"I can send you to Jeronik, now if you wish," the Faerie
said suddenly. Drushii and Lae, who had been throwing a ball (To this day, I
still have no idea where they got it from) between them, stopped. The ball,
which hadn't been notified in this sudden change, continued on its path and
hit Drushii neatly on the head.
"What?" three astonished voices asked.
"What we mean is…" I started to clarify, before
stopping short. "What?"
"I can send you to Jeronik," she repeated.
I blinked. And yet, I didn't wake up. Of course,
I'd been hoping to wake up since this whole mess started, so unless I was having
a prolonged nightmare (not likely.) I was indeed hearing it correctly.
"Well…" Lae said. "As fast as this conversation
is going, I believe the statement on everyone's lips is go on then!"
"Move into a circle," the Faerie instructed.
"And hold hands."
We did as she instructed. Standing in a close
circle, one of Lae's paws slipped into my right hand, whilst Drushii's fitted
neatly into my left. I could see the Faerie out of the corner of my eye, and
it shocked me to see her looking pale and unnerved. But I didn't have long to
ponder on this. Suddenly, there was an unnatural feeling of being launched forward.
I never thought I'd find a worse way to travel
compared to the 'wind way' as Lae put it. But then, I'd never travelled like
this. It was as though someone was pushing me, pressing hard against my back.
I felt like I was running a marathon, but my legs didn't move. All I could feel
was the world rushing past me. My hands were still clasped to Lae's and Drushii's,
but I couldn't see them. My hands were a blur, like the world.
And as quickly as it started, it stopped. For
once, I didn't loose my balance but wobbled on the spot for a second. The room
slowly came into focus.
It was then that I realised the truth; we were
in a cell.
"That was so not what I had in mind!" I yelled.
I couldn't see anything at first, but Lae and
Drushii have a better eyesight than me, (Well, they are feline.) I was first
made aware of the situation when Lae gave an excited squeal.
"JERO!" she shrieked.
Mr Brown grinned at the scene in front of him. There had been a sudden flash
on the camera he had installed in the cell, and then three figures had appeared
in the cell. He froze the camera on the film of their appearance. Illuminated,
he could pick out their features.
The girl was around 5ft 6, with shoulder length
blonde hair. It seemed subtlety lightened by the light around her, giving it
a sun-coloured tint. She was wearing cargo pants; several sizes too big so they
hung loose round her trainers. She was wearing a jacket of sorts too, a dark
The second figure was an Aisha, either orange
or yellow; it was hard to pinpoint. 'She must have repainted that annoying creature,'
he thought. The Aisha, as far as he could remember, was an annoying thing, yappy
The third, however, was new. A Halloween Kougra,
slightly smaller than usual, he noticed. He wondered briefly how the girl had
found it, before moving on.
With rapt attention, he watched the scene unfold,
grinning. One hand rested awkwardly on the security alert button, whist the
other was propping up his head. When the time came, he'd have security fly at
them quicker than a Lupe could rip up a Chia Plushie.
I don't quite know who was more surprised, Jero or us. Immediately, Jero let
out an ecstatic yelp and jumped at us, knocking me to the ground. I grinned
and hugged Jero tightly.
"I'm so sorry," I whispered.
"For what?" Jero replied.
"Losing you," I whispered back, voice clogged
"You never did," Jero replied in the same tone.
"Touching," a voice said, making us all jump.
"Bravo," the voice pooled sarcasm as two hands clapped thinly. I turned round
and immediately growled. Standing in front of me was no other than Mr Brown.
"You," I hissed. Mr Brown hadn't changed dramatically.
His hair was thinning but still greased back. His eyes were still mean slits,
never leaving my face. I shuddered, wishing he would just disappear. On the
topic of wishes, I wished I was at home, watching TV with Lae, Jero and Drushii.
And then I want a Uni and a plushie…
"I see you haven't changed. Manners cost nothing,
Stormydreamer," Mr brown said, saying my Neopian name as though it was a delicious
"Nor does intelligence, but we can't have everything."
I retorted angrily. I heard Lae and Jero snigger appreciatively behind me whilst
Drushii merely growled at Mr Brown.
"You won't be as confident soon Sari," Mr Brown
said, his voice dripping with venom. With that, he turned round and walked out
of the room, his cloak billowing behind him. A young girl rushed in from his
shadows, holding robes in her arms.
"You will need to change into these," she said
quietly, handing me one. She wasn't tall, maybe an inch shorter than me. She
tried to appear meek, but I could see she was holding herself as royalty would.
She wore a tatty shawl, but I could see a dress of silk beneath it. Her hair
was hanging long, to her waist, appeared to be finely kept. She didn't look
like a servant.
I recognised a servant when I saw one - yet
another trait I picked up from living rough for over a year - and this wasn't
one of them.
"Who are you?" I hissed, taking the robes.
"I am a servant of Mr Browns," she replied with
a meaningful glance at my robes. "My name is Lady Likisha." She paused. "You
will need to change quickly, should you wish to blend into the castle."
"Pardon?" I asked, astonished.
"I can lead you to safety. The jewel is too
precious to be destroyed," Lady Likisha said. "But first, you must change."
Without further complaints I pulled on the robes.
They were several sizes too big, my hands barely reached the sleeves and the
bottoms almost touched the ground. I had no reason to trust Lady Likisha, a
rational part of me said as I shepherd Lae, Drushii and Jero out of the door.
But even getting out of here with an enemy is better than playing sitting ducks,
a second part said.
If talking to yourself is the first sign of
madness, I was just waiting for the second to appear…
To be continued…
Author's Note: Neomails will be stuck on a pedestal and worshipped by Chia
gods for a while before being replied to.