Welcome to Delphi

Welcome to Delphi, the home of the oracle of Phoebus Apollo, speaker of great prophecies. The song of the spirit of the oracle foretells the future-- great things, evil or good. Its magic is unthinkable, yet it has led many a hero astray. The magic of the Oracle is not only in its wisdom and prophecies. Know thyself. The Oracle knows the future of all who ask for its advice. Likewise, we must delve into ourselves to discover what enchanted magics lie there.

It is writers and artists of our age who know themselves and others most well.

About the Site

Delphi is a writing site created by yours truly, Lyric. Majorly inspired by sites like Forest of Dreams, it is a collection of my written work, whether it be poems, songs, or stories. I will not be including any longer work (like novels) because most of my ideas are not Neopets-appropriate. :)

About Lyric

I'm a fourteen year old going into the first year of high school in September. Writing has been my life for as long as I can remember... I have kept writing notebooks for as long as I can remember, and I've read out all the books my parents have on our shelves. I'm primarily a writer of short stories and poetry, as well as songs, but I have one novel in progress and a few other ideas down.

Updates/Blog

August 27, 2010 Two months, wow! Well... I've actually been working on a novel of mine :D so I was a bit busy. Also, with school and stuff, I won't have as much time for Neo. I'll just update as much as possible-- I haven't because I've been busy with AP US History homework and studying. I think I've done as much as I can for this summer... we'll see with the class. :) Trying to take it wi

June 26, 2010 Basic maintenance again. I've been on vacation for a week, so I've been writing in a little notebook instead of typing. :3 I'll translate some of the poetry tomorrow... I'm going to shower now, seriously. I'LL SAY THIS: I HAVE NOT WASHED MY HAIR FOR LIKE FOUR DAYS. I'm gross, but at least it was because I had no choice. xD Okay, moving on.
I was sleeping on the car home, so even though it's midnight, I'm not tired. I kinda want to pull an all-nighter, but I'll end up dozing for a few hours, I guess. :/
I added a new poem (Numb) and am working on another one called Breakability.

June 18, 2010 I did basic maintenance for Delphi today; I may write some more a little later. ^^ I've been SO unproductive with EVERYTHING this morning... all I did was watch a movie and do a bit of my AP US History summer homework. It's going to be a long summer.
Just an alert; a bunch of poems about missing people might start popping up. Middle school is over... I've been with most of the people in my homeroom for three years now, and some of them are going to different high schools. As it is, they split us up enough in high school that I probably won't see some of them again.

Poetry

Fireplace

I never knew I could feel like this
Drowning again in the hurt of it all
A warm night, but it feels so cold
Winter, December, lost in the rain

I come home crying, sure I've lost it all
This day has changed my orbit of life
Not sure I could make it through another fall
Cold floorboards, white ice, on which I lie

I let myself wander through the empty house
A hound to my left; wings to my right
Alone with those who don't care, don't know
Sink by the fireplace and pray

Hear the echoes of the past in the flames
Forget, move on, find the comfort in this
Feel the warm arms of the fire
I find my place by the fireplace

Explanation: I wrote this poem from memories of a single terrible day in my life. If I could only come home, bask in the flames with my dog and bird for company, I knew everything would be all right. It really wasn't, on that occasion, but it faded with the strength of comfort.

Afraid

Standing on an empty stage
I look out on the hall
See nothing at all
I think, why should I be afraid?

There's no need to feel or fear a day
No way to sleep through the pain
Take the lies as they come
No need to be afraid

Take the needle through my heart
Let it break my world apart
I have no reason to love anymore
No reason to fear the rest of the story

No need to be afraid

Explanation: This poem is basically about being broken enough that you're not scared anymore, because nothing else matters to you anymore. There isn't any point.

Inside the Lines

When I could stay
Inside the lines
I could belong
In this place and time
And tell me tonight that you can't know
Everywhere I fell out

If life were inside the lines
Drawn by our own broken hearts
Don't want to fall, fall again
Only going through the motions, falling within
We wouldn't live in a rising storm
If life were inside the lines

Watch from afar
Your voice is like an echo
Lost you again
The only one I've ever loved
You're slipping away, and I can't breathe
I can't breathe fire or water

Falling down
Tripping up and caught in the headlights for it
Why can't this just all go away?

Explanation: So, this is actually a song. XD (I write songs & piano music sometimes.) This is just me wishing for life to be simpler; no surprises means no real pain.

Crossroads

I'm comfortable against the wind
Carry me toward where it wants to take me
Carry me onto the road less traveled
Set me down, set me down on the edge of it all

I'll escape

When I find a crossroad
That's not broken and wild and frayed
I'll be waiting for a good one
Don't want to leave one stop too early
Looking past my fears
Blinking back my tears
Still searching for the crossroad

I know I'll fall more than twice
All my life I've been anything but wise
I get back up and keep at my journey
Help me, help me, help me write my happy ending

There's no way

Will I find a crossroad
That's not broken and wild and frayed
I'll be waiting for a good one
Don't want to leave one stop too early
Looking past my fears
Blinking back my tears
Still searching for the crossroad

I almost break down
Keep crying, hurting, hating
Why am I alone?
Alone

I have to find a crossroad
That leads far away
Leave the ones like you behind
Kick the dust into your eyes

Not too long
This ain't for long
Up ahead is our crossroad

Explanation: This is a song as well. It has the same meaning as Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson. This world isn't the right place for me; I want to go somewhere else, and I'm willing to wait for it.

