"He likes you," Flowal said as we left the Smoothie Store.
I didn't have to ask who she meant, I knew she was referring to Leon3o.
"How do you know?" I asked skeptically, looking
at her armfuls of bags. The skunk Usul didn’t seem to be struggling very much,
she must be used to hauling shopping around all day, or else she was very strong.
"Trust me," she said smiling warmly, "so where's
Jewel? You didn't tell me."
I stopped in my tracks. I had completely forgotten
about my petpet. "Umm... she was feeling sick. I think she has Mootix," I said
unconvincingly, "I thought I might just leave her alone for a while."
"I have a photoshoot this afternoon, so maybe
you should spend some time with Grim?" Flowal2000 suggested, changing the subject
much to my relief. Grimlaerian ... he was the cause of all the problems in my
"Maybe," I said, though I would rather have
had a tea party with Dr Sloth.
"Oh!" Flowal exclaimed, as a pink shop with
a giant Usul head mounted on it came into sight. "I can’t believe we forgot
the grooming parlour was having a sale!!"
I hadn’t forgotten, since I had never actually
known. "Flowal, don’t you think you’ve got enough bags? Maybe we can go shopping
again another day and come back here." "The sale ends today."
"Well then most of the items will be gone!"
"I ... I have 13 bags. That’s unlucky. Besides,
I need to even out the load. One arm feels heavier."
I couldn’t argue with that logic, and we entered
the shop. About half an hour later we left, with a few more bags than we had
come in with.
"I have to go," she said, as we turned the corner
onto Winding Wood Drive. I saw Rofal and a Faerie Meerca negging a house nearby.
They flew off as soon as they saw us. The negg juice was dripping down the wall
and leaving a stain on the cracked paint.
"Okay well, bye!" she said, as she dumped an
armful of parcels into Mr. Squishy's outstretched arms. Mr Squishy was Flowal's
green robo-quiggle. Annalisaca had named him months before she had swapped rooms
with Flowal, and he didn't answer to any other name. "Take them to my room Squishy.
Bye Cetti, see you soon!" she said, adjusting her tiara and skipping off again.
I waited until she was out of sight before I spread my wings and took flight,
in the direction of Faerieland.
I landed on the cloud. In front of me was the
Dark Faerie, and a woman wearing an eye patch with a blue Lupe. They handed
the Faerie a parcel and she waved her hand and something appeared in the woman's
arms. She seemed happy and hurried off to a more cheerful looking part of Faerieland.
"You again. Where is your brother?!" she asked,
returning to her seat in the throne. She reminded me of an evil queen who from
her high throne, ordered her servants to be beheaded. Heidi had told me that
"Umm... he’s not here. Have you seen my Wadjet?"
A cruel smirk crossed Jhudora's face. My eyes
traveled to her neck, where what I thought was a necklace turned out to be a
curled up black Wadjet.
"Jewel?" I asked. It didn't move. "Jewel," I
almost whispered, fear making my voice tremble. No ... this couldn’t be happening.
She couldn’t be ...
The Wadjet moved it's head and fixed two beady
eyes on me, hissed, and returned to being an evil looking necklace. What spell
had turned my petpet from green to black? Maybe simply being close to Jhudora
changed a person, or petpet. I backed away ever so slightly.
"Your collateral shall be safe with me, until
you complete your half of the deal. If you do not ... well ..." she didn't finished,
but hinted things that I couldn't bear to think about. But I didn't dare reach
for Jewel, and I left without her. I knew Jhudora wouldn't harm her. For now.
I flew back through Rofal's window. I never
could find my way around that house. When Jhudora gives us that mansion,
I thought to myself, I'm getting a map made. Rofal2000 was sitting on
his dung bed with the Meerca from before and Grimlaerian. I had to hold my wing
to my beak as soon as I caught my breath, the smell was unbearable. I didn't
know how they could stand staying there.
"Hey Cettica," Rofal said, looking up. For some
reason he didn't seem at all surprised or alarmed that a green Lenny had just
flown through his window and landed on his dung carpet.
