The Lost Acara: Part One
"Stocks are down... AGAIN," Sicho, a silver Shoyru, kicked
a stone out of his way and kept walking. "We're so close to being broke we might
as well start lining up for the soup kitchen." His sister, Tyla, a beautiful and
brilliant cloud Shoyru, sighed as she looked up at a giant fancy NeoHome they
were passing by.
"They're bound to pick up sometime, those stocks,"
she said, yawning, stretching her tiny shiny arms. "I'm getting tired. We should
head back." Her brother looked at the sky and nodded.
"It is getting a little late... Phara will wonder
where we got to." Phara was an old, strict, yet very loving brown Gelert who
had taken care of Sicho and Tyla since they were very young. Now she was starting
to show her age and it was up to the two Shoyrus to take care of her. But the
past few years had been very bad for funds; it seemed every time they checked
the bank they had less and less.
The two tired Shoyrus entered their small and
cozy home, being very quiet. Phara was gently sleeping on a cheap stone chair
in the middle of the front room. They softly tiptoed past, whispered goodnight
to each other, and split of into their own rooms. Tyla crawled into bed and
fell asleep almost as soon as she pulled the covers over her, but Sicho tossed
and turned. How would they ever make ends meet? Sometimes, when Tyla wasn't
looking, he would sneak a peek at the money tree and sometimes be lucky enough
to grab a bottle of sand or a can of prunes away from the greedy eyes of some
rich people wanting to be richer. He always had to do this away from his sister,
because it only made her feel worse, reminding her of how poor they really were.
Their little size three shop held items worth no more than a Sutek muffin, going
for prices as low as four Neopoints or less. It never helped them any. Sometimes
he would go to see the Tombola or the fruit machine if he had time, but he was
usually very busy trying to haggle for impossibly low prices with the irritable
shopkeepers of Neopia Central. Often, their dinner consisted of neoflakes cake
and semolina. And sometimes, like that night, dinner was nothing.
He woke up at about four in the morning (if
you could call it waking up... he never fell asleep, and he was very tired).
It was still rather dark outside. He got up and went out into the front room,
where Phara was still snoozing in her angelic way on the chair. He smiled slightly,
then frowned as his stomach gave a menacing growl. He hadn't eaten since breakfast
the previous morning, which was a cheops plant. He put on his short, thin, ragged
coat, grabbed his favorite (and only) hat, and ducked out the front door.
He walked a little ways down the street, just
to clear his mind a little. He did this a lot when he couldn't get to sleep
at night. Most of the NeoHomes on his street belonged to poor Neopets with few
belongings. They were all one story and often had broken windows with dim light
pouring out through them. Sicho shuddered as he walked. He remembered a time
when he lived in a big house, bigger than all the ones around it, with rooms
of only the toughest materials filled to the brim with only the most exquisite
and expensive furniture available. Money was never a problem then. They always
sat down together at a large table and ate three-square feasts-not meals- a
day, even when they weren't hungry. Sicho could still smell the scent of the
gourmet delight he used to have by the plenty. But then, one day, one horrible,
awful, terrible day in history, they were scammed. It was the most horrible
feeling. The family had worked hard for what they had and some jealous, filthy
piece of scum had taken it away in envy. The scammer was never found, never
Sicho walked slowly as he thought about this,
staring at his bare, scratched feet. He looked up and realized that he had been
walking aimlessly for so long that he had no clue where he was. He looked around...
he definitely didn't recognize it. Medium sized houses, fairly nice and decent
looking, rose up just ever so slightly taller than his own all around him. It
was still fairly early, but he swore that he heard someone walking behind him.
When he turned to look, he saw no one. He shrugged, telling himself it was just
his mind playing tricks on him because he was hungry. His stomach gave another
nasty growl. He crouched, but kept walking slowly. He heard footsteps again,
but, upon looking around, saw no one. A nearby bush moved. He jumped and ran
towards it, and whom should he find there but a small blue Acara, cowering in
"Don't hurt me," she whispered in a soft, but
scared, voice. She was still very frightened.
