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Night of Thade: Part One

by sallyacorn310


It was 9:00 in the morning and I sleepily walked out of the door of my Neohome to read the latest issue of the Neopian Times. A shocking article met my eyes...


     Tyrannians, keep your eyes peeled. It seems that a spooky specter, appearing to be a Kacheek, is wandering around Tyrannia, terrorizing all who come in its path. Sharon, the Shoyru, was startled by this spirit while returning to her home a 9:00 last night, and had this to say:

     "He... he appeared out of the bushes. His hands were... were covering his face and he was all bandaged. I thought he was hurt, and needed help, so I... invited him into my home. And I... I asked him, 'where are you from?' He uncovered his face and... he had this monstrously huge eye! I was amazed by it, that blood red eye, and before I knew what was going on, it was morning and... he was gone. I don't remember what happened, but before I contacted the Neopian Times, I decided to mark down this strange event in my diary. And... there was a message... in the diary. 'PHEL EM'."

     Living in Tyrannia myself, I was a bit worried about this ghost... or whatever. But I was more worried about Sharon. She was my best friend, ever since I was a baby. Oh... I guess I should introduce myself.

     My name is Garrett, and I am a green Kacheek. I live in Tyrannia by myself. Well, there's Flopper, he's a poppit. But otherwise, I like to be alone.

     It's not that I'm a loner. I'm nice to people, I have friends, and I'm not one of those scaredy-kadoaties who sits in their Neohome ALL DAY. That would drive me crazy. It's just that for some reason, I don't trust others. I feel as if maybe someone betrayed me, a long time ago. But though I search my memory, I can never find any betrayals. Sharon is as loyal as yellow Shoyrus get, and I don't feel as if I can trust even her.

     No matter how uneasy I got around the other Neopets, I decided to visit Sharon. When she opened the door, I was shocked.

     She looked completely traumatized by the previous night's incident. She had dark circles under her sky blue eyes, as if she hadn't slept a bit, and her hands were shaking as she held a cup of hot Borovan in her hands. She hadn't even dressed yet; she was still in her purple bathrobe. But she brightened a bit upon seeing me.

     "Oh, Garret. It's you. Please, come in," she said. She showed me to my favorite chair, and I sat down. "You read the article, huh." She managed a weak smile. "Yeah, that all happened."

     "And you're sure you weren't having a weird reaction to something you ate, or dreamed it all?" I was still a little skeptical. I knew there were ghosts in Neopia, and I always feared meeting one. But the chances of the mysterious specter appearing to someone I knew seemed pretty slim.

     "Garret, how can you deny this?" Sharon showed me her diary. In scratchy handwriting were the words, "PHEL EM." I reached for the diary. Then, something happened that I'll never forget.

     "Ouch!" I dropped the diary. My hands felt as if they were burnt! I looked at my paws and sure enough, there were burn marks. Sharon's hands flew to her mouth, and she rushed upstairs to get some bandages without a word. I looked at the page and saw new words form.

     "KANTH UYO"

     Wrapping bandages around my hands, Sharon said, "You know something funny? The ghost I met last night was a Kacheek, green, with bandages around his hands. And now you're a green Kacheek with bandages around your hands."

     As she wrapped bandages around my hand, a hazy... was it a memory?... appeared in my mind, of a similar incident.

     I was sitting in front of a magnificent fireplace in a large, comfy chair. A yellow Shoyru, a maid, was wrapping bandages around my hands, which were burnt.

     "You really should be more careful around fire, sir. This is the fourth time I've had to wrap your hands."

     "I know that!" I said, in a raspy voice. "I just wasn't paying attention." The Shoyru smiled warmly at me.

     "You're never paying attention to anything but your puzzles, are you..."

     "Garret!" Sharon yelled. I snapped out of memory mode. "You looked lost in thought. What now?"

     "I was just remembering the time when... wait... that's funny..." I murmured, resting my head on my hand. "Sharon, did I ever have a maid?"