"Hello," I said, looking around. The Faerie
Meerca was looking at me curiously. The dung from the carpet squelched between
my toes and I moved in disgust.
"Uh, this is 6612," Rofal2000 said, pointing
to the Meerca. "6612, this is Cettica, Grim's sister."
" 'Sup" he said, nodding. I wasn't sure what
he meant but I nodded politely.
"Right. So what are you guys up to?" I said,
looking from the silver Shoyru, to the Meerca, to my own brother, the brown
Grundo staring stupidly back at me.
"We're teaching your brother here how to make
counterfeit dubloons," Rofal said, pleased.
"Isn't that illegal?"
"Umm... well you see ..." 6612 said, looking
"No. No, it's not."
"Okay then," I said. For some reason, I didn't
know why, I didn't want Grim to be a part of this. They seemed like a bad influence.
Not that Grim was going to be around for much longer, if I had anything to do
I left. Feeling my stomach grumbling I ate some
omelette I had packed in my bag the night we left the Neolodge. I knew their
were some crumbled grapefruit biscuits somewhere but I couldn't find them. Heidi
had probably thrown them out because they were stale. Heidi... I hadn't seen
her for a while. She was probably too busy buying her precious Grimlaerian presents,
I thought bitterly.
"Hewwo Cettica!" Annalisaca said, bouncing into
Flowal's room where I was staying.
"Hi," I said, I couldn't help but smile at her.
"Do you wanna pway Ukuki?!" she asked, her eyes
"I'm not really into Usuki ..." I said, "but
I do have a Quiguki doll." I rummaged around in my bag until I found it. The
cheerleading Quiguki doll that the Soup Faerie had given me.
"It's ugwy," Anna said, eyeing it, "but I wike
it. Wet's pway!"
I played Usuki/Quiguki with the baby Cybunny
until I heard Heidi and Joey come home. I ran out to greet them, they both looked
pleased about something.
I looked at Heidi. She had the familiar happy
glow that she always did when she returned from a day of volunteer work. It
bought back memories of when it was just us two, and smiling, I hugged her on
an impulse. "Cettica, where's Grim?" she asked brightly, returning the embrace.
"In with Rofal and a Meerca, I think," I said
coldly. She didn't notice.
"Ohh... so you've met 6612," Joey said, I could
tell by her tone she didn't really approve of him. Not that I would myself.
I nodded, leaving the room.
"Oh Cettica!" Heidi called out. I turned around.
"I just remembered, we're going to Faerieland tomorrow, all of us. Is that okay?"
I smirked. "Perfect."
"I really want to spend some time with you,"
she said softly, which made me feel guilty.
That night I was in the family room, sitting
on one of the Kauvara sofas. I was reading my Faerie books by the Kauvara lamp's
light, and it was quite late. I didn't want to keep Flowal awake, she'd had
a hard day of modeling.
I was interrupted by a crash. I looked up, and
Rofal2000 was hovering there, looking embarrassed. "Where are you going?" I
asked, looking at the suspicious paper bag he was clutching. He immediately
put it behind his back.
"Nowhere. Hey, would you mind not telling Joey
about this?" he asked nervously.
"Okay," I said smiling.
He sat down opposite me. "Your brother's really
cool." He must have noticed my change of mood, because he added, "Why don't
you like him?"
I sighed. "Where you adopted? From the Pound?"
"No, but Joey sometimes says that she wishes
I was, by somebody else," he grinned, then turned serious. "Anna was adopted
and she's the greatest. Even though her Usuki scare me and her Meekins chews
my Battledome weapons.
"It's not where he came from ... it's just,
well, it was so different before. Everything's changed."
"Change isn't always bad you know," he said
excitedly, "before I started using the lab ray I was a weak little yellow Kacheek!
Isn't this a good change?" he flexed his barely existent muscles.
"Yeah," I laughed. I didn't know why Flowal
always complained about her brother, he seemed nice enough.
"Well, nice talking to you," he said, getting
up, "but I have to go do ... stuff. Are you coming to Faerieland tomorrow?"
"Yes..." I said, but he'd already flown out
To be continued...