Wrapped Around Her Finger

Yeah, she's beautiful
But what's that to you?
Is she something better than what you have right here?
Tell me, what do you look for in Miss Perfect?
Don't tell me it's everything she is

Don't tell me you're wrapped around her finger
She's only faking everything for you
Come on, lover
You can see through her guise
Come on, lover
You know I can do better than that

Look, she's coming now
What are you going to say?
Would you really leave me for someone like her?
Tell me, how come you're falling for a girl like that?
She's told me, she's told them, it's all a joke on you

Hey, don't tell me you're wrapped around her finger
She's only faking everything for you
Come on, lover
You can see through her guise
Come on, lover
You know I can do better than that

I don't mind
A boy ain't what's keeping me on the ground
I don't mind
You can chase her if you like
But when she leaves you for another
Don't you be thinking that
I could have done better
It was you wrapped around her finger

I know that you're wrapped around her finger
She's only faking everything for you
Come on, lover
You can see through her guise
Come on, lover
You know I can do better than that
You know you can do better than her

Explanation: An I-love-you-but-you-love-her situation. (This one isn't about me.)

Only a Dream

Please whisper my name
Because if you scream
I might wake up
Wake up from this dream
The dream where you love me

Cause you don't

I know this is only a dream
I know it 'cause I've felt this way before
I open my eyes inside my sleep
Trying to get a look at you, baby
And then I wake up
It's only a dream

I don't even sleep
How could I risk
Having a dream
A dream about you?
And mistake that you love me?

We know you don't

I know this is only a dream
I know it 'cause I've felt this way before
I open my eyes inside my sleep
Trying to get a look at you, baby
And then I wake up
It's only a dream

I'm finally falling again
And I'm seeing angels instead of you
They make me feel like I'm at home inside my own mind
And when I wake they stay with me
Keeping thoughts of you away

I know that you're only a dream
I know it 'cause I've felt this way before
I open my eyes inside my sleep
Trying to get a look at you, baby
And then I wake up
It's only a dream

Explanation: Okay, I've dreamed about him before, only to wake up and remember. So I wrote a poem about it.

Father's Flag

She was crying on her doorstep
One hand on his lap and the other in a fist
She said, "Why are they all leaving me?"
And she looked back and saw it again
Saw the military band
Saw a crumpled up photograph of them
The only thing she had left

And he said, "Your daddy's inside everything this country is
And your mama's watching from heaven
They're always gonna be with you
Watching where you go, what you're doing...
And every time you look up the silver flagpole
That's your father's flag

But she still couldn't stop the tears
Said, "How can you be ever so sure?
And she felt like she was breaking inside herself
She closed her eyes and saw it all
Saw her father falling down
And saw her mother running to him
Love was something they never lost
Something she had to keep on

And she knew, "My daddy's inside everything this country is
And my mama's watching from heaven
They're always gonna be with us
Watching where we go, what we're doing...
And every time I look up the silver flagpole
That's my father's flag

Because this is worth it
Loyalty, loyalty, through and through
My daddy did it for the country
My mama did it for my dad
And I'll live
They gave it all for me
They gave it all for us
And she knew, "My daddy's inside everything this country is
And my mama's watching from heaven
They're always gonna be with us
Watching where we go, what we're doing...
And every time I look up the silver flagpole
That's this country's flag

Explanation: I wrote this poem for a friend who lost both her military parents overseas. She didn't live with them, but she loved them both.

Liar

You told me you loved me
You told me how much you cared
You told me everything you thought I would believe

But you are a liar
Your whispers slipping right into my heart
You are a liar
Bet you thought your tricks would break me down
It's too late to spin another
Web of sticky, venomous tales
Because you are a liar

You told me you'd never leave
You held me, you hugged me
You let me think I was the only one

But you are a liar
Your whispers slipping right into my heart
You are a liar
Bet you thought your tricks would break me down
It's too late to feed to me
One more lie to cover the rest
I know you are a liar

I heard you promise me
You'd never walk away like the so many others
I was there when I heard you say
You love me
I do think you meant it when you said
You loved me
But not anymore

Now you are a liar
Your whispers slipping right into my heart
You are a liar
Bet you thought your tricks would break me down
It's too late to apologize
I can just imagine you lying to her
We're both worth more than this

You are a liar

Explanation: He said he loved you; you believed him. How often does this happen? It's probably going to happen to me at one point...

Three Words

If one day you wake up
You have nothing left but the two of us
Would you trust me when I told you three words
Would they be deep enough for you and your heart?

At the end of the worst day of your life
If I held you close and told you three words
Would you be holding back a smile, for the first time
Or would you not believe a word I said?

If I told you three words
After we talked about our first glance
Would you trust me to take you through this life
Or would you think it was all just a show?

