Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 123,711,044 Issue: 249 | 21st day of Swimming, Y8
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Pages of a Lost Past: Part Five


by sibertiger9

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Part Five - Under The Bed

I watched as the Shoyru shaped object in the sky came hurtling toward the ground, and there was a loud thud as it hit a stone object in the middle of the town. Without thinking, I had run straight over to the unidentified object. The stone object it had landed on was the well I had seen when I first entered the town, before I became unconscious, that is. Also, whatever it was that crash landed from the sky was not one, but many... in fact, it was Sibertiger9 and the others! Not only that but Kasey, Amaranthela, and Safaraze were among them.

     "Don't worry, LuckDragon, I've got you!" came an echoing voice. Sibertiger9 was leaning far into the well, and from what she said I took it that LuckDragon had nearly fallen in. I ran over to help her since she was about to fall in herself. We pulled poor LuckDragon out by his tail and fell in a heap on the ground. LuckDragon breathed a sigh of relief.

     "Everybody okay?" Sibertiger9 asked the group.

     "I... I think my arm is broken," replied Kasey weakly, who was cradling her arm against her chest. The others noticed some of their own bumps and scratches, but none were as bad as Kasey's arm.

     "We should probably wrap her arm in something," I told Sibertiger9.

     "Yeah... I think I have something... WHOA! Ruffle! We've been looking for you! Why'd you run off?"

     "I'll explain later; let's help Kasey first."

     "Right. Like I was about to say, I think I have something in my bag we could use. Hold on...." She rummaged through her bag and eventually pulled out a thin blanket. "We could tear a strip out of this," she said holding it up.

     "That's perfect," I said, "Here, you hold onto it and I'll tear a piece off." We both took hold of part of the blanket and pulled. I was able to tear a nice long piece off the edge. I went over to Kasey and Amaranthela helped me turned the strip of cloth into a sling. Amaranthela seemed to be the only one unscathed by the fall since being a Shoyru, she was able to fly to the ground, and unlike LuckDragon, she was able to miss the well.

     When I looked up I saw that everyone in the town had gathered around us, whispering and pointing. As I looked around at the crowd it finally hit me what was so odd about this place... every single Neopet here was a Kacheek. It was an entire village of just Kacheeks. Laquilla took a few steps toward me, but still stayed back a bit, wary of the newcomers.

     "Um... Ruffle," she asked nervously, "do you know these people?"

     I nodded. She came a step closer and leaned towards me.

     "Ruffle, who are they?" she whispered.

     "They're... my family... and my friends."

     She looked at them and then stared at me a bit awkwardly before asking, "Why are some of them not wearing clothes?"

     "Huh, what do y-..." I started to say. "Oooh, the clothes thing again..." I said, mostly to myself. I remembered earlier when the green Kacheek in the apron and Laquilla flipped out when they saw I wasn't wearing clothes.

     "That's... why everyone is whispering and pointing, isn't it?" I said to Laquilla. She nodded vigorously.

     "Come on, we should get them home before people start asking questions... but we better not let Mom see, she might faint at the sight of them."

     We quickly ushered 'my family and friends' away from the town and headed back to the house. There was no real definition between the neighborhoods and the town; it was just all there. There were no streets or avenues. The houses were just dotted here and there with the small 'town' in the center of it all. Luckily our house was one of the farthest houses from the town, far away from prying eyes.

     Suddenly I was picked up off the ground and pulled into a tight hug.

     "Ruffle! We missed you so much! I'm so glad we found you! Why did you leave?" said Sibertiger9. She set me back down.

     "I... I'm sorry I left so suddenly," I started to explain. "I felt it was something I had to do. And I was afraid that if I told you that you might try to stop me from leaving..." I started to feel a bit guilty now.

     "That's okay, Ruffle. I'm just glad we found you... so... um, where are we anyway?"

     I stopped to think for a minute. I really didn't have a clue where we were. I looked back up at Sibertiger9 with a puzzled look on my face. "I don't really know."

     "Ruffle?! How can you not know! You..." Laquilla started. "Oh wait, that's right... you don't remember..."

     "I what? What were you going to say?" I asked.

     She sighed and then answered. "You gave the town its name."

     "What?" said I and some of the others in unison. But we had made it to the house at this point so Laquilla never explained. Before she opened the front door she turned around and looked at us.

     "Okay, when I open the door, go as fast as you can to Ruffle's bedroom and get some clothes on. Otherwise my mom will have a Kau when she sees you. She's almost always in the kitchen so you shouldn't have a problem. Everyone got it?"

