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Witchwise


by wizardchesskim

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The world is burning ash, pain and screams. The sky is clogged with smoke, and chaos is all you hear.

     The world is burning, Lyla, a baby Kyrii observed in a ridiculously calm, puzzled way. She didn't actually mind, really. She laughed and clapped her hands and the fire danced for her and crackled, spraying embers and sparks as it snapped. Lyla giggled, but her joy was short-lived, as she began to frown as she realized the fire was devouring her home.

     Her tiny face screwed up into a grimace. Her house! All her toys and things were inside. The blue Lupe plushie, the starry crib with the fluffy pillows, and above all, her Plushie Pfish, Sock Friend. "Stop!" she ordered.

     And the fire disappeared, along with any damage it had done. Rubble, ash and charred and crumbling ruins were replaced with perfect, unscathed homes and people. All was returned to its original state.

     It was then they realized she was like no other Neopet.

     Later in her toddler years she was found walking on the water of her bathtub. Her first steps, ironically.

     As a child she once was caught alone in her crib, levitating her toys and smiling broadly as they flew around. Her terrified and confused owner had come to a conclusion long ago. Lyla was a witch. A dangerous, dangerous witch. The owner, disgusted and fearful, had dumped Lyla onto the lap of Dr_Death, where all the other unwanted pets were shoved off to. It was a grim place to grow up, with bland food, gray walls and no love, but Lyla did her best to stay upbeat.

     Today was the day. Lyla could feel it. Today someone would see her, and a smile would twitch on their lips as they approached the kind adoption Uni cheerfully.

     "I'll take that Kyrii!"

     "LylaMakepeace? Alright, miss!"

     Lyla could almost feel the warm smile of her would-be owner, and longingly wanted to reach up to her.

     "Lyla? Lyla?"

     Lyla snapped out of her daydream.

     The face of a gloomy Lupe looked down at her, smiling sadly. It was Kayne, her lifelong pal who had been there since she had arrived at the pound. He balanced her out perfectly. While he was level-headed, internal, pessimistic and quiet, Lyla was a nearly clinically insane, loud, optimistic and brash. He was coarse red fur and emotionless black eyes.

     "What?" Lyla snipped.

     "I thought of another."

     Lyla grinned roguishly. It was a game they constantly played at, guessing at, guessing at who their families were. So far they had been descended from desert thieves, son and daughter of a pirates who had lost them at sea and Faerieland children who had fallen off a cloud.

     "Go on," Lyla purred, setting herself down in an uncomfortable wooden chair.

     "Okay," Kayne began. "So we are royalty, the heirs of the Meridell Bloodline, who were kidnapped by Darigan Veteran Soldiers who had lost in the Meridell battle. They were supposed to hand us over to Darigan, but we were lost in the transition. The people of Meridell eagerly await us to come home."

     "Ooh! I like that one."

     Kayne nodded feverishly. "I knew you would."

     Their conversation was brought to an end by a sweet jingling noise. It was quiet and hard to hear, but years of experience had taught her to hear it. The chimes on the door to the adoption room.

     "Today is the day," Lyla breathed to Kayne.

     "I can feel it."

     The two best friends dashed into the adoption room breathlessly, where an owner was looking at pictures of Neopets.

     An oddly familiar owner...

     That face...

     That hair...

     Those eyes...

     "No," Lyla gasped, suddenly struggling to breath.

     She backed away slowly, legs shaking.

     The owners eyes widened.

     "Hey, Ly, you okay?" Kayne asked, alarmed. Lyla turned around and ran off.

     Kayne followed. "Hey, you do want to be adopted, don't you?"

     Lyla ran, suddenly remembering. It had not been thieves or pirates or kings and queens, but her. A tidal wave of memories crashed into her mind. A fire. Sock Friend. Eating cookies and drinking milk. Laughing. Home.

     And being left behind here.

     The adoption Uni came from nowhere and smiled sickeningly sweetly at Lyla.

     "Congratulations, Lyla, you've been adopted!"

     "No."

     "Follow me, and come see your new owner!"

     "No."

     The Uni grabbed the poor Kyrii's paw and pulled her down the hall with surprising force. Soon enough, after minutes like hours as she was preparing yourself to see the betrayer who had once been her family, she was in front of the mother she never knew she had.

     And never wanted.

     Never.

     "Hello, Lyla," the owner said warmly, voice casual enough but eyes pleading.

     Lyla said nothing. Shocked. Horrified. Confused. Scared.

     "You deserted me," she whispered. The owner hesitated. "Now, Lyla..."

     "YOU DESERTED ME!"

     The owner flinched as though struck. A single tear rolled down her cheek and fell to the floor. "I'm so sorry, Lyla. I was scared."

     Lyla scoffed. "Scared? You spend every moment here scared. Scared you'll starve, scared all your friends will be adopted and you'll be left behind, scared you'll be here, unloved, alone for the rest of your life."

     "Sweetie--"

     "SCARED THAT ONE DAY THAT TECHO WILL DECIDE YOU'RE NOT WORTH FEEDING, SCARED YOU'LL-you'll..."

     And Lyla cried. Cried and cried and cried. Her owner scooped her up and carried her home. Her home. The owner's home. Not Lyla's.

     Lyla had siblings. Darren, a Snow Bruce, Bree, a Halloween Shoyru, and Oxi, a Cloud Kau. They greeted her kindly and welcomed her, but Lyla was past saying anything. She sat in an armchair by the fire for a while and thought.

     I should run away, she eventually thought. She plotted and reveled darkly until Sock Friend came in.

     The Pfish was as cute as Lyla remembered.

     "He was yours, remember?" Lyla's owner said quietly, coming in looking abashed and ashamed.

     Lyla nodded, stroking the Pfish's back.

     "Sock Friend."

     An uncomfortable silence the followed, broken by Lyla. She looked up at her new/old owner, confused, desperate and, for now at least, forgiving.

     "Why did you-- give me away?"

     Lyla's owner sighed.

     "Lyla, I don't know how to tell you this-- but you have magic. You're an Enchantress. A witch."

     She retold the tales of the fire, the bathtub and the floating toys.

     "I was scared, Lyla. Scared of your power and what you can do. I don't understand you, Lyla."

     Lyla thought, long and hard.

     "Take me to Kayla."

     "Lyla."

     "Please."

     The next day, Lyla's owner took her to the lush, green land of Meridell and to Kayla, the sorceress.

     "Ah, yes," Kayla said as she and the Kyrii talked privately. "You are a sorceress. I remember when I was young, a similar experience befell me..." She shuddered before continuing.

     "You are indeed powerful, Lyla. There's the magic, but you must be taught."

     Kayla hesitated before finishing.

     "I could teach you how to use your magic."

     Lyla spoke to her owner. She was slightly surprised, but agreed halfheartedly to let Lyla learn magic. Lyla is now a powerful Enchantress, who actively associates with her newfound siblings and mother of an owner. And for Lyla, the world is no longer gray and cold and nothing but tears and loneliness.

     Those gray walls have brought her many doors.

     And she now knows, that there is always, always hope.

The End

 
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