A Mind in the Moonlight: Part One
A small yellow Aisha closes her eyes and begins to count.
"One, two, three, four," she counts, trying
hard not to giggle. Finally she reaches forty and opens her eyes.
"All done," she cries. "Here I come!"
She runs about the Neohomes, looking behind
trees, between garden gnomes and inside bushes. She looks everywhere, but cannot
seem to find what she is looking for.
"Clark," she whines. "Come out! I can't find
Suddenly the Aisha hears a sneeze that comes
from the inside of a nearby barrel.
"Aha!" she cries, finding her friend, a white
"You found me," the Kougra says. "But now it's
your turn to hide, Keely!"
And so the game of Kacheek Seek goes on.
The two friends turn around. Their mothers are
calling; it's time for bed.
"Hey! Clark!" Clark turns around. It is very
late, and he isn't supposed to be out.
Three boys, a brown Krawk, a split Bruce and
a Skunk Moehog are standing behind some trees. They all have devilish smirks
on their faces.
"You guys, I should go home soon," says Clark.
"My mom might find out I'm gone. Can't we do this during the day?"
The brown Krawk, apparently the leader of the
trio, shakes his head.
"It's now or never," he says. "But go on. Your
mommy's worried!" He makes a fake sympathetic face then laughs.
"Let's go, Marty. Luke." The three begin to
walk off into the Haunted Woods.
"Wait!" Calls Clark. "I'll go now. Just tell
me what to do." He wanted so badly to join their club he would do anything!
But they ignore the Kougra.
"Arec!" he yells.
Finally the Krawk turns around.
"Fine," he says, narrowing his eyes. "Follow
Arec the Krawk leads Clark deep into the Haunted
Woods. After a while he stops and looks at the boy.
"Okay. Here's what you have to do. See over
there? In that big castle?" He points to a stone castle that has a greenish
flicker coming from the highest tower. "Well, that's where Edna the Witch lives.
She brews potions. Now tell me-who's that Aisha you hang out of?"
"You mean Keely?" asks Clark.
"Yeah, Keely. What's the colour she wants to
be more than anything else?"
"Okay, here's what you do: Tell Keely that if
she drinks one of Edna's potions that she will turn into a Faerie Aisha."
"What? No way!" Clark frowns. "She's younger
than me and really gullible. That would be mean!"
"Well, then," Arec says, turning away. "I guess
I was wrong. You aren't our friend. You're friends with a baby Neopet. There's
no hope for you to join our Guild."
Clark thinks about it.
Keely is so boring now that I am 12; she's
only 9 years old! Besides, what is the worst that could happen? Maybe she would
turn blue or something. But who cares? I'm not gonna play with her anymore or
see her because Arec, Marty and Luke are my real friends. Keely isn't my problem
"I'll do it," Clark says. "Just give
me a day or two."
"You have two days, Clark. Or else you're out."
"Hey, Clark!" Clark turns to see Keely strolling
"Hi," he mutters. Stupid nine-year-old.
"Uh… nothing really. Except I heard this rumor…"
"What's the rumor?"
"Well, they say if you go to Edna's cas-er,
palace, and drink one of her potions… They say it turns you into a Faerie pet."
Keely's mouth drops open.
"A F-Faerie pet?"
"Yeah," replies Clark. "That's what he told
"Who was it that told you?" Keely asks, intensely
"A Faerie Meerca," Clark lies.
So Keely decides that she is to go to Edna's
'palace' straight away. She needs
to become Faerie!
Clark only agrees sadly.
It doesn't matter anymore, he thinks
to himself. The other guys are my real friends now.
"Will you come with me?" Keely asks.
She is clearly nervous about going into the Haunted Woods alone.
"No! Not into the cas- er, palace! Maybe I'll
wait by the building but there's no way I'm going in it!"
Keely seems confused. "Why not?" the yellow Aisha
"Why? Well," Clark tries to think of a quick
response. "Er, because I might get turned Faerie, too! I would like to stay
white, thank you very much."
