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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 23rd day of Relaxing, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 147 > Short Stories > Alive

Alive

by erokai

The yellow Aisha had always cherished the humid fragrance of the park, its aroma drifting sleepily atop the breeze after a full night of profuse rain. It was especially enjoyable when it was followed by a vivacious morning of the sun's ever giving warmth, the scent of dewdrops on grass blades mingling with the wind's gentle heat that was blown through the parks many fields.

         Oh, how she treasured days such as these! The weather seemed to attract to her an emotion of utter bliss, one that would settle in her chest and reside there, accompanying her throughout the dragging daytime hours.

         She, our main character, found herself on a day exactly as the one she so loved, coiled beneath the protection of an ancient star tree. Her back leaned lazily against its rough, splintering trunk, and on her face was held a dreamy expression.

         Her slim, graceful knees were propped unceremoniously against her chest, one arm linking about them, ensuring that they stayed folded in the said position. The other arm was balancing a tiny white sketchbook atop their arcing, rounded joints, while a glinting-pointed pencil was held at the ready in her hand.

         The spindly, ferocious branches of the star tree stretched out above her, offering her protection as a mother Kougra would to her own beloved cubs. She tilted her gentle gaze upwards, towards the serenity of the peaceful blue sky and gentle enrapture of the star tree limbs, and gave them a kind smile to express her gratitude, the only way she could think of to repay their loving embrace.

         On a lovely day such as the one our scene is set; it was rare to see the Neopian park as empty as it currently was. It housed not a single being, save the Aisha, currently nameless to the reader, her youthful little sister, and their owner, somewhere off dozing at the other end of the park.

         The tiny Acara, younger sibling to our nameless main character, frolicked about in the tall, unkempt grass with glee. Her bright blue satin dress was swishing in a series of graceful loops around her little ankles as she thrust her tiny front legs up to the sun, mouth emitting silvery veils of joyous laughter. The morning light toyed innocently with the short ruffles of emerald fur that fell in to place around the perimeter of her head, framing her sweet face most beautifully.

         One of her little bare paws connected with and unseen rock, and she tumbled, almost as one would in a dance, paws flying over head. But this was no matter to her, in fact, she giggled at this unexpected ride, and straightened herself once more, only to return to her innocent frolicking.

         From her place at the base of the star tree, the Aisha cast her younger sibling a look with warm eyes, showing her appreciation for having a being as lovable as this little Acara in her life.

     Her vision then danced back to the blank page of the sketchbook that lay haphazardly upon her kneecaps, and having seen her sister's joyous steps, felt a twinge of sudden inspiration. So she put pencil to paper and began to draw.

     Scrrrcht.

     A long, powerful stroke of the lead tip. From its point flowed a graceful arc, silvery and smooth.

     Scriiitch. Chhhhtttt. Shhhrrrrtt.

     More dazzling arrays of curves and arcs, flowing together into one, becoming a whole being. The Aisha's intent eyes settle upon it, a pleased, triumphant stare.

     Shhhkkkkt.

     She completed one last turn of the pencil tip, wrist twisting flawlessly to complete the next line. She then gently moved the tip about, lightly, then slowly growing harder and applying more pressure. These masses of grey that she drew turned into near-perfect shading of the pet's body.

     At first, the neopet on the notebook page appeared to be of great power, with its hoofed legs and twisted horns. But as she added more detail, its slim limbs and graceful body appeared too sleek to be a stocky Kau, or even a galloping Uni.

     Its short-furred legs flailed outwards from its sleek frame, and its jaw was held slightly agape. Within minutes of silent sketching, it was midway through a powerful bound, soaring over a Lost Desert plain, sun shining bright above it. Its thin body structure was extended to the maximum.

     The Aisha sat in silence, a slight breeze ruffling her short blue fur that hung loose about her face. She stared down at the drawing, proud of how lifelike the neopet had turned out.

     Was it a Moehog? No, no. Not a Moehog. Most definitely not. Something about it just did not seem to fit that category.

     An Ixi, perhaps? Yes, that was it. An Ixi.

     Once more, the Aisha stared at the drawing. She was proud.

     But within a minute, the Aisha grew sad. The Ixi had a slightly depressed look on its pointed face. It wanted to be free, she could tell. Not confined to the bars of an iron cage, nor held prisoner to the canvas of a notebook page, one out of a hundred and fifty. It needed freedom. It needed life.

     And so she would give it life.

     So absorbed in pity for this sketch, the Aisha had not noticed her little sibling skipping merrily up behind her, ignorant to her sister's sadness.

     "What'cha drawin', sis?" the Acara chimed rhythmically, reaching over the Aisha's shoulder and towards the sketchbook. "Oooh, an Ixi? Lemme see!"

     But then something odd happened. The Aisha decided that the Ixi needed life. It could not wait. And so, she closed her eyes and willed it to live.

     In an instant, the magnificent Ixi was unbound from the notebook page. It leapt with a rippling splash from its rough canvas, and landed gracefully on the grass before the two Neopets. And to both pets, this all seemed perfectly normal.

     The young Acara gasped with pleasant surprise. The Aisha just smiled.

     It was alive.

     They both clambered forward, on to the Ixi's back. They gripped its neck and clung to its short fur. Then, with a powerful lurch, it pushed off from the earth. It was airborne.

     Up, over the treetops it rose. Up, above the buildings. And finally, free, spinning through the wind, into the clouds. They were flying, and it seemed as if the world were being viewed through a hazy filter.

     Houses towered up before them, giant stores, too, but the higher they rose the more these structures shrank. Pets that skipped about on the land below stared up at them with wondering eyes, playful minds lightened by this joyous event.

     Both pets embraced the moment of life, and closed their eyes once more, soaring through the sky.

     Then suddenly, the Aisha reopened her sad eyes, awakening from this wonderful fantasy.

     She was back under the star tree in the park, knees up against her chest, sketchbook in her lap. On the paper was a sketch, a bounding Ixi.

     But in reality, it was only a few lines of lead on a sheet of white. Nothing more. It had no life, except for it's confinement within the bars of the sketchbook page. Merely a sketch, nothing more.

     No life.

The End

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