Can't Melt a Dream
The snow Lupe looked down to the line separating Terror Mountain and Tyrannia. Weeks ago the line had looked so magical, so mystic. From his home on the icy cliff tops it looked like a fine curving border strip between safe cold snow and the mysterious unknown. However, once the Lupe was bold enough to travel on his own, he soon learned the closer he traveled to the edge, the more jagged and sloshed the line became.
Now the line was mud. Mud and more mud. What was he thinking? What did he expect, a sign saying, “Welcome to Tyrannia! Congratulations on making it this far”? The air was still cold, but he counted his blessings his body hadn’t melted on the way here. He was not an account pet, he did not have an owner, and so he did not have the same weatherproof snow which allowed them to go to warmer places the Lupe could only dream of. No, dreams were all he had, for a dream was how he was born.
The Kougra who made him was such a bright color, almost exactly the color of a poppit, which suited her happy smile. She smiled the whole time, patting away at the snow, bouncing around him, skillfully using her claws to sculpt the smaller details. The features of his face, his paws, his hind legs, his tail, were all artfully done with precision.
He had watched in amazement as the feline cub whizzed back and forth from one area to another, a yellow blur with black stripes, hunting for the perfect pair of stones for his eyes. By the time she was finished, the day had already come and gone, but sitting down before her was the most tastefully crafted snow Lupe with the brightest set of stones she ever set eyes on. Why, she almost expected him to jump up and wag his tail! Yet in the end she told her friends he preferred to sit by her, silent and proud, filled with purpose.
And she had made him for a purpose, for she desperately needed a friend at the moment, someone to talk to about her dream. She told him all about her learning to play the guitar, about practicing her vocals every day. She told him her dream of one day becoming a rock star, to fill the stone concert hall of Tyrannia with her own brand of music. And she told him how insecure she felt when her friends didn’t understand, when her mother never took her seriously, and when her father growled at her to dream more practically. This, she explained, was why she needed to talk to the snow Lupe so badly.
Her dream was important to her and it became important to the Lupe as well. After she had talked and sang a few of her best lyrics to him, she had to leave the snow Lupe. She ran towards the rising moon and promised to return in a few years after she had become a rock star. She would to tell him all about it, about her story, her rise to fame and let him listen to her newest music. And the Lupe never forgot.
Ten years had passed by as the snow Lupe sat, unwilling to melt to wait for her return. He had grown anxious, waiting, and the same questions always swirled in his mind. Was she okay? Did she make it? What did her music sound like? Did she still look the same? Did she still play guitar or had she become a full-time singer? Eventually, the questions and anxiety made him rise up, pace the ground, and sit back down again.
Of course, it still took him a while afterward to figure out he had just become animate.
Now here he was, at the muddy edge of Terror Mountain, determined to meet her again and listen to her music. He took a deep breath, refreshing his lungs with a cool wind from the north, and focused his concentration. He took a gentle step forward, his snowy paw delicately testing to see if the muddy ground was hard enough for him to walk on. If he wasn’t careful, the mud could stick to his paw and the weight would tear it off. Luckily the mud patch on the other side had hardened. Carefully, he crossed the border, and continued on.
The farther he traveled, the harder the terrain, and the more cautious the Lupe had to become. The muddy terrain had soon given way to a tropical forestland, where debris such as leaves, pebbles, sticks, and dirt plagued and anchored the Lupe’s every step. He had already lost two paws and so had to continue on his way crippled.
More than a few times he thought about turning back, to sit and wait patiently for her return again. But the unanswered question of what had happened to his creator spurred him on, plus somewhere in his mind he knew his body wouldn’t survive the trip back. It was too late to give up now; besides, he had a dream of his own to fulfill.
It was evening and the Lupe's fifth day in the jungle. Because the snow Lupe had never lived in another land before, he did not anticipate the warm wind of the south; although it felt nice, it hadn’t given his body any mercy. Now, his head sat sadly in the middle of a large puddle, which was quickly being sucked into the ground and into the thirsty roots of the tree above him. What was left of him trembled. In a sense he was being eaten alive and the reality of it all felt cruel.
A skree cried and an airax’s song could be heard off in the distance. The snow Lupe looked up into the tropical night air and sighed. Behind the overhanging branches of giant firs and palm trees he could partially see the sky. The stars were shining brightly and for a passing moment he wondered if they resembled the bright lights of stardom. He closed his eyes trying to imagine the stage of the concert hall, the music of the newest artists of the generation, the taste of the air. He imagined the glittering lights, the girl rocking out on her guitar, the fans waving their hands in the air, and of course himself, cheering her on.
Not all was lost, though, he thought. He had seen many amazing sights while fumbling his way through the jungle, flowers of all different colors and shapes like spore blossoms and purple graspers or exotic petpets like cameliors and ackos, walking around and roaming their way home. It all beat sitting on a cold isolated cliff all day, he was sure. He heard the petpet’s cry again and suddenly the image of the concert hall flashed back through his mind, but this time with himself on center stage with a red guitar strapped around his neck. He sighed again. Ah, well. He supposed the airax’s song would have to do. He hummed along to its tune until his jaw melted through.
“Man, Amy! You were totally rocking!”
“Thanks Tatara.” I chuckled.
“Yeah! You were like, bow-wow-bow-bowwow, and then I was like, bow-chick-a-bow-a-waaaaang! And Jim was like, boom-ba-boom-boom. And then we were like, “Yeah-YEAH-Uh-huh! THANK YOU, TYRANNIA! YOU ROCK! Dundundun!”
Our second guitarist, a yellow Cybunny and my best friend, made sure to hit the low notes on her air guitar to show me exactly what she meant. She was always a bit hyper after a live performance.
It certainly had been a good show; of course, we were a long shot away from bands like Moehawk and Sticks N Stones. Yet personally I was just happy I hadn’t messed up this time. I flexed my claws. My paws were sore from all the practice and excitement.
Tatara bounced up ahead of our band, which was walking back home from a long but satisfying job at the concert hall, and continued to make strings noises and mimic a really jamming air guitar.
“Alright, alright, calm down, Tatara. You need to watch where you’re going. This path has a lot of tree branches and you might-”
I could not finish my sentence as my ankle caught on a tree root and sent me flying to the floor. Luckily, being a Kougra, I landed on all four paws. Unfortunately, our drummer Jim, who is a Ruki and has four legs to trip over in back of me, wasn’t. But at least the drum set on his back seemed happy to add a few comical bangs to our painful scene.
“Oh goodness!” exclaimed our bassist, a mutant Lenny. “Are you two okay?”
“I’ll be fine,” grumbled the drummer, rubbing two of his kneecaps and inspecting his instruments. “How about you, Amy?”
I sighed and raised my head to start my reply, when suddenly my eyes locked on to the brightest set of stones I had ever seen.
“Rock on,” I whispered in amazement.
“What?” asked Jim. His antennae stretched over to hear me more clearly.
“I said I am great!” I yelled back to them and the antennae instantly recoiled in pain. I smiled apologetically. Picking up the two stones and slipping them into my pocket, I got to my feet and gave Jim a helping paw to his four feet. Then I sprinted to Tatara and hollered over at her to wait up. As I ran, the stones clinked a beat in my pocket, matching my rhythm.
I couldn’t suppress the grin on my face. I had a lot to tell him...
...Plus he would make the most perfect set of guitar picks.
Thank you so much for reading!