An Eyrie Evening
Have you ever come across an Eyrie? They are quite the sight to behold. They tower above with their sleek bodies, muscles flexing impressively over those shiny feathers. Sharp beaks snapping, eyes beady, talons sharp and ready to slash. And those are just the regular ones.
But I didn't encounter a regular Eyrie tonight. No, I saw the most elusive, the most revered, the scariest Eyrie I have ever had the displeasure of laying eyes on. To speak his name still makes my hand tremble so. My friends simply laughed in my face when I tried telling them frantically of my frightful run in with the beast.
No one believes me. One day someone might, once I am long gone, but for now, I must share my story with someone, and so as not to come across as mad, I'll write it down to get this heavy burden off my chest.
The wild monster of which I speak is none other than... FrassenRogue.
Go ahead, laugh if you will. But I really have seen him with my very own eyes! He is not simply a myth.
Do Eyries eat Kyrii? I hadn't really thought about it at the time. He certainly looked as if he could have swallow me in one bite.
I wouldn't even be in this predicament if it weren't for my friends, the very pets in which I put my trust and devotion. They were the ones who suggested the walk in the Haunted Woods. They knew I didn't even like the woods! I hate camping. Who likes to sleep on a pile of leaves for a week? Not me! I'll stick with my Gummy Dice Bed, thank you.
To make the matter worse, they suggested to go at night! Through the Haunted Woods at night? Are they insane? Did I mention I hate the dark as well?
So we head towards the forest, where Count Von Roo haunts, and the cackles of Edna can be heard lingering in the wind.
We walked along this dirt path of sorts. Loki, my Ruki friend, is with me. Her owner painted her pink, so she basically sticks out like a sore thumb against my brown fur. Byncent was also with us, trailing along, leaving a long line of snot with his Meerca tail weaving all over the place.
They heard a rumor if one enters the forest in the dead of night, when the full moon glows brightest, ghost meepits arise, and roam the woods looking for their lost owners. Also, if you offer them magic marshmallows... go figure, their spirit becomes whole once again, and they are free to walk the earth as regular petpets.
I simply had to roll my eyes at this point. I mean, when have Meepits ever been normal?
But they stuck with me when I was convinced in my younger years there was a world entirely made out of jelly, so I figured I ought to support them in whatever current whim they decided to act out.
So there we are, walking in the Haunted Woods, at night, listening to the sounds of stray Werelupes and only Fyora knows what else.
Loki had the marshmallows tucked into her pocket, she was leading the way and she turned towards me and told me to stop being such a baby neopet, but she's the one kept glancing over her shoulder, eyes wide, breath hushed, asking, "What was that?" at every crunch of a stick. Okay, so maybe I was walking a little hard on purpose, but she had called me a baby, and that hurt my pride a little.
The trees were gray, some as dark as black, and they grew tall, their bare spindly branches reaching through the path and grabbing at anything that dared to cross their path. They arched high above our heads forming some sort of dome, their branches intertwining like hands with fingers interlaced. No green foliage blossomed here and the stars could be seen twinkling serenely down at us through the gaps.
"What was that?" Loki whispered suddenly, stopping in the middle of the trail and staring. The path only offered several yards of clear vision before disappearing completely into the night.
I sighed. "Stop trying to freak me out."
"I'm not. I saw something up the path. It looked like it was glowing. A meepit, perhaps?" She smiled excitedly exchanging glances with Byncent.
Byncent squinted his eyes in concentration, I mimicked his actions but saw no light, and my vision is pretty well near perfect.
"I definitely see something..." Byncent croaked.
"No, you don't," I said defiantly. "It's just the reflection of the moon." I wasn't entirely convinced nothing was there, but I put on a brave front.
"Fine then Seb, you go check it out." She pushed forcefully on my back. I instinctively dug my heels into the dirt, but she was strong and I stumbled a few feet ahead of them. "Oh, you might need one of these." She tossed a marshmallow at me.
"Of course, if its Edna or Vira, you probably don't want to offer the mallow," Byncent pointed out.
I wanted to seem brave, so I walked further down the path alone, hoping my heart rate, which was deafening in my head, would scare off any petpets who might find my leg an appealing snack.
I walked for a good number of feet and still didn't see anything. I glanced back now and again and saw my two friends huddled together waiting for my report on what deathly monster lay ahead, hoping I would tackle it so they could walk through unharmed.
I looked down and saw a Rock lying on the ground. "Hey there, little guy," I offered. "Did you lose your owner?" Then of course, I realized I was actually talking to a rock, laughed nervously, and turned to tell my friends it was all clear.
Except, they weren't there. Did I mention my vision was really good? The only thing remaining in the spot where they had been was two pair of footprints. Not even a trail leading off into the forest, ending behind a large rock or tree stump to signal their hiding place. Man, they were good.
Except at the time, I didn't automatically think my two best friends would have pulled such a stunt, so naturally I was begot with terror, heinous thoughts zooming through my mind. The forest must have exerted some unnatural force upon them and they simply melted on the spot! ..I looked down. No slimy piles of melted neopet. They must have spotted the Meepits after all and chased them down in an effort to force feed it marshmallows! Drats, no footprints leading away. In my fervor to get to this spot, the forest played tricks on my vision and I simply ran right past them and they're standing right behind me! I spun around wildly. Eek! What's that?... Oh, just the rock.
