An Evening in the Archives: Part Two
Also by precious_katuch14
The Lenny turned around slowly, keeping one eye on the
shadow at all times. But he could not watch it without turning a complete 180
degrees turn, and let his eyes leave that darkness for just one second.
The Xweetok standing in front of him was the
cutest pet he had ever seen. Her brown fur was smooth and the blue coat rather
shiny. She was sucking on one paw, looking rather forlorn. Her watery eyes had
leaked a few, smudged tears, and she seemed to be lost.
"I guess so..." Finneas trailed off as he
observed the child, wondering where she came from. Surely she couldn't have
been that sneaky shadow following him? How strange, Finneas thought,
I was once lost and scared like that child.
As if on cue, the Xweetok whined, and the forest
seemed to grow darker. The leaves on the almost-bare branches whispered cruelly,
maliciously, singing a delirious song to scare any adventurers into insanity.
The wind whipped and shadows seemed to appear everywhere.
The Lenny felt a tug on his wings, and the Meepit
plushie fell out of his hands. Suddenly the Xweetok's eyes lightened, and she skipped
forward to grab the plushie.
"Ow!" the plushie exclaimed, as it dangled in
the Xweetok's paws.
"Help me!" it cried. Finneas tried to rescue
it by pulling it towards him, but the child held it hard, paws clenching like
iron around the Meepit's right arm. As the Lenny increased his strength, he
managed to get more and more of the stuffing into his wings.
"The seams, the seams!" the plushie moaned tearfully.
Finneas grabbed hold of the arm, securing his
wing and pulled hard. The poor Xweetok pulled with an equal amount of force,
but her size did not allow her to stay in the same place, resulting in a backwards
somersault. She landed ungracefully on the ground, and big droplets ran down
her cheeks, smudging the dirt that had been acquired on during that tough trip.
The Lenny gasped and ran over to the youngster,
patting her shoulder and desperately babbling over and over, "Don't cry... please
don't cry... I didn't mean it... are you all right?" But it didn't drown out the
screams that had begun.
"All right? Her? Well, what about me?" howled
the plushie, which had been dropped onto the ground and left alone as its master
tried to stop the Xweetok's tears. "She's not the one with the popped seam,
or the one who's had her stuffing literally knocked out of her!"
"Shut up!" grumbled Finneas as he helped the
little one to her feet. "So... are you okay now? Look, I'm sorry, but that's
my plushie, and - oh, never mind. You can stand now?" Her wails were reduced
to sniffling, and she wiped her eyes with the back of her paw, looking up at
him with a wide stare.
It seemed as though all thoughts of the Meepit
plushie were now banished from the blue Xweetok's mind as she asked curiously,
"Who are you?"
But before Finneas or his plushie could answer,
they heard another voice ring out through the clearing, making all three of
them whip around abruptly. The voice was clear and deep, definitely a strong,
"Halt! In the name of the great King Altador
the Hunter, I order you to halt!"
The Lenny reached down and picked up his Meepit
plushie and saw the silhouette of a Nimmo emerge forth from the shadows. Its
bright gold eyes looked like beacons guiding - or possibly deceiving - travelers.
Finneas and the Xweetok froze and listened to the newcomer's footsteps as he
By the little light coming in through the forest
canopy, they saw instantly that the cloud Nimmo looked like a warrior of some
kind, in a vest over a white, long-sleeved shirt, and black leggings that gave
him somewhat the look of an off-duty ninja guardian. To complete the ensemble,
he had a long rapier fastened to his belt.
At first, he said nothing else as he regarded
the trio, stroking his chin and nodding to himself before finally blurting out
after a long stretch of silence, "What have you done to Elaine?"
"Absolutely nothing!" the Meepit plushie chose
to exclaim at that very moment. "She was the one who pulled on me and almost
ripped me apart!"
"I accidentally..." Finneas started, but was
silenced by the glare of the Nimmo, who had narrowed his eyes.
"You are... you're kidnappers, trying to steal
little Elaine away!" he exclaimed, jumping forward with agility. "Trying to
extract a ransom by kidnapping the king's favorite granddaughter, eh?"
