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Never Trust Your Siblings On Halloween


by rachelindea

--------

Also by nummy_yummy_stuff

"Pleaseohpleaseohplease can I go?" Atyr begged as she half tripped her owner on her way to the kitchen.

     Jess made the wise decision to stop walking and folded her arms as she looked down at the shadow Gelert pup. "You're too young to be wandering around Neopia Central at night, honey. I'm sorry."

     "But it's Ha-allowe-eeen," Atyr moaned. "Everyone else gets to trick-or-treat at Halloween time. Churan gets to go."

     Jess tucked a strand of brown hair behind her ear and frowned. "We both know that your brother is quite capable of capering about on his own. It's you that I'm worried about."

     Atyr pouted. "But there's going to be thousands of other pets around as well," she argued. "No one will notice me. Not if I'm dressed up in a scary outfit."

     Jess sighed. "No. That's my final decision."

     Atyr sighed. She wished that she didn't have to... but she was desperate. It was time to use the Final Weapon. As her owner manoeuvred into the kitchen, the shadow Gelert put on her most innocent face and widest eyes. Then she clambered up into one of the chairs by the table and looked at Jess.

     "Please?" she said.

     She had decided at the last moment to put on the innocent smile, and wondered if that might have been too much. But then she saw the indecision in Jess's eyes and knew she had won. Almost. Jess sighed. Then:

     "Fine. You can go. But you have to be home before midnight. And only knock on a door if you think the house looks friendly. Don't talk to any suspicious characters and--"

     "But they'll all look like suspicious characters. Everyone will be dressed up."

     "Exactly." Jess smirked, grinning evilly.

     Atyr pouted.

     "Now we'd better get a costume ready for you," said Jess.

     Atyr perked up at once. "Oh cool! Now? This is going to be so great!”

     She pattered out of the room as Jess made for the front door. As it slammed closed a Halloween Ixi stepped out from his room, where he had been loitering and listening to the entire conversation. This would be a very interesting Halloween...

     *

     “What’s that supposed to be?” Churan was lolling against the doorway watching his little sister twirling about in a long black cloak. Or more like tripping around because it was too long for her.

     “I’m Count von Roo,” she announced as she stopped her spinning and set her face into an ugly grimace. “Rawr!”

     “No, you’re not,” the Halloween Ixi said. “You’re not even a Blumaroo.”

     “So? What’s your costume?” Atyr demanded.

     Churan smirked. “You’re looking at it,” he said, stepping forward and doing one turn to show off his colour.

     “But you have to dress up!”

     “I am,” Churan said. “I even brushed my coat. By the way, I think you might need a new brush.”

     Atyr glared at him. “Well, I’m going to fetch some candy,” she announced. “I’ll see you later and I’ll probably have more candy than you.”

     “And don’t talk to strangers!” Jess shouted from kitchen.

     Atyr trotted out the door and Churan grinned at her back. “Trick or treat,” he muttered. “You can’t just get the treats, little sister.”

     *

     Atyr crashed into something large, brown and hairy on her doorstep as she stepped outside.

     “Oof,” it said loudly.

     She backed away slowly and her pupils dilated as she got a better view of what she had just walked into. The Halloween Lupe stared down at her in surprise, and she noted that he was wearing a ridiculous feather boa around his neck. He was easily four times her size.

     “Out of the way, Fanger,” cut in an irritated voice and a Kougra-shaped thing trotted into view. It was only a fire-coloured paw that identified him as a fire Kougra. The rest of him seemed to be wrapped in a whole heap of toilet paper. Or bandages. It was hard to tell which. But he did look like some sort of mummy-thing.

     The Mummy-Kougra saw her and stopped. “What are you dressed up as?” he asked.

     “Um...” she began, her eyes unable to look away from Fanger the Werelupe.