The forest never seemed so loud, yet so quiet all at once. The silence was oppressing. I knew I couldn't just stand there all night. I looked up at the trees and saw them smile wickedly down at me as if reading my thoughts.
I looked at my options. I could sit and wait for someone to get me, which could easily be the Count, and if I was super lucky, perhaps Balthazar would make an appearance! Or I could take my chances of backtracking the many paths of which I paid no attention to as Loki led the way, and pray I made it out halfway alive. At least I had provisions I told myself meekly, holding the marshmallow up so it smiled at me in the dark.
I was preparing to go with the latter of my two options, remembered the rock, pocketed it in case I needed something to talk to after getting bored and prior to going insane, and began walking back down the path.
The forest is nothing but a winding maze of turns and I could swear the trees kept shifting positions when I wasn't looking, so I was basically just walking in a big circle. Panting (I heard a leaf rustle and had been running for the last five minutes like my life depended on it), I somehow ended up next to those footprints again where my friends had stood.
I doubled over, mostly from disappointment than anything, and when I composed myself and stood up straight again, is when I came face to face with him.
Now how in the name of Illusen did I know it was him, you ask? Like I stated before, this was no ordinary Eyrie. His whole body, instead of covered in feathers was covered in scales, slimy and green. Even blue in places. His beak looked sharper and had long pointy spikes at the end... the better for chewing up his prey, I'd heard. Four beady eyes instead of the usually alarming two, and his wings were also bare of feathers, sporting instead, long bones chiseled to points! Yes, you could actually see them reflecting moonlight.
If he so desired to flex his wings even a little, he could have pierced me straight through. Not to mention his tail, which also had a few spiky things, but I didn't get a good look, for I could do nothing more than stare into his eyes and wait patiently for whatever punishment he bestowed upon me.
I figured seeing him coming would be a lot less scary than if I turned and ran, hearing him chase after me and knowing he would stab my back at any second.
He sat down elegantly enough for the mutant he was and simply stared at me smiling. At least I think he was smiling. He might have been barring his teeth in a threatening manner for all I knew.
Then he spoke. It was not as deep as I expected, but soft, which made it sound more threatening than if he shouted. Even the trees swayed though the wind had long since died down.
"What are you doing so far from home, small Kyrii? The forest is not safe at these late hours."
I could hear the humor dancing on his words.
"I...I--" I stammered for I suddenly didn't remember why in all of Neopia I was here. Then the image of the smiling marshmallow popped into my mind, and since I wanted to keep him talking so as to prolong my impending death, I said, "Hunting ghost meepits."
His expression didn't waver but his eyes narrowed a bit. "And why are you doing that?"
I fished out the mallow, remembering the rock I had tucked into my pocket. Thought about throwing it, realized my arms felt like jelly and I'd probably miss anyway, and cast the thought off. "I-I heard if you f-feed them a marshmallow, they will be restored to their original f-forms and thus be allowed to walk the earth once again as r-regular petpets."
He listened to what I had to say, cocking his head, and when I was done, he laughed, his voice hoarse. "That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Shadow, come." He clicked his beak, and to my great astonishment, a ghost meepit came dancing from the forest trees and hovered near FrassenRogue's feet. I realized this must be his petpet and his name must be Shadow. "Well," he said to me, "go ahead. He loves dessert."
He gave the meepit a loving look, and Shadow floated until he was about a foot from me and he held up his tiny arms expectantly awaiting my gift.
I really didn't see any choice in my refusing him, so I knelt and put the magic marshmallow into his hands, where I anticipated it might just fall through to the ground, but he caught it merrily and swallowed it, grinning up at me. 'Meep' was his only response.
We stood staring for a few seconds, then there was a loud popping noise, and instead of being bluish and transparent, there stood a tiny pink, solid Meepit, who blinked unsurprised by this transformation. I cried out in shock and glanced quickly up at FrassenRogue who also looked amazed.
"What have you done to my petpet?" he roared, and the ground on which I stood actually shook.
My jelly legs gave way, and I fell to my knees, shaking. "I'm s-sorry! I didn't know.." I wailed. This was it, I was done for. Why had I listened to Loki and her theories?
To my wonder, instead of immediately clawing me, he burst out laughing, a loud raucous guffaw. "Do not worry yourself to death, small Kyrii. Your theory is only temporary. See?"
He nodded towards Shadow, who once again stood beside his owner's feet. Indeed, his pinkish tint was fading, and his black eyes were developing a red-ish hue once more.
FrassenRogue turned, his massive body taking up the entirety of the path, and began walking back into the forest. Before he disappeared from my view, he turned and said over his shoulder, "Take only rights to find yourself out of here, and be more careful. Next time you encounter a beast within this wall of trees, they might not be as friendly."
And then he was gone.
Once I exited the forest, my friends were there, hysterical with worry. They had not meant for me to get so lost they said. They had used Loki's wings to drift off the path and give me a scare, but when they revealed their hiding place, saw me to be gone. They'd been looking for hours, and had just now gone to get help.
What happened, they asked me. Of course, I told them what really happened and they laughed in my face, saying I must be dizzy and hungry, disillusioned from the dark. FrassenRogue, they said, is a fictitious character told to young neopets to keep them out of the forest at night.
But I know what I saw. I have no proof of my encounter though. I look around my room and see the rock sitting on my dresser, the only thing I have to remind me of this eerie night. I named it, fittingly, Shadow.