True Sisters: Part Two
I screamed so loud King Skarl must have heard me. Suddenly,
the scowl was gone and was replaced by a huge smile and loud laughter. I tackled
Tid, who had collapsed into a fit of giggles.
"That," she said, gasping, "was the funniest
thing I have ever seen." She pulled the mask off of Morbid, the black-clothed
figure. Morbid's yellow eyes looked straight at me, and she smiled wickedly.
"I vant to drink your blood... "she murmured.
She and Tid began to advance slowly.
"Stop it guys! You're creeping me out!" I yelled.
"Tid, don't you need your 'exploration suit'?"
Her eyes lit up. "Oh boy, you should see it!"
She threw the flute she had been playing the
song with to the side and reached deep into a pile of stuff. She pulled out
something that reminded me of Punchbag Bob after a battle. She pulled it over
her head and looked at us. "So, what do you think?"
I stuttered, but Morbid jumped right in.
"I love it! It's so explorationy."
A thought hit me. "Hey, Morbid, what are you
doing here anyway?"
"Oh, well I heard about the cleaning project,
and since we can't go to the Glade, I decided to help you! Laborite's and my
spelunking skills should come in handy," she said, stroking the Scout Unit at
her feet. "Is that okay with you?"
I groaned silently. I guess this was now an
official group project. However, I nodded my consent and we set to work.
I sent Morbid downstairs to get brooms, mops,
buckets, and bags. I started on cleaning the cracked windows, and got Tid to
start sorting stuff. Bad idea. When I turned around, I saw a huge pile to her
left, and a tiny pile on her right, containing only a few poisonous jellies
and a prune.
"I'm done!" she shouted. "See, all the worthless
stuff is on the right, and the good stuff is on the left!"
"But Tid," I protested. "There're only three
worthless things! Plus, I wanted you to make four piles, one for unbuyables,
one for trash, one for donations, and one for keepers!"
Her face fell. "Oh, okay." She started up again.
Morbid came back and started helping Tid sort
everything. I could hear her working things out.
"Come on, Tid, it's not worth anything. Definitely
not an unbuyable."
Tid was practically sobbing. "Nooooooo! Please,
I'm begging you, do not take away my... "
"Come on Tid! Look, it's not that hard. See,
I'm reaching for it... slowly... "
I heard a growl and a scream. I turned to see
Morbid clutching her hand and Tid cradling a bit of barbed wire.
I tuned to Tid. "Don't worry," she soothed to
lifeless piece of metal. "I won't let them take you away. Don't worry; it's
okay. I'll take care of you... "
I grabbed Morbid to stop her from tackling Tid.
"But she bit me!" she protested.
I pulled her to the side and whispered into
"Just let her keep what she wants, it'll save
Morbid growled but agreed. Soon they were working
We worked diligently for over an hour. I had
finished the windows and was starting on the chimney when Morbid tapped my shoulder.
"Hey, Fan? Tid and I found this. We thought
you might want it, seeing how you like music." She held out a worn, but beautiful,
old flute full of odd-shaped holes.
"It's made for a beak, see?"
So it was. I picked it up and put it up to my
beak. It fit perfectly. Remembering Tears' odd tune, I started to play. The
notes came to me like moths to a light.
At first the song was the same: sad and old.
But as I continued to play, it changed. It started to sound vibrant and new.
I looked over at Tid and Morbid, only to see them staring at me in wonder, Tid's
suit was giving off and odd shimmer. I gave them a puzzled look, but continued
the song, entranced by the notes. Suddenly, I saw the piles of things behind
them begin to fade into nothing. Tid's suit was slowly deteriorating as well.
I tried to pull the flute off of my beak to gasp, but it was firmly stuck. As
the song continued, seemingly on its own, the floor grew new and began to smell
like fresh-cut lumber. The old, fractured windows became clear and shiny, while
the old brick chimney's cracks straightened themselves out. I played and played;
the song would just not end! Everything in the attic was changing; a bed appeared,
as well as a desk, a chair, and an old beat up sword. Just when I thought I
would die playing this song, it ended abruptly, and I slumped onto the ground,
exhausted. Every bone in my body ached; I felt as if I had just fallen off the
top of Terror Mountain.
Tid and Morbid rushed to my side and helped me
up. I gasped for air; my lungs felt shriveled and dry. I shook my head to clear
it, and looked around me. There, to the left of me stood the bed, desk, and
sword. To the right was the chair, but this time it was occupied.
The Darigan Lupe in the chair didn't see us at
first. He was busy starting out the huge windows. This small amount of time
gave me a chance to get a good look at him. His claws were huge and jet-black.
His long purple tail was swishing from side to side noiselessly on the ground.
His teeth were stark white and sharp as a razor, from what I could see. Just
looking at him made me shiver uncontrollably. Suddenly he turned, and his mouth
dropped open, his white teeth glistening. This was it; I was as good as dead.
I didn't know whether to scream or stand and fight.
Morbid made that decision. She stepped up to
him, unafraid as always.
"Hi! My name is MorbidFaery. These are my sisters
coolest_Ixi_around and Neopets_biggest_fan. We just kinda got sent here or something.
Fan was playing this flute thingy," she gestured at the flute I still held,
"and suddenly everything started changing. We don't know what's going on; can
you help us?"
The Lupe didn't do anything, just started deeply
with his glowing red eyes. His mouth was still open, I don't know whether from
shock or hunger. We stood like that for about a minute, when Tid, expectedly,
started to get bored.
"Okay, big guy, are you just going to stand there,
or are you gonna help us?"