This reply seems to satisfy Keely, so she nods
and begins to head in the direction of the Haunted Woods. When they finally
make it to Edna the Witch's castle, Keely asks one more question.
"What do I say?"
Now this is not something Clark is prepared to
answer. But he has to keep to his story, so he makes something up quickly.
"You go into the highest tower, right? Then
you politely ask, 'may I try one of your potions?' She'll know which one to
give you. Then drink the whole thing, no matter how badly it tastes. In a while
you will turn into a Faerie Aisha!" Clark sees she is shaking in fear.
"Okay," she steps up to the stone castle steps
and opens the door. She cautiously creeps up the first set of stairs. Then the
next, and the next. Clark can no longer see her, so he walks off a few feet
to wait by a nearby tree. Victory is his; he'll be allowed to join Arec's guild
In the castle
Keely climbs the last set of stairs. She is out of breath by now because of
all this climbing! But she continues on. She is determined to become a Faerie
Aisha! Finally she reaches the cracked wooden door that leads to the tower.
She knocks three times and waits for a moment. Suddenly she hears rapid footsteps
coming closer and the door swings open. Edna the Witch is standing there, an
angry scowl on her face.
"Who's there?" she demands. She squints down
at Keely then smiles. "Ah! Come in, little Aisha… Come in!"
Keely slowly enters the room.
"Now what is it a small Neopet like yourself
would like?" the Zafara asks sweetly. A little too sweetly.
"I-I was wondering if I could try one of your
potions?" the Aisha asks.
"Of course! I know just the one you would like!"
I'm glad this little brat is here, Edna
thinks hastily. I've been needing someone to test one of my potions
I've been working on. Perhaps… Ah! This one! I wonder what will happen to the
innocent little creature when she gulps it down?
She picks up a beacon of a bubbling blue
liquid and hands it to the girl.
"There. Now be sure to drink the whole thing
or it won't work!"
Keely uncorks the bottle and tips the potion
to her lips.
As Clark is waiting his mind wanders..
What have I done? What if that potion kills
her? But then again, maybe nothing will happen. I doubt Edna can be that bad.
Or… perhaps she can be that bad? What should I do? Should I just wait and see
He sits on a log, and thinks some more.
Finally he decides what he should do.
I have done a terrible thing, tricking my
friend. Even if I do want to be in Arec's guild, he's not my real friend! I
let him trick me! Friends don't trick each other. And even if Keely doesn't
want to be my friend after she finds out what I have done, it doesn't mean I
can't prevent her from turning into a Spyder!
Clark yanks the door to the castle open
and begins to race up the stairs. Unfortunately, he sat on the log for much,
much too long.
In the Castle
Keely gasps. She drops the beacon to the floor. She feels her insides squirming,
her skin bubbling, and her head aching. Suddenly a smoky form emits from the
broken glass. It takes the form of a mouth and a voice comes from it to recite
an evil poem:
Ghost by day,
Shadow by night.
You cannot be seen
In the daylight.
You'll wander the streets
In darkness and sorrow.
To get money for food,
You'll steal and not borrow.
So now you know.
That you're no longer you.
In fact, your new self
Is just like Von Roo!
The mouth lets out a devious cackle, then vanishes.
"Come, dear child," Edna says, showing the Aisha
to a mirror. "Look at your new self."
Keely looks and sees nothing. Nothing. Nothing,
nothing, nothing! She's not there! What has happened? Keely's mind is racing.
"What have you done to me?" she asks angrily.
"What has happened?"
Edna does not respond. She just begins a new
"HELLO! ARE YOU THERE!?" Keely screams. "WHAT
HAVE YOU DONE!" But the evil Zafara doesn't even twitch.
Keely runs straight at the witch, planning to
knock her into her own boiling pot when-SWOOSH! She falls right through Edna!
She is a mere spirit!
"Well," Edna now says. "I cannot see or hear
you, but I presume you are trying to get my attention. My potion worked perfectly;
and now I can send it on down to my sister. Let me explain, if you didn't understand
the poem. You are now a creature that is similar to a vampire (which is where
Count Von Roo comes in). Only the sunlight doesn't hurt you, you're just invisible
in it. And no one can see you, hear you, or feel you. Or even taste you, for
that matter! You're basically a ghost.
