The large Skeith grinned, his eyes passing from the human
to the Neopet with malicious ease. "Yes, I'm sure you must move." His voice sounded
scratchy and rough. His eyes lingered on the Neopet, and his lips twisted into
a smile as hers quivered - it was in that moment that his eyes flashed cruelly,
the moment that Masken looked away.
"Masken!" the Xweetok shrieked, pulling out
the end of the boy's name with her high pitched voice. She pointed at his boss
with a shaking light brown finger. "He -" She struggled as a warm hand slapped
over her mouth, her tail lashing out violently behind her.
There was an awkward pause as the boy released
the tormented Neopet, straightening his red, crinkled shirt. "I am so
sorry, sir." He was fidgeting, ringing his fingers together repetitively as
he eyed his superior. But the Lost Desert is my home.
A tilt of his large head, and the Skeith had
slipped through the framed doorway, ignoring the glares he was receiving from
the other Neopet. His raspy voice was left behind for a moment. "You will be
notified of your new station."
Masken sighed and looked toward the sound of
sniffling at his feet. "Sakien," he said softly to the Xweetok, "are you alright?"
Sakien shook her striped head violently and
bolted from the room, kicking up sand from their ground. "I hate you!" she screamed,
her voice louder and more choked than ever before. She collapsed onto her regal
oak wood bed, muffling her tears with the cloth of her soft, red and green pillow.
She knew it would not be long before Masken came in, bringing along his sad
form of human comfort, and so she rolled over in response to his knock.
The paper in his hand was white, the envelope
a bright yellow. He noticed that the letters were black, and that together the
three colours matched those of the beads that hung from his braided hair. "We've
got twelve hours." His voice was slightly obstructed, and Sakien couldn't help
but notice that he was staring very powerfully at the cardboard wall behind
her. The drawings they had made upon them were vibrant, if not sketchy.
"Like you care," Sakien spat. She wanted him
to know that she might as well be reading his thoughts.
Yet another sigh escaped Masken, but this time
it was accompanied by a turn of his lips. Sakien was shocked to see his smile.
He sat down at the edge of her bed, bringing along his odor of new plushies
from where he worked tireless hours. "You know that I hate to make us move,
"No you don't."
He ignored her and continued. "I don't have
His explanation on exactly why they had to move
bored Sakien until the point that she completely stopped listening. She was
just beginning to notice that he had ceased his tale of enlightenment when she
felt him reach over and hug her. Instinct told her to pull back, but at the
moment, she wanted Masken to hug her, to tell her it would be alright as he
had when she had first been created. The denim from his jeans was hard against
her yielding fur, but she ignored the blue fabric and focused on the arms that
were darker than her own, the arms that now silently wrapped around her.
She sat up in his lap, her tail flicking as
her red eyes scanned his face - he was clearly waiting for a response. "I know,"
she said morosely, hanging her brown and red head in hopes that her answer to
his questioning gaze made sense. Masken smiled and hugged her again.
"Then you're ready to pack?"
"What?!" Sakien jumped - packing! How could
she bring all her things? It wouldn't be possible, she had so many... one glance
at her cardboard room made the Xweetok realize just how easy it would be to
leave within a few hours. She nodded and set off in the task of collecting her
It took less than five hours for the small family
to pack up their three room house, and the two stood together in the main room
to glance outside as a large Bruce and a smaller, yellow Acara worked together
to lift Sakien's bed out of her room. The two spent the last seven hours traveling
throughout the Lost Desert, bidding farewell to the shopkeepers that they had
spoken to almost every day.
"Well then... that's it." Masken's voice was
strongly dejected as he and the moping Xweetok climbed into a large ship. "This
is free, right?" he asked one of the workers.
The stern Techo nodded. "Destination?" As he
asked this, Sakien couldn't help but think that he must have had no emotions
She watched as her owner's face drain. He paused,
swallowing as he looked out across the brilliant sea. "Terror Mountain." Her
heart vanished, and she felt her paws curl inward as the white ship began to
It was a long trip, but the moment that they
broke into the Terror Mountain territory, Sakien realized exactly why all of
the creatures there wore clothing. The only clothing she had ever worn was a
scarf, along with her ever present Lost Desert bracelets. She never thought
she could hate anything more than she hated Masken's big, ugly, Skeith boss
- how very wrong she had been.
Together, they found a location for their new
home, a small, iced over plot of land. It was surrounded by other houses, and
they both knew that theirs would never measure up. They spent the majority of
their first day arranging their four separate pieces of furniture. The rest
was spent setting up Sakien's school and Masken's work - he started that day.
Morning came and created a brilliant blind spot
upon the snow covered land. When she arrived at her first class of Neoschool,
Sakien was greeted by the oddest stares, for all she had managed to come up
with for warmth was a red dress through which one could see her form, and a
matching, slightly thicker, scarf to wrap around her head, mouth, and neck.
