History of the Vampire: Part Three
But at the same time, it was also too tempting. How did he know this caged Neopet would not go back on his word? Krawley had said a Halloween Neopet would be more mischievous than a regular one.
‘I keep my word, Kyrii,’ the Blumaroo hissed. ‘That prattling Krawk was lying to ensure his neopoints. He tricked me, and I want out.’
Those last sentences froze Thomas in his place. It’s as if he can read my mind, he thought worriedly.
‘Better make the choice quick, Kyrii. Malkus is packing his bags.’
Confused, Thomas turned his head to glance once again at the conference table.
Sure enough, Malkus was gathering his paperwork. The other followers were getting up from their seats, exiting the room one by one. One was approaching the cage – the Kacheek. Malkus must have ordered him to take the imprisoned neopet.
With less than a second remaining, Thomas made his decision. An opportunity like this would not come for a long time, if ever. Shouldering the Kacheek aside, he snatched the golden key and shoved it into the lock.
“HEY!” Malkus shouted, causing the few followers who had left to turn around. “STOP THAT KYRII!”
Too late. As soon as the bolt within the lock twisted, the Blumaroo thrust the cage door open and flashed up to the ceiling. With a swipe of his wing, the shackle on Thomas’s ankle shattered.
Outside, lightning broke the sky in two, illuminating the scene for a brief second.
Malkus, mid-run, lunging to recapture the prisoner. Thomas, leaping for the door. And the Blumaroo, soaring down to the Kyrii who had released him.
Then the room was dark once more. A loud ‘Ooof’ followed by a ‘crunch’ and a poof of dust filled the room from Malkus’s crash-landing onto a small chair. He got to his feet, and examined the old conference apartment.
The window was wide open, the pane rattling and the cover flapping as rain pelted the old fabric. The black cage sat open, door creaking solemnly. Malkus’s followers were standing in the door frame, watching with wide eyes.
All of this was a sideshow to Malkus’s biggest concern. The Blumaroo test subject had escaped, and no sign of Thomas remained.
The Blumaroo exulted in the night, flying faster than a Flightning Bug as he clutched the unconscious Kyrii. Grunting, he set his burden down rather roughly upon a nearby hilltop. Sheesh, but that Kyrii was heavy. Oh well.
With a *thump*, Thomas awoke on the hard, unforgiving ground. “Owww...” he moaned, rubbing his head.
The Blumaroo alighted gently next to him, folding his cape rather elegantly. Thomas sat up, quite miffed at his sudden flight. “Are you insane?! What did you drag me out here for? I thought we had a deal!”
The Blumaroo turned slowly, red eyes flashing coldly. “You are correct. We had a deal. And I held up my side of the bargain. You are free from your oppressors. Now, however, I am hungry. Thirsty, really.”
Paralyzing fear dripped down the Kyrii’s spine like acid, a burning sensation that was cold as ice at the same time.
Before he could blink, the Blumaroo tackled Thomas. Fangs poised, he bit down on the tiny Kyrii’s neck.
Rain spattered against the Blumaroo’s cape. Smiling, he sought better cover. How wonderful, he thought. The Haunted Woods never have one day of sunshine. Perfect.
The thought remained, however, of what he was going to do next. Having escaped from that brutish moron of a Skeith, his heart felt hollow. Why did he feel like this? Something was wrong.
There was someone he had to see. That much he knew.
In a flash of darkness, the Blumaroo vanished into the trees. In the empty yard, a roof tile clattered to the ground. Nobody saw, no ever heard, its descent.
Lessee wiped a tissue under her nose. Venue was never coming back – she knew it. That evil Blue Krawk had stolen her best friend, most likely killed him.
Hefting her large suitcase, she trudged out her house as though the weight of the world were on her shoulders. Her owner, a frowning girl named Abigail, helped her load their remaining belongings into the back of the Eyrie Cab.
