Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 192,452,307 Issue: 644 | 9th day of Hunting, Y16
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The Blumaroo With The Future In Her Eyes


by martia_elior

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PROLOGUE

     

It's raining. It's raining on this land wet by tears. My tears. I'm crying while the sky tries washing away my feelings. Chilly raindrops are sliding down on my skin and they are not like caresses, but stabs. I'm not running anymore. I'm tired of running away from an undesired destiny. My feet are bleeding, but I keep walking; my legs are dragging themselves along the Haunted Woods path; the violet dress I'm wearing is so soaked and clingy that it's like a second skin. I'm still trying to walk, but my legs can't support me anymore. I fall on the sodden ground and I close my eyes, falling into a deep sleep.

      OF AN AWAKENING

     

     My eyes are still closed, but I'm realizing that I'm lying on something soft and dry. I am not feeling soaked to the skin anymore... even my hair seems to be dry now. It seems like I'm in a toasty, cozy place. A soft popping sound arrives at my ears; there's probably a fireplace somewhere in the room. At last, I decide to open my eyes and satisfy my curiosity. The first thing that I'm able to bring into focus are my feet covered by a very warm quilt, as the rest of my body is. I'm in a spacious, well decorated room with a polished parquet; in front of me there's a fireplace made of stone. I almost smile; what I heard was right.

     An old, noble Skeith makes his entrance from the inlaid door at the left of the fireplace some minutes later. His appearance is quite scary, since I'm able to see his bones under the skin, but he seems to be peaceful and friendly. I'm not worried by his presence, for now.

     It looks like he's surprised that I'm awake; he smiles gently, while he's stroking his long, white beard. Then, he starts talking. "Welcome in my humble abode, milady. I'm Arconte. May I ask you who are you?" His voice is warm and friendly, both his posture and appearance look quite aristocratic. With some difficulties, I manage to sit on the bed; I don't want him to think I'm moribund.

     "My name is Estia... how did I arrive here?"

     I seem not to remember what happened; it's like a mist is covering and surrounding my mind.

     "You fainted on the way to Neovia during the unexpected, mysterious flood. I don't know where you were coming from, but I guess you traveled quite a distance, seeing that you had deep sores on your soles."

     His words hit me like a bucketful of ice water. That dazed sensation vanishes instantly. Memories come back to the surface and a shiver runs down my spine.

     "I was running away..."

     The Skeith smiles, friendly now, and then replies.

     "This was quite obvious, dear. May I ask you from what you were running away?"

     "I was escaping from an unwanted life."

     I glance down; I don't want to hold my host's gaze anymore. It's now only that I notice that my hands changed. I'm quite terrified of what I'm seeing.

     "What... what happened to my hands?" I squeal.

     "Milady, you remained hours under a mysterious, magical rain. Its consequences are still unknown, except for what it concerns the body. What colour was your skin before?"

     My eyes are misty now, and my voice is tearful.

     "It was a gorgeous, pale shade of yellow. I... I can see my bones now!"

     "Yes, you are like me now. They call us the Transparent Pets." His reply is calm, like he's not worried about this odd, scary fact. "They say that who was exposed to that rain acquired a Gift. This so called Gift is different for everyone."

     "Who are 'they'?" I squeal again.

     "They are the scientists, of course! We are in Neovia, Lady Estia. We have the famous Sir Baffington. Well... famous here, at least. Anyway, we can have another conversation later, today. I think that you just need to rest for some time, now."

     He's right. I'm starting to feel my eyelids become heavy again, I'm actually in need of some sleep. So, I just close my eyes and fall once again into oblivion.

     OF THE GIFT AND A DECISION

     

     I remained ill for some days, with fever and cough. Arconte cured me and made me feel like I was at home.

     Now that I'm feeling better, I decide to have a longer look at my new appearance. I manage to find a mirror in one of the corridors of the mansion, but my eyes were not prepared for that view yet. My skin is completely transparent and every muscle, every ligament, every bone can now be seen by anyone. My eyes are empty, and still I'm able to see... is this a curse? My eyes become misty. I would have preferred to die than living this way, in this hideous form! I'm still looking at my reflection in the mirror, when I notice a passing shadow on my left with a sidelong glance. I turn my head in that direction but there's nobody there. I'm completely alone in the corridor. I shrug and turn my eyes again to the mirror, when it happens a second time, still on my left. This odd fact manages to distract me from my horrible appearance and I decide to try to understand what's happening. I search for the Skeith until I find him in his library, sit on a very comfortable armchair and reading a book. In another occasion, I would have taken some moments before interrupting his reading, but now I'm in a hurry. So, I immediately bring up the question, asking what was that shadow I saw some moments before.

     He slowly starts to nod, then he joins his hands in front of his face and replies quite cryptically. "So, this seems to be your Gift."

     I knit my eyebrows. I'm quite skeptical about the whole thing of this so-called Gift. "My Gift?"

     Arconte nods again, his seriousness makes me feel silly for my disbelief. "It seems like there's at least one other like you out there. They are able to see Spirits, Shadows and maybe they have premonitions too. Be careful, Milady..." I'm completely lost. I don't want to see Spirits, I don't want to look like a skeleton! Why didn't I die that day in the flood? Why?! I give him a confused gaze and he ends his sentence. "... be careful what you wish for." A shiver runs down my spine. It's like he knew exactly what I was thinking. I prefer not to ask what his Gift is, I'm quite afraid by his possible answer. After a long silence, the Skeith starts talking again, adding a very useful piece of information. "There's a place in Shenkuu where I think you can find your answers, Milady. It's called the Lunar Temple. Go there, I'm quite sure that you'll receive some help from them." I nod, without replying anymore. I've literally lost my tongue.

     OF A NEW LIFE

     

     I needed several days to think about my new essence, my new existence. At last, I decided to head out on my journey to Shenkuu.

     After thanking Arconte for everything he did to me, I head for the Terror Mountains. I prefer avoiding the Haunted Woods as much as I can. I have a heavy coat in my backpack, because I know I'll suffer cold in the Mountains.

     The trip is going smoothly. I met some nice Neopets who don't bother my appearance at all, like they have seen it somewhere before.

     At the end, I arrive at Shenkuu. Its mountains are different, there's an eternal mist that covers them, and they are not as cold as Terror Mountains. Once I manage to get to the Lunar Temple, I find an old Gnorbu just in front of me. "We were waiting for you, Sybil," he says.

     I look at him, I'm quite surprised. "I think you are confusing me with someone else. My name is not Sybil," I reply with a gentle smile. He only nods and, without saying anything else, he invites me to follow him with a gesture of his right hand.

     EPILOGUE

     

     I can't tell the rest of my story here, because - once I crossed the threshold of the Temple - everything is subject to confidentiality. You can just know that now I learned how to live with my Gift and use it to help others. Everyone calls me 'The Sybil' here, because I am able to foresee. I study the sky overhead and its constellations. And, obviously, I help the Wise Gnorbu in tracking the movement of the globes.

     If you happen to make a trip to Shenkuu, please come visit me! I promise I'll be nice to you, if you're nice to others. That's called Karma, you know.

The End

 
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