Battle Quills... ready! Circulation: 135,120,767 Issue: 264 | 3rd day of Storing, Y8
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Silver Flames: Part One

by scar19


I greeted the mail Pteri with a friendly nod as she handed me my family's mail. Before reentering my house, I sifted through the mail. Most of it was addressed to Scar, my brown-haired owner. None of those were of any interest to me. But one envelope caught my eye. It was a mossy green and brown colored, and it was addressed in a pretty font to the Nineteen family. I opened it and found that it was a congratulations letter, saying that we had won the raffle for a free, three-week trip for the entire family to Kiko Lake with 100,000 NP to spend however we chose while we were there. I did not remember ever seeing Scar enter the raffle, but it didn't seem unlike her. Anyway, I was excited by the idea of having 100,000 free NP, and I quickly ran into the house, waving the envelope.

      "What's the matter?" Scar asked me, looking up from her sketchbook. She seemed to constantly be drawing in that. Honestly, she needed to spend more time doing something different. Like shopping.

      I didn't understand why she didn't share my passion for shopping. I was the only female in my family besides Scar, who didn't act much like a girl at all. I was also a the only member of the family who was not raised in the family since infancy. I had been adopted when I was ten years old, and I was the only one of my siblings who remembers a time outside of the Nineteen family. While we're talking about me, I'm a green-eyed Christmas Peophin.

      "We won a free trip to Kiko Lake! Isn't that great?" I practically yelled to the entire house. I could hardly contain my excitement. I could hardly wait to pack my things and leave.

      The garnet colored eyes of my brother Era, a mutant Lupe with an unusual mane of fur on his neck, caught mine and he smiled. "Sounds like fun, Mage. When do we leave?"

      "The letter says that a boat will pick us up at the harbor in two days. Can we go, Scar?"

      The brown-haired girl nodded, putting down her sketchbook and standing. She smiled widely. "Definitely. Let's go tell Ora and Kiah," she said and headed towards the living room.

      Era and I followed, finding that Kiah, a green-eyed checkered Gelert, was lying on the couch, reading, while Ora, my quiet silver Eyrie brother, looked out the window from the sill.

      "You'd better start packing," said Era to the other two boys. "We're headed to Kiko Lake."

      I whooped happily and raced down the hall to my room to pack a suitcase. Era didn't sound as excited as I was, but I knew that he was eager to see Kiko Lake on the inside. Although he was cool and composed on the outside, his eyes always betrayed his emotions.

      I had finished packing my makeup, ribbons, brushes, and all of my other necessities quickly. What else did I need? I couldn't really think of anything else that was important. Now I had only to wait, and I would soon be at Kiko Lake. I had never been there before, but I had heard from my friends that their boat tours were fantastic and that there were many small shops. With a little bit of hunting, I was sure to find some amazing things there.


      Carrying our bags, Era, Kiah, Scar, and I boarded the small, cozy-looking boat that would bring us to Kiko Lake. Six hours later I looked over the railing at the wooden Kiko-shaped building that was the Kiko Lake lodge. The boat drew nearer and I saw other tourists and some natives to the area wandering about the various small shops, playing in the water, and chatting with each other. It looked like a great place.

      I hopped off of the boat the minute we touched land, excited to see this brand new place that I would be spending the next three weeks at. Our host on the boat, a speckled Kiko named Tim, handed Scar a small pouch that contained our 100,000 NP. I waved good-bye to Tim, opened the wooden entrance door to the Kiko-shaped lodge, and my family and I stepped into wide lobby. Almost everything was made of wood and the room had a gentle, comfortable feel to it. Most of the furniture had the same, soft, mossy colors that had decorated the envelope we had received two days earlier. Even though it looked small from where I was standing, I had heard it was gigantic. Three floors, a dining room, and lots of other places to explore.

      My family and I went to the front desk, which was manned by a pretty, pink Uni whose name tag said that her name was Candy. What a silly name, I thought. She was dressed in a brown coat, which I soon found out was the uniform for the staff.

      "Are you five the..." Candy paused to flip through a notebook for a moment. "...the Nineteen family?"

      We all nodded enthusiastically and Candy handed over five key cards, one for each of us.

      "Your rooms are on the top floor, and, like, they are all connected to each other by a door. There are, like, different brochures on the table over there so you can look at different ways to, like, spend your three weeks here." She motioned towards an oak table covered in colorful brochures and advertisements. "And like, if you need anything, just ask me or one of the other staff members."

      We were about to make our way up the stairs, but soon two green Zafaras dressed in brown coats took our bags for us and led the way to our room.

      "Thanks," I said to the one who had been carrying my suitcase, but he just nodded and smiled in return before heading back down the stairs.

      I opened the heavy wooden door and squealed with delight before running into the room and throwing myself onto the green bed. The room was beautiful, all made of wood with fake seaweed covering the walls and blue-tinted lights. Everything looked so comfortable like they had in the lobby. And everything was soft. I buried my face into a pillow, which was so soft it could have been made of the clouds of Faerieland.

      I unpacked quickly, eager to explore Kiko Lake, and slipped out of my room while Scar, Ora, Kiah, and Era finished getting settled. I grabbed 2,000 NP before I made my way down the stars and onto the green rug of the lobby. As I passed the table, I picked up a brochure that claimed to show a person the best shopping spots at Kiko Lake. Time to start the vacation.

      I made my way down the many winding paths through the forest and found myself at a small village, filled with Kikos. Many, as I had hoped, had set up stalls to sell their handmade goods. I wandered for a while, gazing at the beautiful jewelry and scarves and ribbons that were for sale. This place was brilliant!

      I followed the map on the back of her brochure, but I found that it made little sense and that I had gotten myself lost. I walked into an alley, thinking that it led back to the lodge. The alley was dark, shadowed by small houses on either side and tall trees. When I passed by an extra dark shadow I discovered that it was not a shadow at all. I saw dark-colored fabric swirl around a mysterious creature and felt my body slam to the ground by somebody's kick. I tried to rise to my hooves, but a heavy foot pressed against my shoulders. I couldn't see who my attacker was, and I hardly knew that person wanted unless they somehow knew I was carrying Neopoints with me.

      "Leave here," a female voice said softly. I assumed that she had been the one who had kicked me to the ground. "I don't want to hurt you, but if anybody else finds you, they might. Now stand up and go back the way you came."

      I felt the pressure on my shoulder released and I stood slowly before turning around. I looked for the woman who had been talking to me, but I saw the waving of the dark colored cloak she wore as she blended back into the shadows. I obeyed and quickly left the alley, hearing voices behind me. One asked what had been in the alley, and the voice of the woman who had told me to leave replied that nothing was there. I decided that wandering about in dark alleys was a bad idea, so I asked a red Kiko shopkeeper for directions. With only a bit of trouble, I made my way back to the lodge.


     "Where have you been, Magey?" the checkered Gelert asked the moment I entered the lodge. "We've been looking all over for you. It's time for dinner. You should see the food they serve here! It looks great. C'mon."

      Kiah pulled me along until we reached the wooden table where Scar, Ora, and Era sat. Kiah and I sat at the two empty chairs. We ate our dinner, mostly candy rocks, coral, and some kind of soup that was greenish and had floating carrots and peas in it. As we were leaving the restaurant while Kiah chatted with a yellow Kacheek he had met, I heard a familiar voice. I turned swiftly to see a fire Kyrii talking with a yellow Techo. She wore a dark red cloak over a black shirt and long black pants. The Techo wore similar clothes, though instead of a red, his cloak was dark blue. Who were they and where was that familiar voice coming from? I was sure I had never seen either of them before.

To be continued...

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