Raspberries and Recovering Memories
I wandered through the forests humming softly. The dirt path below my feet was soft and moist from the previous rain. The trees and vines hung over my head, yet the sunlight still managed to break through and filter down, glowing brightly. I smiled crookedly as I twirled around, a basket in my hand. I walked faster, my Red Kacheek tail twitching slightly. I had only just learnt to smile again as well as walk. The doctor said it was an improvement. I can't really remember what that means though. I continued to walk.
"One step at a time, Cherry, you'll be there soon..."
The memory bounced around in my thoughts and I stopped suddenly, dropping the basket.
I don't remember this... Then again I don't remember anything really...
The suddenly the memory struck me.
Three figures walked through along the forest path. One was a Christmas Zafara who was humming happily; one was a girl with an oversized T-shirt on and long mahogany curls, and the other was a Red Kacheek with a blindfold on, being guided by the Zafara.
The smells of the forest were enticing the Red Kacheek, making her twitch and try to run from the Zafara's guiding paws.
"Mum!" The young Zafara complained to the girl with brown curls, "She's being impatient again!"
I heard the chocolate curled woman sigh and she took the paw belonging to the Red Kacheek.
"It's just her senses kicking in Stella. Because she's blindfolded, all of her other senses are doubled."
This curly haired girl spoke in a soothing voice, it calmed the Red Kacheek down a little, but the strong smell of all the fruits and plants made her want to rip off the blindfold.
The girl's grip tightened on the Kacheek's paw, restraining her from removing her blindfold.
"Why do I have to be blindfolded anyway?" Snapped the Kacheek, "It's a pain in the--"
"Cherry!!" The little Zafara spoke in a scolding tone.
"I was gonna say neck, Stella!"
The girl sighed at the exchange and tapped the blindfold covering the Kacheek's ink drop eyes.
"You're blindfolded because Stella wanted this to be special. Now slow down! One step a time Cherry, you'll be there soon, I promise."
The memory slipped away from me, like a dream slowly escaping the mind. I struggled to hold onto it.
Why did these Neopians appear so familiar? Why did they look like the Neopians I was staying with?
I shook my head as the confusing thoughts pounded through my mind, giving me a serious headache. I glanced at the path I was standing on. The same path the "memory Neopians" had been walking on. Where were they going? I slowly walked along the path, leaving the basket abandoned. What was the surprise that little Zafara had planned?
I took a couple of shaky steps forward. What lies at the end of this path? Well... There's only one way to find out.
I walked forward, step by step, carefully glancing around. It suddenly struck me that this was the furthest away from home I'd ever actually been since I lost my memory. I had always wondered what had happened that night.
A Red Kacheek, sitting up in a hospital bed.
I snapped my head up as the image formed in my eyes.
A young Red Kacheek sitting up in a hospital bed, a young girl with chocolate curls holding her paw.
"Cherry! Sweetheart you're awake! The doctor said it was unlikely for you to wake up, as it was such a serious battle injury, but--"
The Red Kacheek cut her off.
"Who are you? And who's Cherry?" She spoke in a monotone.
A frightened look appeared on the young girl's face.
"I... I'm Genevieve? Your owner, but you liked to call me Mum... Y-you're Cherry... You have two sisters and a brother... Rozi, Stella, and Riley... Remember?"
A blank look remained on the Kacheek's face.
"I don't remember any of this."
The young girl broke down into tears and rested her head on the Kacheek's lap.
The Red Kacheek watched with the same blank look on her face.
I shuddered as the memory passed. Was that what happened when I woke up? The memory stayed in my mind, mainly the girl's first sentence.
"It was such a serious battle injury..."
A serious battle injury...? I was a battle pet?
I bit my lip, deep in thought. I wandered over to a nearby tree, not entirely sure about what I was doing.
I focused on the tree and lunged towards it, striking one of its branches.
I watched in amazement as the branch snapped off and flew twenty feet. I am a battle pet...
I blinked as yet another memory washed over me...
A Spotted Lupe stood in front of a Red Kacheek.
"Are you sure you're ready for this, Cherry? This is probably one of the most serious battles you've ever been in..."
The Kacheek nodded as she polished her Twin Faerie Blades.
"I know, Riley, but I've been practicing for this for almost my entire life. It has always been my dream to verse this Ixi." She glanced up as she spoke, glaring at a Halloween Ixi who was currently prancing around like she owned the place.
"It's about time she gets a taste of her own medicine Riley. She doesn't do this for a living like I do. She does it for the sick kick she gets out of others pain. You remember what happened to Louise when she went up against her? She was never able to battle again. She called the quits halfway through that match you know. But that Ixi just didn't stop, kept hitting at her the moment she let her guard down to surrender. Louise will never walk again you know."
A sad emotion flashed across Riley's face. Louise was his best friend, and now she was in a wheelchair. The emotion quickly changed to one of fierceness.
"Kick her to Kreludor and back."
The Kacheek grinned.
"That is exactly what I plan on doing little brother." She sheathed her swords and stepped out into the arena.
The Ixi grinned menacingly as she watched Cherry enter the arena.
"So this is the Neopet I'm wiping the floor with tonight huh?" She spoke loud enough for the audience to hear as they let out a chorus of boos.
Cherry smiled sickly.
"Funny, I thought you would've had some new material by now. You've used that line every time you've fought someone."
The Ixi snarled as the audience cheered Cherry on.
"You'll see! I'll do to you exactly what I did to that Aisha!"
"That Aisha is in a wheelchair now because of you. So this is for her. This is for Louise!"
She slipped into her defensive crouch and the Ixi did the same.
The referee stepped forward and raised a hand.
Cherry glared into her opponents eyes the ref dropped his hand.
The fight began as the Ixi pounced forward and slashed at Cherry with The Sword of Ari. Cherry blocked and countered just as fast with her Twin Faerie Blades. The singing of steel rang out from the arena as the coloured blurs attacked and blocked, again and again. A long clash sang out from the battlers as the both lost their grip on their swords and they went flying to the walls. Cherry was fast as she pulled out her Wand of Supernova, but her opponent was faster.
The Ixi lunged forward and gave her a sharp punch to her temples. Cherry flew backwards and smacked her head on the wall.
The young medic, a Striped Xweetok, ran forward, fearing for her older sister. Riley met the Xweetok there as the rest of the medics lifted Cherry onto the stretcher. He hugged the Xweetok as she cried into his shoulder.
"It's okay, Rozi... She's strong; she'll make it. It's okay, sis..."
I shook my head, trying to clear the memory as I walked. Was that what happened on that night? I shuddered. I glanced up suddenly, as I realised I had reached the end of the path. I inhaled deeply, as the smell of raspberries surrounded me.
A cluster of raspberry bushes were scattered around and groups of butterflies flew past, a blur of red, yellow and pink. It was beautiful. I smiled. No wonder Stella loves this place.
I stiffened as I realised.
I was the Red Kacheek. I was Cherry.
A flood of memories struck me as I stood in the forest. They all came to me, clear and wonderful. Birthdays, family, friends, battles...
It was all there. I could remember.
I smiled as I heard little Stella's voice calling out for me.
She was going to love this.