Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 104,800,928 Issue: 204 | 18th day of Hiding, Y7
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Antha and the Alkenore


by precious_katuch14

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Her real name was Samantha, but she didn't want to be called Sam or Sammy, knowing that those nicknames were quite common. So instead, the purple Kacheek resident of Faerieland settled with Antha, boldly telling this to anyone she knew and to anyone who would listen. She lived in a little house on Faerie Lane, but on that day, the Kacheek wasn't cooped up inside, nor was she missing the sunny day.

     On the contrary, Antha was taking a stroll around the block, enjoying the view and the wondrous views of her equally wealthy neighbors. At her side was a little faerie Doglefox, who was busy sniffing at the ground. Every now and then Laurent would poke something in the grass. Everything was well, until they saw a crouched figure shivering beside a rock.

     "What's that?" she asked, pointing towards it. "Aw, it looks scared." Her petpet trotted beside her as she went to investigate. The Kacheek bent down to get a closer look.

     It was an Alkenore, painted rainbow and quivering. The lost little creature stared at Antha and Laurent before ducking behind the small boulder. Before it hid, the two caught a glimpse of gold against the petpet's multicolored fur.

     The Doglefox leapt up and wagged his tail, watching intently. Seeing the purple Kacheek's friendly companion seemed to soothe the misled Alkenore quite a bit, letting it slowly walk into the light. The rays of the sun reflected off of something on its neck - something circular and strung by a lavender collar.

     Antha read the inscription upon the tag. "Your name is Heaven? That's quite a unique name." She turned it over and saw more at the back. "102030 Earth Faerie Close, Faerieland. Well, that's not far from here! I bet we can return you to your owner, or at least take you home. Wouldn't you like that, Heaven?"

     The Alkenore nodded and jumped into her paws. Grinning, she beckoned over to Laurent, who followed happily, not seeming to mind the temporary addition to their duo. He hovered beside his owner's head, eagerly pawing at Heaven, who smiled as they played together. While the purple Kacheek walked off towards Earth Faerie Close, she bumped into a cloud Mynci.

     "I'm sorry," she apologized. But instead of chastising her, the stranger was eyeing the rainbow Alkenore in her arms. In turn, the Doglefox stared at him suspiciously, as if he was protecting his new playmate.

     "That's funny," he mused. "You have two petpets. Isn't that too much?"

     She shook her head. "No, no, my real petpet is Laurent, the faerie Doglefox. But this Alkenore over here…"

     "How much is it?" asked the Mynci swiftly. "I'm willing to trade with you. What's your name? I think I would like that other one. Rainbow things have always fascinated me."

     "I'm afraid Heaven is not for trade," said Antha. "If you'll excuse me, I'll be going now. Perhaps someone lost her."

     But the cloud Mynci persisted, and held her back. "Then again, she could have just been abandoned," he stated. "Maybe I can have her. I bet her past owner was too careless."

     "It doesn't hurt to check," said the Kacheek. "Abandoning a rainbow Alkenore? I really have to go now." She turned away and broke into a sprint, still clutching Heaven in her paws and with Laurent zooming behind her. They fled towards a winding road full of large mansions, not stopping till they reached Earth Faerie Close.

     Unfortunately their exhaustion from running too fast and too soon caught up with them, and they came to a screeching halt. "I feel so…tired," gasped Antha. She felt her Doglefox settle in beside his chum, obviously out of breath as well. Then they all heard something that made them want to run again.

     "I WANT THAT ALKENORE!" yelled the familiar voice of the not-so-familiar cloud Mynci. "FINDERS KEEPERS, LOSERS WEEPERS!"

     "BUT I FOUND HIM FIRST!" screamed the purple Kacheek.

     "AND I FOUND YOU, AND YOU ALREADY HAVE A PETPET!" he shouted back. To make matters worse, he began to pick up speed to pursue the trio.

     Heaven whimpered. Laurent's face twisted into a shadow of worry. Antha felt her wobbly legs and realized that she had to do something, even if she only wanted to sit there and rest them. Without another look at her pursuer, the bearer of the petpets quickly tore through the rows of residences, navigating through to find the rainbow Alkenore's true owner. They didn't know that the Mynci was no longer at their back, until they rounded a corner.

