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Dark Omen


by brookieebeaan

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      The Black Pteri sits on a fence post howling doom and misery for all to hear...

      "Oh, please!" Ryan scoffed. "That's such a tacky beginning to a story."

      The storyteller sighed. "Young Neopet, will you allow me to tell my story without interruptions?"

      "Hey, I'm paying you for a story, aren't I?" Ryan retorted. "I should be able to interrupt."

      "Fine - just please make them sporadic. Anyway..."

      The Black Pteri sits on a fence post howling doom and misery for all to hear... He sits and watches the world, and knows that THEY are coming soon.

      "Who are they?"

      "Do you want to hear the story or not?" the storyteller growled.

      Ryan rolled his eyes and relented.

      The Black Pteri sits on a fence post howling doom and misery for all to hear... He sits and watches the world, and knows that THEY are coming soon. If you see the Black Pteri, you will soon be in danger. He is a dark omen - the harbinger of bad news.

      "Wait for me!" Jane called out to her brother.

      "No way!" Andrew yelled back. "Catch up!"

      Jane sighed, but she knew that Andrew would slow down soon so she could catch up. The siblings had a good bond. The two were running around on Roo Island, where they lived. They had a peaceful life, since nothing could disturb the happy atmosphere of Roo Island - King Roo tried very hard to make sure of that, and the citizens had become accustomed to it.

      A few hours later, the two Kougras were heading home. As usual, Andrew was outrunning his sister. Just when he was about to slow down so she could catch up, he saw something, out of the corner of his eye, in between the trees. He came to a stop and got a closer look.

      It was a Pteri, not like any he had ever seen on the island. It was pitch black, with burning red eyes... and it was staring right at him.

      When Andrew began to approach it, the Pteri flapped its wings and rose into the air. Andrew could now see that it was enormous - its wingspan was as long as four Kougras standing lengthwise next to each other.

      "CAW!"

      The Pteri flew out of sight, but not before giving Andrew one final, long, burning glare. Andrew then heard faint groaning from close by.

      "Ungh..." It was Jane, lying on the ground of the woods.

      "Jane! What happened?" Andrew rushed over to help her.

      "I tripped on a tree limb. I guess I wasn't looking where I was going." Jane was helped to her feet by her brother. "Thanks, Andrew. What were you looking at over there?"

      Andrew was silent for a moment, deciding what to say. "I saw a horde of Spyders scuttling through the trees."

      Jane shuddered. "Ugh, Spyders. Let's get out of here. I think I'll be able to walk." Andrew let her go, and she stood unsteadily. She could walk, with difficulty. The two made their way back to town, where their mother of course fussed over her precious daughter. Soon Jane was back to full health. Andrew never went back into those woods.

      Ryan yawned. "Are you done yet?"

      "You know, you're welcome to leave whenever you like," the storyteller replied with frustration. "But no, it's not done."

      "Well, I want to get my money's worth."

      The storyteller kept his thoughts to himself and continued his story like nothing had happened.

      Many years later, Andrew and Jane had grown up. Jane had moved to Terror Mountain, while Andrew lived in Neopia Central and worked at the National Neopian Bank. It provided for him a nice life with many luxuries that came with a well-paying job. Andrew loved what he did, he enjoyed his comfortable salary, and he was happy with where he lived - the three necessary parts of a happy life.

      One day, Andrew was at work in the bank. He and several coworkers were eating lunch in the lobby (one of the perks of living in Neopia Central was that there were plenty of places that sold good food), laughing, and having a good time. Andrew was about to tell the punch line of a joke when, out of the corner of his eye, he saw something in the front window of the bank.

      It was a Pteri, perched on the top of the Food Shop. It was pitch black, with burning red eyes... and it was staring right at him.

      Andrew turned to his coworkers. "Do you guys see this, too?" he asked, looking back to the window and pointing to the Food Shop. To his surprise, though, it was gone. I must be dreaming, he thought. I'll never see that thing again.

      Joseph, a coworker, shook his head. "Andrew, the numbers we're dealing with here at the bank are getting to your head."

      "That must be it," Andrew chuckled weakly. No sooner had he said it, though, than did the Pteri land in front of the bank.

      "CAW!"

      All of the employees jumped up, except for Andrew, who remained seated in disbelief.

      "It's huge!"

      "What is that thing?!"

      "RUN!"

      After a few moments, the Pteri flapped its way into the sky and flew away... but just like the first time, it gave Andrew a long stare before leaving sight.

      That afternoon, the bank was robbed by a group of masked intruders. Twenty safety deposit boxes were emptied, hundreds of millions of Neopoints were taken, and the bank had a lot of angry customers.

      Andrew soon applied for a transfer to another branch of the bank, in Tyrannia. His request was accepted, and he spent many years working there afterwards. For a long time, every morning when he woke up, he would think of the Pteri and wonder if it would appear that day. He wouldn't get over this for many years.

      Fifty years passed. Andrew had lived a good life, and was getting ready to retire from his job at the bank. One morning, he woke up. Something felt off to him, but he wasn't sure what it was. He found out as soon as he looked out the window - the Pteri had returned.

      "CAW!"

      This time, Andrew wasn't frightened. He had always known that his old friend would return. This time, as the Pteri looked at him before flying away, he looked back not out of terror, but out of understanding. The Pteri's arrivals were beyond his control.

      Later that day, he received a letter from his sister. They had a younger brother, Jonathan, who sailed on a cargo ship. That morning, the ship had crashed into the harbor of Terror Mountain. Many of the crew were injured, but Jonathan showed to be recovering well.

      "Andrew never again saw the Black Pteri," the storyteller finished. "Many believe that he returned to the forest where Andrew first saw him, waiting for someone else... Incidentally, King Roo has forbidden all residents and tourists from entering those woods."

      The storyteller paused. "That is the end. Was that satisfactory?"

      "Barely," Ryan grumbled. "If I ever come back here, I'm going to a different storyteller." He stood up and left the tent.

      But as the storyteller looked on, Ryan was looking left and right as he walked through the woods that led away from the camp.

      The End.

 
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