     The others nodded. Laquilla turned back around and slowly opened the door and the group tiptoed inside as quiet as was possible. Both Sibertiger9 and Kasey had to duck through the doorway, Kasey not so much since she was shorter. TigerLily had a bit of an issue too, squeezing through the Kacheek sized doorway. I led the group towards the hall as Laquilla shut the door. We were just outside the kitchen door when to my horror it swung open.

     "Back so... *gasp* wha-what's going on?" said the green Kacheek, and the wooden spoon she was holding slipped from her paws.

     "MOM, NO! IT'S OKAY!" Laquilla shouted, but it didn't seem to help.

     "Oh my... oh my goodness..." And with that the green Kacheek fainted.

     "Ruffle, go! I'll take care of Mom," said Laquilla. I led the others into 'my room' and shut the door. It was a bit crowded now that there were seven of us in here. It was a Kacheek sized house after all.

     "There's a bunch of clothes in the closet there, help yourself," I told them. Since Sibertiger9 and Kasey were already dressed of course they took a seat on my bed.

     "So... uh, Ruffle... What exactly is going on here? Did that spotted Kacheek just say that the green one was your mom? And what did she mean, 'you gave the town its name'?" TigerLily questioned. The others listened for my answer as they rummaged through the closet.

     "Well, okay... I'll start at the beginning and tell you what I know. When I first got here I passed out from the heat. When I woke up I was in here. Apparently it's taboo to go out in public without clothes on, even though we're Neopets. That's why that green Kacheek fainted when she saw you guys. I guess it was too much for her to take. Anyway, the spotted Kacheek's name is Laquilla, and she and the green Kacheek, a.k.a. 'Mom', told me that I used to live here, that's why my name is on the bedroom door. And I'm also a hero here apparently."

     "A hero?" asked Kasey. "What'd you do?"

     "I defeated Dr. Sloth singlehandedly."

     The others froze and stared at me.

     "Yeah, I know it sounds crazy but that's what they keep telling me!" I explained.

     "Defeat... Dr. Sloth?" Mysticat nearly choked on the words. I nodded. There was a knock on the door and then Laquilla entered.

     "Is everyone dressed?" she asked.

     "Um... Ruffle... I don't think any of this stuff is going to fit me," said TigerLily, holding what was probably the largest shirt in the closet, which still looked two sizes too small for her. These Kacheek sized clothes were not going to fit on her Wocky sized body any time soon.

     "Hmm..." Laquilla thought for a moment, then she ran out of the room. She came back two minutes later with a bed sheet which she wrapped around TigerLily like a toga. The golden Wocky now looked like Lost Desert royalty.

     "I have a problem with the clothes too," said LuckDragon. "None of these pairs of pants are going to fit me."

     "So wear a skirt," Sibertiger9 suggested casually.

     "But... I'm a boy," LuckDragon whined.

     "Wear the plaid one and pretend it's a kilt."

     "A what?"

     "Nevermind. Just pretend you're from Altador; they wear skirt type things there."

     LuckDragon shrugged and put on the skirt.

     "Okay, Mom's awake now, and she wants some answers... but I'm not sure I'm the best one to give them to her..."

     "Don't worry, I'll take care of it," I told her. I followed Laquilla out the door and motioned the others to follow. We filed into the living room where my 'mom' was sitting on the couch wringing her hands together. She looked nervously around at everybody, and she looked especially nervous when she noticed the two humans and the large Wocky. I told everyone to make themselves comfortable. The green Kacheek looked at me very flustered and sputtered, "I... I de-demand an ex-ex-explanation."

     "Um, well..." I began, " Mom, this is... this is my family... and my friends."

     She looked at me, obviously confused. "You mean, these people... you've been living with them this whole time."

     "Yes... well, I should introduce you, shouldn't I? This is Sibertiger9, my owner..."

     "Owner... wh-what do you mean your owner?" she said, giving Sibertiger9 a strange look. My blonde haired owner waved at her.

     Yet again, more explaining to do... then Laquilla leaned over to me and whispered, "She doesn't get out much."

     "Yes, mom, my... owner... it's, um, a term used to mean adoptive parent." The green Kacheek nodded, accepting my made up explanation. I glanced over at Laquilla and she smirked back. I continued.

     "... and these are my older sisters, TigerLily, and Mysticat." The gold Wocky and split Aisha nodded at her. "And this is my younger brother, LuckDragon," I said pointing out the silver Shoyru. He waved happily. I noticed that Laquilla giggled at him, most likely because he was wearing a skirt. "Oh and this is my owner's friend Kaseycw, but we call her Kasey for short." The curly brown haired girl smiled weakly, still wincing a bit because of her injured arm. "And her pets Safaraze and Amaranthela, two of my best friends." The blue Zafara and yellow Shoyru waved in turn. Then there was silence as my mom rolled the information over in her head.

