Chet Flash wuz here Circulation: 123,710,650 Issue: 248 | 14th day of Swimming, Y8
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Pages of a Lost Past: Part Four

by sibertiger9


Pages of a Lost Past: part four - The Hero Is Back

Safaraze, Mysticat and a paralyzed-with-fear TigerLily continued to wait as the old Bruce screeched and flailed on the ground like an old wind up toy. Safaraze looked for shapes in the clouds. Mysticat debated whether she should paint her bedroom door split or just get a new one completely. And TigerLily, of course, watched the Bruce in continued horror, still thinking she had given her a heart attack. Mysticat's robot angelpuss and Safaraze's abominable snowball played with each other in the sand. Finally the howling grew quieter and then stopped. Everyone looked at the Bruce when they noticed the noise had ceased. The old Bruce still flailed a bit, and then slowly she opened one of her large eyes and looked at the three pets standing around her. She stopped flailing all together, opened both eyes, grabbed her wooden cane and pushed herself up with it. TigerLily nearly collapsed with relief.

     "OOOOOOOHHHHHH! I thought you were one of my groupies!" said the Bruce in a shrill voice. She chuckled happily as if she had fallen for a friendly practical joke. Safaraze and Mysticat exchanged confused looks then looked back at the Bruce.

     "Um... you have groupies?" questioned the split Aisha.

     "OOOHHH yes! It's that rascal Coltzan!" she replied, adding, "I think he has a crush on me," in a whisper, and she winked at them.

     "Um... you do know he's dead, don't you?" said Mysticat.

     "OOOHHH! That never stopped anybody!" And she winked again. Safaraze and Mysticat exchanged confused glances once more. Suddenly footsteps were heard in the distance. They all turned to look. Someone was running toward them.

     "It... really is... Coltzan..." TigerLily said dazedly before fainting, which wasn't a surprise to anyone. But TigerLily was right, or so it seemed. The blue-ish grey Lupe that was running toward them was wearing the kind of clothes you might see on Lost Desert royalty. Though he was quite skinny and looked as though he was having trouble keeping his clothes on.

     "THERE YOU ARE!" screamed the Lupe and he made a leap at the old Bruce, but she dodged with amazing speed for an old lady and the Lupe ended up with a mouthful of sand. He got up quickly, and while he was coughing up sand he continued to yell at the old Bruce. "What *cough* do you think you're doing all the way out here by yourself?!"

     "OOOHHH, just taking a walk, my boy! Now let me finish talking to these nice people here! Now... what was it you wanted, my dear young pets?" said the old green Bruce.

     "No, I have to get you home NOW! Mother is gonna ki... OW!" The Lupe tried to interrupt but the Bruce cracked him on the head with her gnarled wooden cane. Mysticat hesitated for a minute before she asked her question.

     "Um... well, we were just wondering if you happened to see a yellow Kacheek pass by in a hurry. She had her petpet with her, a Psimouse."

     The old Bruce drummed her fingers on her chin for a minute, thinking. "Little yellow Kacheek... and a Psimouse... OOOHHH yes! It seems I do remember seeing someone that fit that description. Didn't say much... She hurried off in that direction! There's a GREAT big canyon over there! Quite dangerous over there, some people say! They say that's where the Black Pteri lives! Probably ate your little friend by now... that's AAAALL I know!" said the old Bruce in her hoarse, shrill voice. The Lupe, still rubbing his sore head, took the old Bruce by the arm and tried to lead her away.

     "Okay grandma, time to get you home so you can take your medication... OW!... Would you stop doing that?!" The old Bruce had smacked him on the leg this time with her stick and turned back to Safaraze and Mysticat.

     "OOOHHH, before I forget... You see I'm good friends with the battle faerie! She's always giving me free weapons and what not, but I can't use them at my age. Here, take this!" She placed a Supersize Gargantuplex in Mysticat's paws. "That's for your friend there, for all the trouble I caused her."

     "Okay, now it's REALLY time to go, grandma. Come on... OUCH!"

     "DON'T YOU TELL ME WHAT TO DO! I'm-my-own-woman-I-can-do-what-I-like-I'm-not-a-child!" the old Bruce screamed and she chased after the young Lupe still whacking him with the gnarled wooden cane.

     "Okay, grandma... ... just... stop hitting me!" And with that they were gone.

     "Glad I'm not in that family," said Safaraze.

     "Yeeep... let's go find the others."

     * * *

     I blinked my eyes a few times. Oh, did my head hurt. I pressed both my paws against my head for a minute, wishing that the throbbing would stop. Then I gave my eyes a good rub and opened them again. I felt a bit disoriented. It took me a minute to realize I was staring at a ceiling. 'But wait, wasn't I outside?' I thought. I patted the ground beside me... it was soft and springy. 'Okay, I must be in a bed.' My eyes searched around. The afternoon sun filtered through a window on my left onto the hardwood floor. Some posters cluttered the walls. One, I noticed, was of Eliv Thade. I sat up to get a better look around and the throbbing in my head got worse. So I slid out of bed and started looking around for some Magic Goop. There was an old wooden night stand on the right hand side of the bed; I pulled that open first. There were some old packs of gum, a few NP, some paper and pens, but no Magic Goop. I looked around the room again. "Ah, a desk," I said to myself. I went over and pulled open the drawers on the desk. "Paper... more paper... games... junk... I don't wanna know what that is... crumpled paper... pencils... colored pencils." I listed the items out loud. But there was no Magic Goop in the desk either. Then I remembered most people keep stuff like that in the bathroom or kitchen. 'Stupid, where else would it be?'

