Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 177,588,188 Issue: 185 | 8th day of Eating, Y7
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The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Two


by 3dcourtney12044

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Cuni's heart seemed to be beating against her chest, and she hoped nobody would hear it pounding. She was worried, worried about Shyle.

     "She's gone," the baby Uni repeated under her breath, looking in every direction. "She can't be! Wherwe could she be?"

     An identical baby Uni, Winny,who had been hovering a few feet in the air, about to soar back to her Neohome, landed lightly by Cuni's side. She'd dropped Jhudora's gift, a Gnome Shroom, and patted Cuni on the back. "We'll find her, Cuni, whatever it takes," vowed Winny. She looked determined. "She is a faerie Petpet, right? I mean, Miamice are originally from Faerieland, yes?" Cuni nodded. "Maybe she ran off to the Hidden Tower. Or the Poogle Races. Or--"

     Cuni turned pale, gazing, terrified at the Gnome Shroom. "--or Jhudowa's Cwoud," she said in a whisper, eyes shining with unshed tears.

     Winny's eyes widened in unmistakable fear. "W-well, we'd better go and see," she stuttered finally, after an awkward pause, nodding to herself to confirm what she was saying.

     Cuni nodded, too, and suddenly cried out, "I'm coming, Shy!" before galloping across the vast cloud that was Faerieland; many Neopians had returned home, as night was approaching, but Cuni knew far too well how cowardly Shyle could be. A Weewoo had once been perching on their window, squawked, and Shyle had let out a squeal of fright before hiding under the bed and refusing to come out.

     Shaking these thoughts out of her mind (and how horrified Shyle must be in the clutches of Jhudora) Cuni increased her pace, hearing the gentle hoof beats of Winny right on her tail. The two baby Unis dashed for the cloud, where, from this distance, Cuni could see nothing but the shadowy throne on which Jhudora sat day in and day out, barking quests.

     Cuni launched herself for the stairs that reached to her cloud and halted in front of the throne; the violet mist she'd seen each time she'd been there hadn't yet cleared, but she didn't care. The baby Uni stood there, fuming with anger but also trembling in fear.

     "Jhudowa!" she cried. "Where awre you!? Show youwself!"

     There was no sign of Jhudora or Shyle, and there was no movement or clouds of smoke. Winny took a step forward, too, and glanced around and over her shoulder. "She couldn't have left," Winny muttered. "She does quests all day!"

     "Maybe she'll onwy come if we want a quest," proposed Cuni quietly.

     Winny half shrugged, half nodded, and called out nervously, "We, err -- we w-want a qu--"

     But her sentence was cut short, for a familiar swirling, violet cloud swelled to the size of a person, and when it had finally cleared, Jhudora was standing there, smirking and looking quite pleased. She took a seat on her throne, her lips curling into a terrible smile.

     "So," she began in a cackling voice, "I suppose you want a quest?"

     "No," Cuni said defiantly, glaring up at the faerie. "I want Shy back."

     "Whatever are you talking about?" asked the darkness faerie in mock surprise.

     "You know!" shrieked Cuni, putting her hoof forward menacingly. "You haff her! Give back Shy! What haff you done wiff her!?"

     Jhudora shook her head. "Tsk, tsk, tsk. Baby Unis should learn to use manners." Her smirk grew. "But, I do recall a little squirming pest. A brown Miamouse, perhaps... Shyle, was it?"

     How had she known Shyle's real name, when Cuni had only been calling her "Shy"?

     "Jus' tell me where she ish," mumbled Cuni sullenly.

     "Oh, I won't need to tell you," the faerie said quietly, and gave a swift wave of her hand. The mist around them suddenly changed direction, and slithered towards Cuni and Winny, who backed into each other, immobilized by fear. The mist snaked around the two, binding them together, and Cuni felt a scream tore from her throat when she found her voice. Winny gasped and shrieked.

     "Cuni!"

     "Winny!"

     Jhudora was laughing; her high-pitched laugh filled the air. Where was everyone? Wouldn't passers-by see they were in trouble, and perhaps alert the authorities, or even Fyora? But no, it seemed the world around them was stopping altogether....

