Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 103,901,843 Issue: 205 | 26th day of Hiding, Y7
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The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part Six


by playmobil_is_my_life

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Before we walked through the small opening I shook the snow off my white wings. We had just taken two steps inside and already Luna was rummaging through her Faerie Back Pack. I couldn't see her too well since it was pretty dark, but her paws were flipping through various items until she found what she was looking for.

      A beam of light illuminated one of the icy walls.

      "A flashlight?" Damien grinned. "Now that's smart-thinking."

      Luna rolled her eyes. "Seriously, am I the only one who thought of bringing one?"

      "Probably," I admitted, and then added, "the rest of us never thought we'd end up in a deep, dark cave searching Terror Mountain for a Raindorf that won't come when he's called."

      "Shh," said Charlie sharply, like he was trying to shush a yapping Puppyblew. "Let's just find Comet."

      That wasn't going to be too hard. The Raindorf had left us a faint trail of hoof-prints to follow. We pressed further into the cave, the temperature growing a bit colder. The beam of Luna's flashlight stayed on the ground and was careful not to stray from the only evidence that Comet had been here.

      "Wonder what cave this is," Luna thought aloud. "I didn't think there was a cave marked on the mountain top…"

      "Maybe we traveled further than we thought," said Charlie. Damien was holding the pea Chia in his upraised paw.

      I found it hard to concentrate on Comet. Everything around me was beautiful--glazed with ice and sparkling under the flashlight's beam. Frozen stalactites occupied the ceiling and my breath looked silvery in front of my beak.

      I almost ran into Damien because Luna, who was leading the way, stopped. I looked up to see why. In front of us were two paths. I knew we were bound to run into a fork sometime. I looked at Comet's hoof-prints: it seemed like he paused too because they were deeper in that spot. The trail picked up on the tunnel to the left.

      "Then left it is," I decided and the group started again.

      A few minutes later, Damien made us all stop. Luna wheeled around to face him and said seriously, "What?"

      Damien's eyes were squinted in concentration. "I hear air flowing in to us. Don't you feel it?" Since Aishas have an extra set of ears, Damien was the first to notice the soft whooshing sound of air. He looked over at Luna and I. "That means that we're about to go into a big room."

      "Good," I sighed. I was starting to feel a little claustrophobic in this tunnel.

      Damien was right. The tunnel opened up into a large room that seemed as tall as the Meridell castle. The ceiling was vast and the floor wasn't snowy anymore, but it felt hard like ice. I wanted to yell and hear my echo bounce of the walls, but thought better of it.

      The coolest thing was a faint beam of light shining down on a large pile just up ahead. It was silvery and kind of majestic looking, how it shone at a diagonal angle. The beam came from the ceiling, meaning that there must be an opening at the very top of the cave. Perhaps if we found Comet, that would be a quick escape.

      "Look at all those things on the ground," Luna pointed with the flashlight. "They sure are colorful."

      Curiosity got the better of the four of us because we started over to the pile, excitement and bewilderment growing. The colors were easy to see now: blues, reds, greens, purples, yellows, and pinks--all of the colors of the rainbow at the Rainbow Pool and many more.

      "Oh my gosh!" exclaimed Damien, who reached the pile first. "These are Neggs!" He held up a red and blue Negg with a lightning bolt on the front.

      "Neggs?" I echoed. "But… what are they doing in a cave? Whoever they belong to, he or she was really keeping them hidden from other Neopians."

      "Hey, look who I found!" Luna reached into the pile and pulled out a thin Raindorf who was nibbling on a Negg.

      "Comet!" Damien sighed with relief, taking Comet in his paws. "The poor little guy… he must be starving."

      We didn't have much time to be relieved about the Raindorf or look around at the many Neggs because the ground started to tremble. It wasn't very strong at first, but then it got harder. My white paws started to shake on the icy floor.

      "What's happening?" yelled Charlie, holding onto my ears to keep from falling off my head.

      "Oh, no," Luna began.

      Damien and I glanced towards each other, trying to locate which direction the rumbling was coming from, but it looked like Luna knew. She was standing petrified, her mouth frozen open in terror and her eyes wide. The flashlight beam was wobbling as the floor shook louder. The three of us turned to where Luna was looking.

      "He's coming," she managed to say, "he's coming--run!"

      "Who's coming, Luna? What is it?" I asked urgently, putting my paws on the Yurble's shoulders to look her in the eyes. "Tell us."

      Luna tried to say something but she was much too scared. Instead, she just pointed in the direction of the long, icy archway.

      Through the gap slithered a monster-like creature with a sleek body and glowing red eyes. He rose up as tall as could be and looked down at us. I felt all of the feathers on my back stand up and my paws became glued to the ice.

      Luna managed to find her voice, "Snowager."

      "Holy Tyrannia," I mumbled slowly, not taking my eyes off him.

