Misunderstood: The Thief
I know the plot is long gone, but this story had to be shared. It just came to me one sleepless night. :D Enjoy!!
As a young Lupe, you learn the basic rules of life. Those rules are supposed to apply to your current life, but that didn't explain why I was behind bars, a strict Kougra guarding the entrance. She had her fair share with thieves.
I guess you could say I was inspired as a young Lupe and those basic rules didn't apply to my life at all. In fact, I was a thief as a pup. And I owe it all to Hanso. He and I knew each other before he became a big sensation.
"Come on," a young Hanso called. He grabbed my hand and we ran off, smuggling stolen food under his trench coat.
We were both ownerless. I had just escaped the pound with the help of Hanso.
We hid in a dark alleyway and panted for a minute, catching the stolen breaths.
"That was fun," Hanso said and he opened his coat and a few fruits and chocolate fell out.
We began stuffing our faces and each time a Neopet wandered by, we hid.
After a very filling meal, Hanso looked around and sat back against the black brick building and he smiled. I stretched out on the ground and lay next to his feet.
"Rascal," he said with an appreciative smile, "let's go to Brightvale. I heard they got new guards that we can test out!"
I twitched my ears. "But we could get caught," I whispered. "And the guards aren't easy on kids these days."
Hanso laughed. It was like a little kid's, calm and happy-and not to mention a little high.
"I laugh in the face of danger," he said loudly and we both giggled.
As the afternoon wore on, Hanso and I stayed in the alley until dusk approached. We crawled out, unobserved, and made our way to Brightvale.
Hanso was right. Swarms of new guards were running around, most of them our age. I turned to look at Hanso and noticed something. That twinkle-eyed grin and how his ears twitched slightly; he was planning another brave act of thievery. It was that, or Hanso was in love... but Hanso... in love? Those words don't even belong in the same sentence. I followed his gaze to a young orange Kougra. She was our age.
"Hanso," I whispered, "do you have a plan?"
"I always have a plan," he said, and he winked at me. "Stay here, Rascal. I'll come back soon."
I watched as he crept up behind the Kougra and reached for her money pouch, which seemed a bit light. Just as his paw met the bag, the Kougra flipped around and grabbed Hanso.
"Guards," she called and Hanso tried to run. The Kougra, however, was stronger and held on. A pack of guards surrounded Hanso and the Kougra and I let out a lugubrious howl.
"Run, Rascal," Hanso called.
I didn't want to listen. I wanted to save Hanso, but I was also a thief. I would end up like him, looked in a cell. I memorized the scene; Guards surrounding a scrambling Hanso... a sneering Kougra... and Neopets trying to see what happened. Then there was me, whining like a scared Lupe! I was never this low. So I turned and ran... faster and faster... until the scene was only a distant memory.
I wandered through the Neopia Central. I usually did nowadays, being too old for an owner. There was always something that came back... that memory.
I pulled my coat closer and closed my eyes as I walked to a bench near the Money Tree. I sat and sighed. At least I knew Hanso was OK. I heard owners talking all about him.
My primordial being kept awakening at the mention of his name. 'Hanso.'
Then they mentioned a girl, Brynn. She traveled with Hanso and I felt sour and bitter toward Hanso. He ditched me.
I opened my eyes and looked around. A mob of Neopets and their owners were surrounding two other Neopets. They both stood tall, trying to push their way through. A blue Ixi and an orange Kougra.
The Ixi was pulling the Kougra along, pushing others out of the way gently and finally stopping near me.
I focused on them for a second as the Ixi yelled, "Autographs and pictures are prohibited! Please just go away!"
The voice was so familiar. My mind drew several possibilities.
The couple turned away from the disappointed crowd and walked toward me again and I covered my face. Luckily there was an abandoned Neopian Times on the ground and I picked it up and pretended to read it. They sat next to me and the Kougra sighed and said, "I hope you don't mind if we sit by you."