     Faerieland dissolved into darkness, and Cuni felt a sudden falling sensation; she lost her voice, and closed her eyes, wishing it would all be over. She was forever falling into an endless abyss, still tied tightly by the cords with Winny, who was breathing heavily and letting out small shrieks every now and then.

     Her life seemed to be flashing before her eyes in a sort of filmstrip; Cuni was in the Pound, crying her eyes out in a damp cell. She was lying in her new bed on her first day on Guild Street with her owner and siblings. She was surrounded by hundreds of Usukis in Usukiland. She was yelling and screaming at her brother for trying to trick her into standing in the toilet. She was at the Rainbow Pool, emerging from the depths of the water, transforming into a baby Uni...

     And, just as quick it had started, Cuni felt the world right itself and she toppled over, no longer bound to Winny. Her eyes were shut tight, and she winced in pain from the fall; she lay there, motionless, on the solid, cold stone floor, having no idea where she was. For a second, she was so puzzled she didn't even know who she was.

     "Cuni?" asked a gentle, shaking voice. "Are you alright? Please, please wake up..."

     Her eyes opening slowly, Cuni sat up, dizzy, almost falling back over. But she kept herself sitting upright by steadying her hooves, and stood up gingerly. Looking around, Cuni gasped, and blinked several times. "Winny?" she said. The baby Uni was leaning over her, but stood up straight when she spotted Cuni awake.

     They were in a dungeon, filled with empty cells and barred windows of framed dirt that made it look as though they were underground. Maybe they were. There were cells with rusted metal bars, and all had an open cell door. Except for one, and this cell had an occupant. A small, trembling creature was curled up in the corner, and upon seeing the brown figure, Cuni let out a squeak of delight, "SHY!"

     She sprinted forward and put her full weight on the cell door; surprisingly, it opened with a single touch and Cuni charged through as Shyle leapt into her arms. After the embrace, Cuni glanced around again. The dungeon was lit with a a flickering lantern, which was dying slowly, and there did not seem to be a door.

     "Winny," Cuni said suddenly in an urgent voice, "what awe we gonna to do?"

     Winny, her figure darkened in the dainty room, shrugged, looking exasperated and frightened. "Where do you think we are?" whispered Winny. "Why has Jhudora given Shyle back to you so quickly?"

     Cuni shook her head. "I'm not suwre," she muttered, wandering back out of the cell and stopping near her friend. An eerie silence followed, and Cuni was sure she could hear dripping water somewhere.

     "We're trapped," Winny said in a low voice, glancing around anxiously. Cuni could see her eyes were swimming with tears, and she clutched Shyle closer to her, afraid she might lose her again. "What can we do?"

     "Hewlp!" screeched Cuni, cupping her hooves together with difficulty, as she was holding Shyle. Cuni's voice echoed, bouncing off the walls. "Hewlp! Hewlp! Hewlp!"

     All of a sudden, a mocking voice came out of nowhere, echoing and bouncing off of the walls. There was no escaping it. "Fools!" it said, followed by Jhudora's maniacal laughter, and the atmosphere seemed to be changing. Cuni and Winny instinctively screamed and inched closer to one another, watching the colors flash by, nearly blinding Cuni.... They were bright, and dark, and they changed just as quickly as they appeared. It was almost like watching a lava lamp, except the colors flashed much faster and they wavered. Cuni could hear no sound except for screams contributed by Winny and herself.

     But, soon enough, the colors disappeared gradually; Cuni staggered a bit, balanced herself, and looked around. She felt a sinking feeling, and whimpered.

     "Cuni?" whispered Winny uncertainly, looking around. "Where are we?"

     Her companion gulped and glanced around. She'd recognize this place any day; they were behind bars, watching Neopians guide their new pets toward a door labeled LOBBY. She'd hoped to never be back here again, but it was true; here she was. "Da Neopian Pound," mumbled Cuni, watching a Techo saunter past; he wore a long, stained would-be white jacket and a look of disdain when he reached their cage, and smirked.

     "Sir," whimpered Winny reluctantly. "We really -- it just, I mean, with Jhudor--"

     "Ah," said Dr. Death, approaching their cage, not noticing the two baby Unis that had just magically appeared inside a cell. "If it isn't the little runt."