The Lupe's eyes widened, and he made a growling,
snarling sound in the back of his throat. I freaked out, until I realized that
he was laughing. When he spoke, his voice was low with a hint of a growl in
it, but he sounded friendly.
"Well, little one, I suppose I'll just have to
help you. Aaron, at your service." He looked at me. "So, you're the one who
did the claeming? Hmm, I wouldn't have suspected that."
He was silent for a moment, but then his eyes
lit up, literally.
"Well, this is no way to treat guests! Please,
come with me."
We followed him down the attic stairs, which
no longer creaked or groaned. Tid cocked her head, puzzled, and looked at me
for reassurance. I nodded; with Morbid and Laborite around, I wasn't worried.
Lyra huddled closer to me, and I stroked her softly, murmuring reassurances.
We passed through the hall and down the stairs. Everything was just like our
house, only much cleaner and newer. The fashions were outdated, though; I mean,
a Meepit Lamp? So old school.
The Lupe led us down to the kitchen, where he
started pulling food out of the cupboards.
"So," he started, "tell me your story again.
This time, don't leave out the details."
I started with my talk with Tears and didn't
end until we got to us seeing him in the chair. When I told him about the flute
and the eerie song, his eyes snapped up from the omelette he was busy preparing.
"I thought you were lying when you told me you
were the claemer," he said, looking straight at me, "but you describes it so
accurately, I know that it is true."
When I finished our story, it was late and I
was tired. The Lupe suggested that we step into the den, where a fire was burning
in the hearth. I was about to accept his offer, when Morbid stepped in between
us, and faced me.
"Aaron, could we three have a minute?"
"Of course. I'll just set up your bedrooms."
He walked into the den and disappeared. Morbid turned to Tid and me and started
"What are doing? Are you really expecting to
stay over here for the night? We don't even know this guy!"
Tid jumped right into the conversation. "No,
I am not planning on staying here. That guy scares me; his teeth are so sharp!
I was planning on waking you guys up later and then sneaking out."
"Well I trust him," I interrupted. "He may look
scary, but he's really nice. Plus, Morbid looks scary, and she's a sweetheart."
"Yeah well... "
"Plus, Slowpoke trusts him. He hasn't been acting
Everyone turned and looked at the small green
Tenna at Tid's feet. She reached down and gently picked him up, stroking him
between the eyes. "Slowpoke can always tell whether or not someone can be trusted.
If Slowpoke trusts him, so do I."
They thought about this and Tid slowly nodded
her head, picked up Slowpoke, and walked into the den. Morbid looked at me and
"I guess you're right. I never thought about
it that way." She followed Tid into the den, and I came last, closing the door
As I perched on one of the comfortable chairs,
I stifled a yawn. Morbid and Tid were yawning freely, so Aaron sent them to
bed in the guest room. Soon, we were alone in the den. We sat in comfortable
silence for a while, him crouching before the fire, me perching on the back
of a chair, until Aaron spoke.
"So, little Pteri, all of our fate rests upon
you... What to do?"
"What do you mean 'all of our fates rest upon
me'?" I asked, puzzled. Lyra gave a little whimper, and cocked her head.
Aaron looked shocked, and he stood up. "You mean,
you don't know the story?"
"The fates of thousands, you know, the story?"
I was beginning to feel a little alarmed. Hearing
out of the blue that thousands of people's fates rest upon you, well, it's not
exactly a great feeling.
"Well, well, well," began Aaron, his leathery
wings fanning the fire, "They said you would be ignorant, but not like this.
I suppose I should tell you the story then." He rearranged the logs in the fire,
and began his story.
A long, long time ago, there was a little Pteri
named Fanteni, otherwise known as Fan. One of her deepest passions was music,
which she played with all her heart. On her 10th birthday, her grandmother presented
her with a crude wooden flute that she had carved herself. She told Fan to always
treasure it, for one day it would save them all. Fan loved her little flute
and played it constantly, making up melodies as she went along. However, Fan
grew older and began to forget about the flute. Her grandmother urged her to
continue to play, but soon gave up, for she was old and sick. On Fan's 15th
birthday, her grandmother died. On her deathbed, she told Fan that she could
save her and "determine the fates of thousands" if she used to flute. Fan went
to play, but because she had not in so many years, she had forgotten, and the
notes were dull and lifeless. She could not save her grandmother. That night,
she ran into a forest and returned without the flute. She told her mother that
she blamed her grandmother's death on the flute, so she had thrown it in the
river. However, historians have recently uncovered her diary, which states differently.
Her diary says that on her birthday, the 28th day of Gathering, she became the
first and, until today, only claemer. Her diary says that she went out into
a small glade and played a new song, the melody of which is forgotten, and that
the things around her began to change. She was transported to a different place,
and appeared in a small room with large windows. She said that she flew out
of the windows, only to find that she was in the top story of a very large house.
She flew and flew and saw many amazing sights, such as the Tombola Machine and
the Pound. She met new friends, tasted new things. When she got tired, she returned
to the house to find food waiting for her. She ate what she was given, raspberries
and plums, and played the song to return to the glade. When she arrived home,
her mother and the other villagers were very angry with her for not being able
to save the grandmother, their wisewoman. They made her feel so guilty that
she locked herself in her room. Two days later she disappeared, never to be
seen or heard of again. As legend goes, the fates of thousands have not yet
been determined. They say that on the 100th anniversary of Fan's grandmother's
death, a new Fanteni will claem herself back to our time, and go on an adventure
that will determine "the fates of thousands."
By the time Aaron had finished his story, I
was shaking. Could it be? Aaron seemed to sense my discomfort and looked up
"Fan? Are you ok?"
My voice shaking, I turned to him and asked,
"Did you say... Fanteni?"
To be continued...