     Fanger cuffed the Mummy-Kougra over the head playfully. “Isn’t it obvious, G?” he asked. “She’s a Halloween Gelert. Except she’s not blue... and she doesn’t look that evil.”

     “Hey!” Atyr said indignantly before she could stop herself. Then she gulped; she had just answered back to a Werelupe.

     But they both seemed to forget about her. “She made more effort than you,” the Mummy-Kougra teased.

     “I already look scary. I thought I’d go for a bit of un-scariness,” Fanger argued, fingering his boa.

     The Mummy-Kougra snorted. “It still looks ridiculous,” he said. Then he turned to Atyr and grinned.

     “I’m Gioama,” he said, holding about his toilet paper covered paw. “And this great ugly Lupe behind me is my big brother Fanger.”

     The Werelupe grunted and rapped smartly on the door. Atyr hesitantly took Gioama’s paw and shook it, remember Jess’s words.

     “I’m Atyr,” she said.

     The door opened and Jess looked out. When she found a Werelupe towering over her, all she did was turn to the bowl to the side of the hall and pick up a handful of sweets, dropping them into Fanger’s bag. Then she saw Atyr and frowned.

     “What are you doing?” she mouthed as she filled Gioama’s bag as well.

     Atyr shrugged. “They were already here,” she mouthed back.

     Jess frowned. “Have fun,” she said to the two brothers, then shut the door with a click and a final look at Atyr.

     “Is that your owner?” Fanger asked.

     Atyr shifted. “Yes. Her name’s Jess.”

     “Well, I like her,” said the Werelupe.

     “That’s because she’s the only person who hasn’t jumped backwards or slammed their door when they saw a Halloween Lupe on their doorstep,” Gioama explained.

     “Oh,” said Atyr, beginning to feel a bit guilty.

     But the two brothers were already walking down into the garden.

     “Bye, Atyr!” Gioama shouted.

     “Bye,” Atyr whispered, blinking in confusion. That had just been a tiny bit weird.

     She waited until they were gone then wandered down into the street, where groups of pets were milling about. One pet, dressed up as a ghost under a large white sheet, began to glide towards her, and she stopped nervously.

     “Whoooooooo,” it said in a shaky voice.

     “Is that you, Churan?” Atyr asked. “But I though you weren’t going to get dressed up.”

     The ghost was silent for a moment. Underneath the white sheet Churan was wondering how on Neopia she had recognised him.

     “Ah... yes. I changed my mind. You... inspired me.”

     Atyr beamed.

     “Anyway...” Churan said. “I wanted to tell you that if you go thataway,” he stabbed the side of the sheet he was wearing, indicating a direction somewhere to her left, where a path could just be seen, “there’s this great big house with a really nice owner who gave me heaps of candy.”

     A bag dropped to the ground in front of the ‘ghost,’ filled to brim with sweets. Atyr grinned.

     “Great!” she exclaimed. “Thank you so much, Churan!”

     Then she dashed off down between a path between two houses, towards where her brother had pointed. When she had gone Churan laughed and reached into his lolly bag, underneath the sweets. His hoof resurfaced a moment later clutching an apple, one of more than a dozen. He took a bite out of it and grinned.

     *

     Atyr’s paws never slowed as she paced down the path. It was winding and unkempt, but she never suspected for a single second that it was leading her further away from Neopia Central. There were still houses around her.

     Finally she reached a dead end. She stood staring at the ivy-covered wall in front of her, utterly perplexed. There were fences on either side of her, and at the very end of the path was a tall brick wall, easily four metres high. Atyr took a step around the corner, into the dead end, and her paw snagged on a piece of thin twine that snapped at her touch.

     However, she didn’t even feel the contact. Instead all she felt was something heavy thumping her in the back. She spun around in shock and squealed and leapt backwards as the fake skeleton swung into the tree from which it was suspended. It was just dumb luck that Atyr didn’t tumble into the concealed pit that Churan had dug only hours ago.