It's true to be careful
Don't love until the other does
Test every corner of this thing
Until you call it home

Can't you trust me
To tell you three words
Tell you three words
And mean them?

Because I love you

Explanation: If I find a man in life when I'm all right, but I start breaking, would he stay?

Fallen

She was an angel on the ground
He was a wave in the sea
They both crashed to the earth
Crashed so close

They softened each other's blows
They felt something, I know
Now they're doubting, and I hope they're wrong
I hope they learn that they belong

And they're both fallen
Fallen to the earth
They're both broken
As broken as I can be
But they're both lovely
Lovely as
A flower in a field, a lily on a lake
But fallen together

She stands singing a song without a sound
He is broken, with no one left
He hears her music clearly in his ears
It brings comfort, but also sorrow and tears

Her song softens his fall
She arises at his call
They find a way out
Away, away

Away and fallen, away but together

Explanation: Two outcasts, alone but together

Lover All Alone

I could not survive
Knowing you were not with me
Watching from afar

Everything I am
I live in this life for you
Don't tell me I lie

All that I pretend
I mean no harm through my words
Do you not regret?

I see you through this
But I can't go far enough
I'm invisible

You don't notice me
Or you feel me like a bug
I know when to stop

Can't make you love me
Can't make you love if you don't
I know it would end

Living in this lie
I tell myself you love me
Faith and hope are weak

Again, this old crush
Will only leave me as a
Lover all alone

Explanation: A series of quite awkward haikus. xD

How Can I Know

How can I know what you mean;
When you look away
---(But I saw you looking my way)
(it's two times now)

How can I know what you see;
When you look at me
---(And who do you think I am?)

How can I know what you think of me;
Because we truly do not speak
---(When you turn away, I burn)

How can I believe that you care;
When all I have are the little signs
---(Signs that do seem mistaken)

How can I come forward;
You will think me crooked, perhaps
---(But I want to know)

What do your glances mean?

Explanation: So, he does look at me, but I want to be able to read his glances. What is he thinking...?

Falcon

(He will fly someday) ----- /higher the he now soars
----- (I cry now, not knowing if he'll wait for me)

For he's a falcon, and can fly as high and bright
And he's a flier, and no one stops and hovers in midair
It'll take another hawk or eagle; a second pair of wings
For this raptor to slow down for her -- me

(He is a true falcon) ----- /fighter and proud
----- (I know that he cares, though enough to wait?)

Haven't seen the guy for a few days
And I shake my head, wonder where he's flown off to
I hear him play the violin and writing and studying
Boy, you are going far, far in this life

And why did I fall for you
Falcon

Explanation: So, in case this isn't obvious, I wrote this poem about the same guy as How Can I Know. :)

Forgotten



Forgotten lie the memories
Of all the things between us
Forgotten lies the love
Swept away by the wind
Forgotten lie the old promises
Between you and I
That neither would leave
And neither would lie
They're forgotten because you broke them

I could feel your love wavering
I could feel your fear rising
Would I leave you first
Before you made sure
I wasn't your perfect trophy?
You know I knew the truth
So why didn't you move?
I thought you knew me
But I also thought you cared for me
I guess I was wrong

Forgotten lies the friendship
Binding us together
Forgotten lurks the hate
Ready to emerge
Forgotten lie the wishes and dreams
We loved each other for
But then again
Forgotten lies the love

Explanation: This is basically about a love burning out... It happens...

Magical

I lean on his arm
Laughing as he tells a joke
He adds on how much he loves her
When I ask who he means
He changes the subject

But boy, my lover, my only
You're as magical as a fairy tale
And boy, I hope you know, I hope you know
That I'm never going to let you go from my mind
You might go on your own path in life
But stay magical for the one you find

We play video games
We're outside during the year's last snow
He tells me I'm such a good friend
He don't mean any more than that
He still loves her

But boy, my lover, my only
You're as magical as a fairy tale
And boy, I hope you know, I hope you know
That I'm never going to let you go from my mind
You might go on your own path in life
But stay magical for the one you find

Why?
I guess I'm not the one for you
My brother
But I'll still cry for you when you move away
Boy, please be safe
And live however you're happy
Ha, and call me up for a tennis match anytime

Boy, my lover, my only
You're as magical as a fairy tale
And boy, I hope you know, I hope you know
That I'm never going to let you go from my mind
You might go on your own path in life
But stay magical for the one you find
Stay magical for me

Explanation: A little like Taylor Swift's Teardrops On My Guitar, except this girl is willing to accept the fact that he doesn't like her.

I Wish

I wish I had cherished every memory
I wish I had taken my camera to every meeting
I wish I had asked you for your autograph
I wish I had called you up much more than I did

It's only when you're gone
That I start thinking that I'd miss you so
It's only when you're gone
That I lose half of the tunnel that was my heart
And it's only when you're gone
That I realize I did love you more
Than I thought I did, yeah

I wish I had be brave enough to hug you
I wish I had reached for your hand that one cold night
I wish I had kept more of you with me
I wish I could tell you now

It's only when you're gone
That I start thinking that I'd miss you so
It's only when you're gone
That I lose half of the tunnel that was my heart
And it's only when you're gone
That I realize I did love you more
Than I thought I did, yeah

And now I'm crying
All alone
Without you there to hold me
Why'd you have to go?
You knew I loved you
But you didn't know how much

It's only when you're gone
That I start thinking that I'd miss you so
It's only when you're gone
That I lose half of the tunnel that was my heart
And it's only when you're gone
That I realize I loved you enough to kill me now

Explanation: About some friends during 8th grade graduation...

