Breeze of Life and Silver Lining
I’m grey, like rain clouds, like fog, like that little area between right and wrong that no one has ever been able to put a finger on.
Sure, I’m not just grey. I’m a Kougra, too, but that’s different. That’s just my species, whereas grey is my colour, my personality, my life.
I was born into a wealthy family- a life of luxury, as some would say. My parents were successful merchants, well-known in both Brightvale and Meridell for having some of the finest goods available. I was their first child, and their last; after me, they probably knew better than to have another.
When they saw me for the first time, I was weeping. Tears flowed freely down my face as my mother picked me up and glanced at my father, then back to me. “You...” she whispered, wiping away my tears with one gentle blue paw. “You are my Aura, my little breeze of life.”
And so I became Aura, the grey Kougra with the flowery name that was in no way connected to the being that was me.
I was a troublesome child, always disobeying the rules, or more often throwing fits at the tiniest irregularities. Our servants hated me, as was apparent in the distasteful looks they threw my way. I was nothing like their children, who were courteous, and who always respected their elders. In fact, I was nothing.
My parents, even, didn’t really love me. They tolerated me- spoiled me, even- but I could see it in their eyes, too. I was their depressed, moody daughter, and what they wanted was sunshine, a smile, shining eyes.
When in public, my mother still called me her "Breeze of Life." It was sweet, I guess, but it earned me... names. Taunts. "More like 'Stench of Death,'' the servants would laugh as I sat, pouting.
It hurt. All of it hurt.
I ran away when I was fifteen.
It was all too much, and I wanted to just... be.
Unfortunately, being didn't earn food.
I resorted to thievery, living in between black and white, in the grey. It was necessary in order to feed myself, and I made sure to only steal from those who were seemingly well off, but it could still be considered wrong. I shrugged it off whenever I could, ignoring my conscience's feeble prods and picking pockets for a living.
Several years later, I was caught. Not by a guard, or any person that could really get me in trouble; rather, by a fire Gelert of about my age.
He did nothing more than turn around, scowl, and grab my arm when I tried to relieve him of a few valuables.
After several minutes of dragging me across the city, we finally stopped in front of a small house. "Inside," he said, not letting go of my arm.
I walked inside dejectedly, head hanging low. He closed the door behind us and sat down on the couch, pulling me down as well. "I'm Hall. And you are?"
"Aura," I muttered, not meeting his eyes.
"Aura," he repeated, trying out my name. "Doesn't really suit you, I don't think. So, may I ask why you tried to steal from me?"
Hall laughed good-naturedly. "There is some spirit in you! Well, I'm going to ask you anyway- Why?"
"I need to eat, too, you know."
He shook his head. "And where do you live?"
"Nowhere," I replied with a sniff, crossing my arms.
"Where is nowhere?'
He was still smiling that stupid, stupid smile.
"Alleys, doorways, anywhere where I might stand a chance at not being robbed..."
I watched as his face dropped. "You're joking- that's dangerous, and you're how old?"
"Eighteen," I replied, my scowl a perfect replication of his earlier one. "I'm not exactly a kid anymore."
"I'm eighteen, too, and you don't see me living on the street, picking pockets. You're staying with me. C'mon."
Hesitantly, I followed Hall as he led me to a room on the top floor. "You can stay in here for now. Just hold on a sec..." He ran into another room, grabbed a violet gown, and handed it to me. "'Twas my sister's. It brings out your eyes, and it's so much nicer than what you're wearing now, if you don't mind me saying so."
The clothes I was wearing at the moment were grey, like me. Perfectly fine, I thought, but I had to agree, this dress was nicer. I gave him a long look before grabbing it ducking in. "Thanks."
I stayed huddled up in that room for days, eating the food Hall brought for me on occasion and thinking, just thinking.
Why had he taken me in? Pity? It was the most likely reason, of course, but I thought there was something else there that I couldn't exactly put a finger on. Maybe he actually liked me for who I was. That didn't seem probable at all, but he did say that I had 'spirit,' and he hadn't really been rude at all. Whatever the reason, I- miserable, gloomy little me- was grateful.
I finally decided to venture out, if only to ask me why he had kept me.
"Hall?" I called, as I walked down the- well, as I walked down the hall.
I stepped through the doorway to find myself surrounded by colors. "Whoa."
I looked down at my fur, surprised to see a splash of red on it. Paint. "You didn't."
He smirked. "I did."
I got a paint brush, too, and dipped it in green. "Two can play that game."
The war was on. I let out a rare smile.
"The demon grins!"
Oh, it was definitely on.
Minutes later, we found ourselves covered in rainbows. I wasn't grey; underneath, perhaps, but who isn't to say it's what's on the outside that counts?
"That was fun," I giggled, completely out of character.
"Indeed it was," the Gelert across from me replied with a smile. "Now, do you want to see my masterpieces?"
I nodded, and he took my hand.
We walked throughout the room. I was pleased to see that none had been damaged in the squabble.
"And then there's this one." We stopped at the last painting, of a small grey Kougra sitting in a valley. Me. "I think it's missing something."
'Right," I said, as I slowly approached it. I took a paint brush into my hand and looked at my companion. "May I?"
"It is you. Of course, I mean..."
I smiled, and dipped the brush in a silvery-grey color. I outlined the figure slowly, carefully. "Aura of grey..." I muttered.
"A silver lining..." Hall grinned. "I think we'll make great friends."
And so I became, really became, Aura, the grey, the artist, Hall's partner. We never really became famous- Instead, we kept the art to ourselves, in that small home where we discovered each other. I was the girl that learned to be that sunshine and that smile and those sparkling eyes, and I was the girl with paint in my fur.
Grey. Like a breeze of life, like a silver lining. Grey.