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Lost in the Drifts


by lili483

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Inspired by wildhorsewonders

"Don't run so fast!" I cried, as I struggled to keep up with my yellow Bori, Chrys, as he bounded through the snow. Major hint: If you're a not a runner, don't raise a Bori on Terror Mountain!

          "Aww, Marie, can't keep up?" he taunted. That would be me, Marie, short for Mariette. I may be fairly athletic, but the snow was a serious impediment. While Chrys could bound over the snow like a light little snowbunny, I had to laboriously plow my way through it.

     "Hey, not fair! You're a Bori! You're made for snow!" I called after him, in reply to his taunt.

     "Way fair! You're a dancer! You should be able to keep up with a wittle Bori like me!"

     "Oh yeah? I'll show you keeping up!"

     I focused all my strength into my legs, and ran as fast as I can, finally catching up with him.

     "Chrys! Stop and let me catch my breath."

     I gave him a look that repeated what I had said, and he stopped. If I wasn't having fun anymore, neither was he.

     "Ok, well, we'll keep going when you've caught your breath, right? All the way to the Snowager? The adventure you promised!" he said, as I stood there panting.

     "The Snowager? But he isn't asleep for another hour! I didn't know that's what you were talking about, sweetums, when we set out. We can't go to the Snowager now, or we'll be eaten alive."

     "But you promised! You said we would!"

     "Yes. When he's sleeping. Not now."

     "But.-"

     "Chrys, I said no."

     With that, I turned around, and started walking back in the direction we came. After a few feet, I turned back to look at Chrys, and no surprise, he wasn't following me.

     "Come here now, Chrys. We're going home."

     "Home?! At least give me something to compensate! I still can't believe you won't let me go to the Snowager...."

     "No, Chrys! I'm saving up for a paint brush for you. Don't you want to be pretty, like your sister Liza? And strong like your brother Sam? That's what I do with the money that doesn't go into our home, our meals, or your paint brush fund. It goes into codestones and dubloons to train you."

     "Maybe I don't want to be strong or pretty!" he screamed. His face was turning red, and I could tell that he was upset. "Maybe I'm happy just the way I am! I want to go on adventures! I want to have fun! I don't care about all those other things!"

     "Chrys, you'll come with me right now, or I'll leave you here in the cold. I know that you have a key, and when you're ready to be reasonable, you can come home."

     "FINE! I DON'T NEED YOU ANYWAY!"

     With that eloquent statement, I walked on. I was sure that once he came to his senses, everything would be fine. Oh how wrong I was.

     * * *

     After running some errands, I got home. I was surprised, though not particularly worried, to see that I had returned before Chrys.

     "Hello, my little angels!"

     "Hi, Marie!" Liza (short for Eliza) and Sam chorused.

     "So, have either of you heard from Chrys? We had a little fight up on the mountain."

     "No Marie. I haven't heard anything, and I don't think Sam has either. I personally am not surprised, though. He was always so moody! Does this mean we can get a little sister now?" replied Liza.

     "Liza! I'm surprised at you! Don't say such mean things about your brother! Don't think just because you're painted royal, you'll be treated like royalty."

     "Yes, Marie," was all I heard, as Liza walked away, somewhat dejectedly. Sometimes I truly am astounded at the moodiness of my pets, though I love them dearly.

     So, still not worried, I sat down on the couch, and settled down to read some of my new book, Snarkie Answers to Stupid Questions. Many parts were extremely hilarious, especially for a book I got free as a reward from my service during "the Lost Desert Plot". However, as I began to read the chapter entitled, "Monotonous Questions," I felt my eyes begin to droop. Before I knew it, I was fast asleep.

     * * *

     When I next awoke, it was 7:00 NST. Upon seeing the time, I shot off the couch and into the kitchen, where I began preparing dinner, tonight a stuffed jacket potato. As I put the tomato filling into the slits I had made, I wondered if Chrys had returned yet. Looking out the window at the falling snow, all worries were dismissed from my mind. Of course he'd come back. He may be a Bori, but all of my pets know how I feel about them being outside in a snowstorm, night or day. Ever since that time Sam's white and green Kougra coat got him lost in those bushes up on the top of the mountain... Let's just say I've been extra careful.

     As I put the potato in the oven, Liza came in with her cutest smile. I could tell that she wanted something, though I wasn't sure what.

     "Hello, Marie dear," she simpered.