     Her paws paused only centimetres away and she stared at the skeleton. Her heart was beating hard and her lolly bag was spilled with its contests discarded everywhere. She took a tentative step forward and prodded the plastic fake with a black paw. Then she couldn’t help herself; she giggled. It had been a smart trick.

     Too bad Churan missed it because he was too busy spitting out what he thought was a worm, but was in actual fact a strip of toffee that had been concealed in his apple. He wasn’t the only one playing tricks this Halloween.

     Back in the dead end alley, Atyr stopped giggling as a howl split the night air, far too close for comfort. There was something coming closer. She could hear heavy pawsteps and backed into the fence, her paws just brushing the edge of the pit. Her back touched the rough wood just as something brown and purple came around the corner.

     Purple?

     The Werelupe, with his purple boa scraping the ground, stopped snuffling around on the ground, his nose just touching the edge of pit. His eyes glinted as he realised that what was underneath the thin layer of dirt, grass and leaves was empty space.

     “Fanger?” Atyr gasped.

     The great Lupe turned and stared at her. “Hey,” he said. “I thought I could scent you. But I also caught the scent of this random ghost-costumed pet that knocked G into a fence. Then he dashed off. I’ve been trying to find him again.”

     “That would be my brother,” Atyr said, half ashamed.

     “Oh?” said Fanger. “Interesting. I think he was choking.”

     “So he’s been down here?” she asked. “That means he set up this skeleton.” She jabbed the skeleton with her tail.

     “And this pit,” said Fanger, gesturing to the ground. There was nothing different about it.

     “What pit?” Atyr asked, confused.

     Fanger didn’t answer as the sounded of heavy panting came from around the corner. Gioama came into view, looking like he had just sprinted a couple of hundred metres. He glared at his brother, who was now circling around a patch of empty ground.

     “Don’t run off like that again!” the fire Kougra puffed. “You know I can’t run nearly as fast as you.”

     Fanger just grinned. Gioama marched towards him, his eyes spelling danger. Then he suddenly did a spectacular forward roll, well forward, into empty space as the ground beneath him collapsed. There was a thud as he landed a metre down on a cushion of leaves.

     “That pit,” said Fanger.

     “Oh,” said Atyr as a loud groan came out of the hole.

     Fanger bent over the pit and called down, “Trick or treat.”

     “And I suppose you’re going to say smell my feet?” Gioama’s voice echoed back up. “No thank you. Now get me out of this thing.”

     Fanger cackled and reached down with one muscular forepaw, pulling out his little brother easily and depositing him on the ground.

     “That’s one up for me, little brother,” he said. “The score’s one-nil.”

     Gioama grunted and picked himself up. “You can win. I’ll get you back some other time.”

     He spotted the skeleton just then and wandered over to it. Then he jumped up into the tree and unhooked it off a branch.

     “Does this belong to you?” he asked her.

     “It belongs to my brother Churan,” she replied.

     “The ghost,” Fanger said. Gioama grinned.

     “He dug this pit for you, I think,” said Fanger, looking at Atyr. “But luckily you didn’t fall into it so Gioama could.”

     Gioama whacked the Halloween Lupe on the back of the head from his position in the tree, to little effect. Then he looked down at Atyr. “Want to play a trick on your brother?” he asked.

     Atyr grinned. “Sure,” she said.

     “Excellent,” said both of brothers at the exact same time.

     “This will be fun,” said Fanger.

     “Great fun,” Gioama repeated.

     “Yeah...” said Atyr. “So what are you going to do?”

     “Wait and see,” they said in perfect unison.

     “Can you stop with saying everything at the same time?” Atyr asked. “It’s kinda annoying. And creepy.”

     “Like Meepits,” said Gioama.

     Fanger nodded gravely.

     *

     Embarrassing was the only word for it. Just plain embarrassing. If it hadn’t been enough that the worm was fake it was worse that he had crashed into the brother of a giant Werelupe. Not that a Halloween pet was particularly daunting for him. It was just the giant ones he was worried about.

