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In My Dreams


by cloudybliss

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From birth, we were inseparable. Before we could even understand empty words and vacant facial expressions, we shared a connection, far deeper than most people will ever experience in their meaningless, dreary lives. These people float on, never connecting with anything or anyone. Oh, sure, they think they have connections. Best friends, is that what they call them? Yet when this best friend does anything peculiar, anything out of the ordinary, it is blasphemy! And soon, everyone will know that this friend is not perfect, that they are abnormal and therefore are to be avoided like the plague.

      I should know; I am the plague, a curse on my people. I absorb the darkness and spread it amongst the good, or so I have been told. Dreams that visit every night are simply a way of life to most. Some are pleasant, some are strange, and others are frightening. Yet for you, they are never true. Take solace in that, because you do not and will never know how frightening it is to see what no one else can see, and then get blamed for your misfortune. Why was I chosen? Why must it be I who receives nightmares of darkness and peril? I do not want to see the death and destruction of what my people have spent years rebuilding. Yet I am blessed with this ill-fated gift of being able to foresee the future. It is only our misfortune that our future contains such misery and hopelessness. It is not I who brings the future; the future is what it is and no one person can bring it onto the world. King Kelpbeard has as much of an influence on the future as I, perhaps even more. Yet I get blamed for trying to help. Let's all kill the messenger, I suppose.

      And who better to get betrayed by than your own flesh and blood. Isca, the one living being on this lonely planet that I thought I understood and could give my trust to, had done what I always feared would happen. As it is the way of the world, the one person who I placed all my faith in ended up being a backstabber. As soon as the going got rough, Isca got going.

     ***

      One night, when she didn't come home in time for dinner, I got worried. Isca was always prompt and punctual, almost infuriatingly so. Where was it than she had said she was going this morning? King Kelpbeard's castle, wasn't it? Nervous, I swam quickly to Kelpbeard's ornate castle. The gems reflected off of the sun's deep-reaching rays, forming a kaleidoscope of radiant color. The beautifully built city of Maraqua, normally such a calming sight, passed by in a blur. My mind was only set on finding my sister.

      I nearly ran straight into the opulently decorated doors of Kelpbeard's castle. Two castle guards eyed me wearily. I heard one of them mutter something, clearly mentioning my name and Isca's. I was curious but brushed it off, focusing my mind on finding Isca. I burst through the castle doors, breathless, wondering what I'd find. Had Isca died doing some important work for Maraqua and that was why the guards outside were speaking of us? Had she been kidnapped? Worries raced through my mind and tried to force their way down my throat. I thrust open the doors, and saw the last thing I would have expected.

      There she was. Laughing it up with King Kelpbeard, her voice laced with unctuousness. "Oh, King Kelpbeard, you are simply a riot! I bet you had your dinner company in stitches all night." Isca giggled.

      King Kelpbeard glowed sheepishly. "Oh, Isca, you overrate me. But I do thank you all the same," he said in a sonorous voice. Their exchange was sickening.

      Meekly, I swam up to Isca and tapped her on the shoulder. She spun around, alarmed. "Oh, Caylis!" She laughed blithely. "I've just been chatting with our King for quite some time now. Did you know that he has quite the talent for underwater golf?"

      My stomach flipped over, and a vile nausea crept into my throat. "Isca, I thought we had dinner plans. I've been worried sick." I said, my voice cracking. But instead of apologizing relentlessly like I had somewhat expected, an annoyed look flitted over her face.

      Isca bit her lip nervously. "Caylis, we seriously need to talk."

      I scowled. "Can this wait? I took the time to make a proper dinner and now you're too busy chumming with the King to eat!"

      Isca looked at me gravely, and it was the first time I noticed the light grey bags that lined her eyes. She looked more tired than ever before. "Caylis, this is serious." That word again. "This is about your nightmares. Frankly, our people cannot keep having these tragedies occur. Goodness knows, we've had our fair share. I've been discussing my concerns with the King and he agrees with me." I looked fiercely toward the King. He had the nerve to look complacent.

      "So what does this mean, sister?" I sneered. "You're never going to let me sleep again? Or will I be locked in a cage where I can cause no harm?"

      "Neither." King Kelpbeard sat up in his throne, his voice firm. "You must be exiled. It is for the sake of our people as much as your own."

      Whatever I had been expecting, it was not this. "No..." I said quietly, my voice catching in my throat. "Exiled from New Maraqua? But why?"

      Isca looked bored. "Are you deaf? These nightmares that just so happen to come true, they're destroying our people. You need to leave, before it is too late."

      I looked fearfully at King Kelpbeard. "Please, King, it is not my fault. I only told you of them because I thought I could help, like Isca is doing... I only want the best for New Maraqua, you must understand..." I trailed off, suddenly shivering in the normally balmy waters of Maraqua.

      "Naturally. However, if you want the best, you must leave. These nightmares... we cannot afford to take any risks at this moment. Please, Caylis. I do not wish to remove you forcefully, but if it is what I must do, than I suppose I shall have to." King Kelpbeard sniffed. I was furious.

      "I will remove myself, thank you very much. I assume I'm not too much of a threat to pack my belongings first." I managed. I was trying to keep calm and detached, but failed miserably.

      "This can be arranged." King Kelpbeard allowed. "But you must leave before nightfall. We simply cannot take any more chances. I'll leave you two sisters to say your goodbyes." King Kelpbeard said, swimming out of the grandiose castle doors and leaving Isca and me to stare at each other uncomfortably.

      Isca spoke first. "I am doing this because I love our people. It was never my intention to hurt you." Her voice sounded fake and affected. I suppose hanging around smarmy people like King Kelpbeard had to rub off on her after a while.

      I stared at her laconically. There was no way I was going to talk to her. I began the five minute swim back to our humble house. Though it was small and not at all impressive, I was really going to miss it. As I beat my fins lightly against the water, my brain was working quickly to understand everything. I would never swim this path again. I would never see my sister again. It was quite unsettling.

      I returned home to find out that in my haste to find Isca, I had forgotten to turn off the oven, and the Seaweed Lasagne I had been making was burning to a crisp. A pungent black smoke filled the air. Normally, this would have upset me. But this was anything but a normal time. I was almost glad. At least Isca would have a lovely post-departure housewarming gift.

      I packed my favorite things quickly and quietly. As I was packing my prized possession, my Water Faerie Hair Clip, I realized how little this all meant to me. I was going to have no one. Nothing and no one to care about. No one to impress, no one to talk to when I was feeling upset. Due to my gills, I was bound to the water. I would never be able to leave its constraints. Due to my nightmares, I was exiled from the one true water Neopet gathering in all of Neopia. So where would I go? There seemed to be no options.

      I heard Isca swimming toward the door. Leaving my half-packed suitcase behind, I took it as my chance to leave through the open window. I took one last look at the home I had known for years. Casting one final look onto the gloriously rebuilt city, a longing desire bubbled and burst inside my heart. Saying good-bye to my home was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. However, some things must be done for the good of everyone.

      I just wish it didn't hurt so badly.

The End

 
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