"However, the night is much different. When
the sun goes down you become visible again. But you are no longer yellow. You
are a Shadow Aisha. I would suggest you go on down to where the thieves live,
in Western Neopia Central. You will find a blue Elephante guard, guarding the
entrance to where the thieves live. He'll probably help you.
"I don't normally give this much help to one
of my victims, but you are so young; you would die in a mere week. So good luck,
young Aisha," she cackles evilly.
Suddenly the door bangs open. Both Edna the
Witch and the invisible Keely turn around to see Clark standing there.
When he sees no Keely, he roars.
"What have you done to her?" he screams, tears
beginning to well up into his eyes. "Where is Keely?"
"Oh, she is long gone, my friend. Long gone."
Keely tries to yell out to her friend, but he
continues to look around the room. Edna is right. She is a ghost. She begins
to sob, but no one notices. She scrambles out of the room, head in her paws.
Her life is ruined forever!
Keely is feeling slightly better, now that the
sun is down and she's visible. Again, Edna is right, she is a Shadow Aisha.
She follows the witch's instructions and heads
towards western Neopia. She finds a blue Elephante guard who is holding a spear
"Um… excuse me?" she asks. To her relief, the
Elephante looks down and notices her. She was already sick of not being noticed.
"Who is this?" the guard asks, astonished.
"M-my name is Keely. I was wondering if I could
join your… group?"
The Elephante is full of disbelief. How can
this tiny creature want to become a thief? Sure, she is Shadow, but that doesn't
"Do you know what this group does, young
Keely?" he asks. Keely nods.
"You are thieves. I would like to become one.
to become one! If I don't I might… I might starve!" Suddenly the exhausted girl
The Elephante guard doesn't know what to do.
He has never dealt with children before, let alone starving, crying children.
Finally he decides to give in.
"Alright, then. Follow me." He pulls up three
shrubs to reveal a hole. He climbs down the hole using a built-in ladder. They
get to the metal floor and he brings Keely to a hall. This hall has one main
tunnel and smaller tunnels that are all branching off in different directions.
"So… so you live underground?" Keely asks, breaking
"Yes," he replies, "but I cannot tell you any
more information. Not until the Thief Master says you are trustworthy."
Keely doesn't like it when people don't
believe her, but she really doesn't blame the guard. After all, it is quite
suspicious for a 9-year-old girl to come up to the guard of a thieves' cavern
at midnight and ask to join their group.
Finally they get to their destination. The Elephante
had led the Aisha to a door that says "PRIVATE; DO NOT ENTER!" on it in big,
"This is the Thief Master's quarters. Knock
four times and tell him you are a newcomer and that Dustin sent you. Got it?"
The Elephante smiles when the girl nods and he says, "I'm sure you will be fine.
I really do trust you, but I am not allowed to tell you any information about
this place without you being a thief or thief-in-training." Keely nods again
and the Elephante walks back to his post at the entrance to the cavern.
Knock! Knock! Knock! Knock!
"Who is it?" a deep voice asks from inside
"I am a newcomer," Keely recites. "Dustin sent
Keely cautiously opens the door and steps inside.
The Thief Master's quarters are marvelous. There
are two stories in the room, and there are windows on the top floor. The room
is much brighter than the lonely halls outside. Keely sees no bed, but presumes
it is on the top story.
A large Fire Eyrie is sitting at a small wooden
table, sipping a cup of what looks to be some sort of tea.
"Do sit down," he says, motioning towards a
wooden chair next to his. Keely obeys.
"Now," the Thief Master says, "who are you and
why are you here? Oh, and you must be completely honest because if I find out
you are lying the consequences are most severe."
The Aisha gulps nervously. She looks up into
his eyes and is suddenly calm again. Those eyes, so trusting and kind! She can
tell he is intelligent and wise, that is most obvious. She finds herself telling
him the whole story, as if they are old friends.