     I walked over to the door, slowly opened it, and poked my head out. The door opened into a hallway. There were some framed pictures on the walls but not much else. I stepped out into the hallway and saw two other doors. One looked like it was covered in wrapping paper and there was a sign on it that said 'Laquilla's Room.' The other was just a plain door. I headed for the plain door but I stopped when I heard some voices. They were coming from down the hall. I continued down the hall which opened into a fairly large living room; I found a white handle-less door to my left. That was where the voices were coming from. I opened the door. A slender green Kacheek wearing a light blue dress and an apron stood next to the stove. She was chatting with a shorter, but also slender, spotted Kacheek who was leaning against the island counter drinking a glass of water. She was wearing a white tank top, and tan shorts over purple stretch pants. They both turned to look at me when I walked in. What happened next was a blur. There was a scream, a gasp, and a crash.

     "RUFFLE, what are you doing without any clothes on?!" and the green Kacheek chauffeured me out of the kitchen before I could even open my mouth. "Go get some clothes on, now!" and the kitchen door swung closed behind me. Disoriented still, I managed to head back to the room I had woken up in. The front of the door caught my eye... besides the hazardous waste sign, and the crimson paint that crudely spelled out 'KEEP OUT,' there was a sign on the door that said 'Ruffle's Room.' 'Okay, these people are either overly friendly, or they're psychic,' I thought. I rummaged through the closet and found a red T-shirt and a pair of jeans and put them on and then returned to the kitchen. The green Kacheek was back at the stove and the smaller spotted Kacheek was on the floor sweeping up some broken glass.

     "Okay, one question," I said, still rubbing my head to make the throbbing go away. "There's a plaque on the door of the room I was in and it had my name on it... how did you know my name?"

     The spotted Kacheek stopped sweeping the glass and slowly stood up to look at me. The green Kacheek stopped to look at me as well. "Well... that is your room," the green Kacheek answered. This answer confused me. "Come again?" I replied. They stared at me a bit longer. And then the green Kacheek said, "That is your room... this is your home. You didn't forget that, did you?" and she chuckled. I looked at them more confused.

     "My home? No, you must have the wrong Kacheek. I live on Mystery Island. My room is hundreds of miles away. So I don't have a clue what you're talking about," I said. The friendly smile slowly faded from the green Kacheek's face. "Are you hungry, sweetie?" she finally said after a long pause.

     "Very," I replied.

     She dished me up a bowl of some delicious smelling soup. I ate it with vigor. The spotted Kacheek finished cleaning up the broken glass and then watched me eat for a while.

     "So," she said, finally breaking the awkward silence, "you don't remember anything about this place?"

     "No. I don't," I said. "Should I? And I have another question for you. How come you two flipped out when I came into the kitchen without clothes on?"

     The other two exchanged puzzled glances and then looked back at me.

     "Because," said the green Kacheek, obviously puzzled at my question, "it's not proper to walk in front of people without clothes on. How could you forget something as simple as decency," she whispered as if afraid someone would overhear.

     "Well, where I come from," I said, "Neopets don't have to wear clothes; it's optional. A lot of pets don't wear clothes." The other two looked at me funny, like I was some alien. I went back to eating my soup. After another long silence the spotted Kacheek spoke again.

     "You don't remember who I am?" she asked tentatively.

     I took another sip of my soup and looked at her for a moment. "No, I've never seen you before in my life."

     "She's your little sister, Ruffle," said the green Kacheek in alarm. She seemed on the verge of tears.

     "Little sister? I don't have a little sister. I only have a younger brother and two older sisters," I said.

     "You really don't remember anything?" the spotted Kacheek asked again.

     "No! And remember what?! I don't know who you are! And what's with the interrogation?" I screamed, finally getting frustrated with them. The spotted Kacheek just stared at me.

     "You're a hero here, Ruffle. You saved my life several years ago. You defeated Sloth single handedly," she said.

     I froze, my spoon halfway to my mouth. 'Did she just say 'Sloth'? THE Dr. Sloth?'

     "So hurry up and eat," she continued. "I have to take you into town; everyone's dying to see you again."

     * * *

     Mysticat and Safaraze lead the others in the direction the old green Bruce had pointed out. They couldn't believe their luck, though they still weren't sure if the Bruce was telling the truth about the Black Pteri.

     "Oh, I think my feet are starting to get blisters," said Kasey.

     "I know, it feels like we've been walking forever." Sibertiger9 sighed.

     "Hey Amaranthela, why don't you and LuckDragon fly ahead and see if we're anywhere near that canyon," Kasey suggested. Amaranthela and LuckDragon took to the air and flew off. They were still able to see them at a distance because the sun reflected off of LuckDragon's silver body. The rest of the group continued walking. Half an hour later the two Shoyrus came back.

