Visions: Journey to Shenkuu - Part One
Night was an entirely different realm. Pinpricks of light from the heavens gazed down upon a small, insignificant world that was less than a speck in the great expanse that stretched on forever in all directions. It was such an expansive place, infinitely larger than the small spinning water-filled rock floating in it. These were the things a roughened yellow Kyrii girl often wondered about as she searched the black expanse for the constellations she had learned so long ago, when she didn’t think of how big it all was and knew only of happy days.
Those were gone now, though, and could never exist again. Not after all she had been through since those days.
Slowly, the Kyrii climbed down from her perch upon the rooftop of a stranger’s house and went to the back, throwing up the hood of her deep blue cloak she constantly wore and kept with her. It flowed with her body and helped her blend into the nighttime shadows with its dark threads. The endurance of the fabric also added to how irreplaceable the cloak was. It had even taken a weakly swung knife at her without tearing, though it probably would have, if the knife was any sharper or had any more strength behind it.
A small bit of the conversation from within the house spilled out with the small amount of light that escaped through the windows and beneath the doorway. Lots of laughing and friendly remarks from what the Kyrii heard. Faerieland seemed to be filled with it now because of what had happened. Everyone had grown closer together, meeting back up with old relatives and friends. All of the homes were welcome and inviting to those who needed them. At least, to anyone that wasn’t her.
The Kyrii slipped into the empty street, looking at all the closed shops lined up in a row. All of the windows were darkened since their owners had gone home for the night to rest and be with family. That was what everyone did, it seemed, either go with their family or repair the damage the fall had caused.
More damage than most know, the Kyrii thought, lifting a hand to her right eye, where a blind eye sat, uselessly following her other eye’s movements. A brutal scar ran straight across the middle of it, making her appear even more unfriendly and rough. She remembered all too well how the scar had gotten there.
While many of the Neopians that lived in Faerieland had left, the Kyrii had not. She knew nothing of the events and danger behind them, until it was too late. The floating city fell from its cloud and the whole world seemed to have shaken, tossing the Kyrii wildly about, giving her multiple cuts and bruises until finally she felt something scrape across her eye and make her pass out. When she had woken up, it was bandaged and she lay on a cot in a stranger’s house. Immediately, the Kyrii fled the house and took to the streets.
Some time had passed since that awful day, though, and the physical wound had disappeared, leaving its mark and causing blindness of sorts. The right eye wasn’t totally blind, though...
No, the Kyrii thought firmly. I will not let it affect me, unless absolutely necessary.
On the edge of her vision, down the street, something moved. Acting upon instinct, she ducked into the shadows of a nearby alleyway as a couple of young faerie girls passed by. In the silence of the night, their words echoed through the streets, hitting the Kyrii hard.
“I really feel bad for him, though,” one said. “The blind Ogrin can’t even see his opponents. It was pretty much by chance that he didn’t get killed by those shadow things.”
“Yeah, he should be more careful,” the other agreed. “Probably if the others hadn’t been there to help, he would’ve gotten crushed.”
For a while, long after the faeries passed, the Kyrii still stayed in the shadows, a hatred burning deep within. Anyone who stereotyped the blind as being weak got on her nerves, working up a deep pain she had to deal with since the accident. The hurt was almost so much as to bring tears to her eyes, but they stayed dry through sheer force of will.
Finally, the Kyrii went from the shadows, provoked by the need to find food to come from hiding. To keep herself from thinking of the girls, she thought of the huge universe and how small she was in comparison. Still, this did nothing to stop the hurt, and she knew it was one of those nights where she couldn’t escape it, or the fact that she was half-blind.
Yes, it was one of those nights.
By the time dawn rolled around, the Kyrii had scavenged enough food from various places to temporarily sate the gnawing hunger in her stomach. Most of it wasn’t healthy or very appetizing, but it was something to fill the empty void.
She climbed a tree near the main shopping area, concealing herself in the branches and foliage. Her cloak was pulled in close around her, helping hide her bright yellow fur, something that often impaired her ability to hide and sneak about.
The spot was relatively new to her and gave her access to a Yurble’s produce stand. It was fairly large, which allowed her to sneak in with great ease, as long as the Yurble wasn’t looking. She tried to keep her thefts random, changing the items she stole and the times at which she stole them. It helped keep the Yurble from being able to predict her moves, and also kept her from eating the same thing every day.