     Churan was currently locked out of his own house. Jess had gone to bed, and he hadn’t brought a key. So now he was sitting on the doorstep watching the rest of the neighbourhood pets pass by. He was just considering knocking on his owner’s window when there was a loud snap and a rustle amongst the bushes by the gate.

     He hastily got his hooves and glared into the darkness threateningly. He and the bush enjoyed a staring competition for a full minute before a black shape suddenly launched itself towards him.

     In his haste to get backwards he half-tripped over the white sheet he had been wearing before, which was now lying discarded beside him. Then he recognised the shape as Atyr and cursed to himself silently.

     “What are you doing here?” he asked her in an extremely grumpy tone.

     “Waiting,” she said.

     “For what?” he snapped, still embarrassed that he had shown a moment of clumsiness.

     “You should know,” she grinned.

     He nodded, trying to act like he knew what she was talking about.

     Then suddenly a loud howl split the air and Churan twitched. Atyr’s eyes widened as a large shape came bounding towards them from around the side of the house, and with a little squeal she raced away. Churan followed a split second later.

     Atyr was enjoying herself. She had got the gist of what was being done when Fanger had told her to lead Churan to Gioama. So now she was racing down the path that Churan had pointed out to her earlier that night. The Halloween Ixi didn’t even seem to notice.

     As for Churan, it would be easiest to say that he was not enjoying himself at all, because he thought that the Werelupe chasing them wanted payback for accidentally running into his brother. His hooves carved the earth as he ran.

     Then suddenly Atyr was skidding to a stop, and spraying up a lot of dirt in the process. Churan tried to pull up also, but his momentum was too much. He tumbled into the hole he had dug, landing on a double layer of leaves, courtesy of Gioama’s fall. The fire Kougra himself had removed his costume and was now standing over the hole with a wide grin.

     “Here, have this,” he said, handing down the fake skeleton.

     Atyr watched fascinated as, for the first time, Churan was looking scared. Then she noticed Fanger had come up beside his brother with a gleam in his eye. He was dangling Churan’s lolly bag from one massive paw.

     “How’d you like them apples?” he asked, pouring them out on the ground. “You must have stopped by my house.”

     Gioama looked astonished, then he cracked up laughing as Fanger took a bite out of one and grinned at the toffee ‘worm’ inside. Churan was looking livid as he pulled himself out of the hole. The fact that the Werelupe was eating an apple had convinced him that it was a vegetarian.

     “I hope you’ve had your fun,” he growled at Atyr, trying to restore his dignity.

     To his irritation the shadow Gelert began bouncing up and down. “I sure did. That was great! We should do that more often.”

     Her brother didn’t grace this with an answer as he stalked away.

     “Is it something I said?” Atyr said, completely clueless.

     “Don’t worry yourself,” said Fanger, patting her on the head. “G does that all the time.”

     *

     After all the farewells had been said to the two very strange brothers, Atyr headed for home, pulling out the key she had kept in her costume. She snuck past Churan who was still sitting on the doorstep and went inside the back way.

     Jess was sitting by the fireplace with a mug of hot chocolate, reading a book. She was far from asleep.

     “Um... Churan’s outside,” Atyr told her.

     “I know,” she answered unperturbed.

     “So aren’t you going to let him in?” the Gelert asked.

     “In a few hours, maybe. I need to finish this chapter.”

     “Oh,” said Atyr. “Well, that’s all right then.”

     Then she crawled into bed and fell asleep.

The End

Note from nummy_yummy_stuff: Hi guys, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the story! Be on the look out for other Atyr stories 'cause there will be more.

Note from rachelindea: I just thought I’d say that I have nothing against Meepits. But you have to admit that they are kinda creepy-looking. And just out of interest, that fake worm in the apple trick does work, and it is quite tasty. :P

 
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