Ferry the yellow Techo, Lyla the brown Ixi, Cynna the
purple Cybunny and Rine the Christmas Shoyru ran down the street that led to
the Mystery Island Beach. Well, one of its beaches, anyway. In a matter of seconds,
they had skidded onto the sand.
"Oi!" Cynna shouted, as sand rained down onto
her fur, which had been groomed so carefully just that morning.
"Come on!" Ferry said, running down to the sunniest
spot and lying down.
Lyla heard this and felt unease in her heart.
There was nothing wrong with Come On, but it felt strange to hear her brother
using a female voice. Well, sister now, actually, after the lab ray had changed
his… her gender, but Lyla, Cynna and Rine could do nothing but regard Ferry
as a 'He.' They didn’t like the fact that he was now a Techo, either, and wished
that he would change to something that looked more attractive.
Rine stood above Ferry and stomped a foot on
the ground, spraying sand into Ferry's eyes. Ferry blinked rapidly and covered
his painfully stinging eyes with his hands.
"Don’t do that!" Lyla said to Rine in a plainly
shocked voice. She loved Ferry more dearly than anybody else, though she treated
him just the same as she did to her other siblings …on most occasions.
Rine scowled. "Don’t tell me not to do something
I've already done. Not like I can un-do it."
Lyla felt annoyed at this. She didn’t like Rine's
obstinate way of behaving, almost as if he were older! She stretched herself
up to tower over her brother, but there was no need, as she was already a good
eighteen centimeters taller anyway. "Rine, just listen to me! I'm older than
you, and when I tell you…"
"Tell me nothing!" Rine shouted.
Ferry had managed to take all the sand out of
his eyes in some way. He got up, deciding to put an end to all this. "Now stop
that, you two!" he said.
Lyla spun around to face Ferry, her eyes flashing.
"Oh yes! The big brother's coming to break up the fight! The wonderful, ELDER
Ferry! Why don’t we all bow down to him now?"
Cynna, spotting a chance to steal Ferry's sunbathing
spot, rushed over and lay down cautiously. She pressed her flexible ears to
the sides of her head to block out the argument. Unfortunately, Ferry noticed
her, and immediately grew angry. "Cynna, shove off!" Maybe he wouldn’t have
been so impolite if Lyla hadn't insulted him.
"I'm off to tell Jade about this," Rine threatened,
retreating to the edge of the beach.
Cynna couldn’t block those words out. She leaped
up and sprang on top of Rine, who fell over, startled.
"Cynna, come back!" Ferry said desperately. If
they didn’t stop quarrelling soon, then Jade would expect he, the oldest, to
responsibly report to her.
"Tell-tale!" Cynna hissed in Rine's ear.
"Let - go - of - me!" Rine gasped, struggling
helplessly. Ferry ran up and pulled Cynna and Rine apart.
"Enough violence," Ferry ordered.
Lyla looked at him coldly, and decided on something.
She did not like Ferry at all, let alone having a special affection for him.
She tossed her horned head and turned away.
Rine, too, had had enough. He picked himself
up and stormed away from the beach. The other three watched him as he grew smaller
and smaller, and then disappeared from sight. They wondered how all this could
have happened so quickly, just in a matter of three minutes. Then, Cynna, feeling
as if the whole thing had been spoilt, ran off as well, also rather ashamed
of herself now.
Ferry and Lyla were left, staring stonily at
each other. Then Ferry returned to his sunbathing and Lyla went into the sea
to swim. She didn’t enjoy it very much for several reasons: one, because nobody
was with her; two, because her head was swimming with hatred, and three; because
the sea was cold, salt stinging even her tiniest of the tiny wounds. Wounds
she had never felt or noticed because they were so small. She sighed after ten
minutes or so, dragged herself out of the water, pulled a towel around herself
and went home as well, shivering.
Ferry saw Lyla leave, and felt depressed. The
sky was not as bright as it had been. He went away from the beach, too, though
through a different route. He felt that it wouldn’t help matters if Lyla accused
him for spying on her.
Lyla reached the front door of the Neohome and
rang the doorbell. Jade, their owner, who had a very troubled expression upon
her face, opened the door.
"Um… hi," said Lyla awkwardly.
"Where's Ferry?" Jade asked.
"Still at the beach… I think," said Lyla cautiously.
She looked behind her shoulder for no reason. And then a reason came to her.
Ferry might have followed her all the way back home. But no Ferry came. She
turned back to Jade.
"Well… you better come in," Jade said. Lyla nodded
and entered the main hall, when who should appear but Ferry rushing in after
"So you did follow me!" Lyla cried angrily.