How Could I

I hear your voice as I watch from afar
It's only an echo, but it's still so clear
And it's one of the so many things about you that I love
How could I?

Because it's obvious
Clear to me
You want nothing to do with me
Yeah, you pretend
Pretend to care
But I also see through water
That's how badly you did

I'm still taken by how beautiful you look
You don't know how shameful that is to me
It's like I love you and actually, actually care for your life, baby

How could I?

Because it's obvious
Clear to me
You want nothing to do with me
Yeah, you pretend
Pretend to care
Stop your pretending, baby
It's better for us both

Why do I see you so much?
Why can't you disappear from my life?
How could I let you
Let you do these things to me?

Oh, how could I love you?
Everything is falling apart
How could I?

Because it's obvious
Clear to me
You want nothing to do with me
Yeah, you pretend
Pretend to care
Stop your faking, baby

Explanation: Another generic you-don't-love-me song.

One Heart

Seems like you've got two minds
But you've only got one heart
Sometimes you have it
And sometimes you don't

But it seems either way
You don't care for me
Either way
You don't mind to lose me

Inside your one heart
Is a maze of empty
And it's all but a ghost
Sometimes there and sometimes it's
Replaced by a cold metal fist
Nothing else I could feel
Would be as cold as you can be

Sometimes you'll hold me close
Sometimes you'll kill me
Either way, now
I'm losing my hold

All the things you say
How you knock me down
I'm climbing up high
Then you make me fall

How do I know you mean anything you say?
Any smile I see is as cold as I know you
I might just be losing control
I need to get out of this town tonight, but there's no one here to run with

Inside your one heart
Is a maze of empty
And it's all but a ghost
Sometimes there and sometimes it's
Replaced by a cold metal fist
Nothing else I could feel
Would be as cold as you can be

And nobody here knows me
Not the soul I want to be
I see you dying
Why do you have to take me, too?
My heart should never be as cold as you

Explanation: I wrote this about a pretty bipolar person I know... Sometimes she's smiling and laughing, sometimes she's loud and abusive.

One Day

One day
I'm going to find a way back
One day
I'm going to tell you three words; no, I'll never mean them
One day
I'll ask you if you noticed me at all, baby

But right now
I wouldn't come back to save your life
Right now
I wouldn't turn an ear to your best friend
Right now
I know that I'll be crazy to care about you again
But maybe one day
I'll try

It ain't like
You didn't see it coming
And don't say
That you didn't have a clue-- well, I'd never believe it
Oh, baby
Why'd you have to make me feel this way?

Make me feel right now
I wouldn't come back to save your life
Right now
I wouldn't turn an ear to your best friend
Right now
I know that I'll be crazy to care about you again
But maybe one day
I'll try

I don't know how unlikely it seems
That we could ever have been so close
I don't care, I'm moving on, chase your tail

But when it's your end of the line
I'll be there, baby, to say goodbye
That's as much as I care
Right now
I wouldn't come back to save your life
Right now
I wouldn't turn an ear to your best friend
Right now
I know that I'll be crazy to care about you again
But, yes, one day
I'll try

Explanation: Hmm... I hate you now, but before life ends I'll come and talk to you again.

What Do You Do

I know you have your moments
You just want to turn time around
And do it all over again
Don't make that same mistake the second time

I know you've been through those nights
Where sleeping is only a dream
Regrets and what could have been are haunting you
What do you do now?

Tell me, what do you do when you dreams are out of sight?
What do you do when your world is upside-down?
What do you do when the one you loved
Doesn't care for you after all? What do you do?

It's sad to know I've been there
To know I was that close and lost it
I wish I could live it all again
I'm willing to redo the bad days, too

And then I was with you all that time
I forgot to savor it
Now I can't recall memories anymore
What do you do then?

Tell me, what do you do when you dreams are out of sight?
What do you do when your world is upside-down?
What do you do when the one you loved
Doesn't care for you after all? What do you do?

Move on
Move on
There ain't nothing more to see here
There ain't nothing more to do
The past is gone
Worry about the present
Don't do a thing

What do you do when you dreams are out of sight?
What do you do when your world is upside-down?
What do you do when the one you loved
Doesn't care for you after all? What do you do?

Move on
Move on
Move on

Explanation: Guess what? Moving on is the only option sometimes.

Change

Don't you be afraid
Be afraid for a change in things
Let the wind carry you wherever it wants you to go

You have to trust them to do the right thing
And trust yourself when you're sayin' the things that come next
Will be even better

Because I believe things change
You can't get around it
Things change
Don't even try to fight it
There are gonna be bad times
There will be ones you wish you'd never met
But things are going to change

And I remember
Remember when I was so young
I wanted to keep everything I had, and I fought and fought when things changed
I didn't trust anybody but myself
To take me through the night
But things have changed
And I believe in miracles now

And now I do think things change
You can't get around it
Things change
Don't even try to fight it
There are gonna be bad times
There will be ones you wish you'd never met
But things are going to change

I know you're thinking about some others
Who will never rise above their place
If you're thinking things will never change for them

Then can't you help them on their way?