The Ixi nodded, but his face hardened. "D-do I know you?" he asked.
I looked up into the Ixi's eyes. They laughed at me. Something from my childhood bit at my throat and I said, "I think so."
The Ixi and I studied each other for a moment and then turned away. The Kougra shifted and sighed deeply. "I'm Brynn," she said quietly, "and this is Hanso."
"Hanso?" I asked, my eyes lighting up. "Hanso as in the thief?"
"Yeah," Hanso said. Apparently he was told this a lot. "And you are?"
"Rascal," I said.
Hanso smiled. "As in Rascal the thief?"
I smiled and nodded. We stood up and hugged each other. Brynn had a look of confusion on her face.
"Brynneth," Hanso said with a grin, "this is Rascal, my partner in Thievery."
"You two know each... so that's who Rascal was," Brynn exclaimed and smiled.
Hanso smiled. "Yup. We were top notch childhood thieves together."
I nodded. "How else do you think Hanso learned how to pick locks?"
As much as I didn’t want to leave Hanso that day, I did. He grabbed my paw and shook it heartily. I had told him everything. I was homeless, ownerless... unloved.
“Everything turns out all right near the end,” he said with a wink. “I mean, look at Brynn. We’ve been in each other’s presence for a few months now and I haven’t been put in a jail cell for a while.”
I laughed and pulled him into one of my tight, breath-taking hugs. “Hanso, when can we meet again? I can’t live without seeing my best friend every once in a while.”
Hanso chuckled and glanced over at Brynn. She stood near a group of Brightvale guards, chattering away. I was so glad she left Hanso and me a moment to chat. I looked back at Hanso and noticed that he had that twinkle-eyed grin. His ears twitched and he chuckled. “Fate does what she does,” he said. “I am living the Big Life now. I work for the Faerie Queen! It’ll be hard to meet up again, my friend.”
I shoved him playfully. “Just tell me when,” I said with a smile.
“Next week,” Hanso said, “Saturday. The only day I have off while Brynn works to find artifacts. But before then, I want to see you with a new owner and a home.”
I studied the Ixi for a moment, thinking he was totally absurd... but this was Hanso I’m talking about...
“I’ll try my best,” I said quietly and this time he hugged me. After we broke away, he winked and turned over to Brynn and called, “Hey, Brynneth, come say good-bye to Rascal before we leave.”
Brynn nodded toward Hanso and waved to her friends as they departed. She trailed up to me and smiled, taking my paw within hers and shaking it. “It was nice to meet a friend of Hanso’s. I just hope I won’t see you in a cell anytime soon... will I?”
My attention wasn’t focused on her, or her useless question. I was focused on Hanso, who had actually been successful in pick-pocketing Brynn. I smiled slightly as he stowed her money pouch in his pocket and he went back to his normal position as if nothing had happened.
“I can’t promise you that,” I said to Brynn with a smile. “It was nice to meet you as well.”
Hanso chuckled and took Brynn’s hand. “Come on, we’re late anyway. Bye, Rascal. I’ll see you later!”
I watched my friend walk away. My head swirled with a thousand thoughts as I waved to their backs. It wasn’t until they were a few yards away when Brynn noticed her money pouch was missing and she turned to Hanso with her hand outstretched. Hanso, guiltily, gave it back and they continued to walk away.
As for me, my life didn’t turn out how I wanted. I tried to find an owner who would want a Lupe as old as me, but I was unlucky. So I traveled, offering to perform Faerie Quests and occasionally ran into Hanso. It was always a happy little reunion, though Brynn did get a little impatient.
One thing I will always remember Hanso by; his twinkle-eyed smile and the way his ears twitched.
I walked into Faerieland and heard a faint whisper being carried by the winds.
“Fate does what she does,” he had said. “I am living the Big Life now. I work for the Faerie Queen! It’ll be hard to meet up again, my friend.”
No, it wasn’t hard, just untimely. I smiled slightly and continued to walk.