Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 121,679,817 Issue: 245 | 23rd day of Relaxing, Y8
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Living With Lyke

by taggerung_num1


The day in Neopia was bright and the air was fresh. A perfect day for the Lupes to do yard work and that's what they did. In the matter of a few minutes, both of the two Lupes that were at home were pulling weeds in the backyard while Tagg prepared dinner. I, a skunk Lupe, and Twin, a mutant Lupe, were laughing casually as we worked. We don't mind the work. It's a lot better then suffering from the horrid smells that would permeate from the kitchen before Tagg would give up and get takeout from Hubert's. I grabbed a weed that was particularly stubborn so I put my legs forward to brace myself and yanked hard. I fell backwards, sending dirt everywhere. As I was resting on the ground, I caught sight of Noru with her suitcase at the back door. Twin must have seen too because he stood up on his four legs. I rolled onto my stomach and stood up as well. Twin and I exchanged looks of confusion. What was going on? I wondered to myself. Tagg wouldn't have the gall or the cruelty to abandon Noru, even if she was a little crabby. And Noru, being crabby, wouldn't leave us for a million years.

      So Twin and I rushed up to the door where Noru was waiting. Twin was the first to stammer for an explanation. "N-Noru? What's going on? Are you leaving? Where are you going? You can't leave, we-"

      Noru cut him off with a laugh that surprised the Achyfi right out of us! We just stood there gaping at her. That laugh! It was too jolly to fit our dark, grumpy, silent spy of a sister! "I'm being switched to Tagg's side account."

      We both let out these giant sighs of relief. "Which one?" I asked her.

      "Carpet Shark," she simply stated. "Don't worry about me, guys. I like Flame and Shade. We already spend a lot of time together with jobs and stuff."

      "Oh, okay," Twin said. I was sorta bummed. I liked having Noru's down spirit around. It was a big contrast to mine and opposites attract. "I guess we'll see you at the next account gathering."

      Noru nodded and waved good-bye to us as she went out the door followed by Tagg. She knew Noru had explained to us so we were somewhat satisfied. Twin and I looked at each other. "So I guess it's us three again."

      "For now," Twin said with a foreshadowing tone. I laughed. Pretty soon here, Tagg would drag in another Lupe that would be just as loopy as Balto.

      Thinking of him, I stopped. "Hey, Twin, when are we visiting Balto again?"

      He thought for a moment. "On the 27th."

      I nodded. Balto lived up in Terror Mountain in a little cave by his lonesome. It took some time to get used to, but Balto enjoys it up there so we let him move out. He's a great guy, that Balto. He just likes being by himself up in the mountains. I couldn't wait to visit him again.

      We resumed our weed pulling and we were almost done when there was a crash toward the front of the house. Twin and I bolted up and rushed around the side yard. There was a big bulldozer and a crane demolishing part of the house! I looked desperately around for Tagg. She wasn't here. Oh, the housing company would hear a complaint from us! I ran up to the man in charge. Or, the man I assumed was in charge. He had a yellow hard hat and a clip board. "What's going on here?" I demanded.

      "Demolishing," he calmly said, popping a bubble with his bubble gum. I just about screamed.

      "Why?" I shrieked.

      "Whoa, whoa, calm down, kiddo. We have papers here to confirm the demolition." He showed his clip board to me. On it was a demolition paper with Tagg's sloppy signature all over it. I sighed.

      "Fine. Resume," I grumpily said. Why was Tagg demolishing the house? Were we moving or was Tagg unhappy with the house?

      I rejoined Twin and told him it was okay, sort of. He frowned. "Oh well, she's doing it for a reason, whatever it is. Let's go inside and make dinner for a change."

      I nodded and followed Twin inside, taking one more look at the rubble before closing the door behind me. Twin and I spent the next half an hour playing with flour and dough for dinner. We finally managed to put three pasties in the oven for dinner. When the bell rang about ten minutes later, we pulled them out. Just in time, Tagg came in. She collapsed on a chair and then smelt the pasties. She sat bolt upright. She smiled at us.

      "Thank you, guys. I'm not in the mood for Hubert's tonight." She licked her lips at the sight of the oozing pastries freshly made. Twin took out three plates and I put one pasty on each plate. I took one plate and he took two. We set them on the table. Tagg leaned back in her chair and pulled out three orange, glass, soda bottles in the shape of Ixis, from the refrigerator and set them on the table.