Ferry blinked. "No, I didn’t!"
Lyla turned away huffily. Ferry rolled his eyes
behind her back.
"What's been going on?" Jade asked sharply, "Cynna
and Rine are snapping at each other, too."
Lyla and Ferry looked uneasy. Ferry was about
to clear his throat, when he remembered he wasn’t going to sound like himself,
Jade slammed the front door shut, making both
pets jump. She walked away, deciding that if they had had a row, then it wasn’t
going to be her problem.
Upstairs in Rine's room, Cynna and Rine weren’t having cheerful times, either.
Rine sat on the edge of his bed. Cynna was leaning with her back towards his
wardrobe. They glared at each other, full of hatred.
"Oh, just get out of my room," Rine snarled.
Cynna stayed stubbornly where she was. "It's
not yours, it's Jade's. She paid the NP for this room to be built!"
"She paid for the sake of a present to me!" Rine
"Present, is it?" Cynna sneered spitefully. "Well,
MISTER, for your information, she actually paid for the sake that you had living
quarters! Just because she lets you sleep here, it doesn’t mean she still doesn’t
own this room!"
Lyla appeared at the doorway. "What's the matter?"
"Mind your own business," Rine growled.
"I can't mind it when you're making such a heck
of a noise that I can't even clean my own room!" Lyla said, looking frustrated.
Cynna saw a chance to repeat her argument once
again. "Not your room! Jade's room, because she paid for it!"
And Rine said, "It's not ME that's making the
noise, you silly Ixi! It's her that's bothering me!"
"Don’t talk rubbish," Lyla snapped at Rine, ignoring
Cynna's comment, "of course you were making the noise along with her!"
Jade marched into the room, face as hard as stone.
"Bed. All of you. Now."
It was the next day when Lyla awoke, bright and early, feeling refreshed. She
sat up and stretched, vaguely wondering whether Ferry would like his room cleaned
up for him.
She jumped out of bed and rushed to his room.
Ferry turned around, a haunted look cast over
him. He was bent over a pile of large, thick books at his desk. "Go away, Lyla."
Lyla retreated from the room, kicking herself
mentally. How could she have forgotten? She, Ferry, Cynna and Rine all hated
each other, and Ferry was a girl who could probably clean his own room.
Ferry didn’t turn back to his book, which was
a very tiring thing to read indeed. He felt uncomfortable. Maybe he shouldn’t
have said that to Lyla. What if she had come in to apologize?
I don’t need her to apologize; he said
to himself, she's an ignorant baby.
But that wasn’t true. He was already missing
her being friendly to him. And he did want her to come and apologize. He wanted
to make up with all his siblings, and let things be as they usually were. Having
to be mean all the time could get very miserable.
Jade, sitting in the living room, was deep in thought. She knew that her pets
had had a dreadful row, and were being horrible to each other, but not how it
had started, or why.
"I want it!"
"No, I do!"
"It's mine, anyway!"
Jade cringed; the sound of the voices was so
sharp. Coming down the stairs was no other that Cynna and Rine, arguing again.
They held between them… a plushie? Jade felt cross. They were beginning to become
very babyish now.
Cynna and Rine stopped at the sight of their
owner. They were silent for a few seconds, and then both of them burst into
a long flood of explanations at once.
"Jade, it's mine, honestly…"
"No! SHE tried to snatch it, and…"
"But, he didn’t have permission…"
"And it isn’t hers, because…"
"…And now she's saying…"
"I bought that with my own…"
"Stop," Jade sighed. The babble died immediately.
Both gaped at her, wondering what they had landed themselves in.
"Get back in bed, and don’t come down until I
tell you," Jade said. They went forlornly back up the stairs. Jade got up and
went into the kitchen.
"Ferry! Lyla! Cynna! Rine!" Jade called. There came a scrambling and rumbling
sound, and all four staggered into the kitchen. Then they stopped short and
stared in surprise.
"A cake!" Cynna exclaimed, rushing forwards.
"Hey, wait! You can't take it for yourself!"
Ferry said at once.
"I wasn’t going to!"
"Oh, yeah right," Rine rolled his eyes.
"Don’t grab any of that cake!" Lyla cried, calling
off the top of her head as she stomped her hoof on the ground.
"Shall I cut it?" Lyla suggested.
"Go ahead," Rine nodded.
Lyla cut the cake into four equal pieces, and
then took one for herself. Ferry, Cynna and Rine each took a piece too, and
began munching. It tasted delicious. Jade heaved a sigh of relief. Amazing,
how much a cake could do.