"Run!" Chiera cried.
They all stared at the fading figure of Tyger_Blood. Then, they started to
run for their lives.
The pounding of their tired feet couldn't drown out the chants drawing nearer
and nearer by the second; "Monoceraptor reigns over all! Surrender citizens
of Neopia, or delay your fate with him by measly days!"
Cosmic grabbed Yonishia, who had given up running, and cradled the crying
infant in her arms. KL dodged the Swamp Ghouls who tried to get a hold of him
by his long tail. Shyning and her husband Spyro held on tightly to Cherpster,
who thought that he could fly with them, but had fainted after seeing how many
Ghouls followed them.
Saratigo gasped. She stumbled, then just gave up on the ground. Her legs felt
like heavy metal poles. She couldn't raise herself.
Then, as cold hands grasped her, she felt almost a breeze coming over her.
She opened her eyes to find Tyger_Blood batting at the Ghouls. The Swamp Ghouls
recoiled. They all turned to Tyger_Blood. He certainly didn't fight like a level
one pet, which he resembled.
When many Ghouls had surrounded him he backed out of the circle, grabbing Saratigo
in his large mouth. Saratigo screamed as the Kougra's sharp teeth pinched the
scruff of her neck. Tyger_Blood almost flew away from the Swamp Ghouls.
Saratigo could see her family coming into view. They were way ahead after Tyger_Blood
had distracted them. Before she could call to them, Tyger_Blood bounded to the
side, into the Tyrannian Jungle.
As the Swamp Ghouls continued chasing Acceber and her family, Tyger_Blood dropped
Saratigo onto the grass. He prowled around her in a circle, questioning her.
"What's your name, Shoyru?" he demanded, showing his jagged teeth.
"Saratigo," the purple Shoyru wiped tears from her cheeks.
"And what do you know about this Monoceraptor?" he looked coldly into her
"I don't know anything - only that he chased us here, and those Ghouls chased
my family and friends back into him." Saratigo backed away from the Kougra,
who had placed his face only centimeters from hers. "And my owner must be worried
about me. Please - I need to help them."
"Dumb Shoyru!" Tyger_Blood whacked the air with his paw, attempted to hit
Saratigo. "You didn't tell me about the monster! I don't care about your family!
I have a good mind to feed you to mine!"
"You wouldn't!" Saratigo blurted out.
Tyger_Blood looked at Saratigo threateningly. "What?"
Saratigo tried to look unafraid. "Look, Tyger_Blood, I'm going back to my owner.
You can help me, or you can go back to your precious family. I don't care."
Tyger_Blood growled. "Then you can go and get eaten with your family! If I
ever catch you on my land again then - "
They were interrupted by a loud bellow. They peeked out of the shrubs of the
Jungle as Swamp Ghouls came running back. Saratigo recognized the roar.
"That's the Monoceraptor's cry!" Saratigo
No sooner had Acceber, Cosmic, and Sparky run by with their pets had Saratigo
leapt out in front of them. Tyger_Blood was running beside them.
Saratigo nervously flew above them, falling a bit lower and further behind
them until she was trailing after them all. Tyger_Blood was the only one who
"Kid," he yelled. "Kid! When I say go, you follow me."
Saratigo barely heard him over the pulsation of heavy steps.
"One, two," he called out. "Three! Follow me!"
He abruptly turned into the Jungle again. Saratigo followed him, unsure of
what lay ahead. She soared over treetops that contained Eyrie nests. She saw
Tyger_Blood entering a small cabin, beckoning her downwards with an orange paw.
She slowly flew down to the door. The cabin was made of thick chestnut-brown
logs. Tyger_Blood opened it, and light streamed out. The cabin had been soundproof,
for when the door was opened, it not only exposed light but the racket of bustling
Two other pets' eyes were fixed on an old television set; a red Shoyru and
a blue Pteri. The TV's volume was at it's loudest and the picture was wavy and
fuzzy. The screen was covered in gray static and a girl's voice called out above
"We've got one box of Wheat Flakes left! Who wants it?" she screamed. When
the pets didn't budge, she hollered again.
"Zephyr! Astraper! Who wants this box of Wheat Flakes?"
The cabin was gave the room a musty look and the stench was horrid. It filled
Saratigo's nostrils in a flash, and she felt she couldn't bare it. Their home
had smelt like flowers and potpourri but this smell was stale and stuffy.