     "We're getting pretty close to the canyon," said Amaranthela.

     "We found a path that goes around the canyon too," continued LuckDragon.

     "But that looks like it goes for a couple miles as well," Amaranthela finished. There was an ominous sigh from the group. They decided to take a break and sit for a while. Sibertiger9 went through her bag and then handed bottles of water to everyone, it wasn't cool, but it was still water. Everyone sat there for a while drinking their water as the wind blew sand in their faces. Then TigerLily jumped up.

     "Hey, I just thought of something!" said TigerLily. "You know that Supersize Gargantuplex the crazy old Bruce gave me?"

     "Huh-wha? Oh yeah, what about it?" yawned Mysticat. TigerLily looked around the group and stopped when she got to LuckDragon.

     "LuckDragon... what if you used the Supersize Gargantuplex!" said TigerLily.

     LuckDragon looked at her confused and said, "Why me?"

     "LuckDragon... if you used it you'd be big enough to fly all of us to... wherever Ruffle is... in about half an hour!"

     The group looked at each other for a minute... and then they all turned to look at LuckDragon.

     "Uh... I dunno. Do you think it will work? What if it doesn't last long enough to find Ruffle?" LuckDragon asked tentatively.

     "Pleeease, LuckDragon?! Will you do it?" begged Sibertiger9. LuckDragon hesitated.

     "Um... ok, fine I'll do it. Hand it over," said LuckDragon. TigerLily handed him the item.

     "Cross your fingers... I'm the only guy in the middle of a group of girls; I wouldn't have won the argument anyway," LuckDragon muttered to himself. "Well... here goes..."

     * * *

     I had just finished my third bowl of soup, and now that I was well fed and my head wasn't hurting so bad, I had some more questions to ask.

     "So... why does everybody want to see me?" I asked the spotted Kacheek.

     "Do you have short term memory or something? I already told you, Ruffle, you're a hero here!" she replied. I followed her out of the front door and into town as we talked.

     "What exactly did I do, though, to be a hero?"

     "I told you already! You defeated Sloth! Single-handedly, I might add!" she snapped.

     "And how on Jhudora's Cloud did I do that?"

     "Well I don't know! I was unconscious during some of it, and too little to remember the details of the rest!"

     Ok, so I didn't really get any answers to my questions. All I got was more confused. I knew how powerful Sloth was, and I'm pretty sure I would have remembered if I defeated him 'single-handedly.'

     "So... um, what was your name by the way?"

     "You don't even remember my name?!"

     "Um, no, and right now I think your crazier than a Tigermouse who's drunk a six pack of Neocola, because there's no way I could have possibly defeated Sloth on my own!"

     "My name's Laquilla."

     She didn't say any more after that because we had just entered the town. The many little buildings that made up the small town were made of wood and the area had a friendly feeling about it. There were banners hanging everywhere with phrases painted on them like, "Welcome Home!" and "The Hero is Back!" The little stores were decorated with streamers and balloons... but that was all I saw because the next moment I was ambushed by four strangers.

     "Ruffle! I can't believe it's you!"

     "Is it true? Are you really Ruffle?"

     "Where've ya been all this time?!"

     "Why did you leave? I missed you?"

     Four Kacheeks, one Lost Desert, one Starry, one Cloud, and one Spotted, had begun hugging me and bombarding me with questions.

     "Who are you?!" I yelled as I struggled to pull them off of me. They all looked at me open mouthed.

     "What do you mean who are we?"

     "Ruffle, don't joke around."

     "You didn't forg-..." There was a loud whistle.

     "Okay you guys," said Laquilla, "settle down for a minute. Ruffle is having a hard time remembering some things right now..." and she proceeded to tell them how I failed to remember who she was, and so on. I didn't pay attention to most of what she said, mainly because people kept coming up to me and hugging me or shaking my hand and saying, 'It's so good to have you home again,' or 'It hasn't been the same here without you.'

     Being shoved around and forced to greet Kacheeks I didn't know but who knew me was incredibly disorienting. Suddenly I realized that it was REALLY quiet. Everyone in the town had stopped talking, and apparently there was something of interest in the sky. I turned to look. Some strange, very large, dark figure was starting to block off the sun.

     "But wait, isn't the solar eclipse supposed to be next month?" I heard one Kacheek say.

     "Maybe Sloth found out Ruffle was back and he decided to come back and get his revenge..." said the starry Kacheek standing next to me. 'Yeah right, like Sloth would have any interest in coming here just to do away with me,' I thought. I watched the figure fly across the sun and realized that it seemed strangely familiar. 'That almost looks like... but it couldn't be... a Shoyru?" Just after the thought crossed my mind the figure rapidly shrunk in size and came hurtling toward the ground.

To be continued...

Questions? Comments? Feel free to neomail me. ~Sibertiger9

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Other Episodes

» Pages of a Lost Past: Part One
» Pages of a Lost Past: Part Two
» Pages of a Lost Past: Part Three
» Pages of a Lost Past: Part Five
» Pages of a Lost Past: Part Six

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