"No! You're mistaken, we just happened to pass
by..." the Lenny started to say, but was interrupted by the sound of metal.
The Nimmo had drawn the rapier.
"I don't think explanations will get you anywhere,"
commented the plushie sourly.
As the warrior advanced on him, Finneas had to
give it to his plushie. It didn't seem as if the Nimmo would listen to his pleas,
but would rather fight instead. Having spent most of his life in a library,
the Lenny had occasionally skimmed through books on the subject, but preferred
researching about ancient civilizations and obfuscatory puzzles. He was fully
aware of the fact that he was badly equipped going into this fight, but was
there any other choice?
A strong wind swept through the clearing, and
the Lenny noticed a hidden, shadowy path to his left. His memory called out
to him, telling him that he had a greater power than that of the fighter, but
he couldn't remember exactly what.
Meek, scared noises made by the Xweetok grabbed
his attention, and Finneas patted her fur to soothe her.
"Watch out!" the Meepit cried, and the Lenny
dodged, the sharp edge of the rapier missing him by an inch.
"Daring to touch her... I won't forgive you for
such an offense!" the Nimmo shouted, as the rapier flashed and whipped in the
air, seeking its target. Finneas threw himself down on the ground and rolled
around. A branch poked the tender feathers of his right wing, and the Lenny
got up, using it as a crutch.
Despite the lightness of the rapier, its wielder
struck heavy strokes onto the Lenny's weak parries. Finneas had to constantly
move backwards and side to side, sweeping the branch to protect himself. A few
times the stainless steel edge caught some feathers, and Finneas felt himself
beginning to tire. He was no practiced or experienced warrior, compared to this
elegant, elite fighter.
A rusty clang of metal caught the Lenny's attention,
and he realized that the Nimmo was bringing out another lethal weapon. Finneas
did not clearly see what the ambidextrous warrior was juggling in both hands,
but the item had a singing razor-sharp, jagged edge. He had enough information
to know that it wasn't anything good.
"You cannot dodge forever!" declared the Nimmo.
With one curved swipe of the longer weapon, he sent his opponent's branch flying
over the side. "You will pay for the desecration, the harm that you have caused
her!" He gestured towards Elaine the Xweetok with the short blade he had just
"Wait..." whimpered Elaine, but her voice trailed
off as she found herself staring at the steel point.
"Oh, great," grumbled the plushie. "He's not
just a show-off, but a really skilled show-off."
Finneas rolled his eyes. "You only realized that
"Wha - "
Everything happened in such a quick blur that
for a moment, Finneas felt as though the pages in the book were suddenly flipped
forward at an amazing alacrity, and all his senses were numbed abruptly. The
first thing he realized was that he was on the ground, with the Xweetok beside
him. Did he get hit? Was it... over? Was he going to lie there and disappear
forever into the book?
"He wasn't hurting me!" she finally blurted out.
"You should be thankful that your stupid dagger didn't get him!"
The Nimmo was taken aback at her statement. "He
didn't hurt you? Then why were you crying? And if it wasn't him... I heard my
dagger hit something."
Elaine felt something at her feet and looked
down. She tugged at the Lenny's shoulder, but she didn't have to say anything
for Finneas to see.
His dear Meepit plushie was lying there, disheveled
and dirty. The pointy dagger that had been aimed at him was protruding from
the soft, stuffy body of the plushie. Its pink head was neatly sliced, supported
in place by the arm that the stuffed toy had complained so much about. The seams
that made up the mouth were straining to utter some words, but it was as if
the knife had pierced the plushie's heart, if it would've had one.
"You... You took it for me?" Finneas whispered,
touched. He scooped the plushie up, its head weakly nodding. And then he remembered.
"I want to go home," the Lenny mumbled sadly.
"This is such a stupid book, and it isn't adventurous at all! Take me home!"
he cried desperately, hugging his plushie fiercely.
