Needed Too: Part Two
Dantam struggled to maintain his confident, aggressive
posture as the humongous Grarrl and jabbering Mynci advanced on him. He glanced
back at the female cloud Gelert who he'd been trying to save and thought shamefully
that he'd only managed to dig them both deeper into trouble with his heroics.
Suddenly, over the chittering of the Mynci, the growling of the Grarrl, and
the snickers of their Wocky ringleader, Dantam's long, sensitive ears picked
up two other sounds: the sound of powerful claws pounding against pavement and
the sound of a distant yell that was growing closer and closer.
Dantam looked up, forgetting to hold his defensive
stance as he recognised the voice that was drawing ever nearer. As they heard
it also, the three bullies turned around, bewildered, to see what all the racket
was about. Suddenly, they saw a monstrous blue Eyrie running down the street
toward them at full speed with a menacing look on his face. As the Eyrie got
closer, they could just make out a little green Zafara sitting across his neck.
The Zafara was hanging onto the Eyrie's stretched ears with one paw as though
they were reins and pointing the other paw straight at them as she leaned forward
excitedly and yelled, "Chaaaaaaaarge!"
The bullies' mouths dropped open at the strange
sight, and they seemed to be rooted to the ground in shock. Still running as
fast as his mighty legs would carry him, the Eyrie put his mighty head down
and continued straight into the little half-circle that the bullies had formed.
As he barreled into the Wocky and sent him flying over his head and into a trash
can nearby, the Mynci and Grarrl finally seemed to find their feet and scattered
before they could meet the same fate as their boss. As they ran past it, the
trash can tipped over, but the Wocky's two cronies just kept on running as their
once-fearless leader limped after them with half-angry, half-frightned exclamations
of, "Hey, wait up you two! Don't leave me here alone!"
Still sitting astride Feruli's neck as usual,
Silviana laughed as they all watched the three bullies bumble off into the night.
"Haha! Nothing like a good game of bully bowling, eh Feruli?" The Eyrie smiled
up at his constant companion as he caught his breath and turned toward Dantam,
who looked about as surprised as the three bullies had that these two had arrived
to save his fur just in the nick of time.
"Wha-what are you guys doing here?" Dantam finally
managed to ask. "How did you know I was in trouble?"
"Oh, we didn't actually," Silviana said. "That's
just your luck, Dantam. Our owner remembered that she had some old toys and
things she wanted to donate to the junkyard pets, so she sent us after you."
She reached behind her to pull off a bag that had been tied to Feruli's middle
and set it down before Dantam.
"When we finally spotted you, it looked like
you were in a bit of trouble," Feruli continued the narrative. "So, we decided
to... have a little fun." He finished with a rare grin.
"Oh, thank you so much!" an unfamiliar, female
voice spoke up. The three old friends turned to see the slender cloud Gelert
Dantam had been unsuccessfully trying to defend as she recovered from her fright
and approached Feruli and Silviana. "I don't know what would have happened to
me if you hadn't chased those bullies off."
Dantam hung his head at that, feeling pretty
useless. But, noticing his posture, she turned to him also. "And you were very
brave too," she said with a smile and licked his furry cheek, which swiftly
turned from black to red.
Feruli and Silviana exchanged raised eyebrows
while their friend was still too flustered to notice. Then Feruli cleared his
throat. "So, Dantam, who's your friend?"
Dantam, shaking his head in an attempt to clear
it, began to answer, "Oh, um, this is-er... I don't know." He realised that
with all the excitement, they hadn't had a chance for formal introductions,
so he turned to the cloud Gelert now, and said, in as steady a voice as he could
manage, "I-I'm Dantam. What's your name?"
She hesitated for a second, before admitting,
"Well, I'm afraid I don't know myself." At Dantam's confused expression, she
explained, "I just woke up this morning, alone in the middle of Neopia Central,
and I had no memory of who I was or where I came from."
Dantam was intrigued. He'd never heard of such
a thing before, but this Gelert seemed close to tears as she told her story,
and he was instantly determined to help her in any way he could. "Well, you
must have an owner out there somewhere," he said. "You're painted, and you've
got a collar, after all." He bent his head to peer at the metal tag that hung
from her blue satin collar. "Tessa," he read out slowly. "That's all it says...
that must be your name--Tessa." He looked up into her soft, blue eyes to see
if she agreed.
She considered for a moment, and then nodded
slightly. "Yes... yes, that does sound familiar--somehow..." her voice trailed
off, before she spoke again. "I just wish that I could remember anything else.
There are lots of things that seem familiar, and pictures that keep flashing
through my head so that I'm sure they must be memories, but I just can't seem
to put them all together and make sense of them..." She broke off in distress
and Dantam's heart twisted in his chest as a single tear finally freed itself
from her long eyelashes and went sliding down her pale blue face.
"Don't cry, please don't cry," Dantam pleaded,
feeling completely helpless for the second time that night. He patted her shoulder
with one dark paw, trying his best to comfort her. "I'm sure you'll get your
memory back and find your owner soon. But until then, you can come and stay
with me. It'll all be all right, I promise."
Tessa looked up from the paw on her shoulder
to Dantam's face, noting the obvious anxiety that he was trying to hide behind
his friendly smile. She sniffed back her tears and did her best to smile back
reassuringly, but couldn't quite seem to form any more words around her tears
"Yeah, don't worry, sweetie." Dantam turned
to look back at Silviana as she spoke up, realising that he'd all but forgotten
that she and Feruli were still there. "Dantam'll take good care of you, and
I'm sure he'll find whoever it is you belong with," the Zafara continued, reaching
down from her perch on Feruli's neck to scratch the female Gelert's head. "That's
his specialty, after all."
Tessa's brow wrinkled in confusion at that statement.
"I'm afraid I don't understand," she said.
"Well," Feruli interrupted before Silviana could
reply, "Silviana and I should be getting back home before our owner starts to
worry about us. But I'm sure that Dantam will explain everything on the way
to your new home." The Eyrie smiled, and from atop his neck, Silviana winked
at Dantam as they both turned away and headed off, leaving Dantam with a befuddled
look on his face and Tessa staring at him expectantly.
The shadow Gelert looked back at her and cleared
his throat, finally forcing out the words to ask himself, "Well, where should
To be continued...