     "So... this is your... adoptive family? They're the ones that have been taking care of you?" she asked finally. I nodded.

     "Well, I'm very grateful. You've obviously taken very good care of her. All this time we never knew what became of my eldest daughter... we thought the worst..." She paused and a tear trickled down her cheek. "Thank you so much..." She wiped the tear away on her apron and put a smile on her face. "Well, you're probably all very hungry... Oh dear, your arm..." she said looking at Kasey. "This should be cleaned... well I'll fix you up first and then I'll make dinner. How does that sound to everyone?" Hopping off the couch and wielding her wooden spoon she marched Kasey through the kitchen door. The others followed suit. Sibertiger9 stayed behind to wait for me.

     "You go on ahead," I told her. "There's something I want to do first."

     She nodded and followed Laquilla into the kitchen. I headed back down the hall toward my room. This time I noticed something that I hadn't before. There were pictures hanging in the hall. I glanced at them as I walked by, but then I stopped when something interesting caught my eye. One of the pictures showed a small yellow Kacheek holding a... "Kachie?" I said out loud to myself. It was holding a Psimouse... if that yellow Kacheek was me... I thought, but how would Kachie be in the picture if I didn't get her until much later?... Then I suddenly remembered that I hadn't seen Kachie since I passed out several hours earlier. I ran to my room and to my relief my little Psimouse was sitting atop my bed. I immediately scooped her up and hugged her.

     "Oh Kachie, are you okay?! I'm so sorry I forgot about you." Kachie squeaked a reply. She seemed unusually cheery. I set her back down on the bed not wanting to smother her. I looked at her for a minute while I thought.

     "Kachie... do you remember anything about this place by any chance?"

     Kachie jumped off the bed and scrambled under it as if to answer my question. A bit confused but curious all the same I bent down to look underneath the bed. The closest thing to me was a colored lump, I picked it up and held it in the diminishing sunlight that still poured through the window. It was a rainbow reject Techo plushie. The poor thing looked lonely... so I tucked it into my back pocket before looking under the bed again. There was a number of things under there including a few pairs of old socks. The socks made me laugh as I remembered a game of Kacheek seek I played with my siblings. I had taken refuge under Sibertiger9's bed and became lost in a pile of dirty socks... they couldn't find me for hours.

     I saw Kachie's glowing red eyes under the bed. She was pushing something in my direction. I reached out a paw and picked it up. It was a very dusty book. I wiped the dust off on my shirt. It was a smallish book, no bigger than Kachie, and the cover was made out of leather. The outside was blank, no title, nothing. I opened it up. On the top of the first page was a date... and then what looked like a journal entry:

2nd Day of Swimming, 1999

     Laquilla is so annoying! Why can't she learn to tie her own shoes? And she's always following...

     "You know Dad got you that for your 7th birthday."

     I jumped and turned around. Laquilla was leaning in the doorway.

     "The reject Techo, he got it for your 7th birthday. By the way, sorry you won't be able to see Dad tonight. He's out working."

     "How long have you been standing there?" I demanded.

     "A few minutes. I just wanted to see what you were doing... I see you still have Kachie."

     "Well, I'm busy. Now leave me alone, you little runt!"

     Laquilla flashed me a wide smile. Then without warning she ran up to me and gave me a hug. "Yep, you're Ruffle alright," she whispered in my ear. Then she left just as suddenly as she appeared. I turned to Kachie with a look of confused shock on my face.

     "Huh-wha?" was all that managed to leave my mouth. I shook my head and went back to looking at the diary. I flipped to the next couple of pages and began reading another entry:

6th Day of Swimming, 1999

     I've done something horrible! I left Laquilla nearby at the ice cream parlor while I went to play tag with the Lalaboks by the old well. Later when I went to check on Laquilla she was gone and there was a piece of parchment in her place. It said: You should keep a closer eye on your sister. Me and the Lalaboks looked all over town but we couldn't find her anywhere! Someone must have cheek-napped her... but who? I feel horrible. I know the little runt annoys me all the time but I still love her.

     I'm in my room right now and I can hear Mom and Dad talking to Cheeder out in the living room. Actually, Mom's crying and Dad's talking. I still don't know if I'm in trouble or not...

     I looked at Kachie, again, in shock. I couldn't believe what I was reading... If this diary was mine, then it must hold all the answers I've been looking for...

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 Four
» Pages of a Lost Past: Part Six



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