The Lightsby Narratorway
Terra and Gau: The Learning Lights
Terra and Gau: The Learning Lights
Chapter 2 - Poor Introductions
Katarin saw the ship first as it suddenly appeared through a cloud. She was outside, walking towards another house in Molbiz. It was dangerous, but she needed to have a little talk with her husband and no monsters had appeared the entire day. Then she saw it, just out of the corner of her eye. She stopped and stared at it for a moment, not sure what it was, and a little afraid that it was coming straight toward Molbiz. As it begun to take shape and she realized what it was, she covered her mouth to stifle a cry of joy.
Duane was on the roof of another house repairing the damage when she heard her yelling at him from the orphanage. He sighed. Right from the start, Katarin was against the idea of repairing the damage to the town. They would argue over it constantly. She would say it was a waste of time. Then he would say it was a hobby, just something to pass the time. Then she would say it was dangerous, the houses could collapse in on him or he could fall off the roof. He would say that the children would need a place to live when they grew up. But they wouldn't make it to adulthood if he died. Was this ridiculous "hobby" worth dying for?! What about your son? And so they would go on, back and forth. Finally, she asked him why. What was so important about repairing these houses and fences and yards that he'd risk his life for? He couldn't answer her.
Eventually, he made a deal with her. He would only work for a couple of hours a day per house, and he wouldn't work on the more dangerous projects until it couldn't be helped. She reluctantly agreed. As he began work anew, he also began to wonder what he was doing this for. She was right. Why was he risking his life to do this? He remembered having the idea when Terra needed his help in fixing up the orphanage so it didn't collapse in on the children. Then her friends came and took her away, so he had to do the rest by himself. When he was finished, the house looked almost brand new. Then he turned and looked at the other houses. Dilapidated and crumbling, not a hint of the glory of their former selves. That's when he decided to repair them, whatever the cost. Molbiz was his hometown and while it may not have been the grandest town in the world, he would not let it become a ghost town. And so, more often than not, he would be working past his two-hour limit and Katarin would come over and lecture him.
And so he thought it would be this evening as she ran towards the house he was on. He sighed, thinking how he'd lost track of time. Now he was going to get it. Looking down at her, he squinted. Was she crying? Suddenly he heard a faint sound, like a buzz. He looked up at the sky and saw it, the airship! The sound of the propellers became louder as the ship approached. Barely hearing her voice over the airship, Duane slid down the ladder to his wife's side. They both looked up at the ship that was directly over their heads, whipping their hair in all directions. Katarin shook her head and sighed, "She's gonna wake up the children with all that noise."
Duane smiled, "Good thing too, or I'd have to wake 'em up."
And out of the main house the children all ran. They looked up at the sky and pointed and yelled as they ran over to the newlyweds and crowded around. The ship was moving towards the field next to town in order to land, and everyone followed it. All of the children were chanting Terra's name.
The airship landed and the engines were killed. The exit door opened and a flight of stairs were let down. Out of the belly of the ship appeared Terra. She waved to them and all the children cheered. As soon as she got down the stairs, she was swarmed with hugs...and questions.
"Who were those people?"
"Why couldn't I come with you?"
"Did you get me anything?"
"Can I ride the big balloon?"
"What happened to the spirit lady?"
"Did you miss us?"
"Oh yes." Terra said cheerfully, "I've missed you all very much." She stood up, "And I'd like you all to meet someone." She turned toward the door of the airship and all eyes followed her gaze, "Come on out, Gau!"
Before anyone had time to even think up the question, "Whose that?" Gau was halfway down the stairs, running on all fours like a cheetah. None of them had seen anything like him, and were struck silent, except Duane.
"Look out Terra!" He jumped to Terra and pushed her behind him.
"No! Duane don't!" But it was too late. Gau roared. A boy no older than thirteen roared and charged at Duane. At the last minute, he jumped at Duane and rolled himself into a ball in mid-air hitting Dwayne so hard, he was knocked off his feet and flew backwards onto the ground. Gau landed on top of him on all fours. He growled and raised his hand. Duane saw it and realized that the boy's fingernails were grown out and sharpened so that they resembled claws.
Gau froze in place and looked up. Duane looked at Gau in fear and noticed the expression on his face. He'd seen it before, on the children whenever they realized they were in trouble. He turned his head and saw Terra. She had an expression on her face he'd seen whenever she dealt with the children who had Gau's expression.
"Gau, come here." He obeyed and he bowed down his head. Terra knelt down and put her hand around his shoulder. "Gau, why did you attack Duane?" she asked softly.
"Gau had to protect Terra from angry man. He tried to hurt you." he sounded very solemn.
"No Gau, Duane is my friend. He would never do anything to hurt me. No one here would." Terra realized that this was a touchy situation. All the children had seen what Gau could be like when provoked and she had to make them see what she saw in him. Make them see that he was just like them.
She stood up. "Now Gau, I want you to go up to Duane and apologize for jumping on him," she spoke firmly. Gau looked at her, confused.
"What is apology?" he asked.
"An apology is when you tell someone you're sorry that you hurt them." She replied.
"Oh. Gau know what apology is then," he said. Gau remembered when he first met his friends Mr. Thou and the Dancing Man. Gau remembered how he made Mr. Thou sad. He apo-li-gized to him and he made him feel better. He walked over to Mr. Duane who picked himself up and was brushing himself off. "Gau sorry he tried to hurt Mr. Duane."
Duane looked up at Terra with a look that said he wanted to know what was going on when they had the chance to talk. She gave him a look that said, well, you gonna accept his apology or not? He then looked down at Gau who had a look that said he was sorry. Duane extended his hand, "Apology accepted." Gau just stared at him.
"Ahem," Terra called to him, "Duane, he doesn't know how to shake hands."
Gau turned to her and leaned his head sideways, perplexed. "Of course Gau know how to shake hands," and proceeded to make his hands shake. All the children began to laugh. Both Terra and Katarin heaved a heavy sigh. Katarin had been watching the whole thing with bated breath. She was afraid of Gau, right out, and it was all she could do to keep from screaming when she heard him roar. She looked at Duane's expression to Gau's version of "shaking hands" and had to stifle a giggle. That loosened her up.
Duane knelt down; "Gau here's how you shake someone's hand. Give me your hand." He saw Gau's eyes flash for a moment, then Gau hesitated, and slowly extended his hand. Duane slowly grasped it and shook his hand. He smiled, then Gau did. Then he laughed and Gau did. Then all the children cheered.
It was Terra who broke the moment. "Come on children, its way past all your bedtimes. Now wave good-bye to everyone on the big airship." Everyone looked up and waved to all the people on the side of the airship. They all waved back, except for Locke, who was at the exit door.
"Is everything all right?" he asked urgently.
"Yeah, everything's fine." Terra replied, "Go on and tell everyone I said good-bye and good-luck."
Locke gave her a thumbs-up as the engines started, then waved good-bye before closing the door. Terra told everyone to head inside and they all backed away as the huge ship ascended into the now night sky. She took one last look at it before heading inside. It seemed to her as if it was chasing the sun as it was setting. She felt a lump in her throat as she realized she could never get that feeling again.