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A Weak Heart: Part Two


by literalluau

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"Whoa now, wait a minute. This could get dangerous," I warned her. "Who knows what trouble it would take to keep Darin from flopping into his bed in the morning."

      "I'm up for it!" she protested, her eyes daring me to challenge her. "Besides, what makes you think you're so tough that you can beat something your brother couldn't? You'll need the help, Dwennon."

      She had a point. Who knew where Darin had gone or what he had gotten into? "All right. Any ideas on where to start?"

      She thought for a minute, chewing on her lip and wringing her hands. "The bedroom!" she cried suddenly, racing past me into the small room my brother and I shared.

      I followed immediately behind her and found her already pawing through my brother's desk.

      "What are you doing? That's someone else's belongings you're rifling through."

      She gave me a withering look. "Dwennon. He's my best friend. He's your brother. We're the two souls closest to him and he's in trouble! Help me look."

      I reluctantly pulled out a drawer and sat down with it. "What exactly are we looking for?" I asked, carefully pulling each item out and placing it on the floor.

      "Anything suspicious. Someone doesn't just completely disappear for no reason."

      "Hang on," I said, my gut falling again.

      "What? Something wrong?" She came and sat by me.

      "This was the drawer all of our neopoints were in. They're not here anymore."

      Her eyes got wide. "Oh, no. I'm… I'm sure they're in another drawer."

      I shook my head as she searched every drawer in the desk. I knew it would be to no avail.

      "You're right. It's not in here. I don't really want to think that Darin would--Is there anywhere else it would be?"

      "No. We keep it right there."

      "Well, maybe he got sick and took the money for a cure while we were gone." Her eyes were desperately hopeful.

      "Only one way to find out. Looks like we're going to the bank."

 

      "I hate lines," Abbi whined, shifting from one foot to the next. "We've been standing here for half an hour."

      It was a busy day at the bank. The faces in the crowd were almost as muddled as my thoughts. I didn't know anymore if I thought Darin was in trouble or just a traitor. If all our neopoints were gone from our bank account, I'd have to seriously reconsider my motives for finding him. Or if I even wanted to find him. I shivered even though I was standing in the center of a packed crowd of hot, sweating pets.

      "Finally!" Abbi exclaimed, shaking me from my thoughts.

      "Hello," William, the Bank Skeith, greeted us. "What can I do for you today?"

      I swallowed hard and stepped closer to the bank counter. "Um, I… um, well..." What should I say? My brother is a thief and stole all of the money I worked so hard for? I've been robbed?

      "We're here to check on the safety of this Eyrie's assets," I heard Abbi explain.

      "Sure enough, madam. What is your name, sir?"

      "Dwennon," I heard myself mumble.

      "I will be back in a minute, if you'd be good enough to wait." Abbi nodded as he left the counter and went to the back room. "Arnold, put those plushies down for a minute! I need a safety check!"

      I glanced at Abbi, who was apparently very pleased with herself.

      "Okay, that was pretty good," I admitted. "How did you know what to say?"

      She blushed and turned her attention to William who coming out of the back room in a very big hurry.

      "Sir. I don't know what to say. Your money… it's all gone, sir." His eyes were wild. "I just don't know how this could have happened."

      "I do," I said, regaining my composure. "Do you remember a yellow Eyrie named Darin coming in recently?"

      William flipped through some papers on his desk behind the counter. "Well, looking at your papers, it seems that you and this Darin share an account… and that he did withdraw all your money last evening!" He looked up at me wearily. "You knew nothing about it?"

      I sighed. "Thank you for your help." I grabbed Abbi's wrist and started for the door. A few disgruntled customers were already complaining about us holding up the line.

      "Best of luck to you!" he called as we hit the door.

      The sunlight was blinding after being stuck in the bank for almost forty minutes. I shielded my eyes again as we trudged down the dusty road toward Meridell.

      After a while, Abbi opened her mouth as if to say something. But she shut it again, as if she'd thought better of it.

      "What is it?"

