Encountering Wild: Part Five
"Did you see any sign of him Tiger?" I asked my spotted
Eyrie when he came back. Tiger frowned and shook his head in response.
We (Bloo, Genee, Hopper, and Tiger) were in the
middle of the tropical forest on Mystery Island. It's been a few hours since
Wild had ran away. Moments after I realized that he disappeared, I rounded up
my Neopets and we started to search for him. We searched the beach, behind rocks,
in caves, in the marketplace... we searched everywhere.
Finally, when we were just about ready to give
up, Tiger came up with a brilliant plan: while we rested, he would fly around
and look for Wild from above. He had amazing vision, and he was a quick flyer
as well, so this plan was perfect. It also allowed the others, and me, time
to rest from searching for so long. I still do not know why Tiger has so much
energy in him, and so much persistence and patience. Must be an Eyrie thing.
Right now, we were completely lost in a tangle
of branches, leaves, trunks, and darkness. Tiger had just recently returned
from his searching, and he had absolutely no luck when it came to locating Wild.
Still, I did not want to give up. I knew that Wild was still on the island (where
else could he go?), and I wasn't going to abandon him this easily.
"Do you still have enough strength for another
fly around the island, Tiger?" I asked once he caught his breath. He nodded
instantly as if he expected me to ask that, and with one quick spring, threw
himself into the air once more and flew away.
I sat down on a nearby rock after Tiger departed
and buried my head in my hands. I was so frustrated, angry, sad... confused.
I really don't know why I'm trying so hard to find Wild again. I've only known
him for a few days, but when he ran away, I still remember how quickly fear
struck me. What if the villagers found him before we did? What would they do
to him? I was terrified, and worried to death. My stomach was all in knots,
my throat felt rashy, and my hands were sweaty.
"CT, quit worrying about it," Genee said suddenly
as he jumped off the rock he was resting on. Flickers of electricity erupted
from him momentarily before dying down to a small buzz. "Wild can take care
"Yeah, I'm sure he can..." I said, but I really
didn't believe it.
"CT, dear, it's all right. Wild can take care
of himself, if you haven't noticed," Hopper said reassuringly as she brushed
a few specks of dirt off of her shoulder. "You'll get wrinkles if you worry."
I laughed when she said that, but my stomach
still felt completely sick. What if we're too late? Wild wouldn't stand a chance
against another barrage of armed villagers... not in his condition.
Suddenly, to our left, we heard a loud bang and
screams. Off in the distance, between the trees, I could see fire flaring from
the ground. Shadows of moving bodies were running around, continuously shouting
words that I did not understands. The flames flickered in the air, attacking
every single tree in it's path with quick ferocity and anger. Leaves and bushes
caught on fire and turned to ash in a matter of seconds, but the shadows that
moved through the flames ignored the heat and the licks of gold and red at their
feet. Instead, they circled a lone, solitary figure who stood in the midst of
"Wild," I whispered fearfully.
"CT!" I heard Tiger call from above as he burst
through the overhanging branches and landed at my feet. His pruned feathers
were bent and smelt of ash; beads of sweat dropped from his forehead, and his
legs wobbled uneasily underneath his weight. His grand, brown wings were hanging
from his side in a forlorn fashion, and his eyes were red in irritation. "They
found him! They found Wild!"
"I can see that, Tiger!" I cried back and looked
towards the inferno once more. This time, it looked closer, and every minute
brought another tree down. The flames were coming towards us... and so were
the battling bodies. The shadows were now detectable; there were Grarrls, Kougras,
Blumaroos, Jetsams... nearly every single species imaginable. They were shouting
in their native tongue, and screaming and jumping about wildly. They all held
at least a spear or a bow, and they were all facing Wild.
Wild's red tinted fur was covered in dense, smooth
ash, and his eyes were furious and wild. He threw his head up and howled mournfully
at the moon before he lunged over his attackers and rushed through the flame.
He was headed towards us.
"Wild! Come here! Wild! Here! Come here!" I shouted
eagerly and jumped to my feet to meet him. The moment Wild laid eyes on me,
though, he instantly stopped in his tracks. Shock was written all over his face,
and it increased as he gazed at the others around me. The shouts of the pursuing
villagers behind him were coming closer, though, and Wild pivoted and bounded
off in a different direction.