I believe all things can change
You can't get around it
Things change
Don't even try to fight it
There are gonna be bad times
There will be ones you wish you'd never met
But things are going to change

Explanation: When the night comes upon you, know that a daybreak is on the way. Even if it's Alaska, the summer will come.

Let Go

Do you remember the things I said?
Do you remember my goodbye?
Do you know how I still regret the day
I let my heart meet your eyes?

Why did you go, and leave me alone?
It wouldn't hurt you to stay
Now you're fine, happy, and I could be too
Not drowning in my own doubt, day after day

Now the others walk the path I'll never tread
I can only follow them in dreams
Stay close to you through hopeless faith
Though nothing could ever be enough

Why did I stay, when I knew it was wrong?
Now it'll just hurt me to try and leave
And I'm broken now, the opposite of you
You, who float high above all the others

Help me let you go, I guess
Let go of the life I'll never live
Help me; I only need you to know
Know that I'm here; know that I know we can't be

I know you didn't care for me
There isn't a need to pretend
I don't care anymore, as I've given it time
Time tears all things like this apart

I remember you as a lesson learned
I've cried, pined away, and at last let go
To see you for who you have become
How did I ever love you then?

Explanation: The relationship never should have started, but she let it... Now she has to forget him.

Empty

I wake up staring at an empty room
I wonder if you've ever been here before
Or anyone, anything, anyway...
I'm in an empty room
I can say what I like; no one will hear
No one can hear me missing and praying for you

You left me empty
Because I know why you left
Why'd you have to go?
Because I know you didn't want to
You promised me forever
I still believe your words
I guess I'll see you one day in heaven

Maybe I will; it seems so huge
I could spend years searching and still not find you
I'll spend eternity looking for you
It'll be worth it to see you again

I guess you'll never know
What exactly you mean to me
You're not lost, and I know where you are
But I don't want to wait

I'm left here, empty
Come walk inside my dreams

Explanation: After he isn't part of you anymore, what are you?

Nobody Knows

Lie in wait
Crouch alone with a desperate tongue
Ponder with mouth closed, always afraid
Deception and lies come easily from others

Nobody knows the world in which you suffer
They must, they do assume the best
Draw lies from your false smile
Jaws ache after holding it for life

Afraid, tired, for want of sleep
Dreadful rest where nightmares chase dreams
Heaven is not in unfeeling slumber
Nor is it alive, in all and you

Nobody knows
You may as well consent
Nobody knows, and they do not care
For you, or themselves

They all live careless, not like you
You feel and they assume; the reason why...
For where we go in the next life
Nobody knows

Numb



She scrawls the words
still left unsaid
Whispers her goodbyes
in the empty room
In a house of strangers
who don't know her at all
New page in her notebook
for words she will never say
Tears spill; this summer is cold
she is still numb
She doesn't feel inside
but can exhaust outside
Faster, the falling does come
until, at last, completely...

Numb

Stories

Burning

Heat warmer than the air in the Lost Desert was steadily pulsing from the steaming cauldron of flames before me. A fiery waterfall of lava snaked its way through a mountain of rocks, emptying into the infamous Magma Pool. The fall's source was a lake of bronze liquid, hotter than the pool collected from its runoff.

The pool itself was ablaze. In four spots, actual fire danced atop the simmering surface. It didn't look like liquid at all. But it was. It was liquid fire. Bones were littered through the Magma Pool, floating just beneath the surface, like Mozitos trapped in amber. I didn't want to join them there.

-"Come on, Mel!" My owner, Lyric, tugged at my arm. "Don't you want to be Magma?"

-"No," I said. I love Lyric, but that time, I didn't want to do what she asked. I know she would never hurt me, but Lyric was sometimes impulsive. Sometimes she didn't think before she acted.

-"I've waited here for days for that guard to go to sleep," she hissed in my ear. "Please. Why don't you want to?"

I shrugged. I didn't want to tell her I was scared.

-"Think of what all the other pets in your school will say," she urged. "Magma is a pretty rare find in a pet. And it's a new color, too."

What about the bones? The Neopets who had once had them sure didn't get to brag about their new color.

-"Mel, I want you to do this. As soon as you step out of that pool, you will be a whole new color." Lyric had a faraway look in her eyes, as if she was imagining me as a Magma draik.

I stepped away from Lyric and the pool. Both of them now looked the same; the Magma pool's fire looked fiercer than ever, and its glow was reflected in Lyric's eyes. I started to shiver.

-"Don't be afraid," said Lyric. "Every pet has come out of it alive.

I pointed to the bones. "Then what are those?"

Lyric laughed. "Those aren't pet bones. They're for decoration."

I wasn't amused. "Why put bones as decorations?"

She didn't answer my question. "Mel, now that we've cleared that up, will you be painted?

