A Yurble stole my cinnamon roll! Circulation: 155,374,126 Issue: 208 | 16th day of Gathering, Y7
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Sand Daughter: Part Two


by sara_mossflower

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Also by smurfafied1800

Lion and Lamb

Immi stared at her holder with dumb fright for seconds that seemed like hours. The Usul's smile widened, yet her eyes kept the fearful look. "The sands have awaited you," she said, shaking Immi's shoulder uncontrollably. The Kacheek stared back at the elder with equal terror; she wasn't too comfortable with insane pets. While thinking this Usul had a screw loose, she couldn't help but feel that she was powerful in a way.

      "Uh, l-look..." Immi stuttered, trying to shake the Usul's paw off (which didn't work), "I don't think any sands are waiting for me--" The fear in the old Usul's eyes quickly disappeared and she giggled madly.

      "Oooh, yes! The sands have awaited this day with great eagerness!" she giggled, dragging Immi away. She briefly considered calling for help, but none of the villagers seemed disturbed by the Usul's antics, so she must've been harmless.

      The Usul dragged her to a large tent and shoved her in violently, closing the flap behind her and giggling all the more madly. Immi sat where she'd been tossed, feeling extremely nervous. Beads ranging from shades of green to red hung from the ceiling of the tent. The ground was decorated with exotic and colourful mats, and in the corners of the tent many ornaments sat. The Usul hurried past Immi, shoving her out of the middle of the room, and grabbed a glass ball and a stand. She propped them up in the middle and sat down next to them, humming (or in Immi's opinion, droning) loudly. She stared up at Immi, grinning in an insane way.

      "You will be swept away into the sands, by the sands," she hummed, sliding her hands over the glass ball. "You will be like the lion and the lamb with the sands." Immi gaped at her all the while. She had no clue to why this psycho was talking about "sand and lions and lambs, O my". The most she could utter from her clenched throat was, "Uh, yeah." Her mind screamed, Get... away... from me... but she found herself immobile - if she had attempted to leave, she had a feeling the crazed hag would just come after her again, and her shoulder was already smarting. She managed a nervous, false smile and waited for the Usul to cease ranting. Unfortunately for Immi, she had a lot more to say.

      "Destiny lies amongst the sands, for you are one with the sands. Your ancestors both feared and embraced the sands, and the lion of the sands." She let out another throaty giggle, and her eyes spun as she matched Immi's gaze again, pausing for a moment, like a child awaiting a treat for doing something special.

      The silence was uncomfortable. "Um…" mumbled Immi, about to make an excuse to leave, but the elderly lunatic interrupted her again, eyeing the glass orb on its pedestal with spastic excitement she could barely contain. "THE SANDS!!!"

      Immi fell over with shock - the Usul's screeching voice was almost ear rending. Wouldn't she shut up? 'Sands' is like the only word in her vocabulary! Immi reflected snappishly. She wondered what the villagers outside thought of the tent were thinking - it must have sounded like she was being harassed or something, unless this was some kind of stupid let-the-crazy-woman-scare-the-foreigner joke. The Kacheek struggled to get up from the mats she was lying on, only to encounter the insane grin of her acquaintance. "Lady…are you…um…okay?" she managed. She didn't care if it was slightly rude at this point - it was clearly obvious from the start that the Usul had some kind of issues.

      "'OKAY'? Child, I assure you I am more than all right! The sands have called you to meeee!" She did a small pirouette, which made Immi raise an eyebrow quizzically. She then kneeled over on the Kacheek, so that they were face-to-face and Immi could smell her stenchy breath. "The sands do odd things, you know."

      "Yeah," Immi finally snapped back. "Like screw with pets' BRAINS..."

      She was interrupted once again with the Usul squealed. "I betcha you don't know my name."

      Even though this was a sudden change of topic, Immi quickly retorted, "Sand." Much to her surprise, the Usul jumped up multiple times. "You're so SMART!" She then regained her mystic attitude. "I have one last thing to say before you leave into the sands."

      "What?" Immi snapped irritably. "Sand" didn't seem at all shaken by her attitude.

      "Beware of the sand," she said, grinning once again. "It will sweep you away by the moon." Immi groaned and left the tent, hearing Sand shriek once again, "SAND!! EEE!!!" And she felt little pebbles hitting her back as the Usul threw sand all over her.

      Immi found the nearest shop as quickly as she could and purchased some water and a loaf of dried bread with her few Neopoints. The then walked through the sand (MAN, she hated thinking of the very WORD now) and found a small clearing a little ways away from the village. If she hadn't met the insane Sand, she probably would've stayed in town, but Immi didn't feel exactly safe in the same providence with her.