"…And now I'm going to be like this forever,
and no one will be able to help me because I'm only visible at night, and only
thieves and guards are awake during the night time, so I don't know what to
do!" Keely is almost sobbing.
The Thief Master sees her distress, and can
also see that she was telling him the whole story, which is all true. He knows
instantly that she is trustworthy.
"I trust you," he starts, which makes Keely
feel much better. "But there are a few things you should know. First of all,
what did you say your parents named you at birth?"
"Right. Well, Keely, you are no longer Keely.
We'll call you… We'll call you Lael."
This seems very odd to Keely.
"No offense, sir," she says. "But why change
my name? What's wrong with Keely?"
"You misunderstood me. There's nothing in the
world wrong with the name Keely. That was a wonderful name-when you were a baby.
But now you are older, and much, much different. So I feel your name shall be
different too, Lael."
Keely-no, Lael shrugs her shoulders. The Eyrie
smiles and continues on.
"Anyway, my name is Joden. You will call me
that, you hear? Some thieves call me 'Thief Master' or 'Sir,' but I'll have
none of that nonsense. Simply call me by my name-Joden."
"Yes, sir," Lael begins to say. But then she
catches herself and says, "I mean, yes Joden." Joden smiles. This Shadow Aisha
is truly obedient. A perfect thief.
"Do you have any questions, Lael?" He asks.
Keely/Lael thinks for a moment. Yes, there is
"I have no idea what I am supposed to do here,
other than steal things."
Joden laughs. "How silly of me!" He says. "How
could I have forgotten? Okay. You are to go with the thieves-in-training. You
will learn from the best teachers there. When they ask you what level you are
in, tell them you are a new beginner. Oh yes, and I'll have a mentor show you
around the base."
The Eyrie claps twice and in comes a Bruce servant.
"Mel? Go find Poppy. We need her at once." The
servant who's name seemed to be Mel, nods and leaves the Master's quarters.
The two wait in silence for a couple minutes,
taking occasional sips of tea.
Suddenly a blue Ixi comes into the room.
"Ah, Poppy! Meet Lael, our newest member."
Poppy nods a greeting at the Aisha. She smiles
"So what'd you need me for, Boss?" The Ixi asks.
She seems very laid back.
"Well, I would like you to be Lael's mentor
for the next two weeks. Can you do that for me?"
"Sure," she says. "I guess so."
"Good," Joden replies. "Now show her to her
So the Ixi leads lark to a simple room with
a bed, a bed stand, and a table lamp. Off to the side there is a table and chairs.
"Bed is at 5:30 AM sharp. Awakening time is
6:00 PM if not sooner." She smiles, her playful eyes twinkling. "At first it
seems backwards but after a while you'll get used to getting up during the nighttime
and going to bed at dawn. Good luck!"
Poppy leaves the room and Lael sits down on
Suddenly her room begins to swirl and sway,
rumble and tumble, shake and crack.
"Help!" The Aisha screams. "Someone help me!
Help me! Help…"
"Lael, wake up! You're dreaming!"
Lael opened her eyes and saw Poppy.
"Was it that dream again? The one about how
you got here?"
Lael nodded sadly.
"That's the fifth time this month that I've
had that dream!" she said, putting her head into her dark paws.
"Well, you can think about it later. Right now
it's time to get ready for the raiding of Mr. Monsby's house. Goodness!" Poppy
looked at the clock and gasped. "It's almost 7:00 PM! Let's get going!"
Lael got her bag ready and grabbed a piece of
bread to eat on the way.
But she didn't have her mind on things, even
during the robbery. She was thinking about the time before she became a top
thief in the Thieves' Cavern. So many years ago. Eleven, to be exact.
When she returned back to her quarters at around
4:45 AM, an idea hit her.
The only way she could get that dream to stop
its visits was to get rid of the source: Clark. She needed revenge on the pitiful
white Kougra. He had probably forgotten all about her!
So Lael took out a piece of paper and began
to scribble out her plan.
To be continued…
Note: OoOoOoOoh! Creepy! Well, not really, lol! In the next part we will
really get into the story, and you will find out more about Clark. Please feel
free to Neomail me! ~Rose~