The Unlikely Rescuer
The twilight air glowed purple on the horizon and tiny, silver stars gently pricked its surface as night began to fall. My owner and I were late night shopping in Shenkuu and I was getting a little tired. In my defence, I was only a young little shadow Aisha and I wasn't used to such a crowd. I paused as my jaws stretched in a yawn and I rubbed my eyes before quickly dashing back to my owner, who had stopped at another shop. My ears drooped and I lifted one forepaw, looking at the soft pink pad that had grown stiff and dirty from all the walking.
"Lisa, can we go home now?" I asked softly. The girl hardly glanced down from Kazeriu Bow she was holding. It looked pretty in the dim, twilight glow and shimmered in the starlight. I rolled my eyes. Lisa was a pretty big fan of the battledome, but she luckily never made me go in it; she left that to my siblings.
The air started getting colder as we trekked through the crowded streets. My vision started getting blurry and it felt as if my little paws couldn't hold me up anymore. I was jerked awake when I tripped on a loose pebble and landed on my face, twisting on of my forepaws in the process. I squealed in pain as I tried to place my sprained paw on the ground. My muzzle was stinging with scratches and my head was aching with exhaustion and cold. Then a shiver ran down my spine as I realised that I'd lost Lisa in the crowd.
"Lisa!" I cried out, but the bustling sounds of pets and owners shopping and chattering drowned everything else out. Suddenly, that was the only sound I could I could hear, and it was roaring in my ears like stinging thunder.
I stumbled through my crowds, in pain and fear, I didn't notice when I stumbled onto a crowded bridge. I unconsciously tried to use my wounded paw and I screeched in pain as I tumbled, almost, off the edge of the bridge. It was so crowded and loud, and I was so small that no-one saw me, hanging helplessly with one paw or heard me, squealing for help like a baby, which, I guess I was. Fear shot through me as I glanced down and saw nothing but a bottomless pit of violet-tinged clouds. Tears streamed down my cheek as I screeched as loud as I could but deep inside, I knew it was hopeless. My good paw's grip started loosening as my tiny, blunt claws started to slide off the old wooden plank of the bridge. Fear pulsed through me as I felt nothing but thin air under my paws. I shut my streaming eyes and flailed my paws, but I knew it was hopeless.
I waited to feel the rush of cold air through my fur as I plunged to my death but instead, I felt something grip the scruff of my neck.
For a heartbeat that felt like a century, everything was still. I slowly opened my blurry eyes and looked up to see what saved me. I looked up, my wide, scared gaze meeting the calm blue and yellow gaze of a tall Darigan Lupe who had my scruff secured in her jaws. For a split second, the fear started to drain from my body, but it returned instantly when I realised that the fearsome Lupe may not want to help me. The fur along my back stood on end and I started shivering as the Lupe lifted me away from the edge of the bridge, mumbling something inaudible, and walked calmly back onto steady land.
"Help! Help!" I squealed, not really knowing who the request was directed to. The Lupe trotted over to a quiet corner where there were few pets and people and put me down gently.
"W-Who are you?" I asked nervously.
"My name's Soroin, but you can call me Sora. Are you alright?" she asked, sitting down in front of me and lowering her head to my level. I shivered as I saw several ugly scars running along the side of her face but didn't comment on it.
"I-I hurt my paw and my nose hurts..." I whimpered, still shivering. I flinched as Sora sniffed my paw and muzzle and she drew back a little. She lifted her head again and wrapped her bushy tail over her paws.
"I think you'll live," she said, smiling. For some reason, the warmth in her voice calmed me a little and I started relaxing. "So what's your name?" she asked.
"Dust..." I murmured. Realisation that I was still lost and might never find my way home again pierced my heart and tears started dripping down my cheek.
"So, Dust, are you lost?" Sora asked. I nodded slowly, still not trusting the stranger completely. Fear crawled under my fur and the tears fell heavily now at the thought of never seeing Lisa or my family again.
"Don't cry... Come on, I'll show you something that might make you feel better. How does that sound?" she asked with a warm smile. I rubbed my eyes on my shoulder since my paws felt raw and sore and looked up at the tall Lupe. Her eyes weren't like other Darigan pets' that I'd seen; her eyes were golden with deep blue irises and pitch black pupils and when you looked into their depths, you could see she knew much more than I could ever understand and for some reason, this made me trust her.
I nodded and she gently picked me up by the scruff and twisted her head back to put me between her shoulders. The fur on her back was thick and warm and I started to feel better already. Sora spread her broad, tattered wings, crouched slightly before launching into the crisp, night air. I stared around slowly as the wind rushed through my fur; the sky was deep, dark purple with the silver stars now glowing proudly in its depths. I glanced down to see the violet-edged clouds below looking soft and friendly compared to when I was hanging on for life, dangling perilously over them. I looked back at the mountains of Shenkuu that were still crowded by busy shoppers that just looked like a mass of tiny toys or something from where I was. A pang of misgiving struck me again when I remembered Lisa wasn't with me. I sighed sadly and Sora glanced back at me, and I thought it was my imagination, but I thought I saw a flash of sadness in her eyes.
Sora started descending towards a quieter part of Shenkuu, where a small waterfall trickled into a glowing, fairly still pond. She landed at the edge of the pond and crouched down so I could get off her back by myself. I opened my mouth to thank her but she held her claw to her muzzle so I stayed quiet. With nothing else to do, I listened and watched the scene of peace. All I could hear was the fond bubbling of the waterfall, the faint sound of distant shoppers and the quiet whisper of the wind. The pond reflected the sky's colour and was glowing deep purple and silver around the edges. I crouched at the edge and looked down into the clear, dark water. A young shadow Aisha stared back at me, eyes wide with wonder. I was snapped away from my thoughts as Sora gently nudged me with her muzzle and nodded towards some pets who had gathered on the other side of the pond. They were all holding strange, tiny lanterns and a short, old Gelert holding a lit match was lighting each lantern individually.
My eyes widened in wonder and the pets held up the lanterns and they began to float into the night air. I looked around and all through the mountains little Shenkuu lanterns were floating into the night sky. The soft orange glow of the lanterns' flames was reflecting on the deep purple surface of the water like glowing, golden stars. It was beautiful.
"Dust! There you are!" I spun around, careful not to put weight on my wounded paw, and saw Lisa running up to me. She knelt down and hugged me and tears budded in my eyes as I was reunited with my owner. "I was so worried about you! Are you ok?" she asked frantically. I smiled.
She looked at my scratched muzzle and slightly swollen paw and frowned.
"We'll get you home now. Come on!" She picked me up and held me in her arms. I looked back; I wanted to thank Sora for what she'd done for me, but the mysterious stranger had disappeared.
When we got home, night was in its depth. My family was asleep but I was sitting on my bed, staring out the window. The large moon hung in the sky like a silver dubloon and I sighed. Suddenly, the form of a Darigan Lupe flew past the moon, glowing blue and gold eyes glinting in the starlight and I could have sworn it winked at me. That was the last time I saw her. The stranger that saved my life.
Hope you enjoyed this short story! Feedback appreciated :) Have a wonderful day!