      We ate most of the meal in silence. Tagg must've thought we were mad at her so she finally broke the silence. "I'm sorry if you guys are mad, but I have my reasons. Besides, she's happier over there. For whatever reasons."

      "We know," I said. Twin's mouth was full of pasty so I spoke for the both of us. He nodded in agreement.

      "You do?" Tagg asked.

      "Yup," I said. I finished my pasty and chugged the rest of the pop. I threw the bottle away, hearing it thunk inside the trash can, and put my plate in the sink. "I have some math homework." I then rushed to my room. It was pretty early so I speed through my Geometry and picked up my volleyball from its spot beside my desk. Ever so carefully, I bounced the ball up and down. A few hours later, I was thoroughly exhausted, so I collapsed on my bed and fell straight to sleep.

      I awoke to the smell of reheated waffles. No homemade waffles here. Nope, we get frozen ones. I rolled off the bed and shook myself, letting my black and white fur fall back into its proper place. I yawned and head out and down the hall to the kitchen. There was Tagg munching a waffle like it was a piece of toast. She's weird like that. I nodded to her to say good morning; I wasn't in the mood to say anything. I took a bottle of orange juice out of the fridge and poured myself a glass. I replaced the juice and sat at the table, absent-mindedly drinking. Twin wandered in a few minutes later, fully awake and refreshed. I'm more of a night Lupe and Twin's always been a morning Lupe. Seeing us just sitting there, me drinking my juice and Tagg reading the Neopian Times, must have given him the urge to say something because he did.

      "So I'm going to go into town to get some stuff for the shop. I've been thinking we should start restocking more normal stuff."

      "What's wrong with collectible mugs?" I asked. I didn't want him messing with my coffee shop. That was my turf.

      "Oh, nothing. But not very many people want mugs," he coolly replied as he poured himself some orange juice as well.

      "But Twin," I said, "it's a coffee shop. A café. It's not supposed to carry 'normal' stuff. It's supposed to carry drinks. That's why people go to cafes."

      Twin opened his mouth to say something but decided not to. He shrugged and chugged his orange juice.

     Today was my day off from watching the shop so I stayed home, mostly reading some books I had gotten the other day. It was almost five when Tagg came home from doing whatever she does during the day. Twin had gotten home just before her. Tagg called both of us into the living room. I didn't think much of it until I was standing there, starting at the tall human girl holding a thing wrapped in a blue blanket. I sighed. Twin and I exchanged glances.

     "You didn't!" I cried. So shortly after Noru switched, too!

     "I did!" Tagg said. She seemed proud of herself. "His name is Striker_Lyke. We'll call him Lyke."

     I sighed again. Oh well, what's been done has been done. There was nothing left to do about it. We couldn't get rid of him. "Well then, let's see the little bugger."

     Tag ignored the remark and kneeled down beside us so we could see. Inside the blanket was a small, fragile male blue Lupe. He was so... peaceful. But... something didn't seem right. Tagg let me hold him and as his eyes opened as he was disturbed from his slumber, I realized what was wrong. His eyes weren't a vivid blue or copper as most blue Lupes were, or as mine and Twin's were. They were a frosted over, gray color. My new little brother, Lyke, was blind.

     Time passed and Lyke, along with us, began to cope. Along with his blindness, Lyke didn't talk much. But he didn't have to. His smile spoke to us. We taught him how to navigate the house. We introduced him to Balto, who just fell in love with the little guy. Lyke was the sweetest pup we had ever met. We had to change our schedules around a lot. That took a lot of work.

      There was one time when Tagg, Twin, and I were going to go to a Café Owner's Conference on Mystery Island. We told Lyke that we were going to leave him with Balto for a little while. He just stared in our direction with his gray eyes, not moving an inch. He was sitting in front of the front door. We tried to tell him we'd be home in a few days but he still refused to talk, move, or do anything. He stayed there for two full hours until we missed our ship to Mystery Island. Tagg got mad but Lyke still didn't let us leave the house for anything. In the morning, Tagg was reading the Times and she caught sight of an article. The ship we were supposed to get on had been attacked by pirates. We never doubted Lyke's intentions after that. No matter how aggravating they were.

      Lyke has taught us more in the short time he's been with us than we've all learned in our lives. He still doesn't talk much, only when needed. He doesn't need to. He has taught us that you don't need to be loud to be heard.

The End

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