Firejewel: Part Two
Going For Help
I opened my eyes. The burning was gone. Shadow filled
the room. "Dayne?" I groaned. I had heard her crying…was she alright?
"Huh?" came a whimpered reply from somewhere
above me. Frey didn't whimper, and she didn't say things like "huh", either.
I craned my neck and could see that I was sprawled on the floor of Dayne's room.
The carpet smelled like perfume and the newly sold, clothy scent of a mall.
The chair I'd tied Frey to was next to me, and
Dayne's tan-furred foot was dangling next to my face. Her voice had come from
the chair. "Are you okay?" I mumbled, too exhausted to sit up.
"She…was me," whispered my roommate. "I saw myself
hurting you, but it was like I was looking through a window. I couldn't stop
her. I'm sorry, Sisslio."
I'd never heard Dayne speak with such seriousness
before, so I knew that she meant it. "It's okay," I told her, "'S not your fault,
"But she'll come back, I'm sure of it!"
I sighed. "We need help," I said, thinking aloud.
In a matter of seconds, I had an answer to our predicament. "Aly!"
Dayne sighed as well, only she sounded exasperated.
"And Terzin! Jeez, every time we mention them it's always 'Aly'! It's getting
kinda irritating constantly hearing about your secret crush all the time!"
"My what?" I exclaimed. Even after being possessed
and giving me a near-death experience, Dayne could still poke fun at me. "She's
my friend, okay? That's it! 'Secret crush'…where do you come up with this stuff?"
"Hah! Denial!" she said smugly. "Well, I guess
you're right. Even though she is awfully pretty, with those blue and purple
eyes of hers…"
Alysoun SkyGaze did have nice eyes. That was
probably what I liked best about her outward appearance. They were exactly like
the sky, shimmering from clear azure to the indigo of storm clouds. "Yeah,"
I sighed. I couldn't really help myself.
"Hah!" Dayne cried again. "YOU AGREE! Wow, it
is so fun messing with your head!"
"Okay, can we please change the subject?" I asked.
"We should probably leave for the Roads now."
The WindRoads were where the four winds merged.
I didn't quite understand them yet. They were located at a crossroads of tunnels
underground, beneath a large, gnarled tree on the outskirts of Neopia Central.
I travelled them quite often. They stretched between the world of Neopia and…elsewhere.
Aly and Terzin lived in another world, not in ordinary Neopia. This was something
I didn't really understand, either.
"But what if she comes back?" asked Dayne. "Frey."
"Oh, yeah." I knew Frey wasn't going to give
up - that was one thing she never did, not if her life depended on it. In our
last battle, she had scarred me with a white pelt like her own, so I'd never
forget our intertwining fates. "Well, I could leave you here, all tied up, and
I could bring Aly here. And Terzin!" I added in a rush, should she choose to
go on about fictional romance again.
"You learn quickly," she told me, and through
the darkness of evening, I could almost see her smirking at me.
About an hour later, I was ready to leave. I'd
had to hang around for a few minutes since Dayne was complaining of starving
to death while I was gone, so she'd made me feed her cookies and potato chips
by hand until she was full. I finally said good-bye to her and made my way out
the door of our apartment and into the forest fringing Neopia Central.
I had the Windscythe at my belt, secure in the
scabbard Aly had given me the previous year, as well as what I thought of as
my WindRoads outfit. In Aly's world, it seemed to be a medieval sort of lifestyle,
so I wore more appropriate garments in order to blend in with the crowd when
I went there. I was clad in a loose tan shirt with open-ended sleeves, and this
was surmounted by a roan-coloured tabard.
I crept stealthily through the trees, moonlight
dappled by the foliage. I didn't want to attract the attention of the few Neopians
that were still awake. I made my way to the old tree and crept through the opening
at its base. I wandered through the dark tunnels, through which I was able to
navigate quite easily since I'd been through them so many times. Then I felt
the wind. Without hesitation I stepped forward, and the breezes ensnared me,
carrying me along my chosen path.
