Path to Destiny: Part Four
"The name's Sora. Need some help? You look like you're having trouble," she offered calmly. There was no sneer or threat in her voice so I assumed the offer was genuine but anger still seethed beneath my fur.
"Why? Because I'm faerie you think I can't handle myself?!" I snarled hotly but the Lupe simply shook her head.
"No, if you were a mutant Grarrl I would have offered the same thing. The desert is dangerous now. I wouldn't let anyone die out here when I could have helped them," she replied levelly, meeting my fiery gaze with ease.
"Then why are you out here if it's so dangerous?" I challenged, trying not to let the Lupe's calm tone soothe me. A grin spread across her muzzle and a mischievous look passed her face.
"Hey, that's what the life of adventure is about, isn't it?" She faced my challenge and I started to think about taking the stranger's offer. I paused and Snow crept out of my backpack and onto my head, staring at Sora. The Lupe stretched her muzzle closer to the Faellie and I remembered how aggressive the petpet had been when I'd first met him.
"Careful! He bites!" I warned but Sora ignored me. I was shocked to see Snow jump off my head and sniff Sora's paws curiously, not a hint of aggression in his movements. He chirped happily before flying up to sit on the Lupe's head and wagged his tail. My jaws gaped open as I stared wide-eyed at the normally aggressive petpet. Snow barked and even more to my shock, Sora replied.
"I know, I know; it's a big change, isn't it?" she said sympathetically and Snow nodded. Sora must've noticed me looking at her strangely because she returned my look with an innocent smile and simply said, "Hey, when you travel as much as I do, you learn lots of things."
I sighed, feeling the heat seer through my fur and knew the options were trust the stranger or die from the heat. Snow was already on board, literally, so I shrugged to myself; what was the harm?
"Ok, I'll come with you."
"Nice! Where ya headed?"
"The water between Lutari Island and Moltara. No particular reason..."
"Ah... Amazing stretch of ocean there. The water looks like it's on fire at sunset. Hop on, I'll get ya there." She crouched down and I cautiously climbed on her back and sat just behind Snow, who chirped when he saw me with him. I felt a little dizzy when Sora stood up to her full height and instinctively dug my claws into Sora's thick fur but she didn't seem to notice. She spread her board wings before launching into the air and I felt the familiar exhilaration of the air rushing past me and relaxed for the time being.
I was surprised at how fast the Lupe flew. Her wing-beats were strong and spaced out and the desert below was just gliding past like a swift river. The silence was starting to bother me though but I couldn't think of anything to say.
"So, where you from?" Sora asked curiously.
"Neopia Central, not too special. My owner was a terrible though, controlled every moment of my life and I couldn't take it anymore! That's why I'm here; I left," I said, ending with a satisfied sigh. It felt good to finally say that out loud.
"Ah, I've heard many tales like that. Sometimes, humans don't know when they've crossed the line. I have an owner but I don't see her too much. She lives on a boat with my adopted brother and they travel a lot too. Not as much as me but still, good effort," she replied with a hint of amusement.
"Were you born there?"
"Nah, I had pretty much the same life before I met my owner. Yep, I'm just a traveller." She sighed. "Although I think I might've been a pirate at some stage."
I couldn't help laughing a little and Sora smiled at me. I would have asked how she got those scars but I thought it might be a sensitive subject.
"I can't believe I didn't ask this; what's your name?" she asked.
"Dawn and this is Snow. I guess we're just looking for the life of adventure too..." I sighed.
"Look." Sora nodded towards the scenery ahead. I had been so occupied with my thoughts that I hadn't noticed the ocean below up. The sun was getting lower and I could see a mass of fog to one side, where Lutari Island was shrouded and the water between it and the next mass of land was wide, still, and blazing orange-red like flames.
The sun was dipping below the horizon by the time Sora had landed on the sandy shore of an island off Moltara. The sand was glowing golden by the sunset, the sky was purple and red and the water was a sheet of blazing light. Each wave was crested with fiery light yet the only sounds were the whispers of the wind and the gentle lap of the sea and sunset blazed on the horizon.
"It's beautiful..." I murmured as I jumped off Sora's back. Snow was sitting on my head and he chirped in agreement.
"I'm sure you'll find your heart's path..." I heard Sora whisper before I heard strong wing-beats. I turned around and she was gone. I never saw her again.
The beach was magnificent as I settled under a palm tree, Snow curling up beside me and I took my journal out from my bag. The sand here was different to the desert's sand; it was soft and warm, no rough stones in it but some shells poked through the surface. I picked up brownish-orange shell and slipped it into my backpack as a souvenir. I opened my journal with a sigh and remembered how I wrote in it the night of my leaving; the dawn of my new life.
I was helped by a stranger named Sora who took me to this beach. It's the shore of an island off Moltara. She was so helpful but I didn't get to thank her. I feel bad about that but I'm on the road to my own destiny and there's no looking back. I finally feel free. Snow is fine, he's happy so far as I know and he's been a good friend. I can't help but feel that maybe... I'll be lonely here. Snow is great company but I can't understand him and I've never had a family since I was Bob's only pet.
Anyway, I'll find my own way. Maybe, one day, I will have a family...'
I closed the book as the last rays of blazing sunlight disappeared behind the horizon and the stars speckled the night sky and the large moon spilled cold silver light onto the ocean. I curled up next to Snow, whose starry pelt glistened in the frosty starlight above and my own fur was tinged with silver. The soothing lapping of the water slowly put me to sleep.
"Hey, buddy! You ok?"
I sprang awake when I heard the unfamiliar voice and froze when I saw a young human. It was a little boy and he had small wraith Gelert by his side. Snow was startled awake and hissed at the strangers with his fur bushed up. The wraith looked fearsome, blazing purple eyes and shadowy pelt but he wasn't acting like I thought wraith pets would. He stood calmly and just cocked his head curiously at Snow and me.
"Y-Yeah, I'm fine! Who are you?" I asked suspiciously.
"I'm Toby; this is my friend, Breeze. Who are you two?" the boy introduced himself and returned the question.
"Dawn, this is Snow."
"Well, I know this is a long shot but... do you have an owner?" he asked cautiously. I felt a little prick of pride as he looked slightly scared of me. I would have said yes less than a week ago. But now I knew I had no owner. I would never associate myself with my previous owner again.
"No. Not anymore. Why?"
"W-Well... Breeze and I have been a little lonely. I'm the only owner that lives here so there are no other humans and all the other pets stay away from Breeze because they're scared of him... Would you like to join us?" Toby asked carefully.
"He's a good owner, takes great care of me and lets me explore whenever I like." Breeze added hopefully.
I felt myself soften inside and even Snow relaxed and sniffed the newcomers. I smiled and nodded.
"I'd love to!"
The moon beat down gently through my bedroom window. The room was small, made of bamboo and the bed was made of leaves and sticks but I felt more at home than I ever did at my old house in Neopia Central. Snow was asleep on the bed and Toby and Breeze had already gone to bed after a long day of showing me around the island. I opened my journal with a happy sigh and began to write.
I have a family. I have a real home. I have happiness. I have found my destiny...'