For lunch Masken had said it would be best if she ate at the school like the
rest of the students - it would apparently help her blend in. His brilliant
plan failed miserably.
Sakien could not bring herself to touch the
flavored snow; she was already far too cold. She curled up in a ball when they
returned to class, her stomach emitting load grumbles and causing her to receive
even more attention than needed, and waited for the bell to ring.
At home, which at the moment was a one room
cardboard shack, she found out that Masken's boss lived right behind them, and
that he would be coming over for dinner. He wanted her to join Masken at work,
so that she could become better acquainted with her new lifestyle. Her new lifestyle
was what Sakien hated the most, and so when she went to sleep on her bed, she
hugged the sheets tight around her head, hoping desperately to catch a scent
of her old home.
"This is what we moved here for?"
Sakien shrieked, waving around her front paws hopelessly as she sat on the cement
ground of Masken's working station. He was currently lifting a box full of randomly
assorted plushies, moving to deposit it upon a conveyor belt. His nod was like
a signal, and the emotionally crushed Xweetok promptly fell back onto the ground,
her paws evenly extended.
"Miss Sakien." The scratchy voice startled her,
and she swiftly jumped up into a standing position upon her four, numb paws.
"What?" she spat. Her eyes narrowed, and she
glared up at the Skeith as if he had just slapped her, and, for some reason,
she was unable to slap him back.
"Mr. Roden, sir! The executive has just arrived."
The eager Blumaroo held a brown clipboard in his hand, and as his eyes fell
on the shivering boy and his Neopet, he suddenly turned to leave, but it seemed
Mr. Roden had another idea.
"Ah, perfect," the Skeith said, and his lips
formed a smile in which Sakien could see no good. "This young Xweetok here would
adore showing her to my office." He placed a large hand on her back and pushed
Sakien toward the now fidgeting Blumaroo.
"Whatever," she mumbled as she waved goodbye
to Masken. He was now battling a box labeled "Action Figures," and barely managed
to smile at her. She rolled her eyes when the worker brought her to a thin Zafara
whose outfit looked like it cost more than Sakien's house. "It's this way."
Her tail flicked as she walked, turning once they had reached the door.
"Won't you come in with me?" The Zafara sounded
nice, and her smile was strong.
"Well... I..." Sakien could come up with no
convincing argument, so she shrugged her small shoulders. "Sure."
"Do you like Terror Mountain?" The richly clad
Neopet had now taken a seat in front of the Skeith's desk, and Sakien moved
into the one next to it.
"No." She didn't look at the Zafara, she was
too busy staring at a file with her picture inside of it. Her paw instinctively
reached out toward it, but she pulled back at the voice that now entered the
room. It was like a jagged stone being pulled across a cobblestone walkway.
"Ah, perfect." That was when Sakien's chair
gave way into darkness.
Sakien pushed a paw against the ground and felt
her lips part to release a sigh. She looked up at the shadowy figure from behind
the black, metal bars. "You are kidding, right?" she asked, her voice exasperated.
The Skeith smiled in the dim light that poured
in from an old window. "Of course not." His voice still caused the Xweetok to
cringe. "You'll make a few perfect plushies, and the rest... well..."
She groaned and fell back onto the hard ground.
"Whatever." Her serene composure was flawless on the outside; conversely, her
insides were churning with worry and terror. So, that's it then.
Mr. Roden left, leaving Sakien to listen to
the whimpering of the other Xweetok nearby her. "What - what do you think they'll...
d - do?"
Sakien rolled her eyes despite her fear. "What
do you think chicken is?" The shrieks from the other cage assured Sakien that
she would not need to worry about any more questions. She rolled over onto her
stomach, her legs folded under her. "I wonder what Masken is doing right now..."
The other Xweetok perked up. "Who's Masken?"
"Oh... Your human?"
Sakien was starting to get irritated. "Yes."
"Does he know you're here?"
"Would I be here?"
Silence greeted her question, and new questions
stirred in her head. A scratch on the ground was followed by a timid voice.
"Then how do we get out?"
"Well, it's not like Queen Fy- Wait!"
Sakien desperately ran around the small cage, pushing her nose into the corners
to feel for her school bag. She had put the light faerie Masken had given her
inside of it. Her quest failed, and she collapsed dejectedly in the last corner.
"There's no chance you wear those 'clothes,' do you?" The question made complete
logical sense to Sakien, but the other Xweetok scoffed.
"You're kidding, right?" Sakien shrunk back
at the familiar words. "Of course I do, silly."
"Do you keep anything in your pocks?"
Again the other Xweetok laughed. "Pockets?"
How was she finding the strength to express any amusement?
Sakien listened to the sound of ruffling cloth.
There was the wrinkling of paper, plastic hitting the cement ground, and a bouncing
noise, followed by the distinct clink of glass upon stone. She jumped
up. "What was that?"