      "What? Oh, never mind."

      "Abbi, what were you going to say?"

      "I was just going to say that… well… first of all, I'm sorry."

      "Thank you."

      "And… that I actually am not completely surprised that he took the neopoints."

      I stopped in my tracks. "What does that mean?"

      She sat down by the side of the road under a big tree and patted the shady spot next to her.

      I sat down and waited impatiently for her to explain.

      "Good, my legs were aching," she said to herself.

      "Abbi."

      "Well, it's just that he'd always talk about how he felt that the house is too small and that you didn't care enough about finances and how he couldn't even get painted because--"

      "Wait. I don't care about finances? Abbi, all those neopoints were mine. He never worked a day in his life, just played Cheeseroller to get his money."

      "I know, I know. And then he sold that adorable, loving Slorg to the careless neighbor child to get a few extra neopoints. I scolded him for that, to be sure. Anyhow," she rambled, "he'd always say that you were too much of a point pincher to add a room on so you two wouldn't have to share and how he had always wanted to be painted Shadow, but you said there wasn't enough np."

      I sighed. "I knew he disliked that fact that we don't have much NP, but I never thought…"

      She touched my arm comfortingly. "Just because he took the NP doesn't mean he's not in trouble. In fact, he could have taken it because he's in trouble. He may not have been the perkiest of Eyries, but stealing from his own brother doesn't sound like him. We should find him."

      "How?" I asked helplessly.

      "I found a notebook in his desk. Are you feeling up to flying me back?"

      "Hang on tight this time," I warned. "I thought you were going to fall off on the way here."

      She grinned and climbed on my back, grasping my feathers between her hands. "Thank goodness you're nothing but fluff," I joked.

      I had hardly landed when she jumped down and ran into the house. I was only halfway through the kitchen when she came running from the bedroom with the notebook, nearly running me over.

      "Whoa!" I sidestepped her and she screeched to a halt just in time. Two more seconds and we might have been a pile of red feathers and blue cloth on the floor.

      "Sorry. Here it is." She handed it over. It was a simple black notebook and its pages were dog-eared. I didn't remember him ever writing in it, but it had obviously been used extensively.

      I flipped through it. "It looks like poetry." I was confused. Darin did not seem like the type who would write poetry. Aloof and introverted? Maybe. Poetic and romantic? I should think not.

      I handed the notebook back.

      Abbi flipped through a few pages. "Listen to this: 'Want not for I am wealth, Dream not for I am darkness. All desires come to life through my will.' What is that? Besides bad poetry, I mean."

      "I'm not sure."

      "Do you think Kayla would know? This sounds like magic, something she deals with all the time."

      "Worth a try, I suppose."

 

      "Really, I'm terribly busy."

      "Please, Kayla. Your knowledge of potions and magics are greater than any in Meridell. We need your help."

      I let Abbi do the persuading while I poked around at the different potions in the shop.

      "Hey, if you don't plan to buy that, Mister, you'd better not touch it."

      I folded my wings behind my back and continued looking.

      "Please," Abbi continued. "Just look at this." She thrust the paper with the poem on it into Kayla's face.

      Kayla's eyes focused on the poem and then narrowed. "Oh my."

      "What?" Abbi and I drew close to hear what she would say.

      "Where did you find this?" Kayla whispered.

      "My brother's desk, ma'am."

      "Oh dear," she whispered.

      "Please, Kayla, I need to help my brother."

      She turned her eyes to me. They were full of pity. "Oh, my poor friend. There's no helping him now."

      Abbi's eyes were wide and by the expression on her face, I could tell mine were too. "What does that mean?!" Abbi cried.

      "Sit down." Kayla pulled up two chairs for us and flipped her shop sign to say "Closed."

      She sat down in her own chair, facing us. She looked down at her paws that were in her lap, and then back at us. "Now. Do either of you know anything about dark faeries?"

To be continued...

 
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Other Episodes


» A Weak Heart: Part One
» A Weak Heart: Part Three



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