     Sharon looked bewildered. "N-no. Not that I remember."

     "Um, what happened to the huge fireplace in my house?"

     "You never had a fireplace, you always said that central heating was for you!" Sharon reminded me. I tried to think about this strange memory, and something struck me.

     "Sharon! Give me that book!" I commanded, in a loud voice I had never heard myself use before. Sharon looked bewildered once again, but handed me her diary. Once again I saw the words "PHEL EM" I looked long and hard at the page. My eye started to twitch. A slow smile crept across my face. I hadn't felt like this in a long time. In fact, I had never gotten pumped up about a puzzle before. But for some reason, I was getting excited. It was as if I had rediscovered some old favorite pastime. "It says... help me."

     "What!?" Sharon asked, shocked. She looked over the strange words in her diary and a look of realization crossed her face. "It... it does! It seems to be an anagram for... help me! Garret, I think you are right..." But I couldn't pay attention, for another strange memory engulfed my senses.

     "I think you are right again, sir," a blue Uni said, looking crestfallen. She had wanted me so much to not be able to solve the puzzle. I sat in yet another magnificent chair behind a solid oak desk. A grin formed on my face.

     "It was all too easy," I said, in the same raspy voice I had used earlier. "Your anagrams are among the more challenging ones I have read, however... " I picked up the puzzle sheet with my bandaged hands, and stood up to walk. I fell over, not used to the bandages around my feet. The Uni giggled. I was enraged at her. How dare she giggle at me! "It is not funny! Not funny at all to laugh at..."

     "Garret!" Sharon interrupted my train of thought. I popped out of my "memories" once again. "What are you thinking about?"

     "I..." I started, then frowned. "I really don't know. But I keep remembering stuff that never actually... never actually happened," I said, confused at what was happening to me.

     "What? That's... that's! I've got to call Donna!" Sharon's friend Donna was a beautiful blue Uni, and a firm believer in psychics and the spiritual world. But, though she was kind and pretty, if just a bit kooky, something always made me especially uneasy. Today, however, I brushed that aside and was glad to see her. These thoughts were strange, and I needed an expert.

     I explained my problem to Donna as soon as she came over. Donna's eyes lit up and the biggest grin I had ever seen was on her face. She started talking in her odd second-language, like she does every time she gets excited.

     "Oh, sweetness! You're receiving... you're getting, like, thoughts from your past life! That is like so sweetness. Sweetness!" she yelled, obviously excited about my case. "You must have had some sort of past life as like, a puzzle solver or something. This is like, uber-eerieness, but it's sweetness at the same time!"

     Sharon looked frightened. She ran upstairs with a panicked expression on her face. I followed her up the stairs with Donna galloping behind me. We found Sharon in her library, with a copy of the Neopedia in her small hands, flipping furiously through the pages.

     "Where is that article...? AARGH! Hm...? No, that's Magax... a-ha! Here it is! Eliv Thade!"

     "Eliv Thade...? Who is that?" Somehow the name seemed vaguely familiar to me, but I couldn't pinpoint exactly why.

     Donna stepped in with her say. "Eliv Thade was a Kacheek. Nobody knows much about him; he died ages ago. He was driven to insanity by a long and lengthy puzzle that he could not solve. Some people say the puzzle was just so simple that he was reading deeply into it. Others say that the puzzle was pure gibberish. Only a few have ventured into his castle, and even fewer have made it out... hey, it's a cool story, but nobody's proven it true!" Donna laughed, as if she were a child telling a ghost story. Actually, the story had scared the bejabbers out of me, but I wasn't going to tell that to Donna. I turned to look at Sharon to see what she thought, but she looked like she was lost in thought, and a bit angry too. Then she spoke something that still chills me to the bone...

     "My Eliv can solve any puzzle!"

      "Sh-sharon? What are you...?" I stuttered, as a tingly sensation wrapped my body. Donna was looking at me with an intense look of wonder on her pretty face.

     "It begins..." she breathed.

To be continued...

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