Cherry Blossoms | Teen Ink

Cherry Blossoms

June 22, 2016
By Panthera GOLD, Plymouth, Minnesota
Panthera GOLD, Plymouth, Minnesota
11 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Don’t let them tell you it was on your back; the point of contention is how they act. Where you draw the line will set you free,” -Chris #1, AntiFlag (The Debate is Over)

“Mange pelt!”
Shadow looked around in disappointment, her friends spitting insults at her. She flicked her long black tail and twitched her ears.
“Once, long ago, I thought you were my friends. I should have known you would leave me once you knew my secret!” Shadow snarled. A large white cat stepped forth, the leader of the Alley Cats.
“Shadow, you have disappointed us. You joined with the dark side which we cannotallow. You have betrayed the Alley Cat’s Code: never side with Mountain-Pack. That you did. We cannot allow you to be with us any more,” Moon snarled, “You know what this means.”
Shadow nervously looked down at her paws. She padded away from the city, turningback after a while and hissing, “Traitors!” She took more pawsteps before streaking into a full-on sprint into the forests, her true home. The green trees and sprouts blurred her vision.
She sat down and howled at the sun. All around her, voices seemed to be whispering one word over and over again:Outcast. Well, that's true. I know I am not wanted anywhere because Mountain-Pack kicked me out too. It's just me in this big, wide world. Shadow paused for a moment and remembered a sweet memory.
She was perched atop a mountain peak. Wind rushed around her scaly body. She sniffed the fresh mountain air and smelled the cherry blossoms down below. Shadow smiled. This was the life, the life of a dragon. Peace filled the air day and tranquil night. Her rainbow scales glowed in the moonlight. Her pearl, clamped in her five-toed paw, flashed black, alerting her to the presence of an unknown being.
This being clambered over the peak and then Shadow saw him: a dragon hunter had come to steal her pearl and capture her water powers, so he could dispose of Shadow. She hissed, a note of defiance showing through. The hunter smiled and pulled out his bow, aimed, and fired. The arrow hit Shadow in the chest, knocking her off balance. She toppled down to the valleys below.
The cherry blossom trees seemed more threatening now. Shadow could easily have her scales pierced by the branches, the only thing that could cut through them. A small figure moved down below. Consulting her slipping pearl, she saw it was a friendly human. Still, Shadow took safety precautions and called upon the power of the pearl. She transferred its power into her, becoming a black cat in the process.
Flashing back to reality, she breathed in and out. Shadow felt the fog calling her to the Great Lake. She padded forwards once again, this time with hope sparking in her chest. A grey fish swam in the stream by her paws(it was really red, but she couldn’t see that because cats can’t see the color red) scattering sunlight onto the rocks. Shadow felt tranquility and peace cover her as she breathed in the koi’s smell. She knew not to kill it, it still had many years left to fulfil its potential.
Shadow came across the lake surrounded by a grove of blooming cherry blossoms. A small island was hardly visible through the unnatural blue fog. A low hissing sound could be faintly heard. Short growls erupted from the fog. Shadow seemed drawn to the beauty of it. The large black cat stepped into the water and started swimming. Her paws churned the water, making ripples erupt out over the surface. 
Fish swam around her, opening their tiny mouths as to say, “Eat us!” ,but Shadow ignored them. All she could think about was that unnatural fog. The current kept the black panther afloat. All she had to do was believe in herself and keep paddling. Keep paddling. Keep paddling. In the end, her willpower worked. She reached the island with the blue fog and climbed on.
Shadow felt a presence but couldn’t tell if it was good or bad. She called upon her pearl wishing to, once again, be a dragon. A flash of blue surrounded her for a moment and when it cleared, there was a beautiful dragon with scales the color of the day and night sky, mingled with cherry blossom petals. Shadow could see more colors around her now. Consulting her pearl, she saw it was safe and that no harm would come. She could now make out what the growling was: her kind, the royal dragons.
“Hello?” She called in a voice that sounded like rushing rapids.
“Hello, Shadow. We’ve been expecting you,” the reply came. A dragon the color of fresh leaves on a cherry blossom tree slithered down. The dragon raised a paw and the mist cleared, revealing a hidden tunnel covered with beautiful cherry blossoms. A calm peace filled this place.
“I heard you were outcast from the fire dragons and your cat friends,” The pink dragon nodded, its voice ringing like a thousand gongs.
“Yes, yes I was,” she replied back.
“You will always have friends here in the cherry tunnel,” the dragon smiled, “My name is Shu?,  or Water,” Shu? hissed, sliding off of where she was coiled. A symbol was revealed on the floor. The symbol was ??, meaning peace.
“Thank you,” Shadow truthfully replied.
“No problem!” Shu? chirped. Another dragon slithered into the tunnel, this one the color of bamboo shoots.
“Shadow, is it okay if you go by a different name here?” He asked. Shadow nodded.
“I never liked the name Shadow. It's too dark,” she mumbles to herself.
“From this day on, you shall be known as Xìngyùn Sh?zh?, or Luck Herald(bringer),” the green dragon almost purred, “ My name is B?ohù Zh?, or Protector, and I am the closest thing this peaceful land has to a leader.”
“Pleased to meat you, B?ohù Zh?,” Xìngyùn Sh?zh? said, “but may I go by Yùnqì for short, please?”
“That would be alright,” B?ohù Zh? smiled. Yet another dragon appeared in the tunnel, this one tired and with rainbow scales.
“There’s… a … fire … dragon … outside,” it puffed.
“Let Yùnqì take care of this,” B?ohù Zh? ordered. Yùnqì nervously followed the rainbow dragon to the edge of the tunnel.
“This is where I leave,” the rainbow dragon rumbled.
“Shadow,” the fire dragon snarled.
“Ashfire,” she replied with a cold tone in her voice.
“I see you’ve found some new friends to betray you.”
“They would never do that.”
“Are you sure about that?”
“They are a better friend than you ever were!”
“I see,” Ashfire growled, then yelped in surprise. Cherry blossom petals, the only weakness to a fire dragon, rained down. Yùnqì looked up in surprise and saw Shu? and B?ohù Zh? dropping the petals. A cursing Ashfire flew away.
“Thank you,” Yùnqì smiled at her friends.
“No problem,” they chorused. The trio of friends walked down the Cherry Tunnel, feeling
more peaceful than ever. They knew they had come across a great fortune.
“You really are the bringer of luck,” Shu? smiled.
“We shall see,” Yùnqì purred.

The author's comments:

Shadow is an ordinary cat. Until she gets kicked out by her tribe once they know her secret, that is. Read on to understand the value friendship has. 


This was inspired by all the times all my friends left me and I had to find new ones. 

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