With the tragic loss of her friend, they decided that the Haunted Woods were no longer as safe as they used to be. Of course, they never were safe – they had merely become more dangerous. If seemingly harmless Neopets walked around at night kidnapping young children, then no one was fit to live there. Abigail decided that Lessee needed a more cheery, happy place to live in order to balance out the looming darkness of her lost companion.
They decided to move to Roo Island. How Lessee hated the plastered-on smiles of the island natives. But it was better than nothing.
The Blumaroo stood before the empty house with longing in his still heart. The clatter of raindrops against roof tiles sounded homey, but he could tell the building was freshly deserted. Not a ‘For Sale’ to be found. The residents had just up and gone.
Now he truly felt lonely. The Blumaroo, who could not quite remember his own name, understood in the back of his mind that his best friend had once lived here. She was gone. He had no one in the entire world.
The hole in his heart throbbed, and he placed a crimson-orange paw over it. Looking down, he glanced in the puddle at his feet. His cape shadowed his figure, but he could sense that he had once been something very different. Not a Halloween Blumaroo.
The Blumaroo’s reflection stared back. Rippled by water droplets, the reflection sported a slender orange frame with a pointed black stripe going from his forehead to his tail. His ears stood up like corn stalks, and bent into horizontally pointed crimson arrows. The black wing-cape looked effervescent, flowing gently around him. His eyes were tiny pinpricks of scarlet, his fangs white, minute, and sharp.
Who was he? When he had attacked the Kyrii, that had not been him – his hunger had overwhelmed his will.
This was wrong. All wrong. Nothing fit together, like puzzle pieces thrown haphazardly by a careless child. A crystalline sparkle slid down his cheek, falling with a ploop into the puddle.
For a single moment, the tear sent a ripple that calmed the moving surface, and the Blumaroo watch his bubbly reflection set into a mask of determination.
He would find his best friend, no matter the cost. Wherever she was, he would find her.
“Your room is just down the hall, Lessee. Be sure to unpack your things,” Abigail called. The Blumaroo girl paid little heed to her owner.
Lessee opened the door to her – surprise, surprise – bright, happy bedroom, a stark contrast to her grey mood. Swinging her suitcase onto the bed, she began placing her garments of clothing onto the bright green bed. It was all too cheerful for her. With Venue gone, nothing was happy; only creepy. Too many smiling faces, too many rainbows, too much color, too much sunshine – everything about this island screamed “too much.”
Of course, everything about the Haunted Woods had screamed “too little.” Too little kindness, too few trustworthy people, too few living neighbors or best friends... she broke off there.
All alone in her empty bedroom, the Yellow Neopet began to sob.
The Halloween Blumaroo hid his face in his cape, hissing. Did this Roo Island have to be so bright? The sunlight burned wherever it touched, and soon he was grimacing in pain. Rainfall or cloud cover simply did not seem to exist here.
Since when does she like to stare at rainbows all day? he thought crossly. Roo Island is the last place she would go, I’m sure. Oh well. There’s nothing else to do but search anyway.
The Blumaroo’s memory was returning, piece by piece. Although his name remained in shadows at the back of his mind, he was sure it had started with a ‘V’. Just like ‘vampire’ – how ironic, he thought.
In the decision to wait for nightfall, he retired to the only tree he could see for miles, and even that was filled with eccentric colored cubes. Dice? It appeared to be so. Huh. How weird – dice growing on trees. It hasn’t even hit the news yet.
That train of thought led down a dark path concerning a certain Orange Kyrii. How long would it take for him to be on the news – as an unidentified cadaver drained of blood?
Taken by surprise, the Blumaroo felt deep regret for his deed. The Kyrii had not needed to suffer, and yet he had to feed. The balance tipped from confusion to sadness repeatedly, and the Blumaroo resolved that he would never take another life as he had back in the Haunted Woods.
That left only one question. How would he survive?
No time to think about it now. Dusk was rapidly approaching. Soon, he would be reunited with Lessee once again.
Yes, that was her name: Lessee.
To be continued...