still had mud on the edges from explorations in the forest yesterday.
After a hearty breakfast and a race up the stairs, the twins entered their room and started changing into their favorite “meeting” dresses.
“Well, how are we going to go explore that cave we found yesterday?” Lopina asked with a frustrated voice.
“Well, I guess we just have to explore it another day,” Amina said to her sister, who was turning a little more blue than green. “Just calm down, there only needs to be one blue Xweetok here and that’s me!”
“Alright,” Lopina said finally, as she took a deep breath and turned back to her normal color. “Well, you could stand to be a little greener, if you ask me.”
“Well, no one asked you, now did they!”
Both of the girls laughed and finished dressing in a hurry. The two girls walked to the door, down the spiral stairs and to the front door where Mrs. Skye awaited them.
“You two clean up very nicely,” the Shoyru said with a chuckle. “You are ready, I am assuming.”
“Yes, we are,” replied Amina, with Lopina nodding in agreement.
“Very well.” Mrs. Skye turned and faced the red Ixi standing beside the front door. “Ms. Forest, I will be back with the girls around 3 o’clock.”
Ms. Forest nodded and she opened the door for them.
To be continued...