Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 115,191,906 Issue: 230 | 9th day of Running, Y8
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Amethyst Kadoatie: Part Two


by candykitty

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As I crept back to my Neohome with a purring Amethyst in my arms, I silently made the resolutions of keeping her that I would have to follow every day:

     Find a suitable place for Amethyst to live. Must be warm, dry, sheltered from wind or rain, somewhere that Mum and Dad hardly ever go (or don't even go to).

     Do not tell Mum and Dad about Amethyst. Never let the secret slip from my mouth - she is my Number One Secret.

     Make sure I don't make family suspicious. Never creep away to look after Amethyst in the middle of something like dinner, family time, or doing homework for Neoschool. Always go to Amethyst WHEN I AM FREE.

     Feed Amethyst every day. Diet must consist of sensible food (though I mustn't take too much of it to make family curious), such as apples, leftover meat, plain biscuits and water.

     Give Amethyst plenty of things to do in her hiding place. Set up branches to climb on and give her toys to play with.

     Struggling to remember all of this to write down later, I looked up at the sky. The sun was slowly descending down towards the horizon, even though there was no usual pink and orange glow spreading out above the fields like a particularly huge neon sign. Good. Just enough time to find a place for Amethyst.

     But where to hide her? Did I recall, after living there for a long period of time, finding a secret place somewhere around the farm where Mum and Dad never visited? This was going to be tricky.

     After trekking around the yard for five minutes, searching and searching, I was just about to give up when I turned my head - and a gleaming flash of silver blinded me for a split second.

     I blinked, then realized that the strange glint had come from somewhere at the edge of the pine tree forest, around the back of the house. Interested, I walked over, gently put Amethyst down on the grass and began to clear away the gnarly branches of the pine trees, revealing more silver. My paws ran over a familiar corrugated surface… over the unpleasant feel of rust…

     Shortly after, I swept Amethyst back up again and beamed at my discovery. A small, battered but warm-looking metal tool shed stood in front of me, half hidden by the thick pine trees as if being pulled in, its silver metal gleaming weakly from beneath the rust that encrusted most areas. I smiled. Before now, our family had never used (or discovered) this… meaning that if my parents never came into it, then it was the perfect place to hide Amethyst!

     So without any further hesitations or thoughts, I brushed back a few sharp, needled branches and approached the severely dented door. Before entering, I opened and closed the door a few times, to make sure that it could easily cover the entrance and stay shut when I wanted it to. Despite the rust and dents that made it look like a very elderly something, I deemed it just fine, and walked into the shed with Amethyst.

     No tools - but lots and lots of metal shelves surrounding me up on the walls, as well as some metal plates with hooks attached for hanging equipment on. At one end of the compact shed space stood a very scratched and damaged workbench. This reminded me a lot of our Neohome garage. I looked up at the slightly sagging roof, hoping that it would stay in place during a storm or high wind.

     Something soft and silky nuzzled against my cheek. I looked down, and smiled again at a very content-looking Amethyst, who was rubbing against me with the top of her head.

     "It's very warm in here, isn't it?" I said. Amethyst gave a small noise in an agreement reply.

     My smile turned into a grin. "Well, why not stay here?" I laughed, looking around the area once again. "It's the perfect place to keep you, Amethyst, it really is! But, of course," I added weakly, "we'll need some supplies for you."

     I could have sworn that the Kadoatie nodded at me.

     Several minutes later, I returned to the aged shed, with my old red wooden wagon that Dad had made me to play with when I was younger. But that wasn't all. Inside the wagon, in a huge towering heap that looked very prone to collapsing, I had piled up the following: two bales of hay for Amethyst to sleep on (from our own barn, they're so soft and comfy to be sprawled over), an old blanket in case she got cold, a bunch of apples from our apple orchards, a dish of water, a few medium-sized tree branches that she could climb on for entertainment, and a small rubber ball I had won from a raffle in the Bazaar one day. Also squashed into the wagon with all this were an old litter tray and the lantern that we used when we went camping.

     "Here we are, Amethyst!" I said cheerily as I dragged the loaded wagon into the shed. Amethyst looked up, the sunlight catching her jet-black fur and rippling across it like ocean waves, and she purred at the sight of the things for her.

     Before I could close the door, she jumped up like a spring and nicked an apple from the crate. She began munching away at it as soon as she landed, while I started making her bed and setting up everything.

     "You must have been starving!" I said. "It's a good thing you can take one of the few things I can offer."

     Amethyst just stretched with a big yawn, climbed into her new bed and fell fast asleep with the comforts of home.

     *

     "Tag! You're it, Becky!" my best friend Ashleigh shouted, and swung across the bars away from me. I was 'in' now for tag on the playground, but I didn't really care because I had been thinking about Amethyst all day long and what we would do when I got back from Neoschool.

     "Hurry up, Rebecca!" Ashleigh called crossly, dangling upside down from the bars and letting her long ears swing in the air.