Whenever I travelled the WindRoads, I got this
feeling as if I was bigger than my physical body. Although I'd become used to
it, it remained nothing short of exhilarating. The world flew by in millions
of colours, and I was surrounded by the storm of existence.
Finally, my feet were reunited with the earth.
I was on the cliff overlooking Aly's (and Terzin's)
village. I raced down this and onto the plain of this new world. I found Aly's
house and pounded on the door. "Aly!" I called, "You awake? It's Sisslio!"
The door was suddenly opened and I almost fell
onto the floor. There was the striped Zafara, wearing an oversized tunic, which
I guessed she slept in. "What the heck do you want?" she demanded.
"Frey's back," I managed, still breathing raggedly
since I had run all the way here. "She's possessing Dayne and she's out to kill
me - again."
Aly's eyes widened considerably. "Oh, gosh,"
she said, "You better come in."
We sat down at her kitchen table and she offered
me some dry biscuits, which I accepted gratefully. Despite feeding Dayne that
last-minute junk food, I hadn't had anything to eat before being knocked unconscious
earlier. I described what had happened this morning - how I had fought Frey
in the hallway and tied her up. I also told her about the dream I'd had previous
to discovering Frey's possession of Dayne. "And she told me that she had other
ways of killing me," I said, "And she mentioned her Firejewel, whatever that
is. I figured the necklace Dayne -"
"Yeah," I said, stopping dead at the anxious
look in her eyes. "Why? What does it do?"
"Woa, this is bad," she muttered, "But maybe
I should explain it back at your place and bring Terzin, so all of us are filled
"What?" I asked.
What about my neck? I gingerly touched my own
throat and winced, realizing that Frey's attempt to strangle me had left tender
bruises. I guess they showed through my white fur. "Oh, yeah," I said, once
I realized their source, "Dayne - I mean, Frey did that. I'll be fine."
"Well, at least let me put something on it,"
Aly told me. "If we're going to be dealing with the Firejewel, you should be
in top condition."
She didn't even wait for me to answer and strode
over to a cabinet of herbs in the back hallway. I wasn't going to protest. Aly
had amazing healing skills. Once, with only a thin root, she'd made a bad burn
all but disappear from my paw.
She ground something up with a mortar and pestle,
and then applied the paste around my neck, slightly massaging it until it was
absorbed into my skin. I sighed after she finished. "Thanks," I said, "That
feels tons better!" The lack of pain drove away some stress too, just what I
needed after surviving a struggle with Frey.
"Good," said Aly, then stood up. "Let's go get
Terzin and head for your place."
We made our way down the dusty paths though the
village until we reached a small cottage similar to Aly's house. We knocked
on the wooden door, and to my surprise, a cloud Lupe answered it. The last time
I'd seen Terzin, he'd been yellow.
"Wow," I said, "Finally got painted?"
"Oh, yeah!" he replied, "Right, you haven't seen
the clouds on me yet. I think after last year - y'know, how Dayne did you Cloud
with the potion - it just caught on to me. Zafaras can be painted cloud now,
"Don't remind me," I said, "Dayne tells me that
every day. Once, she tried to make me cloud with a brush, but nothing will colour
over this white of Frey's."
"Right. Anyway, why are you two here?"
Aly explained everything in a single statement.
"Her Firejewel's got Dayne."
"What?!" he exclaimed. "How? I thought that the
"Me too," Aly interjected. "Someone must have
convinced them to side with her again, or maybe they know the Windstorm came.
Or maybe one of them turned traitor."
I wasn't following any of this. "What in the
world are you guys talking about?" I demanded. "You never explain anything first,
"Bad habit," Aly said smoothly. "We'll give you
all the details when we get a look at Dayne."
"Fine," I muttered.
"Then let's go," suggested Terzin. "If it is
indeed the Firejewel, Dayne's life could possibly be sacrificed."
"What?" I gasped, "Why?"
"Because," Aly replied, "Frey could be using
her as a substitute Windstorm. She might be trying to kill Dayne in order to
I felt my heart leap into my throat. "No…"
To be continued...