     Cuni and Winny were so distracted by the fact that they were actually there (and being obviously ignored as well) that they were oblivious to a tiny, scrawny creature lying in the opposite corner. She let out a horrible cough, and Dr. Death chuckled.

     Eyebrows raised and eyes wide, Cuni peered at the creature, which appeared to be a Uni as well. A green one, at that, and she was sickly-looking; her fur was ruffled, she was quite skinny from lack of meals, and her eyelids drooped from drowziness.

     "Wait!" called Winny as Dr. Death turned to leave. The chatter outside the cell hadn't subsided in the slightest; nobody seemed to know that there were two baby Unis who already had homes of their own trapped inside of a cell. "Come back!" She ran up to the cell bars, gripping them tightly. Idly, she turned back to Cuni, looking rather confused. "Why can't he hear us?" she asked fearfully. Cuni continued to stare, disbelieving, at the Uni in the corner, who took no notice that she had two visitors.

     "What -- what is it?" questioned Winny, strolling over to Cuni and standing next to her. "Do you... do you know her, or something? Or... or--"

     Cuni did not reply, but gulped and turned to face Winny. She gaped for a second or two, and then croaked groggily, "Winny... dat Uni -- dat's me!"

     "What!?"

     "It is," insisted Cuni, taking a step closer. "I was a gween Uni befowe I was painted bwown, and den I was painted baby," she explained, still gazing distractedly at the green Uni. Shyle squirmed a bit in her arms, but Cuni dared not let go. "Dat's how I wived befowe... befowe I was adopted."

     The cell was dark, but Cuni could make out the green Uni -- herself -- shifting positions and coughing horribly again. Just the sight of what her life had once been like made Cuni cringe and back away in sadness, blinking away a tear and turning away from Winny.

     All of a sudden, the Pound began to evanesce, changing from bright colors to darker blues and blacks. Cuni felt as though she were inside of a confusing rainbow, and began to feel quite dizzy. Even with her eyes snapped shut, Cuni felt as though the colors were pressed against her eyelids, causing her to see them once more.

     "It's... happening... again..." shrieked Winny in a strained voice. This time nobody screamed, but Cuni heard Shyle squealing with fright and Cuni herself was breathing heavily. Why was this happening? What did Jhudora want with them? She kept her eyes closed tightly.

     Without knowing what she was doing, Cuni burst out, screaming as loud as she could, "JHUDOWA! WET -- US -- GO!"

     And it stopped. Everything. The colors stopped spinning, as did Cuni's head, and she fell to her knees, still managing to keep a firm hold on her Miamouse. She panted, feeling as tired as though she had just run a mile.

     "Cuni," Winny said suddenly, extending her paw to help Cuni to her feet. "Cuni -- it's raining!"

     The baby Uni didn't feel any rain at all, but when she opened her eyes and her vision adjusted, Cuni found that Winny was right. It was pouring, but she felt no rain -- no rain at all. "It's... it's jus' anoffer memowy," said Cuni quietly. "But... whose is it?" Shyle squirmed yet again, but Cuni clutched her even tighter. Suddenly Cuni knew where she was.

     "Winny..."

     "Yeah?"

     "We'we in my backyawd... dis ish my memowy!" It was true. They were on a neatly mowed lawn on Guild Street, surrounded by a fence and a few dripping bushes and flowers. In the center of the yard was a pile of dirt, and a tall, rectangle-shaped stone with carvings on it. A few dead, dripping flowers lay in front of the stone, and Cuni instantly knew what memory this was. She wanted to turn away -- she wanted to run away, and never relive this horrible scene again.

     She felt like a grey pet as she watched a brown Uni -- herself, instantly she knew that -- trot slowly across the drenched lawn and kneel by the stone. Winny shot Cuni a perplexed look, but Cuni just shook her head. "It's... it's..." she glanced down at Shy. "Well, see -- my owld Catamawa, Catie, she... well, she... oh, Winny, da Tuwmacuwus ate her!" Cuni felt tears roll down her cheeks, mxing with the rain, and gulped. Winny said nothing.