     "Alright, alright," I muttered, swinging across the bars rather hopelessly towards Ashleigh.

     "Ha, ha!" she said, flipping back up to the top with her athletic Zafara body, as I reached out - and then the bell rang so suddenly that I dropped off the bars in surprise. Ashleigh helped me up, looked at me with those beady brown eyes and said, "By the way I'm coming to your house after school," and then dashed off (she's really happy-go-lucky).

     I stopped dead in horror. I had almost forgotten that she was coming over that day - and I would have to take care of Amethyst! If Ashleigh ever found out about her and told my parents, they'd probably force me to let Amethyst go - exactly what both of us, Amethyst and I, wanted the least in Neopia…

     *

     Ashleigh and I walked into the house, my heart pounding nervously. I would just have to keep Amethyst really secret. "Hi Mum, I'm home with Ashleigh!" I called as I dumped my bag on the floor.

     "Hi, girls," Mum called from the kitchen. The smell of chocolate muffins wafted through the door - making Ashleigh so dreamy, for her favourite food is chocolate - but before I could get into the dining room, there was a blood-curdling hiss, a MEOW of panic and a sudden series of clatters and shatters from the hallway. Amethyst was up to something - I knew it!

     "Uh… I've got to use the bathroom," I mumbled, and dashed off to the hallway. I ran helter-skelter down the hall and turned the corner - well, almost, for I'd stopped dead.

     A bombsite of wood, books, shattered ornaments and photo frames blocked my path. As the dust cleared slowly, all I could do was gape. The bookshelf in the hallway! Then a small furry head poked out from a gap in the wreckage. Amethyst's beady eyes stared back at me, an ashamed look on her face.

     "Amethyst! Get outside - NOW!" I hissed, gesturing wildly - for who should be hurrying down the hall after me, but Ashleigh.

     I spun around and looked back, but Amethyst was gone. Helplessly gawping at the mess on the floor, I heard Ashleigh approaching not far behind me, saying impatiently, "Becky, where have you got to? Your mum's just baked - "

     Ashleigh took one look at what had happened and gasped. There was an uncomfortable silence, like the kind of silence you'd get when a game of Meriball has just been cancelled. It seemed to go on forever, until Ashleigh blurted out, "Oh! Did you do that, Beck?"

     Reluctantly, I had to say yes, to save the unveiling of my secret. Even though it meant lying to my best friend.

     *

     That evening when Ashleigh had gone home I staggered back to Amethyst's shed with a large piece of meat loaf. I also needed to talk to Amethyst about what happened that day - I had to sit through a long lecture of Dad's, as he went on and on about the importance of WALKING through the hallway, not running, blah di blah DI blah.

     But when I got there, Amethyst was gone! "Amethyst?" I called. "Where are you? Are you there?" No answer. I looked about her belongings - the old blanket, the scattered hay on the floor, the tree branches among them that gave her enjoyment to climb on, even inside the crate of apples. But I just couldn't find her - not a trace of shining fur, or the entrancing glitter of her big sapphire-amethyst eyes.

     And then a sweet smell came - a VERY sweet smell. It was as if someone was holding a bunch of daffodils in front of my face. And then I realized that the sweet smell was a weird, orange mist, coming from the forest of pine trees outside. "What the…?" I whispered. But in no time at all I was actually following the trail of orange mist, as if I was being hypnotized… and as I followed the mist, with the pine needles brushing my face as I passed them, the mist was actually changing colour… now it was a golden, sparkling yellow… and then it was emerald green… then metallic blue, like Amethyst's eyes… and then it turned an entrancing ruby colour - and that's when I found Amethyst!

     The strange mist had been coming from a smooth circular clearing in the center of the forest where it was beautiful, long grass encrusted in dew. It was quite big, and in the middle stood a huge marble pillar with the patterns of four symmetrical Kadoaties embossed around it. There were real gems stuck onto the pillar around them: topaz, ambers, emeralds and sapphires… but on top of the pillar was a marble statue of a Kadoatie that looked somewhat like Amethyst, and it was in a sitting pose with more gems around the pillar border: rubies. The real Amethyst was sitting in front of the pillar, weeping for some reason.

     I came closer to the pillar - and I realized that it was a fountain, for there were four spouts of water coming from the top, just above the rubies. The water was filling up a shallow, circular marble pool surrounding the perimeter of the pillar, and engraved into the front of the short pool wall were these words in beautiful writing:

     THE GEM FOUNTAIN

     "What's wrong, Amethyst?" I whispered, crouching down beside my companion. She just mewed sadly, as if she was badly wounded, and stared up at the Kadoatie statue on top of the pillar. I stared at it too - and then I understood.

     "Is that your m-mother?" I croaked. And believe it or not, Amethyst nodded - and clear, gleaming tears trickled down her fur, making it shinier than ever.

To be continued...

 
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