New Pet in the Family
When Jia first heard her owner was adopting a new pet, she was thrilled.
The Shadow Gelert had been the family’s new pet only months ago, but she was still regarded as different. Now, she wouldn’t have to worry about this anymore. She would hopefully feel a little more welcomed into her family.
She was in her room reading a book when her brother burst through the doors with an exasperated expression on his face.
“Raven!” scolded Jia in disdain. “I thought I told you to knock before entering!”
Raven shook his head. “Ah, so what?” The Mutant Korbat was the oldest in the family, yet he acted as if he were much younger—he found enjoyment in immature activities such as jokes, pranks, and just bothering his siblings.
“Well, you’d better be here for a good reason.”
“I am. You know that new pet our owner is getting?”
“I met him.”
“He’s male?” asked Jia in surprise. The reason for this was because most of her family members were girls.
“Yes, and he’s a Skeith. A big, fat, ugly one.”
“Oh. How pleasant.”
Raven’s eyes widened. “And you know what? He asked me about all of the family members. I told him you were our newest, and he said...” He let the sentence trail.
“What?” urged Jia, “What did he say?”
“He said he’s going to meet you and beat you up.”
Jia cocked her head. “Beat me up...?”
Raven nodded. “Yep. That’s what he said. Just thought you should know!” And he spread his wings and flew off.
Jia thought it over. A large Skeith, wanting to test her skills in battle. She tried to picture it in her head—huge, drooling teeth, huge arms used for crushing, and incredibly bad breath. She watched as he knocked her over in one blow and loomed over her, too close for any comfort.
Suddenly she was very afraid.
Now just stay calm, Jia, the Gelert told herself. I’m sure my owner wouldn’t let him do that. But the more Jia thought, the more uneasy she felt.
Jia had found two of her siblings, Court and Vanny, playing a game of Armada. Every time Vanny scored points, the Ixi would leap up in the air and scream something like, “Ha! I’m winning!” whereas Court, the quiet Ghost Hissi, would just sit and contemplate, and surpass Vanny in an instant. It was actually somewhat amusing to watch.
“Hey, guys,” said Jia as she entered. “You know about our new sibling, right?”
“Yeah,” replied Court without looking up from his pieces. “I don’t know anything about them, though.”
“Really? Because Raven told me he was going to come beat me up.”
“Let us not forget that Raven isn’t the most trustworthy fami—”
“Did he say what this guy looked like?” Vanny blurted.
“Yeah, sort of,” replied Jia. “He said that our new family member was a really big, really fat Skeith. Ugly, too.”
Vanny darted away from the game and was at Jia’s side in an instant. “Whatever you do, don’t trust him.”
“No, the Skeith, silly. He’s obviously a brute from somewhere else, like Darigan’s Citadel or the Haunted Woods. Be warned, Jia, BE WARNED!!!” Vanny grinned maliciously, looking very sinister.
“Okay, let’s not scare Jia,” said Court with a frown. He turned to the Gelert and said with assurance, “I’m sure it’s nothing to get all worked up about. Really.”
“I hope you’re right,” said Jia, turning to leave.
“Wait!” called Vanny. “Do you want me to help you build a shelter so you can defend yourself?”
“Vanny!” scolded Court, “We’re in the middle of a game!”
“Thanks for the offer,” said Jia, “but I think I’ll just lock myself in my room.”
Jia left, her legs feeling like jelly. She was nervous, very nervous. She was anxious for two main reasons: one, she didn’t know whether Raven had been telling the truth or not; and two, if it was true, she was afraid she’d get harmed.
She trotted into her room and shut the door, locking it behind her. Trying to calm herself, she opened up the book she was reading and immersed herself in the plot. She was very content reading, but to comfort herself a little more, she began reading aloud to herself:
“...and with a final effort, Sky had flung Tyran off of her and stared him directly in the eye. She said, ‘You daren’t come any closer to harming me or my family, or else I’m going to teach you a lesson you won’t soon forget!’ And with that, she left Tyran sprawled across the ground, frozen and dumbfounded...”
Jia attempted to picture herself as Sky, putting on a sudden burst of strength as she flung Tyran off of her; but instead of Tyran, the image of a large Skeith came to her mind, just as Raven had described.
Her thoughts were soon interrupted by a pounding at the door. Jia ran over and turned the doorknob.
“Don’t try to open the door!” a muffled voice said from behind the door.
“Vanny?” said Jia in half-disbelief. “What the heck are you doing?”
“Barricading your door. You know, to protect you from the otherworldly brute looking to pulverize you!”
Jia groaned. “Look, Vanny, I appreciate the effort, but do you honestly think it’s necessary?”
“Yes, I do.”
Stiff-arming Vanny’s precaution, Jia unlocked and flung open the door. She was greeted by many large stones, and several planks of wood nailed across the door frame. Thank goodness this door swings inward, not outward, thought Jia.
“Hey!” fumed Vanny. “I thought I told you not to open the door!”
“This isn’t needed,” mumbled Jia. “I think I should be able to keep myself safe without your help.”
“You’ll be sorry,” muttered Vanny as the Gelert slunk under the boards blocking her way. She padded her way into the kitchen and drew a banana from the bowl on the table. In order to get to her bedroom she needed to cross the front door. As she did this, someone knocked.
Jia’s head snapped around. Trembling, she thought, Could it be...?
In a moment the door was wrenched open by a fist of blue. In marched a Skeith, bearing a large scowl and possessing immense muscles. Jia wanted to run, but knew she’d be caught in seconds. She wanted to cry for help, but her voice was trapped in the midst of her throat.
And if she stayed put, surely she’d be beaten unconscious.
“Are you the one called Jia?” the Skeith said in a rumbling voice.
At first all that Jia could muster was a high-pitched squeak. Then: “Y-y... yes, um...?”
The Skeith loomed overhead. He approached... slowly...
He gave Jia a great big hug.
“Nice to meet you, big sister!” the Skeith exclaimed, beaming. “I’m Malflux! I’m your new brother!”
Jia was shocked. “Eh?” she said. As Malflux placed her on the ground, she stammered, “B-but I don’t understand. Aren’t you all mean and scary?”
Malflux laughed. “Everyone thinks I’m all mean and scary only because of how I look. But deep down, I’m just a big softie. I’m a lover, not a fighter.”
“Phew. That’s a relief. My brother Raven told me you were going to beat me up.”
“Raven? Is he that small little Korbat?”
“Yes, that would be him.”
At that moment, Raven and Court came into the room, talking.
“...and so, of course, Malflux isn’t mean. But you should’ve seen the look on Jia’s face!” Raven was saying, obviously not noticing the Gelert or the Skeith he was gossiping about.
“Really,” said Court. “So you told Jia that Malflux was going to attack her, and he really wasn’t. That’s a tad bit cruel, is it not?”
“What can I say? It was a good trick.”
“A good trick?” said Malflux with a frown, making both Court and Raven start.
“Oh, uh... hi, Malflux,” said the Korbat, grinning nervously.
“I didn’t ask for anything, and you’re spreading rumours about me?” said Malflux angrily. “I think I’ll have to beat you up!”
Author’s Note: Thanks a ton for reading this! As you may already know, all the pets featured in this story I own. This is an extra special story, as I welcome our newest family member: Malflux!