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Remembering Tomos


by bunni287

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Hidden away in an abandoned house of Sakhmet sits a young Lupess among dust, old rags and a few battered cushions. She is named Jasmine and she is only ten. Part of a gang of streetwise urchins, the Desert Scarabs. Now her brother is missing and her friends have left her. She is all alone. Scared and listening to the roar of monsters outside while people try to flee for their lives.

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     Sitting here curled up in a ball is all I can do. My arms tucked tight by my sides. The monsters have overrun the city and I am too scared to hardly even breathe. I can hear screams and yells as people try to run away and barricade their homes against the monsters. It makes me wish my big brother, Tomos, was here; he'd know what to do. And Nabile too. But they're gone. Disappeared. As if they never existed. Horace and the other Desert Scarabs have gone up to the palace to tell Princess Amira their news of how to defeat the monsters and I'm left here. Alone. Scared. On this dusty floor of an abandoned house ravaged ages ago by the monsters. The tenants are nowhere to be found. But I dare not think about that. I and the others have already been attacked once by those monsters. Only just escaping. That's when he had brought me here. "If anything happened to you Tomos would never forgive me," Horace had said. "You stay here and keep quiet and if any monsters come, run!"

     I had nodded in agreement and whimpered, "What if anything happens to you, what will I do?"

     He had just smiled and hugged me saying, "You're a Desert Scarab, you'll know what to do."

     With that he and the others had leapt down to the streets and raced off towards the palace. Leaving me here with only a catapult to comfort me. Holding it close makes me feel as if nothing can hurt me. It used to be Tomos'. He had given it me when I was six. We had been on the streets a while by then. Father had been run out of Sakhmet for reasons that I do not know and Mother had died of an incurable disease when I was two. I remember Tomos giving me a thumbs up to start distracting the stall keeper as he swiped a few Tchea fruits for dinner. "Hey, erm, how much are your… ummagines?" I asked the stall keeper, who was a grumpy old Grrarl.

     "More than you could ever afford you little Scarab!" He grunted at me.

     I was just about to give the stall keeper a piece of my mind when Tomos gave me another thumbs up and waddled around the corner with his shirt bursting with Tchea fruits. I started to follow when I caught sight of a timid young Ixi girl, around the same age as Tomos, looking among the stalls for scraps to eat. She looked as if she hadn't eaten for weeks and her clothes desperately needed patching up, worse than mine. I called over to her and waved. She looked at me shocked and shrank quietly to the shadows. I walked up to her, smiling and whispered, "You looked starved, you want something to eat?"

     She nodded eagerly.

     "Good, I'll shoot a few pebbles at the weak point of the stall and when the canopy comes down it will stir up some confusion and you grab some grub, okay?"

     She nodded again.

     I ran over to the stall and while the stall keeper was busy with a customer. I shot a few pebbles and they missed terribly. "What was that?" the customer asked, surprised, as splinters rained down from wherever I had hit.

     "Hey how much are these Tchea fruits?" the Ixi asked running out of the shadows, her voice high with exictment.

     "25 neopoints!" the Grrarl grunted at her, looking upon his fruits.

     Suddenly he grabbed her, "YOU LITTLE SNEAK THIEF!" He growled heatedly in her face. His customer had ran around the corner to get the guards.

     "I-I never!" she cried, tears on the brim of her eyes.

     I gasped. He had noticed the missing fruits! "Hey Ugly!" came a familiar voice and a couple of stones whizzed past my head and struck the stall's frame.

     The canopy swung down and hit the horrible Grrarl in the face. He let go of the Ixi with a surprised, "GAH!"

     The Ixi crumpled to the floor.

     "Move Jasmine," Tomos whispered into my ear. "The guards are coming!"

     "Help, thieves!" cried the Stall keeper as he tried to untangle himself from his canopy.

     We both grabbed the Ixi by both arms (picking up a few fruits as we went) and lead her through a maze of alleyways to an old house that was falling apart in the older regions of Sakhmet. As we hurried along the alleyways Tomos chucked his catapult at me and said, "Here, you need to practice your shooting!"

     I smiled and carried on running.

     When we came to the house I launched myself up the boards attached to the side of the house that lead to a window on the second floor. As I finished my climb I turned around to pull in the young Ixi who had come up behind me. We entered a room strewn with old rags and a few battered cushions. "Where are we?" the Ixi asked nervously.

     "We are at home, sweet, home!" Tomos grinned.

     "It's nice…better than the streets anyway." The Ixi blushed.

     "Yup, it sure is," I laughed. "C'mon, I'll give you the tour!"

     I showed her around the house, where to escape from guards, where a few extra rags were kept and the food store (when we got some that is). Later on as we ate our hard earned Tchea fruits with relish I asked the Ixi, "What did you say your name was again?"

     "I didn't, it's Nabile!" She smiled, Tchea juice dripping down her face.

     "Well that's a nice name!" Tomos smiled and nothing more was said until we were going to sleep on our rags (Nabile sharing mine) where we discussed our 'adventure' today.

     "You were really brave today, Nabile, thanks!" I grinned at her.

     "Yeah, you were pretty brave too. I was really scared when the stall keeper grabbed me!" she replied.

     "And then brave young Tomos had to come and save the day!" laughed Tomos.

     "Oh shush!" snapped Nabile, throwing a cushion at him.

     I giggled happily. "Oh yeah Tomos, thanks for the catapult!"

     "Anything for you little sis," Tomos replied casually.

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     A few weeks later we met Horace, he was younger than Tomos but they got on well, always coming home with their shirts full to bursting with Tchea fruits, and, well, the Desert Scarabs just grew from there, with Sara and Mark and Abu joining us the year after that. The mark of the Desert Scarabs we wear on our arm we came across by chance when Tomos was hit with a branding iron in the shape of a scarabug. It must have really hurt but we all laugh about it now because all the Desert Scarabs have got one. The mark of the Scarabs. But that's another story.

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     I really miss Tomos. Thinking about him makes me smile a little. The screams outside the window are louder and I can hear the beating of filthy wings. Jazan has released another, more horrible monster upon our city. Since Jazan came into our lives there has been nothing but fear. I hope Princess Amira kicks him out of Sakhmet forever when Horace and the others tell her what to do about the monsters. I'd better hide under the rags just in case! Come back soon, Tomos...

The End

 
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