Finding the Dusk
The sun was beginning to set on what felt like an endless day and the air was filled with the musty scent of the sea. The Krawk Island many have come to know and love was yet to be found, and little could be seen on the waters from any land other than the odd bird or two. If one could look over the entirety of the sea, however, one might find it peculiar to see a ship floating aimlessly. It was a small ship with a mast but no sail, a deck with no crew, and a cabin with no captain. Inside the cabin there were instead two very young Shoyrus; an older sister, and her little brother.
You see, the two had been plotting to steal an Everlasting Apple from the Hidden Tower. They were very poor and couldn't afford much food. Unfortunately for them a couple of Dark Faeries were on to their plans and decided to play a trick on them instead. The night before they had agreed to sneak into the Hidden Tower, the two Dark Faeries approached them and told them of a ship that was leaving Neopia Central in a couple of nights on its way to its destination. The ship was supposedly carrying a large order of Everlasting Apples someone had requested and had docked there overnight. They were headed off to another bizarre Neopian's extravagant collection, no doubt. Overcome by the idea of enough food to share with their friends and family for eternity, the two Shoyrus made for the ship's departure instead. When they snuck on board they found that not only was the cabin empty but the Dark Faeries had been waiting patiently the whole time to lock them inside and send them off to sea with no way of getting back safely.
"That will teach you to think you're smarter than Faeries!" one of them yelled as they both flew off with the key. The Shoyrus were both very frightened. They huddled together on the floor of the cabin, which felt like it had betrayed them just as much as the Faeries. The sway of the ship left an even more uneasy feeling in their stomachs as they tried to think of a way out of their predicament.
"Wh—what do you think we should do?" asked the sister.
"I don't know," the brother replied, "I feel like we probably shouldn't have tried any of this stuff to begin with. What would Mom say if she saw us now?"
"Mom's not here. She's probably going to be worried sick!" the sister said petrified. Their mother had fallen asleep early that day and the siblings used that opportunity to sneak out of the house and off to the docks around Neopia Central. They had planned to surprise her in the morning with a bag full of food and whatever else they could find.
"You know how Mom always scolds us if we're late for dinner?" asked the sister.
"Yeah..." replied the brother hesitantly.
"I feel like this would be much worse," the sister said bluntly.
The brother snickered half-heartedly, "You're probably right."
The ship floated in every direction except for one that would lead them to land. The winds were not in their favour and soon their only comfort was to tell stories in order to pass the time. They had been at sea for what felt like at least a day. They were both hungry and beginning to feel a little desperate. With thoughts of home behind them and their worries now focused on survival, it was hard to get any rest or think of a solution when they couldn't even leave the cabin. The older sister had soon begun to develop a habit of pacing about the empty cabin, while the younger brother tapped his food impatiently as if waiting for her to provide some sort of an answer. He detested the pacing, and she found the tapping insufferable.
"Will you PLEASE stop that?" the sister asked.
"As soon as you stop pacing," replied the brother.
"Fine," said the sister. She sat down beside him and pouted. He made a face at her when she wasn't looking. He was about to say something else when out of the corner of his eye he caught a glimpse of something white in one of the cabin's tiny windows. He got up from the hard floor and dusted off his pants. His sister looked at him quizzically.
"I need you to hold me up to that window," the brother pointed excitedly, "I think there's something up there!" His older sister came over and held him up as high as she could without toppling over with him in hand. His eyes caught what looked like it was a bird. It turned around and bravely hopped past his head, out of the narrow space, and fell expertly to the floor of the cabin nearly knocking them down in the process. The bird was all white and had long feathers in the back that extended into what could have been a tail. It was oval in shape and had two beady black eyes. It was cute, and the siblings thought so too.
"Look at it!" exclaimed the sister. "It's so cute!"
"I wonder what it's doing here," the brother asked. The bird sat itself down between the two Shoyrus and stared at them, cocking its head every once in a while as if in anticipation. It grew tired of this very quickly and began to hop around the cabin. "Calm down," said the brother. He tried to get the bird to relax but only ended up irritating it. It opened its beak to make a noise but nothing came out. The bird tried again but was still struggling.
"That's strange," said the older sister, "Usually birds know how to make some kind of a noise, don't they?"
"Yeah, you're right," replied the younger brother. "Are you alright little guy?" he asked the bird. The bird began to hop up and down seemingly frustrated by the entire situation. It opened its beak once more to try and let out a song but its efforts were futile.
"Maybe we should try to teach it somehow," suggested the sister. She approached the bird which seemed to eye her apprehensively. "Here, like this," she said, as she pursed her lips together and began to whistle. The whistling soon extended into a melody. It was peaceful but it seemed to sadden the bird somehow. It tried to mimic the girl but still couldn't produce a sound and it began to shrink away in shame. The brother was determined to cheer it up. After all, what was a bird without a song? So while his sister whistled, the brother began to sing:
"Little bird, little bird,
Where does your voice hide?
Say hello to the evening,
And sing for the rising tide.
Little bird, little bird,
We will sing with you,
Trust your song to the siblings,
Older Wee, and little Woo."
The older sister stopped whistling and looked at her little brother. "Awe, that was really nice," she said. Just then the bird opened its beak and out came a sound.
"Wee," it went.
"Hey! That's me!" exclaimed the sister.
"Woo," went the bird.
"That's right!" said the brother excitedly.
The bird hopped up and down happily and began to sing, "Weewoo, weewoo!" The siblings looked on with wide smiles knowing that the bird had finally found a song. They both turned to face each other at the same time, almost as if to say they knew what the other was thinking.
"Hey Woo, do you think we should...?" the sister began to ask.
"I think it's worth a shot!" the brother replied. The brother went over to the bird, cupped his hands together, and extended them. "We're going to put you back on the window now, so you can be free!" said the brother. The bird hopped into his hands, a little confused by the situation. The sister came over and picked up her brother again, slowly raising him back to the window where they had met the bird what felt like only moments ago. The bird hopped on to the narrow window ledge and turned around to bid them goodbye.
"Tell everyone about the two of us, okay?" asked the brother. "You have to tell them that we are here and we need help. Sing as loud as you can! Sing our names across the sky so that our mother knows we're okay and she can send someone!"
"Weewoo," the bird sang, almost solemnly.
"Exactly." The brother smiled. With that, the bird was off. It flew into the setting sun and the two young Shoyrus could hear its song echo across the waters, bringing with it a glimmer of hope.