I considered it. If every other pet had survived, it was a good chance that I would, too. And my classmates at school would be jealous. None of them were Magma, not yet.

-"All right," I said slowly. "But make one promise. If I don't like it, will you change my color?"

-"Yes, I will." My owner squeezed my arm. "I don't want to see you suffer."

-"Okay." I walked bravely up the edge of the pool.

And I jumped in.

Electric sparks fired through me. White-hot flames were sweeping up and down my arms and legs, originating and finishing at my heart. That itself was on fire, too. Every part of me was crumbling down, like the aftermath of a great blaze. I couldn't see in the magma. How deep was I? Was I going to come up at all? I couldn't breathe.

I struggled to paddle upward, ignoring the pain it brought. I needed to get to the surface before I lost all my breath. The world became blacker and blacker, but I kept going. I kept going.

-"Mel!" Lyric was grabbing my shoulders, shaking me. I shook her off.

My arms were burned when I looked back down at them. They were black and charred, with red tinges on the edges. I still felt singed, and I still hurt from the Magma Pool.

-"You're Magma!" Lyric exclaimed. She bent over and hugged me. "Don't you see? You survived."

I looked down at myself again. "I'm not a new color. I'm just burned."

-"Nonsense!" Lyric said. She stepped back to admire me. "Let's get home and show the family."

~~~


-"Whoa!" Skitty the Ice Bori ran up to me. She touched me with one of her paws. The ice was the best thing I'd felt all day.

Lyric turned to her. "I think Mel needs to rest. She's a little tired from the pool."

I wasn't tired. I just didn't want to be Magma. I went up to my room, closed the door, and sat by the -blocked- Maybe it wouldn't be so bad. My friends would like it, and it did look a little cool. Once the sting of the pool went away I would rethink. Maybe I really would like being Magma.

I tried to get to sleep, but I couldn't. It had been a couple hours since I had gotten out of the Magma pool, but it still hurt as much as it had when I'd just climbed onto the bank. I lay in bed for a long time, wondering how I would get to sleep again. Finally I gave up. It was about seven in the morning when I approached Lyric in her bedroom.

-"I can't sleep. It hurts." I complained.

She rubbed her sleepy eyes, looking up from her school homework. She set her pen down on the desk. "Where?"

I shrugged. "Wherever the magma pool got to. Everywhere. Can I go to the healing springs?"

She got up from her chair. "Sure. Let's go now."

~~~


The water faerie at the healing springs frowned at me. "There's nothing wrong with you," she said.

-"Yes there is," I whined. "I went to the Magma Pool yesterday and now everything hurts like you hit me with a hammer."

She didn't reply, but handed an elixir to Lyric. "Come back in thirty minutes for another one. There's nothing I can do for your pet. Oh yeah, don't forget to buy from my store." She gestured to a cardboard box behind her.

Lyric sighed. "Let's go to the hospital, then, and see exactly what's wrong with you."

~~~


-"She's not sick," the doctor told Lyric. "She has to get used to her new color. It's always like that, and it's different for every pet."

I lifted my eyes to look at him. "It seems to be getting worse."

-"There's nothing wrong," he repeated. "I'm sorry. Go home and rest for a few days, and it should be better." The doctor turned back to Lyric, who was shifting her weight from foot to foot next to me. "If she doesn't adjust to it, you may have to paint her a different color. Not all colors suit all pets. I guess you could say it's the brush that chooses the pet."

Lyric nodded, though she didn't look too happy about it.

~~~


Over the next few days, I didn't do anything but sleep--- or try to. The pain of the magma didn't seem to be going away. If anything, it got worse. I found I couldn't fly anymore. I couldn't even move without a weight of regret and loneliness covering my heart. It wasn't the magma itself. It was how much I didn't want to be Magma.

Lyric had always been perceptive. She noticed, and too me aside one day.

-"I'm thinking of stopping by the Rainbow Pool today," she told me. She eased out an object from inside her jacket. It was a Blue Paint Brush.

I was speechless. "Me be painted?"

She nodded. "You're not a magma pet inside. I don't want to force you to be.

I felt a real smile go over my face, the first one for days. "Thank you."

She stood up. "Let's go, then."

~~~


-"Are you sure this is what you want?" Lyric wasn't smiling, but she didn't look sad either. There was no regret in her eyes.

I nodded. "Yes."

My owner let a smile crack onto her face. "Then that's what I want, too." She lifted the blue paint brush and began to run it over me.

The cool blue seemed to put the flames out. I stopped burning. Instead, I felt a breeze sweep around my body. I flapped my wings once, and invisible faerie dust drifted from them onto my heart. I lifted off, letting out a cry of joy. I could fly again.

Unwanted

Morin stretched her paws contentedly, letting out a yawn. She rolled over on her bed, glancing at the clock on the table beside it. It was nearly eleven, but she didn't want to get up. It was the holidays, after all. It was a time for relaxing. But...

-"Morin!" Morin's mother, Stephanie, called to her. "Wake up. The Day of Giving is next week. We have to go shopping now. Sarabelle, Mason, and Nali are already waiting.'

Morin groaned inwardly. Her siblings had never appreciated sleep. That was why they were always waiting for her to get up. Sarabelle was always the first up. The ghost Draik woke at the crack of dawn. Soon after, Mason and Nali, the twin Poogles, would join her outside to watch the sunrise. Morin always stayed in bed.

-"I'm coming, Mom." Morin rubbed her sleepy eyes with her auburn paws. In a few minutes, the red Xweetok joined the others at the bottom of the stairs.

-"Good," said Stephanie. "Let's go to the marketplace and see if there's anything you guys like."

All right," sighed Morin. She loped after Sarabelle, Mason, and Nali, keeping a step behind. Stephanie took the lead.

