The wind howled ominously outside the window. A floor board
creaked, and the shadows in the small bed room appeared to darken. A chill swept
in, making the young Kyrii pull her covers closer as she shivered, peering around
the room quickly. Soft hissing issued from what seemed like every corner of the
room, and a dark shape slid closer, and closer, until it was right next to the
bed of the shivering Kyrii. Her eyes widened, she reached up an arm and -
Flicked on the bed side lamp. The flood of light
illuminated the room, eliminating the shadows, quieting the wind, and slowly
chasing away the cold. The Kyrii's eyes came to rest upon a very put-out looking
Halloween Blumaroo, who now squinted in the sudden harsh light.
"Go to bed, Naihii," the Kyrii said in a severe
voice. Her arms were now crossed over her covers, and she scowled like the Snowager
Naihii's head dropped in disappointment for
the 17th night in a row, and he stared at the floor, his toes fiddling with
the edge of the pink rug.
"I can't sleep, Simohn," he said, now on the
brink of tears. He could never sleep. And he could never scare Simohn! She never
even played along…
"Do I care, Naihii? Stop being ridiculous, I'm
not a Baby that's going to wet the bed every time you start up your stupid special
effects. And look at me! I haven't gotten a full night's sleep since Mum picked
you up from that wretched pound. Frankly, I wish she'd never brought you home!
I wish you weren't my brother!"
Simohn finished with an exasperated sigh, glaring
at her little brother. Naihii's tail twitched. He breathed in deeply, the air
catching in his chest twice. Tears poured down his face, soaking into the rug.
Simohn shook her head, and tossed herself onto her side, facing away from the
heart broken Blumaroo. She left the light on.
Naihii slowly turned, and dragged himself out
of his sister's room, down the main steps, and into the kitchen. He looked around
the warm room, but didn't really see anything but the look that had been on
Simohn's face. His decision was final. He didn't belong here…
It was raining, and the late moon was low and
slight. Naihii shivered, and wrapped his winged arms around himself, head bowed
against the onslaught of water. Through the remainder of the night he never
stopped walking away and never looked up, his mind a painful blank.
Hours later, as the first rays of light crept
over the hills to his right, and the storm ceased at last, the sounds of morning
surrounded him. Naihii blinked away the last of the rain drops from his eyes,
and shook his wings dry. His bones ached with the cold they had endured.
The Blumaroo finally took in his surroundings.
Nothing looked familiar. Spinning around left, right, behind, and forward, he
couldn't even remember which way he'd come from. He noticed a path branching
off to the West. The trees were denser and a shadow seemed to loom over it.
Hesitantly, he took a step towards it, then another.
"Oh, Simohn," he said softly, almost too quietly
for himself to hear. "Where am I going?"
With that, he disappeared into the trees.
Simohn sat up in bed with a gentle groan. She
rubbed her throbbing head with her paws, mumbling about awful dreams and lack
of sleep. Kicking off the covers, she stepped into her slippers and shuffled
down to the kitchen, not bothering to brush her fur for the first time in years.
She opened the fridge with a grunt, fetching the orange juice and 4 eggs, and
began to prepare breakfast. She hated cooking, but with their mother away for
the weekend, it was up to her to take care of herself and silly little Naihii.
Always getting in the way, he was, she thought with annoyance. Still… he was
"NAIHII!" she shouted. "Breakfast!" Her tired
voice echoed through the neohome. She waited. No usual excited reply followed
by the banging signature of the Blumaroo bouncing down the steps.
"Naihii?" she said cautiously.
She turned off the element on the stove, and
went back up stairs, starting to worry. Naihii never hesitated in the morning;
he was almost always up at the crack of dawn. She walked up to his bedroom door,
painted black with little moons and stars. Despite herself, she smiled. He'd
been so happy when she'd painted them for him. The door was open a crack. She
gently pushed it open with a paw, and the door creaked open. She stepped into
the dark room, and flicked on a light, ready to chastise him for not coming
The room was empty. At first, Simohn was confused.
She checked under his bed, his bathroom, his closet, but no Naihii to be found.
She dashed into the hallway, checking every upstairs room, including her mom's
'off-limits' laboratory. She shouted his name again and again as she dashed
through the entire house, her sense of dread growing with each call that went
unheard. Finally she stopped, panting, and found herself back in the kitchen.
She tore at her fur in anguish. Where could he have gone?
