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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 16th day of Sleeping, Yr 23
The Neopian Times Week 92 > Short Stories > Lost But Not Yet Found

Lost But Not Yet Found

by ladyariel32

Uktabi's ebony eyes stared at the floor so hard almost burning a whole through it. Beside the Halloween Kacheek, a Doglefox calmly ripped a brand-new cushion apart. Cotton stuffing instantly gushed out of the ruined pillow. The Doglefox barked delightedly hitting every shard of cotton with his paws.

     "Hmmm…" the male Kacheek said with a small sigh. Oblivious to his pet's crazy antics, Uktabi continued to gaze at the floor as if it had suddenly become interesting. He was sitting on a beautiful, green carpet that covered every inch of the floor inside his considerably comfortable room. Confusing thoughts filled his mind. He could feel his temples throbbing with intense pain.

     The Kacheek turned to glance outside the window. His brothers and sister were playing in the front yard. Yannagiba, a striped Gelert, dug up a few flowerbeds with all four paws. His tail wagged as he worked. Nadashikoh the Faerie Aisha was screaming her head off, complaining about her elder brother's brash actions. Lastly, Chistomise the aubergine Chia was planting vegetables on his very own garden patch, humming happily to an unknown tune.

     Uktabi's sensitive ears picked up snippets of their conversation.

     "La-la-la-la," Chistomise sang as he watered his plants.

     Yannagiba was sprawled on the blades of grass, tongue lolling out of his mouth.

     "Ew!" Nadashikoh shrieked disgustedly. "Get your tongue away from me, Yannagiba. You are SO gross…"

     "Hey, where's Belle?" the Gelert asked while panting. He was referring to their owner.

     "I think she went to the shops to pick up some groceries," Chistomise told him. "We ran out of junk food yesterday, remember?"

     "Oh boy! I hope she doesn't forget all my favorite snacks. Just thinking about a scrumptious cheese and eel burger makes my mouth water," Yannagiba mused almost drooling.

     "Yuck!" Nadashikoh cried backing away from her brother.

     Uktabi decided to ignore their merry voices and concentrated on his own melancholy. He closed his eyes dejectedly. It was a long time ago when it happened but his mind simply couldn't forget no matter how hard he tried.

     I am an adopted pet, he thought miserably. He clearly remembered his gloomy days in the pound trapped in a cage with no way out. But far, far worse than that humiliating experience was his life before he was abandoned.

     Uktabi drifted away into his dreamworld. Vivid images appeared in his mind's eye, a sour reminder of his horrible past.

     He was born a red flotsam with wide aquamarine eyes, strong fins, and a powerful cry. When he first opened his eyes, the serene waters of a deep blue sea surrounded him. He was in the arms of an alluring Water Faerie (whose name remains unknown) with a gorgeous smile. But behind the Faerie's ice blue orbs lay dark and wicked intentions.

     As soon as Uktabi learned how to swim, the Faerie commanded him to bring her a rare cerulean artifact hidden ten thousand feet below sea level: a pearl, the only one of its kind, in the belly of a giant clam. He set forth on the journey with a joyous heart thinking of the praise that awaited him upon his return. It was his earnest desire to hear kind, sweet words leave his owner's luscious lips: words reserved only for him.

     Uktabi swam without stopping for five days and five nights. When the sun began to rise on the sixth day, he was in the murky depths of the sea probing for the oversized clam. After many hours of hard work, the flotsam finally located it. The clam was forty times as big as he was. Its shell was made of a substance so extraordinary that Uktabi couldn't identify what it was. The clam suddenly snapped open revealing a soft pink interior. In it was a very tiny and fragile pearl: smaller than the ones normal clams contained.

     For some reason, the flotsam was drawn to the pearl. He glided into the clam and gazed at the jewel with a dazed smile on his face. Gently, he began to pull at the delicate pearl just strong enough to extract it from the clam. Doing this was like having a tug-of-war with a colossal Elephante. He yanked and yanked still trying vainly to pry it away. In a sudden burst of strength, Uktabi successfully detached the stunning pearl. The clam gave a tremendous shudder.

     It's about to close, the flotsam thought and began to panic. Any moment now, he would be trapped inside the clam never to see daylight again. Moving hastily, Uktabi extended his fins and propelled himself out not letting go of the pearl. As soon as he was safely out, the clam shut its giant jaws with an ear-splitting creak.

     Without looking back once, the flotsam continued his relentless journey. He was very pleased with himself having escaped a near brush with death. He traveled for three days and three nights without bothering to stop. Fully energized, he made his way across the waters with a cheerful smile.

     At last, he arrived at the Water Faerie's shore. She was seated on a smooth, gray rock smirking contemptuously.

     "What took you so long?" she growled giving her loyal flotsam the evil eye.

     "I have the pearl," Uktabi announced eagerly. He waited for his owner to applaud his efforts, eyes sparkling.

     "Eight days and eight nights! What were you thinking??? If I knew you were going to take this long, I would have searched for the pearl myself," the Faerie exploded snatching the pearl from the flotsam's outstretched fin.

     Uktabi's jaw dropped open. Tears began forming in his eyes.

     "I have NO USE for you now. Thank you for your service, " the cruel woman exclaimed letting out a vicious laugh. With those parting words, the Faerie grabbed Uktabi by his fins and dragged him to the pound.

     "Another abandoned pet," Dr_Death muttered under his breath taking the poor flotsam from the Water Faerie's grasp.

     Uktabi was astounded but he didn't say a word. He let the tears fall freely on his cheeks and didn't bother to wipe them. He didn't complain when the Techo placed him in a cage. It felt as if all of Neopia was on his shoulders.

     Nobody loves me, he reflected sorrowfully.

     And a dreadful thing happened to him. His eyes lost their healthful glow and his fins drooped. Whenever some owners dropped by to adopt a pet, they passed by his cage because he didn't look like he wanted to be taken home. He spent many days in the pound without talking to the friendly pets in the cages near him.

     But one day, a young girl with short dark brown hair and eyes just as brown arrived at the pound. She inspected every cage with a small smile playing on her lips. The pets all smiled back at her hoping that today would be the day they would come home with an owner. However, the only pet who didn't care about having a home caught the girl's interest: little Uktabi wallowing in his cage. She adopted him and brought her to her NeoHome. Her name was Belle.

     Time passed by. Belle's other pets tried everything just to coax him to play and talk with them. Nothing ever worked. Finally, they decided it would be better to leave him alone. He even had a couple of mishaps concerning some transmogrification potions that turned him into a hideous mutant Moehog and then, a mutant Kacheek. Everything was fine, though, at the moment.

     Uktabi opened his eyes and looked intently at the ceiling. A cautious face peeked behind the door to his room.

     "Would you like to come out and play with us?" Nadashikoh asked optimistically.

     The Kacheek felt something melt inside his heart. He turned to look at his sister. A tiny smile appeared on his face. He nodded his head slowly and got up to leave. The Doglefox trailed after him as they walked out to the front yard.

     I am an adopted pet, Uktabi thought as he dug up flowerbeds with Yannagiba, but they love me, anyway…

The End

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