~~~


-"Look at this dress!" Stephanie gushed. "Won't it look beautiful on you?" She held the sparkling skirt up to Sarabelle's shoulders.

The Draik backed away. "I don't like dresses. I think it would look nice on Morin."

Morin looked up eagerly. She hadn't had a new piece of clothing in a while.

But Stephanie didn't give it to her. "It's very expensive, Sarabelle. If you don't want it, I'm not going to buy it."

Morin wanted to complain, but something inside her warned her not to. She said instead: "What do I get, Mom?"

Stephanie didn't look up from the Limited Edition Pet Pride rack. "We might stop by the Thrift Shoppe or the Money Tree later."

This time Morin did complain. "What? Why do Sarabelle and Mason and Nali get real clothes, and I get the potato sack? It always happens."

-"They're limited edition, Morin," Stephanie hissed in her ear. "They need more."

-"All pets need the same!" Morin didn't bother keeping her voice down. "You give them the richest foods, and I get the cheapest room in the Neolodge. Always."

Sarabelle looked up slowly from the Clearance rack. Her eyes were unreadable.

Stephanie flushed. She hadn't intended for anyone else to hear her and Morin's conversation. "The fact that they're limited edition means that they are special. There are many, many other red Xweetoks out there. You can't say the same about Draiks and Poogles."

Morin felt tears pricking at her eyes. "Then why did you bother adopting me if you only like rare pets?"

-"I need a lab pet for when I buy the map to the laboratory ray."

This did it. Morin turned tail and ran home.

~~~


Morin stormed through the white front door of her Neohome. The whole place suddenly looked unfamiliar and strange. She made her way up the spiraling stairs to the hallway where her siblings had their rooms. Their closed doors were all painted different colors of the rainbow. Hers, at the end of the hall, was drab and gray. She had never noticed it before.

She peered back at the opposite end of the hall. That was Stephanie's room. Morin entered it. At first glance, she saw a poster on the wall. On a plaque beneath it, it said: "Complete and Unabridged Family." The poster had Stephanie sitting on a fancy chair. Beside her sat Sarabelle, and Mason and Nali were on her lap.

Morin looked for herself, but she wasn't there.

Stumbling back out into the hall, Morin opened the doors of her siblings. Sarabelle's room, matching her color, was decked in ghostly furniture and colors. It had a mystical air to it. Mason and Nali had twin rooms next to each other with the same theme: Poogles. Toys littered the floor in both of their rooms.

Morin trudged back to hers. The floor and walls were bare, and the only furniture was a bed, a table, and a chair.

Why hadn't she noticed before?

~~~


Morin stayed away from the rest of her family after that. They didn't seem anxious to talk to her either, except for Sarabelle. Morin caught the Draik watching her from across the room when she sat on the floor reading in the living room. As soon as their eyes met, Sarabelle turned away, hiding her eyes.

This behavior continued for so many hours that Morin finally approached her sister. "Why do you keep looking at me?"

Sarabelle opened her mouth, but before she could say a word, Stephanie appeared and pulled her away. "Sarabelle, I need you to help me wrap the carrier. Mason and Nali will be so thrilled!" She left without even looking at Morin.

Later that night, when the rest of her family was sleeping, Morin crept into the room where the presents were being stored. The shadows stretched in every direction, making it hard to see. But one thing was obvious. However much she searched, Morin could not find one package labeled with her name. But on the last packaged, she saw: "To Mason and Nali, a new baby sibling."

What? How could this be? A new sibling? An owner could only have four pets, and Stephanie already had four.

Unless...

Was Stephanie going to abandon one of her pets? It obviously couldn't be either Mason or Nali, and Sarabelle was the most precious thing to Stephanie. She'd never let any of them go.

But Stephanie had never loved Morin. She'd never even pretended to. "And what happens to lab pets?" Morin asked herself. "They get traded or abandoned."