Suddenly her own words from last night came
flooding back to Simohn. She cringed unintentionally. Had she really said that
to her little brother? Her fists clenched in anger at herself, and she rushed
to the closet to get her cloak and boots, first pausing to grab a spare frying
pan off the kitchen counter. She had to find him, and she had a vague idea where
he might be headed…
Naihii's eyes flashed back and forth, trying
to home in on the snatches of movement that he swore flitted around on either
side of his cramped path. Twigs snapped, and his breathing rate increased again
as his heart pounded in his chest. Red glaring eyes blinked from behind the
bushes and trees, everything was swathed in darkness. No sunlight escaped into
the black forest that Naihii had willingly walked into.
Howling echoed through the wood. Naihii could
take it no longer. He broke into a run, crashing through branches and undergrowth
that tore at his limbs in an attempt to waylay him. Blood pounded in his head
as he ran and ran, away from the horrible slobbering sounds that soon came from
not far behind him. At last he saw a patch of light just a few strides away.
He wrapped his winged arms around his head and burst through the foliage and
into the sunlight.
Naihii finally stopped running and leaned over,
closing his eyes and panting. He then turned back towards the wood and heard
the sounds of his pursuers now casually approaching. He twisted back around
to continue running, and very nearly crashed into the side of a great rock cliff.
"HELP!" he cried as he backed up against the
rocky surface. He pressed his back against the stone in an attempt to get as
far away as possible from the wild Werelupes now emerging from the forest, slobber
dripping from their lopsided grins.
Simohn had run for at least an hour, and she
felt like her lungs were going to burst. It didn't help that she had a heavy
metal frying pan tied and slung across her back. She looked around, desperately
worried about her brother. She'd reached a point in the road that led to both
the Lost Desert and the Haunted Woods. It was a matter of left… or right. She
looked down both. It didn't take a Chemist to figure out which way to go, as
her mother would always say. She tore down the left path as fast as her tired
legs could carry her, down the darkest path in Neopia.
She hadn't been crashing through the branches
of the Haunted Woods for more than three minutes, when a distant cry echoed
through the dark forest. Simohn's heart raced. That had to be Naihii. She couldn't
see anything through the darkness, but she sprinted after her brother's shout.
Finally, when Simohn thought her body would
either melt or explode, she heard amused snarling and the licking of lips just
ahead of her, near a patch of light. Fear coursed through her, and she shook
as she pushed apart the last of the branches. She leapt into a bright, rocky
clearing, brandishing her frying pan like a deadly weapon.
At first, the Werelupes were slightly taken
aback by the sudden appearance of the very bedraggled and slightly insane looking
Kyrii. Then the pack leader let out a throaty chuckle, and others mindlessly
"Well, 'ello there. Another for lunch then?"
he growled, thrilled with the fortunes of the morning. "And look! You even brought
us the frying pan!"
"Get. Away. From. My. Brother," Simohn said
through clenched teeth. She had spotted poor little Naihii, cowering against
the rock face, reduced to a trembling mass of orange and black fur.
The Werelupe leader flashed a very sharp, toothy
smile, and advanced on Simohn, while the others formed an even tighter circle
around the pair. Simohn braced herself, angling her pan like a baseball bat.
The Werelupe crouched, sprang, and -
WHAM. The frying pan had caught the pack leader
square on the side of the head, sending painful vibrations throughout the hapless
Werelupe's entire body. He yowled in pain and hit the ground with a bone crunching
thud. Eyes slightly crossed, he struggled to his feet, and ran as fast as he
could away from the Kyrii and back into the woods, narrowly missing a tree in
his befuddled state.
The remaining Werelupe pack members' eyes widened,
and then exchanged glances. Simohn shook her pan at them, and without another
moments hesitation, they galloped back into the woods, tripping over each other
in their haste to get away.
Simohn flung down her pan and rushed over to
Naihii, scooping the small Halloween Blumaroo up into her furry grey arms.
"Simohn… You saved me!" Naihii said in a shaky
voice. "I… I thought… you didn't like me…"
"Of course I like you, you nut-case! You're
my little brother!" she replied, tears streaming down her face. "I'm so, so
sorry, Naihii. I didn't mean those things I said!" she added, ashamed.
Naihii smiled, and hugged his sister. "It's
okay, Simohn. After all… I finally scared you!"
Simohn laughed. "Just promise you won't scare
me so much next time."