This, the act and art of thievery, was the rare exception to the rule of not using her ability. It had been with her since she was born, and ever since the fall, it was stronger and more full, something she could have never anticipated.
The Kyrii closed her eyes and focused deep within herself, trying to stir a vision. A wispy, half-formed thing fluttered about on the edges of her conscious, barely taking a definite figure. Slowly, she invited it to spread and grow inside her mind, and it took hold and began to show her images. A blue Yurble stood at a brown stand, seen through gaps and spaces of tree branches that wove in and out of each other. On the stand, fruits and vegetables, each spinning wildly through her mind. There was one, though, that stayed still. An ummagine. A rare treat indeed, coming all the way from the Lost Desert to Faerieland. It sat, unmoving, on the edge of the stand. It was a fair size, and just beyond some unseen gaze that loomed over the other moving foods.
There was a sudden break in the image as the Kyrii lost her focus. The vision faded back into the wispy form, no longer wanting to show her what it held. She let it slip away, and it happily did so, fading back into time, just like all the other visions had.
Something about it stuck with her, though. It was happy, joining once more with the time it had come from. Each vision seemed to have some emotion or air about it that had to do with her success or failure with the different thefts. The feelings each held had become distinct since she had been blinded in the right eye, and now she knew more accurately what would happen. Every once in a while, she looked back on some of the visions and saw the different feelings. One, however, kept its feelings hidden. The one she had before the accident.
The noise below broke the Kyrii’s train of thoughts and she looked down as the Yurble began setting up shop. It was clear that he had a larger assortment of foods today than usual, and among those was a basket of ummagines, which he laid on the left end of his stand, which was closest to the tree the Kyrii perched in.
Now to wait, she thought, and sank back onto the branch, smiling at the thought of eating the ummagine afterwards. It would be a good breakfast for her, better than what she usually had, and she couldn’t wait to eat it.
A solitary figure approached a stand, attracted by the foods that lay upon it. He called over and spoke to the Yurble, far away from the tree that concealed a yellow Kyrii, his attention upon the fruit in front of him.
The Kyrii slipped from her branch and moved down the tree until she was at the base, crouching low on the ground and making sure she was still unseen. When neither the vendor nor the customer moved, she continued to sneak up on the left side of the stand, uncomfortably leaving the Yurble on her blinded side. Still, encouraged by the vision’s joyful demeanor, she moved on until her hand seized the precious ummagine and pulled it from the table. As she did so, a sudden violent presence pushed its way into her mind, taking root and filling in the world with its vision.
A blue Wocky quickly appeared, holding a bow and arrow, ready to fire. A glint of metal and the scene changed. A row of Neopets stood side by side, each wearing the same blank look devoid of emotion. Then, every face was up close and held emotion—a white male Lupe in glistening armor, proud and determined; an old Ogrin man, his eyes blind and unseeing, kindly smiling; a fierce Kyrii male, having the presence of a king, with black face paint with a gentle and capable pink Ixi female beside him, knowingly looking at him with deep compassion; and finally a blue Ixi male grinning widely at a fierce female Kougra knight. Voices echoed in a sudden blackness, carrying different messages, most negative and harsh. Then, the blue Wocky, half-hidden in shadow, appeared once more, his lips forming the word, “Assassin,” over and over.
Then, the vision left the yellow Kyrii thief and she felt herself being pushed over by strong hands. The ummagine fell from her hands as she hit the ground.
“You could at least have the decency to respond, Thief!” a Yurble yelled at her as he towered above.
The Kyrii didn’t reply to him. She picked up the ummagine and slowly got to her feet before putting the ummagine back into its basket. Then, she turned and left, the cape of her cloak moving slightly over some of the food for a second.
As the yellow Kyrii left, the Yurble turned back to the customer and apologized about the scene, not noticing that the same ummagine that had started the whole mess was gone now, carried away in secrecy by the Kyrii thief as her cape passed over the basket.
That’s what he gets for thinking I’m nothing, she thought, a smile playing at her lips. I am Nil to him, and the world.
To be continued...