      Immi dug a small hole in the shade of some thin, dead trees, and chugged down some of her water. The cool drink was like heaven for her throat, despite the clods of sand that hadn't been filtered out of it. Immi then took a chunk out of her bread and chewed happily, savouring the taste. It was beginning to get dark - the boat HAD arrived around noon - so she curled up in her small hole and slowly fell asleep. The intense heat had only gone down a little at night, but it felt the same thanks to the humid air.

      Lying down, Immi rolled up the back of her t-shirt so that her fur and skin made contact with the slightly cooler sand below the surface she had dug up. Feeling a little more comfortable, she gazed towards the sun, making its slow journey through the dim sky before trading places with the moon. Immi raised her right hand and checked her watch - seven thirty. She knew that the FaerieSprite would return to Neopia Central again at nine - something she'd noticed when first checking the cruise times before going through with Farl's dare. Resting her hands behind her head, she decided that she had time for a short nap - it would at least take her mind off the desert's climate and her thoughts of Sand's psychotic words. Immi doubted she'd oversleep and miss the boat - she'd slept while onboard after all.

      With that in mind, she let her eyelids block out the sunlight and allowed her tired body to release itself to slumber.

      A while later, she was awakened by a sharp prodding on her arm. Blinking, she had a second to glance down at her watch - quarter to nine - before she was seized violently from behind and a rag was forced into her mouth. Eyes wide with panic, all Immi could see was the rising moon in the dark sky.

      Beware…it will sweep you away by the moon…

      Sand's words rang through her brain, but she didn't know what the make of them. The instinct to get out of this situation blared in the rapid beating of her frightened heart. Inhaling sharply through her nose, Immi struggled to twist around. Despite the firm grip her captor had on her upper arms, she managed to glimpse a countenance hidden by a burnoose and loose scarf, covering the creature's mouth and shadowing its eyes.

      "LET ME GO!" Immi screamed, or at least tried to. What resulted was a string of incomprehensible mumbling and a throbbing throat.

      "Shut up," hissed her foe's rasping voice; it was the sound of a male pet's deeper tones. Responding to her struggle, he hoisted Immi over his shoulders. The Kacheek thrashed about helplessly, realizing that he had bound her ankles and wrists while asleep. Immi's mind whirled in fear, but she suddenly felt a rush of sedation as the scent of tangy, unfamiliar herbs reached her nostrils. With one last look at the sand, starry sky, and sparse trees she had lain under, the world fell away for her as her senses dulled to unconsciousness.

      *

      She remembered this night. It was one she wanted to forget, but she never could. It had been in the summer, years ago. Immi had been six years old. She even vividly remembered the weather - hot, moist air with hardly any wind.

      Immi had been playing in the garden. Her father had been playing hide-n'-seek with her. Immi remembered as she saw the tiny cloud Kacheek looking around frantically, and being satisfied with a bush of roses. She hid behind them, giggling at the thought of her daddy looking for her, and was silent.

      She waited for hours. Immi was patient for a while, but then she curled up and took a long nap, still waiting for her father. Daddy ALWAYS knew where to look for her... why was he taking so long? Immi finally picked herself up, wiping off the sweat from her brow, and toddled out of the rose bush. She walked through the maze garden she had memorized, calling out, "Daddy?"

      Immi rounded a corner and stopped instantly as she beheld her father. The yellow Kacheek's usually kind face was twisted in fear and pain. Immi walked up to her daddy; she didn't understand. Why was he being so still? "Daddy?" she whispered. From all she could see, only one thing seemed wrong with him: the small dart in his neck.

      "Daddy," Immi whispered, shaking him gently. "Wake up. You found me!" But her daddy wouldn't move. Immi finally realized this. With trembling knees she stumbled back, tears streaming down her cheeks. She didn't understand! Why wasn't he moving?!

      Minutes later she was running through the forest. Immi glanced back over her shoulder every now and then, seeing nothing but feeling all the more terrified. She had seen her mother - the same thing had happened to her.

      A shadowy figure landed in front of her, laughing cruelly. Immi stumbled back, and the figure advanced. It was one of about the same size as her; probably a eight-year-old.

      "I'm going to finish what my friend started back at your house," he hissed, drawing out a dagger. Immi instantly felt the knife penetrate her flesh and screamed out...

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» Sand Daughter: Part One
» Sand Daughter: Part Three
» Sand Daughter: Part Four
» Sand Daughter: Part Five
» Sand Daughter: Part Six
» Sand Daughter: Part Seven
» Sand Daughter: Part Eight



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