     "Hello, Liza."

     "Marie, you know that Chrys hasn't come back, right? Well, I was wondering if you'd let us get a little sister now... maybe one who could fly... Like a Pteri? And we could paint her faerie, and then we'd all-" She never got to finish, because at that moment I realized what she was saying. Chrys hadn't returned yet! Where could he be? What could have happened? What if he had frozen in the snow, or had been captured by Dr. Sloth!

     "HE WHAT?! WHERE'S CHRYS?! WHERE IS HE, LIZA!" I screamed.

     "Marie, Marie, I DON'T KNOW! He just hasn't come back yet. Don't lose your head."

     "DON'T LOSE MY HEAD?! DON'T LOSE MY HEAD! Liza, your brother is out there, and he could be freezing to death right now. Get your brother, and your coat. We're going to look for him."

     "But... But... MARIE! I'll freeze out there. You know I can't go out without my special custom-made fleece lined wing guards. And I just happened to have lost them."

     "Too bad, Liza. Get your brother, and let's go."

     With that, I ran out of the kitchen, and donned my coat. I slipped my feet into my boots, just as Sam and a very annoyed Liza appeared. As we rushed out the door, my only thought was for Chrys: Let him be alright.

     We stormed out of the house, into the blizzard. I knew that Chrys had set out for an adventure, but where? Not to the Snowager, not at this hour. Not to the top of the mountain. No, he had to be somewhere here, in Happy Valley. But where?

     Since he loved to sit and stare at the clothes in the Merry Outfits cottage, I looked there first. No dice. Not only was the cottage locked, but the lights were off and the only sound came from the howling wind.

     In my frenzy, I looked in the slushie shop, which was also closed, and the ice cream cart. While Mr. Chipper hadn't seen Chrys, he did tell me that a lot of the Happy Valley shops and attractions were closed because of the storm. He advised me to look around for a lit-up shop, instead of simply running around frantically.

     As I surveyed the situation, my eye fell upon the Wintery Petpets shop. Of course! That ole' Bruce Jonny would never close up shop, unless the petpets were ill. Grabbing Sam and Liza, who were still traipsing around after me, I ran up to the shop.

     I felt as though my heart would burst with relief when I saw Chrys sitting inside, wrapped in one of Jonny's blankets, sipping some hot borovan with marshmallows.

     "Ah, there y'ar, Miz Marie! I-a kept 'im warm 'n safe, I did. Right-o, boy, on y'go. Back ter yer family," Jonny said, as I walked in the door.

     "Thank you so much, Jonny! How can I ever repay you?"

     "Well... Y'know, normally I wouldn't wanna infringe 'pon your pocketbook, Miz Marie, but there's little Gigi... Y'see, she's been here for months now. I'm 'fraid that no one wants to buy her. When they want a Jinjah, they want someone active, and lil' Gigi just isn' like that. It would mean lots t'me if you'd take her." He pointed to the most darling little Jinjah sitting all alone in the corner.

     "I'd be happy to take her, Jonny, but only if Chrys would be willing to have her as his petpet."

     "Really, Marie?! I'd be thrilled!" trilled Chrys.

     "Okay then! We'll take her," I said, and handed Jonny a five-thousand neopoint note. Chrys scooped up the Jinjah, and we exited the shop.

     ***

     As we were walking home, I figured it was time to talk to Chrys. While I was glad that he was alright, and I even bought him a present in the form of little Gigi, he had still scared me to death with his little charade, and I thought that he needed to know that.

     "Chrys, I hope you know that, while I'm glad that you're okay, I'm very angry with you. You had no reason to pull a stunt like this! Why, I bet you were at Jonny's the entire time."

     "No, no, Marie!" he cried. I could tell that he was serious. "Marie, honestly. I wasn't trying to scare you. After you left me, I went to go have an adventure, and things went horribly wrong. It's a long story, and I'd really rather tell it to you when we're back at home, nice and warm."

     I didn't know what to say. I was dying to hear his tale, but I knew that he was right, and now was not the time. "That's fine, dear. You can tell me about it in good time. All in good time."

The End

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is my first short story, and if you're reading it, that means that it managed to make the Neopian Times! This was originally envisioned as a two-part series where the second part is Chrys's story, but I decided to make it two stories that are companions to each other. It may take me a while, but be on the lookout for the aforementioned companion, which will be titled "Alone in the Drifts".

 
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