"I won't... you don't have to be afraid of me.
What are you doing up so early?" he asked. Young Neopets shouldn't be out wandering
the streets in the dark.
"Scrounging for food," she said, a look of sorrow
and embarrassment claiming her face.
"Oh," he said plainly, staring into her big,
sad eyes. "Where do you live?"
One of her eyes began to water, just slightly.
A drop ran down her cheek. "I... I live over there," she pointed in a random
"Do you have a home?" he asked. She was pointing
at a rather ordinary-looking house, which looked like it had plenty of food
inside its walls so that young Acaras wouldn't have to go scrounging when they
got hungry in the night.
More tears protruded from her eyes. "No," she
choked, trying to keep from crying any more. "I've never had a home. I've always
just lived on my own, looking for food by night."
Sicho swallowed. He had met someone far worse
off than himself, without someone to talk to about her problems. He picked her
up in his small hands, covering her to keep her warm. The air was rather chilly
and she looked a little cold. Sure enough, she sneezed into her tiny furry paw,
sniffling as she rubbed her nose. He smiled, turned around, and started carrying
her in the direction of his less-than-perfect home. She yawned a tiny little
more, and fell asleep in his arms.
The sun starting peaking out over the horizon,
just as Sicho came to his house. For the first time, he wasn't ashamed to walk
through the scratched up door into his home. Everyone, including the small Acara
in his arms, was still fast asleep. He brought her into his room and laid her
down on the bed, pulling the covers over her. She yawned again and rolled over.
He grabbed a pillow she wasn't using, laid down on the floor, and for the first
time in many, many nights, he fell asleep.
"Get up; get up, you lazy bonehead! It's almost
noon!" Tyla's wake up call rang down the short, dreary hallway. She rapped on
Sicho's bedroom door loudly. "Get up, GET UP!" She flung the door open and stared
at the bed, but she only saw a small furry lump. "Sicho, SICHO! WHAT HAPPENED
TO YOU!" She started running towards the lump she thought was Sicho, but in
the process she tripped over the real Sicho, landing with her face flat on the
ground. Her brother woke up screaming, yanking his leg from underneath her.
Tyla rubbed her bruised horn and slowly stood up on her short, wobbly legs,
swishing her tail in pain. The small Acara rolled over again, yawning, opening
her eyes to see the hysterical mangled scene before her. She giggled slightly.
Tyla looked up at her and nearly jumped out of her skin.
"WHO-WHO-WHO IS THAT?" she pointed at her, gasping.
The Acara had a look of dismay on her face.
"I found her, looking around for food when I
was out walking this morning. She doesn't have a place to live, so I brought
her here." He seemed very proud of himself, to have so much responsibility.
It made him feel like Phara; taking two young Neopets off the street to take
care of them. Of course, she was rich and had the accommodations to do so. They
were poor and could barely take care of themselves. How could they take care
of the little Acara, too? Tyla saw right through this, shaking her head.
"We can't, Sicho, we can't. She'll need food,
and schooling, and we just can't do it. I'm sorry," she put out her hand and
petted the young neopet softly on the back. Sicho now shook his head.
"But we can't just leave her out on the streets.
She deserves a good home, just like we did when we were in her situation. And
we'll just have to work harder. All we have to do is get her some food, and
Phara can teach her. She taught us." He seemed very believing in his plan.
"Sicho, when we were in her situation, we were
able to find a good home. But this is not a good home. I don't say leave her
on the streets, just find someone else who can take her. There are many kind-hearted
people in Neopia. It shouldn't be too hard." At this, the young Acara flung
herself onto Sicho's wings, hugging him. Tyla groaned. "Sicho, do you even know
Her brother stopped smiling, and then, looking
over his shoulder, asked: "What is your name?" But the reply he received was
deafening silence. She didn't have a name. Tyla groaned again, feeling more
and more sympathy for the little one by the minute. "I'll call you Kacha," he
laughed. She smiled.
"Kacha... I love it!" her face had lit up in
delight. For once, for the first time in her life, she had a name.
To be continued...