"Mom!" Tyger_Blood called. "I'm home."
"Tyger," his owner sighed. She was pretty but her banal brown hair and eyes
were nothing compared to those of Cosmic, Sparky, or Acceber. She had her shoulder-length
hair pulled up in a blue bandana, and she wore a red apron.
She turned sharply to Saratigo. "Who's this, Tyger?"
"Ma, this is…" he trailed off, trying to recall to his mind the Shoyru's name.
"I'm Saratigo." Saratigo stuck a paw out for her friend's owner to shake.
The girl looked at the outstretched paw oddly, but she did not shake it. "And
why are you here? Why do got a Lupe's name, eh?"
"Lupe's name?" Saratigo shook her head. "No, ma'am, I'm one hundred percent
Shoyru - always have been, too."
"Well, kid, one of your parents must have been a Lupe or a Lupe lover." The
girl turned back to her Kougra. "She ain't looking for a place to stay, is she?
Gosh, Tyger we don't got no food to - "
"Ma, she's got an owner of her own," Tyger_Blood said hurriedly. "The Monoceraptor's
heading this way. We got to get everything we have and hurry."
"Gosh! I spent all that money on that lousy TV and now we have to leave it
to get crushed!"
"Ma, he won't come near it unless he smells living pets. Now hurry!"
Saratigo was amazed at how much Tyger_Blood knew about the Monoceraptor. She
stood silently as the girl yelled to her pets.
She must be Mystikal_Silver, Saratigo thought, remembering how Tyger_Blood
had introduced himself; "I am Tyger_Blood of Mystikal_Silver's pets."
"Astraper_Flame, hunny, go and get your stuff - and get Zephyr's too. Zephyr_Ardua,
you get the stuff from Mummy's room. I'll gather the food," Mystikal_Silver
looked at the kitchen and sighed. "And Tyger, you gather your stuff and anything
else you can find. Go!"
Saratigo watched as the blue Pteri, Zephyr_Ardua, flew to the left, and the
red Shoyru, Astraper_Flame, wobbled to the right. Tyger_Blood went around the
kitchen, where Mystikal_Silver was putting food in a garbage bag, and found
his "room", which was a corner of the cabin. While the mayhem went on, the screaming
"Only take what you can run with! Come on, hurry! Hun, you can't take your
scooter. I got that at the Garage Sale, it's gunna fall apart any second. It
doesn't go fast enough anyway! You, Lupe-Kid, make yourself useful! Come get
this food! I gotta make sure my kids only take what we need! Don't just stand
Those last four words made Saratigo think of Sparkle_Qween, and that made her
think of her dear owner, and that made her think of motivation, and that made
her think of the fire and her NeoHome, and that made her cry softly.
No one noticed her, tears falling onto the box of Wheat Flakes that she stuffed
into the bag.
When finally everything was packed, they all scanned the cabin. It completely
vacant now. Mystikal_Silver put her pale hand on the knob. She took no time
in throwing the door open and following Tyger_Blood.
Saratigo flew easily. The bag was light and after being able to sit while
packing the food in the cabin helped her.
Mystikal_Silver and her family proved to be most interesting; they talked to
her as if she was one of the poor girl's pets. Zephyr asked her to help him
fly, and Saratigo, actually laughing, slung the bag of food over her shoulder
and held the Pteri's two blue wings, soaring and giggling.
All laughter ceased when Saratigo spiraled in the air. She became breathless,
pointing to behind her to warn them. They all turned. The Monoceraptor stood
tall only meters away from them, roaring.
They all panicked, the two children screaming hysterically. Tyger_Blood and
Saratigo tried calming them, but as the small Shoyru turned, she felt a cold
hand grasp her by the waist. She struggled as three long, black claws tightened
around her. It was no use--the Monoceraptor cried out loudly as he clutched
his doomed prisoner...
Saratigo awoke to find herself in a rank cavern made of gray stone. She was
chained by the paws to the cold wall, her feet dangling inches from the granite
floor. Her neck ached. She found herself alone, trying to remember what happened,
but she couldn't remember anything after being seized by the monster. She only
knew she was alive, but it of wasn't much comfort.
She thought about Acceber and her Aunt Cosmic and everyone who, hopefully,
was still out running. She wondered if they even noticed that she was gone.
She wondered if the Ghouls had captured them. She wondered and thought until
her head hurt even more, and she fainted.
To be continued...