I wasn't going to lose him again.
"Tiger, carry Bloo back to the house. Hopper
and Genee, you two run as fast as you can back to the house as well. Don't question
me. Just go," I shouted quickly at them. They all hesitated at first, unwilling
to go, but they reluctantly obeyed and dashed off. As for me, I started running
The sharp edges of leaves and pointy twigs brushed
against my arms, face, and legs. I must've received at least two dozen scars
from pursuing Wild, but I didn't care. I kept my eyes glued to the back of Wild's
head as he ran in twists, turns, circles, and lines. Behind me, I could hear
the footsteps of the villagers as they rushed after us as well. Fortunately,
I don't think they ever saw me or my pets.
As we continued to run, my heart started to beat
faster against my chest, and it was hard breathing. Each intake of cold air
was like a shock to my system, for I was dead tired. My legs felt weak, my arms
hung limply at my side, and my hair was damp with sweat and moisture from the
air. Still, I kept running as fast as possible, and I managed to keep up with
Wild, who didn't look tired at all from what I can tell.
We continued to run, and as we ran, the footsteps
behind me started to disappear. They were stopping... they were giving up. My
heart rose when I realized this, and I quickened my pace so that I would be
able to get closer to Wild.
I did not know where he was taking me, but I
didn't care. I wasn't going to lose him again.
The stars were starting to disappear in the sky
as we ran deeper into the forests of Mystery Island. The moon was the only light
that shone here now. My eyes grew watery from the continuous onslaught of air,
and my breath was starting to come out sharply now. The only thing that propelled
me forward, though, was heart, persistence, and stubbornness. I could barely
see Wild now, so I followed him by using my ears as my eyes.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, the
forest suddenly ended. I looked around me, and to my surprise, we were on a
beach. Wild was standing away from me, the ash that had clung to his fur before
had washed off. Now, he was just a bundle of red fur with two, blue eyes. He
didn't look tired at all... instead, he looked sad as he gazed at me. The waves
crashed against the shore monotonously, and the sickeningly sweet air filled
my nostrils once more. My head felt incredibly dizzy, and I dropped to the ground.
My entire body felt so incredibly weak, and the horrible tropical aroma wasn't
helping me at all.
I was lying with my back facing the edge of the
forest, and my eyes were glued upon Wild's silhouette against the rolling ocean.
The moonlight was bright here... incredibly bright. It shone in waves against
the beach and turned every single grain of sand into a brilliant golden brown.
Another gust of wind flew by, and it combed through Wild's fur and straightened
it... just like it had when I first saw him a few days ago. Slowly, Wild walked
towards me. He looked so grand... illuminated by the full moon and the ocean.
He was like a king there, walking towards a fallen warrior on a battlefield.
His eyes weren't blue anymore... they were filled with pure fire. But this wasn't
the type of fire that burns or destroys... it was the fire of realization.
He walked towards me regally, his ears still
perked up high, and his fur billowed softly in the breeze. Finally, he was directly
above me, and he gazed down at me. I turned my head up to stare back at him,
and I could've sworn I saw his mouth twitch into a smile. Wild threw his head
towards the sky and let out one long, mournful howl. It echoed around me in
waves, and another gust of scented wind flew around us. I felt drowsier, and
my eyelids felt heavy, but I kept my eyes open. I did not want to miss a thing.
Wild eventually stopped howling, and he lowered
his head once again to look at me. He gazed at me for the longest time before
he finally released his stare and averted his eyes. Wild leaped over me then,
and dashed into the forest behind me, leaving me there on the beach.
I was still staring at the waves, and this time,
there were tears in my eyes. I knew, way before, that Wild was going to leave
me, and I was crying because of that. I didn't want Wild to leave. I really
didn't. More tears fell from my eyes, and I started to sob. I was thinking about
how hard I tried to care for Wild, and how desperate I was when it came to finding
him again. My lower lip trembled involuntarily as another wave of tears gushed
forward. I didn't want Wild to leave. I wanted him to stay with my family forever.
That night was the last time I ever saw Wild.