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Cara's Gift


by o_apollo_o

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Cara awoke to the sound of a lightly chirping Beekadoodle outside. She glanced at her clock mounted on the wall. It read nine o'clock. She yawned, stretched her arms, and pivoted her body so her feet lingered over the edge of the bed. As they touched the floor, she drew them back up immediately; the tile covering her bedroom floor was freezing. Gathering enough energy, she touched her feet to the floor again, ignoring the bitter cold feeling that ran up her spine.

     She looked around her room. Three other beds were in the room, all neatly made. The other orphans must be up already. She headed down the flights of steps to the dining hall, grabbed a tray, and headed into the line. The line was for her breakfast, a buffet consisting of fruit, yogurt, and stale pastries. Cara couldn't remember the last time she had a hot meal. She put two pieces of toast on her tray and then grabbed a milk carton from a bucket of ice. With her breakfast in hand, Cara turned around to the crowded dining hall.

     The large, velvet curtains covered both sides of a large stained glass window with a woman pictured in the glass. Printed in a fine golden ink, a label stood above the window that read: Queen Elisabeth's Orphanage for Girls. Cara sat down at a table in front of the window, her table, all by herself. She stared at the window for a while, just like she did every morning. Cara then turned her attention to her breakfast.

     Cara grabbed a piece of toast, took a bite, and wiped the crumbs from the side of her mouth. She then opened her carton of milk, took a small sip, and let the liquid run down her throat. Sour.

     An elderly Usul cleared her throat in the doorway to the dining hall and her voice crackled on, "Will Cara the blue Acara please report to the headmistress's office immediately. That is all."

     Cara sighed. She waited for a reaction from the other girls in the dining hall, but they continued socializing and bickering. They would usually stare at her, or at least quiet down. Realizing that she was getting no reaction, Cara threw her remaining breakfast into the trash can.

     "Maybe it was because I didn't make my bed," muttered Cara to herself as she walked up the spiraled staircase. The headmistress's office was at the top of the orphanage, and the path was lined with stained glass windows. Each one pictured a former female ruler of Brightvale, just like the one in the dining hall. Queen Angela, Lauren the Iron-Fisted, Princess Mary, Lady Anastasia, their stained glass eyes peered down upon Cara, as if facing them was punishment for your bad deed.

     ***

          Cara took a deep breath and put her hand on the door knob to the headmistress's office. She closed her eyes and opened the door. Cara then took a step in, and when the door slammed automatically behind her, she found herself in complete darkness.

     A blue light flickered on and Cara realized she wasn't in the headmaster's office. She was somewhere else, somewhere different. The walls weren't lined with the traditional green Brightvale wallpaper, they were white crystal walls. Cara could even see her own reflection.

     She had a round face, with strange purple eyes, and blue Acara fur. Her black hair was shaggy and long, and had a cowlick on the right side, although it looked like she had one everywhere. Cara forgot to comb her hair this morning. She was wearing an old, scarlet red tunic, and brown boots. She had fell asleep in these clothes the night before and never changed out of them this morning.

     "Ah, Cara!"

     A voice interrupted Cara's inspection of herself. It had come from a large armchair about five yards from her. Cara reluctantly walked closer to the armchair, she was drawn to it. Each step she took caused her boots to squeak, making her feel uncomfortably foreign in this place, even though she really was. After that slow walk, Cara then came face to face with the faerie in the armchair.

     "Who…" stammered Cara, "who are you?"

     The faerie only smiled, her ancient purple eyes wrinkling on the edge. "Who am I? I go by Lizzie, but some prefer to call me Queen Fyora."

     There was a long, awkward pause.

     "You see, Cara, I have been watching you. I know what you are going through. Being an orphan is no fun," the Queen paused, "so I have decided to give you a chance to change your life. I pity you, I really do."

     "Really?" questioned Cara, still in disbelief.

     "Why yes, I have the power to change almost anything in time. I can travel there, and completely alter events. Haven't you ever read tales of my great deeds?"

     The two stopped speaking, another odd silence.

     "Then," Cara stopped herself. She ignored her cautious side and continued to speak anyway, "Then I wish my life… I wish it was perfect. I have almost nothing to currently live for."

     "Are you sure?"

     "Yes, what else could I possible wish for?"

     Queen Fyora heaved a heavy sigh and sat up straight in her chair. She rolled her eyes backwards, so the whites only showed. A parade of lights danced around the two, purples, greens, mostly blues, all florescent and neon.

     Cara began to feel lighter, free of stress, free of all the problems her orphan life had given him. She looked down at herself, shocked.

     Her lower legs were slowly disappearing, floating off into little pixels, and the pixels seemed to laugh mockingly at Cara as they began to move around the crystallized room.

     "What… what is happening?" said Cara, shocked out of her own mind. "Stop this! This is insane! You're insane!"

      "You wished for perfection," explained the Faerie Queen, talking over Cara's constant shrieking and screaming, "nothing is perfect, and therefore it doesn't exist. If your life is perfect, then it doesn't exist. You should have been happy with your life; anything that can be taken away is a gift, like your life. Take care of your gift Cara…"

     Cara's head had disappeared.

     ***

     An elderly Usul called into Cara's room, "Cara! Please report to the headmistress's office immediately! I was wondering where you were."

     Cara awoke from her sleep in a cold sweat. Whoa, she thought to herself, déjà vu.

     ***

     "Cara," the headmistress slammed a pile of papers on her desk, "you have been chosen to represent our orphanage in the Brightvale writing competition. Remember the murder mystery story you wrote that we confiscated last week? Well, we sent it in as a qualifying piece, and you made it! Are you up for it?"

     "Sure," replied Cara. She was surprised she wasn't getting in trouble or anything like that.

     "It can be about anything, but here are the scrolls explaining the contest. Good luck!"

     ***

     Cara tapped her pencil on the side of her desk. The three other girls in the room were yelling and tossing around a plushie, making it very hard to concentrate. She soon found herself dozing off, despite the racket. She felt herself getting drowsy, her eyes going in and out of focus. The words on her paper that had been scribbled down ideas began to blur, and all Cara saw was the inside of her eyelids.

     "Cara…" a voice called, it was vaguely familiar to Cara, it was calming to her, "your life is a gift…"

     Cara awoke slowly, her head setting down on her paper. She kept thinking of the voice, how it repeated. She touched her pencil to the paper, and began to write.

          I am a girl, an orphan. I believed I had nothing to live for. I had met someone, a mystical woman. This woman saved me; she made me aware of my gift. Life is a gift. It all started when I awoke to the sound of a lightly chirping Beekadoodle outside…

The End

 
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