"Nothing important." The other started to sniff
again, and Sakien could already imagine the sobs. "I'm sorry!" she wailed. "I
don't keep my battle items!"
"No, it's ok." Sakien struggled to focus her
eyes through the cages. "What was that glass thing?"
This was too easy. Sakien's mind felt
like it was going to bust. She was more excited than she had ever been, and
her fur felt as if it were burning for the first time since she had moved to
this terrible place. "Open it! Open it!"
There was a brilliant explosion of light from
about four cages down, and Sakien blinked continually until her vision was corrected.
The small glow hovered inches over the floor. "Thank you for re-"
"Wait!" Sakien pounded her paws against the
bars. "You have to help up!"
The faerie looked concerned. "Sakien?" she asked,
tilting her brilliant head. "Sakien, are you ok?" The Xweetok felt her jaw drop
onto the cold, concrete ground. "Sakien, it's me! Please, Sakien!" Tears of
pure radiance were falling from her bright, yellow eyes, flooding the young
Xweetok's soul. "Sakien, please wake up! Sakien!"
"What?" Sakien grabbed the bars; they were getting
bigger, warming up, "I'm awake, I am!" She was now holding two wrists in her
outstretched paws. Her head was pounding suddenly, and her tail felt as if someone
had dropped Masken's box of action figured on it. She groaned, pulling herself
in as tight as she could, becoming a furry sphere of brown and red.
Water poured into her dry mouth, and a hand
massaged her throat as she attempted to swallow. "Masken?" The name faded into
nothing, and she coughed, heaving air out of her lungs in large rushes. There
was a scuttle of voices around her, and she found herself being held up by two
very dark arms.
"Masken?" She failed again, but the arms drew
her in even closer, comforting her in the pain. Her red eyes cracked open slightly,
and she shut them twice as fast, feeling blinded from the light around her.
"Sakien," Masken's voice was whispering from
above her. There was something about it that she did not recognize - dread?
Sakien buried her head away from the light,
slowly opening her eyes to the punctured darkness. She sniffed the air, trying
to figure out where she was - definitely not Terror Mountain; her paws were
too warm. She was squirming now, maneuvering herself to jump out of the arms,
but they grew rigid, holding her firmly in place. "Hey!" Her shout came out
as more of a squeak, and the arms suddenly snapped open, allowing her freedom..
"Sakien! You're ok!" Masken's face was directly
in front of hers, and she smiled, feeling her head spin as she gained her feet.
She lay back onto her stomach, and felt her
throat clear out now that she was moving more. "Can I," she coughed again, "get
Masken nodded and offered her a glistening bowl
of the desired liquid.
She drank the entirety of it in under five seconds.
"So," she said, rubbing her neck against the solid edge of the examination table
she was on, "what did you do with your boss?" She was convinced it had been
Masken that saved her.
He looked taken aback by the question. "Nothing,"
he said. "After I told him I wasn't moving, I quit."
Sakien felt her jaw drop again. "You quit?!"
Masken pushed his palm against the dark skin
of his face, threading his fingers through his braids. "I forgot."
"Forgot what?" The Xweetok demanded,
stamping one of her front paws against what she now realized was a hospital
Masken smiled mysteriously. "You've been out
for, what?" The green Gelert decorated in a white lab coat spoke up from behind
Sakien was shocked.
"Right." He sat down on the white cloth that
draped the table, and Sakien leapt into his lap as he spoke. "Mr. Roden told
us we had to move." The Xweetok growled from on top of his jeans. "You went
to your room, and I left while you packed, or so I assumed." A troubled look
came across her face, but she kept silent.
Masken sighed, and stroked Sakien's fur. Apparently,
he had told the nasty, old Skeith that he refused to move. It was out of the
question - the Lost Desert was his home. Mr. Roden said that he would not allow
him to stay in the company if he did not move. "My only choice was to quit,"
he said matter-of-factly. He had then returned home to tell her the good news
- only, she was asleep. He tried to wake her but his efforts failed, and he
rushed her to Neopia Central for treatment. "I couldn't imagine you eating snow
in a snow covered land."
Sakien snorted. "I could." The young boy's eyebrows
shot up, and she quickly changed the subject. "So, what are you going to do
Masken threaded his thin fingers together and
stretched out his arms until his knuckles cracked. A smile settled into his
face, fitting in perfectly with his shallow dimples. "I," he said, "am going
to play games." He laughed. "Would you join me?"
The Xweetok grinned, her pointed white teeth
sparkling a bit as she spoke. "I would love to."
Masken lifted her so that her paws were wrapped
around his neck. "Tell me," he prompted, "what have you been dreaming of for
the last two days?"
Her red eyes grew wide behind Masken's bouncing
braids and the clinking of plastic beads in his hair. "Err... I can't remember,"
she lied. Maybe, one day, Sakien decided, she would tell him. For now, however,
she was perfectly happy with how everything was plotting out.
All comments appreciated! ^(l_l^)~ Kat