     They found him glaring at them at the end of the narrow street. "Going somewhere?" he sneered. He grabbed her shoulder and held her against the wall. "Give me your Alkenore, and I won't hurt you."

     "No…Heaven's not yours," whispered Antha. "I won't let you have her…see? She's even scared of you."

     She spoke the truth. The rainbow petpet was cowering even more violently, as if winter had come early. Laurent's worried glance became a defiant, curt stare. But the Mynci paid no attention to any of this, continuing to hold the purple Kacheek against her will. "I've waited for so long to find a rainbow Alkenore within my grasp!" he snarled in a wheezy voice. "Let go and I shall let go of you and your pitiful other companion."

     For the faerie Doglefox, that was probably the last straw. As the stranger spoke these words out loud, Laurent instantly bit his paw. While the Mynci was hopping about, yelling the unrecognizable, Antha, Laurent and Heaven escaped, running (or in the Doglefox's case, flying) towards Earth Faerie Close.

     "Can't he give up already on this?" she mumbled, sprinting as fast as her legs could carry her. Neither one of the two petpets accompanying her seemed to want to answer her question. "If he had half a wit, he'd see Heaven's collar."

     They blazed past many residents upon Water Faerie Drive, whose expressions reverted into gaping looks of surprise as the Kacheek whizzed past them. However, before they could revert back to their routines, something that resembled a cloud-covered comet ran through, pushing one particularly infuriated faerie Yurble out of the way as he pursued the purple pet.

     "You can't get away!" the mysterious Mynci yelled. "I want that Alkenore!"

     This time, she didn't reply. Antha kept going, hoping that she was getting closer to her destination. At last, they reached a marker that read, "Earth Faerie Close" written in curly green script upon a tall wooden sign. Heaven seemed to shiver again, only with excitement. "I do hope you know where your house is," said the Kacheek hopefully to the lost petpet.

     Sure enough, she did. With a paw emblazoned with various hues, Heaven gestured towards one particularly extravagant-looking mansion, decorated with pink windows and towering shiny walls. Wasting not another minute, she dove for the door, knocking on it as she landed upon the doorstep.

     "Yes?" A faerie Draik answered it, fluttering her majestic wings. "May I help you, dear?"

     "My name is Samantha," breathed the purple Kacheek. "I have…I mean…did you lose…rainbow…Alkenore?"

     "An Alkenore?" she asked. "Oh, dear me, I took Heaven for a walk a few days ago along these streets to give her a little exercise, but she broke off her leash and I lost sight of her. I've been searching for her for a couple of days, but I gave up. Please, do tell me you have found my lost little Heaven!"

     Nodding, Antha held up the little petpet, who was grinning as it jumped from her paws into the Draik's arms. "Heaven!" the overjoyed owner exclaimed, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I thought I would never see you again! Thank you so much for helping me find my - "

     "WAIT!"

     "Huh?"

     The cloud Mynci caught up with them, and Antha and Laurent slowly backed away, glaring at him. He opened his mouth and choked out, "I thought you weren't selling that thing, eh?"

     "I'm not," objected the Kacheek. "This is Heaven's real owner. See? I was right! She DID have an owner after all!"

     "And," added the Alkenore's owner, "she is not for sale, trade, or grabs. She is mine."

     "Rub it in, why don't you?" sneered the Mynci angrily, and stomped off, grumbling things that sounded like "stupid bigheaded jerks" and "isn't my day".

     When he was out of sight, the Draik turned back to her visitor and said, "I'm so glad you brought my lovely Alkenore back. You and your faerie Doglefox deserve a reward for helping me out today. Would you two like to have a few cookies with me inside? By the way, my name is Eden." Eden brushed some tears away from her face and walked inside the Neohome, with the duo tagging along.

     "Honestly, who was that Mynci?" she asked. "What did he want with Heaven?"

     "It's a really long story, Eden," said Antha. "I hope you're serving drinks with those cookies, 'cause I'm parched."

The End

 
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