     The Snowager looked at us peculiarly, then his eyes narrowed. He roared and shards of ice shot from his mouth. I raised my paws to protect Charlie and myself but felt a few pieces hit me in the chest. Damien and Luna seemed okay, so thinking fast, I yanked them onto my back and told them to hold on.

     Everything after that was a blur. The Snowager roared again and ice blasts showered my wings and feet. We rose up into the air towards the ceiling: aiming for that burst of light to escape. I felt Damien and Luna holding on for dear life and Comet's hooves dig into my back. Ignoring it, I made a beeline for the opening. When I reached it I almost smashed into the ceiling. A layer of ice was covering it-- preventing our escape!

     Frantically looking back, I saw the Snowager preparing to attack again. Thinking fast, I dodged to the right, just as his nose hit the ceiling. I heard a loud crack and realized that he had chipped some of the ice blocking our exit. Desperate for an escape, I clawed at the remaining pieces and pushed my way through.

     I could barely feel the Snowager's hot breath on my tail when the five of us (Damien managed to hold onto Comet) burst through and rolled down the hill. We broke apart and slid the rest of the way down.

     Charlie was still on my head; Comet was shaking like a leaf in Damien's lap and Luna was breathing heavily across from me. We made it. We escaped the Snowager's cave unscathed. All of a sudden I looked around and felt giddiness rise up in my chest. I started to laugh.

     I couldn't help it--my paws were shaking and I was missing some feathers, but we were safe. It was a nervous laugh, mixed with excitement and relief. The sunlight was warming and welcoming on my face. I could hear the wind and feel the soft breeze.

     Damien sighed heavily and chuckled, too. The royal Aisha lowered his head and when he looked up at me, I could see he was laughing as hard as I was. Even Charlie was grinning. It was a really good feeling.

     When I stood up, Luna smacked me on the side. "You guys have a weird sense of humor."

      "I can't help it," I began, still shaking a little. "I'm just glad we made it out!"

     Luna rolled her eyes. "We almost get killed by the Snowager himself and you're still over here giggling like a maniac." I laughed hard on that comment. To me, the situation was funny… especially since we all were safe.

     "That was quite a save," Damien winked at me and clapped me on the shoulder. I grinned, enjoying the praise.

     "Yeah," said Luna as we started to walk down the slope. "Thanks, Marlo."

     ***

     That night at the Snowy Inn, Luna came up to our room and we continued to share theories about what happened on the 14th month of Awakening. After our little run-in with the Snowager, it felt good to relax under the heating system in the Snowy Inn.

     Comet had been returned to Sabra the minute we reached Blizzard Lane. The Cybunny was ecstatic. Even Comet looked happy to be home! I was about ready to go home myself, but the Neopet who broke into Sabra and Kara's house was still out there, and we needed to find him or her.

     "What if…" Charlie began. It seemed as though the whole night was filled with 'what ifs'. "What if Terrak the snow shoveling Innkeeper was shoveling snow that morning for Sabra? He could have easily put some Slumberberry Potion in the Achyfi, causing Kara to collapse. If he's been shoveling snow for the sisters for a long time, he could probably figure out their routine and know that Sabra was gone that night to get a Slushie and Kara was left alone with Comet. We already know that Terrak doesn't like Comet..."

     "One thing," I interrupted. "That doesn't explain why the door was open."

     "Maybe the Neopet responsible for Kara's exhaustion left it open by mistake," Luna suggested, scribbling down our ideas in her notepad. We didn't have much time to think about it more, because there was a knock on the door.

     I answered it. In the doorway stood a green Kacheek.

     "Teagen," I said, surprised, "come in." I almost forgot when Luna and I went to visit him. I introduced him to Damien and Charlie and then asked why he was here.

     "Well, uhh, last time we talked, you said if I f-found the receipt when I was out to dinner I should give it to you." He handed over a crumpled piece of paper.

      I smoothed it out and skimmed through it: 'The Snowball Café. 14th day of the month of Awakening.' 'Time of arrival: 5:51pm NST'. Under that, 'Time of Departure: 6:48pm NST'. And under that was what Teagen ordered and how much he paid. I turned to the Kacheek,

      "Thanks. This makes our job a little easier."

      "You're welcome. If you don't need me for anything else, then, uhh, I'll just get going." I nodded and held up my paw to say no; we were finished with him.

      Teagen turned and exited as I shut the door. I looked over at the group, "Teagen was telling the truth. He was at the restaurant at the time of Sabra's incident and this receipt proves it. His story checks out."

      "That just leaves Terrak," answered Damien slowly.

      "And Sabra," advised Charlie. "Don't think for one second that she isn't a suspect. It would have been easiest for her to put the Slumberberry Potion in Kara's drink and frame her with the Raindorf-covered jacket."

      He's right, I thought. With Teagen out of the way, that left Terrak and Sabra.

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part One
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part Two
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part Three
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part Four
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf - Part Five
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Runaway Raindorf



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