-"What am I going to do now?"

~~~


During the days leading up till the Day of Giving, Morin stayed far away from the rest of the family. She didn't talk to them. She didn't eat with them. She pretended to be sick.

Finally, the day came. Morin had already told herself that she would take whatever Stephanie threw at her. She wouldn't run away; she would hold her head high and show that she was not afraid of her owner who didn't love her.

The day came for Morin to leave the family.

-"Kids," Stephanie called. "Come say goodbye to Morin."

Morin stood with her pokerface next to the door.

Nali and Mason, and their new Baby Poogle brother who was waiting just outside the door, tossed, "Bye," at Morin's back. Sarabelle the Draik said nothing. She glared at Stephanie.

-"Go to the pound, Morin," Stephanie said. "Wait for someone to adopt you. I won't go with you. I think you know the way."

Morin started to trot out the door, planning to accidentally-on-purpose trod on Stephanie's feet.

-"Wait!" Sarabelle interrupted her. The Draink fluttered to Morin's side. "She goes, I go."

-"Sara!" Stephanie cried in exasperation. "Come on. This is your home."

-"This was my home," Sarabelle retorted. "It was my home until I realized what you were doing to Morin."

-"Morin is nothing but a lab pet. She'll never be anything greater than an outcast in a family."

-"Then I'll be outcast with her," Sarabelle said.

And Morin suddenly dropped her pokerface. She let a look of pure gratitude sweep her into Sarabelle's heart. The two of them walked out of a stunned Stephanie's Neohome with dignity, not looking back.

Twistedstar's Nine Lives

-"Come, Twistedheart," breathed Gladepool, the WindClan medicine cat. She glanced at him, sympathy glittering in her leaf-green eyes. She added more gently: "Receiving your nine lives does not erase Morningstar's legacy. She is in StarClan now, among the best of them."

Twistedheart nodded, following Gladepool down the sloping rock, closer to the Moonpool. "She taught me more than any other cat could have, and-" He stopped, feeling his words choke in his throat.

-"And you'll miss her." The WindClan medicine cat finished for him. She leaped a large puddle, left over from the storm. "I know what she meant to you."

Twistedheart glanced at her. "She was the only cat who thought I could be a warrior with this twisted paw. She was the only cat who would mentor me." He stared at his paws. "I will live up to what she expected."

Gladepool flicked her tail. "Good." She gestured to the Moonpool. "Crouch down and drink from it."

As the deputy of WindClan prepared to receive leadership from StarClan, he heard Gladepool murmur softly, "I will always be with you."

Twistedheart's eyes flew open, and he blinked in the unfamiliar light. The sight of this strange place stirred a strange feeling inside him; he felt a dull ache in his heart, flashes of dread and uncertainty, but he also felt a peculiar happiness, contentedness. WindClan scent danced and weaved over the moorland in front of him, and ThunderClan, RiverClan, and ShadowClan scents floated beyond WindClan's.

A voice suddenly spoke to Twistedheart, as soft as that of his mother in the nursery, but as hard as that of Morningstar, then Morningfoot, during one of their tough training sessions-- requested by Twistedpaw. "Welcome, Twistedheart." It rang with familiarity, yet he did not recognize it.

-"Are you ready?" The voice spoke again. As Twistedheart nodded, starry warriors began emerging from the trees and bracken in the distance. Within a heartbeat, they had come to him.

One cat was breaking away from the others. Twistedheart's heart froze with grief and gratitude as he spotted Morningstar's dappled gray pelt. "I miss you!" He blurted out, only managing to bite his tongue before he asked her to come back.

-"Already?" Morningstar's eyes momentarily sparked with amusement, but then they glazed over again. "You will miss me more before too long..." she murmured. "There is trouble ahead for the Clan." She straightened. "Come here."

Twistedheart padded forward into his old leader's shadow, pausing expectantly.

-"With this life I give you courage," she meowed. "Face danger without fear, and be ready to have each life ripped from you in every battle. Believe the same of your warriors."

Hot agony streaked though Twistedheart, burning him to the bone. Fire blazed through him, and he felt a snarl rising in his throat as a vision of ShadowClan warriors crossing his border surged into his head. When he let the growl go, the pain dimmed and subsided. As he opened his eyes, he saw Morningstar padding away.

Leopardheart, a previous WindClan medicine cat, replaced her. "With this life I give you wisdom. Never fight a losing battle. Never surrender a winning battle. You will know the difference."

A strange feeling crawled through Twistedheart's pelt, raising it on end. It was not pain, but it was certainly not comfortable.

Six more cats of Twistedheart's Clan padded to him, giving him the gifts of empathy, ferocity, humor, love, mentoring, and trust; he saw Spottedfur, Nightclaw, Rosewhisker, Goldenstream, Nettlepelt, and Mistkit again. One more.

A lean, whitish-silver cat was now padding toward him. Twistedheart did not know her, but she radiated a cloud of power, pride, and confidence in her stride.

-"Do you know me?" Her mew was soft, caressing, like a mother's.

Twistedheart shook his head. "No. I'm sorry."

She purred, shaking her head. "I am Wind, one of the first four leaders of the Clans. You will kindle a new flame for WindClan, burning though the forests and lands."

Wind stepped to Twistedheart, holding her muzzle to his head. "With this life I give you faith. Never doubt that StarClan is with you. We will be alongside you every pawstep of your new journey, and you must never give in to what looks like the easy way out." Her breath stirred his cheek. "Have faith."

Have faith. Twistedheart closed his eyes, wondering if he would ever feel alone again. StarClan were with him, and as they called out his new name, Twistedstar, he basked in the glow of them. I will serve all of the Clans, not just my own, until the day I join you. He bristled softly. But WindClan will be the greatest.

Twistedkit is gone.

And Twistedstar would lead WindClan like an everlasting fire.

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