     "I wanted to haff a monument in her memowy," Cuni explained quietly, watching the brown Uni lay a soaking rose in front of the grave. "So I made a piwle of diwrt, and den I would go out dare evewyday and put a flower dare." Wiping away her tears, Cuni tried to regain her composure.

     "I'm sorry," Winny said, and she truly looked it. The baby Uni gazed at Cuni's brown Uni figure in front of the stone; Cuni's past form started to sob.

     Cuni instantly felt dizzy as the colorful sensation took over; she took step forward aimlessly, but almost immediately fell backwards, so she decided not to move at all. Shyle whimpered and cowered in Cuni's arms, and, try as she might, even with her eyes closed, Cuni couldn't block out the multicolored background...

     "WHEN -- WILL -- THIS -- END?" she heard Winny roar. Cuni wondered why none of Winny's memories were showing up; not that she wanted Winny to suffer like she was, but why was it all Cuni's?

     Abruptly, it ended. Again. Cuni was breathing heavily, bitterly even; she looked around wildly, as if expecting to see Jhudora and was ready to charge right then and there. Cuni was first to speak this time, as she hugged her Miamouse. "We're back at da dungeon," she said softly, recalling the cold stone floor and the empty cells.

     Winny said nothing. Cuni whirled around so that she faced her baby Uni friend, but Winny looked stunned; her eyes were wide, and she gasped, pointing a weak hoof in the opposite direction. Slowly, ever so slowly, Cuni turned on her heel, and did an intake of breath.

     One of the cells was taken, and a whimpering shadowy figure was standing there. Her hooves were chained to the wall, and she glowed a purple, misty color. Cuni was thunderstruck; that baby Uni was Winny. They could tell, for Winny was a bit bigger than Cuni.

     "But... but your wight dare," Cuni said, unable to make sense of this. The lantern flickered. "Is... is dis a memowy of yours?"

     Still staring, Winny shook her head. "No," she said finally. "It's -- it's not."

     "Fools!" came Jhudora's mocking shriek. "This is not your past, little Winny; this is your future!" Her maniacal laughter filled the room, bouncing off the walls so that it sounded ten times louder than it already was. Winny and Cuni covered their ears (it was difficult for Cuni, with Shyle in her hooves), and suddenly, the world around them seemed to give a severe jerk; Winny and Cuni were launched forward, falling to the ground. Shyle escaped, and stood, shaking, by Cuni. The baby Uni picked her up and held her tightly.

     Winny's supposed "future" image had vanished, but, as Cuni found out when she scrambled to her feet, wasn't there, either. Looking around frantically, Cuni cried, "Winny! WINNY!"

     "Cu-CU-CUNI!" came a shriek from the far end of the dungeon to which Cuni had not yet explored. She took off, galloping far faster than she had thought herself capable, and halted in front of a cell. It had a lock securely fastened around the handle, but that wasn't what worried Cuni; what concerned her most was her best friend, locked up like the vision she had seen only minutes before.

     "CUNI!" screamed Winny again; her hooves were chained to the wall, and she stood there helplessly, obviously in pain. The purple glow surrounded her, and Winny twitched every few seconds.

     All of a sudden, Jhudora appeared, this time with a loud bang! Her long hair fell to her shoulders, and her smirk was more than Cuni could stand. "You... you... you evil!" bellowed Cuni, taking a step away from Jhudora. The faerie stood between Cuni and the cell in which Winny was held prisoner.

     "Ahh, yes -- this is your little friend, is it not?" said Jhudora lazily, gesturing towards Winny, who let out a gasp and winced in pain.

     "What -- you -- jus' -- jus' wet her go!" cried Cuni, eyes brimming with tears.

     "The only way I'll do that," Jhudora said, a wicked and malicious smile flickering on her lips, "is if you give me that Miamouse." At that moment, Cuni hated everything about the faerie; the way she appeared, with her flashy poofy cloud; how her hair curled at the end; how her nails were a bright, lime green; how she seemed to be thoroughly enjoying Cuni's decision-making. A pained expression on her face, Cuni glanced from poor, cowering Shyle to suffering Winny, who shook her head and let out a small scream.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part One
» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Three
» The Uni and the Miamouse: Part Four



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