A strong light enveloped Finneas, and once again
he felt that strong pull, this time pulling him out of the book. Knowing what
was going to happen, the Lenny shut his eyes tight and hoped that he would land
Much to his annoyance, he landed - hard - on
the cold, concrete floor of the Archives, missing the chair by an inch. He had
just one glimpse of Elaine and the mysterious Nimmo warrior gazing up at him
before they disappeared behind a blur of color, shadow and pages.
Had it all been a dream? He saw the book still
on his table, flat on its spine and open, the way it had been before. The rains
continued on, oblivious to what had transpired in the Altadorian Archives, somehow
a lot less ferocious than before. Maybe he just fell asleep and toppled off
But when he reached out for his plushie, he saw
the hilt of that dagger the Nimmo had thrown... that the Meepit had taken for
him. If it weren't for that plushie, Finneas wouldn't have returned in one piece,
if he returned at all.
The Lenny gently tried to tug the dagger out
from the plushie, but it was in too deep. If he pulled any harder, he might
damage it even further. Sighing, he placed the Meepit plushie onto his table,
next to the book. But as he did so, he caught a glimpse of the pages of the
large tome that had sucked them in.
There was a picture of a smiling, waving Xweetok,
standing beside a Nimmo with a respectful grin, his rapier back in its sheath,
beside a short, empty scabbard that had probably held a smaller weapon of some
It wasn't a dream, surely... But it was too sad
to be true, Finneas decided. He remembered the Meepit's words about a seamstress,
and felt that he owed his duty to the plushie that had taken care of him. But
it felt too personal to let somebody else do it.
After placing the mysterious book in a dark corner,
Finneas picked out a guidebook to sewing. Over the course of the next few days
he practiced a lot, and by the fifth day he figured that he was good enough
to fix it. As he hummed, and let the needle dip into the fabric, the Lenny felt
that he was closing in on this world, returning to reality.
When he had finished, Finneas inspected his work.
The plushie had been patched, the hilt of the dagger stuffing the head to a
bigger size than before. The beady eyes were worn and no longer shiny, no matter
how much he polished it. The loose arm was now stuffed and firm, ready to move
with a powerful swing.
But a plushie couldn't come alive, could it?
As the Lenny put the needle away, he pondered. It wasn't like him to do handiwork
like this, yet...
Finneas retrieved the book that he had so carelessly
tossed into a corner, and along with the plushie, he placed it in one of the
numerous closets that the Archives held. The plushie had served him well, and
it deserved to be retired. The Lenny promised himself to remember the bravery
that the small Meepit plushie had displayed, but another part of him just wanted
to forget the whole incident. He took a last, remorseful look at it and closed
With that, a chapter had closed in his life.
It was time to move on. He would keep that courage in his heart, and remember
to be noble like the plushie had been.
Sweeping away the books, Finneas put them in
their rightful places on the shelves, handling each tome carefully. He would
shed some light on Neopia some other time; now it was time to start a new project.
Maybe find out more about that mysterious air faerie who resided among the clouds,
Psellia the Dreamer?
* * *
Many years passed. Finneas was now older, wiser
and more sensible. He had lived through several events that had come and gone
into Altadorian and Neopian history, and he had tirelessly chronicled them all.
However, for some strange reason, he found himself remembering a Meepit and
a dagger every now and then as he went through his research, but he always shoved
that matter at the back of his head, thinking of how preposterous and fantastic
the thought would be. Plus, he had acquired a fetish for Meepit plushies, and
began collecting them whenever he wasn't working.
But one day, as the Lenny combed the bookshelves
of the Archives, searching for bits and pieces of information on his next research
project, he decided to root through the closets, hoping to make his project
as complete as possible. As he reached out and turned the knob of the first
cabinet, he saw something that seemed to awaken a dormant part of his mind.
The closet was bare except for a mop and a rusty
bucket, but beside those cleaning materials were two things that really struck
Finneas bent down and picked up the dusty Meepit
plushie that was sitting on top of an old, thick tome that looked as though
it had not been opened for a long time.
He touched the head of the plushie, and his neck
prickled as he felt something hard and firm underneath the cloth and stuffing,
and it was shaped oddly like the hilt of a blade.
For the first time in years, he let his mind
wander back to that fateful, rainy night.
Maybe some things were indeed possible.